WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Lutheran Social Services of New England is a high-performing nonprofit organization. LSS is a powerful difference maker and go-to resource, driving ourselves to constantly anticipate futures that are different from the past. For 140 years, LSS has been caring for people in need in New England.
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VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIAL

Bonnie Bagley

Volunteer Roles: Evaluator; Lead Evaluator; Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

I have found that being a COA Volunteer builds my professional skills and experience in ways that more traditional workshops do not. The opportunity to learn about best practices through the COA standards and then see how agencies implement them is truly a growth experience.
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Purpose

Individuals who receive Services for Mental Health and/or Substance Use Disorders improve social, emotional, psychological, cognitive, and family functioning, and attain recovery and wellness.

CA-MHSU 5: Clinical Counseling

The organization provides clinical counseling services that:

  1. provide an appropriate level and intensity of support and treatment;
  2. recognize individual and family values and goals;
  3. accommodate variations in lifestyle; 
  4. emphasize personal growth, development, and situational change; and
  5. promote recovery, resilience, and wellness.

Interpretation: Recovery is a holistic process of change where individuals learn to overcome or manage their diagnosed symptoms and conditions in order to improve overall well-being and achieve optimal health.

Interpretation: Detoxification treatment programs include daily clinical services such as appropriate medical care, therapy, and withdrawal support. A range of therapies (e.g., cognitive, behavioural, medical, and mental health therapies) are provided to service recipients on an individual or group basis. Services aim to enhance the service recipient’s understanding of addiction, completion of withdrawal management, and referral to an appropriate level of care for substance use treatment. The delivery of services will vary and depends on the assessed needs of the service recipient and his or her treatment progress. 

NA The organization provides Diagnosis, Assessment, and Referral Services only.

Rating Indicators
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted, however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations (CA-HR 6.02) and training (CA-TS 2.03); or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • A number of client records are missing important information  or
  • Client participation is inconsistent; or
  • One of the Fundamental Practice Standards received a rating of 3 or 4.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing; or  
  • Two or more Fundamental Practice Standards received a rating of 3 or 4.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • A description of clinical counseling services
    • Procedures for providing necessary care to service recipients who are victims of violence, abuse, neglect, or other known trauma, or at risk for suicide (MHSU 5.04)
    • Procedures for evaluating level and intensity of care (CA-MHSU 5.05)
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Clinical or program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Individuals or families served
    • Review case records

  • CA-MHSU 5.01

    Clinical counseling services help service recipients develop the knowledge, skills, and supports necessary to: 

    1. manage mental health and/or substance use disorders; 
    2. cultivate and sustain positive, meaningful relationships with peers, family members, and the community; 
    3. develop self-efficacy; and
    4. promote whole-person wellness.

    Research Note: Whole-person wellness refers to overall well-being and encompasses the mental, emotional, physical, occupational, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of an individual’s life.

    Research Note: Developing and maintaining relationships with meaningful individuals or groups, such as family members, peers, teachers, coworkers, and community organizations, can help individuals manage behavioral health issues, including suicide risk, psychological distress, mental illness, and/or substance use. Research suggests that individuals with mental illness who have larger, more satisfactory support networks report better quality of life.


  • CA-MHSU 5.02

    Staff and personnel engage and motivate service recipients by demonstrating:

    1. sensitivity to the needs and personal goals of the service recipient;
    2. a non-threatening manner;
    3. respect for the person’s autonomy, confidentiality, sociocultural values, personal goals, lifestyle choices, and complex family interactions;
    4. flexibility; and
    5. appropriate boundaries.


  • CA-MHSU 5.03

    Personnel assist service recipients to:

    1. explore and clarify the concern or issue;
    2. voice the goals she or he wishes to achieve;
    3. identify successful coping or problem-solving strategies based on the individual’s strengths, formal and informal supports, and preferred solutions; and
    4. realize ways of maintaining and generalizing the individual’s gains.

    Research Note: Literature suggests the most successful interventions are those driven by the service recipient’s goals and utilizing the service recipient’s strengths, coping mechanisms, and support networks. Assisting individuals and families to identify the concern that brought them into treatment, their goals for treatment, and the tools they have to successfully accomplish their goals leads to greater self-sufficiency and fewer treatment needs in the future.


  • FP
    CA-MHSU 5.04

    If a service recipient is a victim of violence, abuse, neglect, other known trauma, or at risk for suicide, the organization provides:

    1. trauma-informed care;
    2. a safety plan, as needed;
    3. more frequent monitoring of progress towards service goals and desired outcomes;
    4. more intensive services; and
    5. a referral.

    Interpretation: Regarding element (b), safety plans will look different depending on the specific needs of the service recipient. For example, safety plans for survivors of domestic violence focus on helping individuals prepare for immediate escape, while safety plans for individuals at risk for suicide focus on warning signs, coping strategies, and lethal means restriction.

    Interpretation: If the service recipient has been assessed as being at high risk for suicide and misses an appointment, or there has been a significant change in status, active outreach and service engagement strategies such as phone calls, text messages, or home visits should be used until contact is made. 

    Research Note: Literature suggests that victims of violence should undergo an early assessment, and interventions should focus first on basic needs such as survival, food, safety, and shelter.


  • CA-MHSU 5.05

    Clinical personnel:

    1. determine the optimal level and intensity of care, including clinical and community support services;
    2. follow up when an evaluation for psychotropic medications and medication-assisted treatment is recommended;
    3. use written criteria to determine when the involvement of a psychiatrist is indicated; and
    4. coordinate care with other service providers, including primary care providers, when appropriate and with the consent of the service recipient.

    Note: Element (c) does not apply to detoxification treatment programs. 

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