Private Organization Accreditation

Germaine Lawrence is a residential treatment center for girls ages 12-18 with complex behavioral, psychological and learning challenges.   Girls live at our programs while receiving special education, individual, family and group therapy; psychiatric and primary medical care; and a wide variety of therapeutic activities and interventions.


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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Youth who participate in Wilderness and Adventure-based Therapeutic Outdoor Services expand individual capabilities, develop self-confidence and insight, ameliorate symptoms, and improve interpersonal skills and relationships.

CA-WT 16: Care and Supervision

Participants are closely supervised, and group size is adjusted to promote safety and reduce liability and risk.

Rating Indicators
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.
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.
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.
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
    • Procedures for establishing and adjusting personnel/participant ratios
    • Procedures that address solo activities
    • Procedures regarding staff assignment for activities
    • Coverage schedules for a recent three-month period
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Youth or families served
    • Review case records
    • Review logs

  • FP
    CA-WT 16.01

    Group size is adjusted according to:

    1. the nature of the activity;
    2. the age and abilities of participants; and
    3. applicable legal requirements.

  • FP
    CA-WT 16.02

    Adventure-based group activities are supervised by:

    1. at least two group leaders or instructors for; and
    2. additional staff when known risks are present.

    Interpretation: Group leaders or instructors have demonstrated competence or completed training outlined in CA-WT 21.

  • FP
    CA-WT 16.03

    Personnel-participant ratios are adjusted according to:

    1. the level of the activity’s difficulty, risk, and distance from the organization’s central location;
    2. the skill and experience of personnel; and
    3. the age, developmental level, and therapeutic needs of the group.

  • FP
    CA-WT 16.04

    For solo activities, a group leader or instructor:

    1. is responsible for the safety of that person or group;
    2. maintains sight or sound contact 24 hours a day, or has a plan for making
    3. adjusts the degree of supervision to the participant’s ability, the terrain, and environmental conditions.

    NA The organization does not conduct solo activities.

  • FP
    CA-WT 16.05

    At least one person assigned to an adventure activity or group:

    1. is certified by an organization with recognized expertise in the activity area when such certification is available; or
    2. has documented and verified training and actual experience, and can demonstrate competence in conducting the particular activity.

  • FP
    CA-WT 16.06

    A coverage and supervision plan is developed for groups physically distant from the organization’s central location and:

    1. indicates the reporting relationships and delegation of authority; and
    2. gives decision-making authority to a person qualified by a combination of education, field experience, technical and safety expertise, and maturity.

    Interpretation: "Physically distant" can mean off-property or off-site.

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