Private Organization Accreditation

Family Services of Southeast Texas strengthens families through accessible, affordable counseling services and education for issues affecting family life, mental health and employment.  We also provide comprehensive domestic violence shelter and support services.


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 Custody Services promote public safety by providing youth with a supportive, structured setting that helps them address their needs and develop the attitudes and skills needed to make responsible choices, avoid negative behaviours, and become productive, connected, and law-abiding citizens.

CA-YCS 14: Maintaining Safety and Security

The organization maintains a safe, secure environment where youth, personnel, and the public are protected from harm.


  • Added Evidence - 11/16/17
    Policy and procedures regarding weapons was added to self-study evidence

Note: CA-ASE and CA-BSM address additional practices that contribute to safety and security.

Note: See CA-ASE 6.06 for requirements on developing protocols for preventing and responding to missing and runaway children and youth.

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
    • Youth/staff ratios
    • Procedures for conducting searches
    • Procedures for making housing assignments
    • Policy and procedures regarding weapons
    • Youth/staff ratios and coverage schedules for the past year
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Youth served
    • Review case records
    • Observe site

  • FP
    CA-YCS 14.01

    To promote safety within the facility, the organization considers youths’ age, size, gender and gender identity, vulnerability to victimisation, offense history, and ability to adjust to a group when making housing assignments.

  • FP
    CA-YCS 14.02

    When it is necessary to search youth, their rooms, or their property, authorized personnel do so according to procedures that:

    1. are consistent with applicable provincial and federal law;
    2. define when there is reasonable cause to conduct a search;
    3. minimize the invasiveness of the search;
    4. respect youths’ dignity; and
    5. establish a process and timetable for administrative review.

    Interpretation: Organizations should conduct more invasive searches only when there is reason to do so, and demonstrate that these searches are: (1) conducted by qualified staff, and (2) accompanied by an increased level of administrative review.

  • FP
    CA-YCS 14.03

    The organization provides sufficient supervision to ensure the safety of youth, personnel, and the public at all times, and additional personnel are available in case of emergency.

    Interpretation: Personnel-to-youth ratios should be based on youths’ risks and needs, but should generally not exceed 1:8 during the day, and 1:16 at night. On-duty personnel must be awake at all times, and at least two staff members should be on-duty at all times. Same-gender personnel should be available to provide supervision and services, as needed.

  • FP
    CA-YCS 14.04

    Weapons are prohibited within the facility, and armed law enforcement officers are required to check weapons in a secure area.

    Interpretation: If organizational policy allows armed law enforcement officers to enter the organization’s facilities, the organization should explain: (1) under what circumstances this practice is permitted (e.g., in emergency situations), and (2) how safety is ensured while the armed officers are on site.

  • FP
    CA-YCS 14.05

    When youth have opportunities to leave the facility or interact with the public, the organization maintains safety by:

    1. defining when youth are eligible for the opportunity;
    2. evaluating youth for eligibility and appropriateness; and
    3. providing or arranging for sufficient support and supervision.

    Interpretation: Relevant opportunities may include, but are not limited to: home visits, community service projects, community-based work experience programs, meetings with mentors, and trial visits to community programs.

    NA Youth do not have opportunities to leave the facility or interact with the public.

  • CA-YCS 14.06

    The organization appropriately and consistently documents, reviews, and reports incidents of youth noncompliance.

    Interpretation: The organization should follow any applicable policies, procedures or other rules for reporting infractions to the court or public agency with jurisdiction over youth.

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