WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Northside Psychological Services is a combination of both private practice and community mental health provider. We provide services to children and adults (EAP, private insurance, private pay, etc.) in our private practice setting. In our Community Care Program, we provide services to children and adolescents in their homes.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Joint Base Charleston School Age Program

Paula B. Matthews, School Age Program Coordinator

Preparing for our after school accreditation was an awesome and very valuable learning experience for the Child and Youth Professionals at Charleston Air Force Base. Becoming familiar with and understanding the After School standards was a breeze because of the training webinars and the great customer service we received from all of the COA staff. Thank you for supporting our military families.
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Purpose

Children and youth who participate in Out-of-School Time programs gain the personal, social, emotional, and educational assets needed to support healthy development, increase well-being, and facilitate a successful transition through childhood and adolescence, and into adulthood.

CA-OST 4: Building Supportive Relationships Between Program Participants and Adults

Personnel develop positive, caring, and supportive relationships with children and youth.
 

Note: Please note that the strategies personnel employ in guiding behaviour, and facilitating program activities, will also impact relationship development. See CA-OST 5, CA-OST 6, and CA-OST 9 for more information. Treating children and youth in a culturally responsive manner and accommodating their communication needs, as addressed in CA-CR 1, will also support the development of positive relationships.

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 how personnel support, and develop positive relationships with, children and youth 
    • Policies and/or procedures defining appropriate boundaries and unacceptable personnel conduct (CA-OST 4.05)
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program Administrator
      2. Site Director
      3. Program Personnel
      4. Children, youth, and families
    • Observe personnel interactions with children and youth

  • CA-OST 4.01

    Personnel actively engage with children and youth in a warm, friendly, and respectful manner that helps them feel welcome, comfortable, and supported.

    Interpretation: Personnel may demonstrate implementation of this standard in a number of ways.  For example, personnel should know and call children and youth by name; acknowledge children and youth when they arrive and depart; project a tone of welcome and cheer in their voices and gestures; use kind and supportive language; show interest in what children and youth say and do; and spend most of program time interacting with children and youth (including both during activities and when snacks are served).  Personnel should also take care not to intrude on, interrupt, dismiss, belittle, or distance themselves from children and youth, and should make an effort to spend only minimal time during program hours on tasks that do not involve children and youth. 
     

    Research Note: Youth report that they are more engaged and get more out of program activities when they feel emotionally supported by staff.


  • CA-OST 4.02

    Personnel encourage the development of trust by:

    1. treating all children and youth without favoritism or discrimination; and
    2. being consistent and dependable, following through on what they say they will do.

    Interpretation: Given that there may be a tendency to employ discipline strategies differently when children are minorities or have disabilities, personnel should make a special effort to ensure that they treat children without favoritism or discrimination when upholding rules and guiding behaviour, as addressed in CA-OST 5 and CA-OST 6. Organizations should ideally also review their discipline-related data on a regular basis, within the context of their PQI efforts, to determine whether children are indeed being treated without discrimination or if improvement/corrective action may be needed. 

    Note: See CA-OST 5 and 6 for additional information regarding the importance of fairness and consistency related to rules and behaviour guidance.


  • CA-OST 4.03

    In an effort to truly get to know children and youth, personnel take the time to:

    1. give children and youth individualized attention;
    2. check in with children and youth to see how they are doing;
    3. ask open-ended questions that encourage children and youth to share information about their lives, cultures, feelings, perspectives, needs, and interests; and
    4. pay close attention to what children and youth say and do, making a special effort to learn about their individual interests, abilities, temperaments, learning styles, and needs, including any special needs they may have.

    Interpretation: Please note that the special needs referenced in element (d) of the standard include, but are not limited to, needs related to disabilities or a history of trauma.

    Research Note: Personnel should make a concerted effort to get to know youth so that they are equipped to be responsive to their needs during the course of program involvement, including when challenges arise.  


  • CA-OST 4.04

    Personnel support children and youth by:

    1. responding to them with interest, acceptance, and appreciation; and 
    2. responding appropriately to their individual needs, interests, and abilities.

    Interpretation: Personnel should recognize that all children and youth have different strengths and skills; support and cultivate children’s and youths’ special interests and talents; demonstrate interest in children’s and youths’ cultures and experiences; and respond to the range of children’s and youths’ feelings, temperaments, and abilities, making sure that they receive any specialized attention or support they may need.  For example, personnel should encourage children and youth to pursue their interests; respect the different ways children and youth express their feelings; try to assess a child’s or youth’s feelings before attempting to solve a problem; comfort children and youth who appear hurt, upset, or disappointed; find ways to nurture and include shy or introverted children who find it difficult to speak up; accept a child’s or youth’s desire to be alone; and modify both their actions and program activities in ways designed to help children and youth engage regardless of their age, ability, or temperament. 
     

    Note: Please note that more detailed expectations regarding ways to address the needs, interests, and abilities of children and youth are included throughout this section of standards. See CA-OST 5, CA-OST 6, CA-OST 9, and CA-OST 16 for more information regarding the importance of responding appropriately to children’s needs in the context of both behaviour support and program activities. See CA-CR 1.05 and 1.06 for more information about meeting communication needs.


  • CA-OST 4.05

    Personnel maintain clear and appropriate boundaries with children and youth.

    Interpretation: The exact nature of “appropriate boundaries” may vary by age and can be hard to define, but the organization should establish policies and/or procedures that outline the type of conduct that would be deemed unacceptable.  While personnel should strive to develop strong and supportive relationships with children and youth, as addressed throughout this core concept standard, they should also understand, and make clear to children and youth, that their role is to be a coach, instructor, and role model rather than a peer or friend.  For example, personnel should be aware that some details of their personal lives may not be appropriate to disclose to children and youth, and should be careful not to share too much.  Personnel should also consider whose needs are being served in their interactions with program participants, and make sure that the relationship and interactions serve the needs of children and youth, rather than their own needs.

    It is also important to note that the organization’s policies and/or procedures should include guidelines regarding any contact that might occur outside program time, whether via in-person contact, telephone, or electronic communications and postings (including social media postings).  Personnel behaviour in these contexts should be consistent with personnel behaviour at the program, and should not threaten or blur the boundaries established there. 

     

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