WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Heartland for Children is the not-for-profit agency responsible for the foster care system in Polk, Highlands, and Hardee Counties.
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VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIAL

Mike Angstadt

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

Serving as a Team Leader for COA has been an enriching experience in many ways. Utilizing the Contextual Accreditation process to discern the means in which agencies, offering a variety of services, located throughout the US, Canada ,the Philippines and other countries provide best and most promising practices to their consumers has been particularly rewarding. read more>>

Purpose

Community Change Initiatives mobilize the community for action; strengthen the capacity of residents and organizations to effect and sustain change; build and improve neighborhoods; and lay the groundwork for future progress.

CCI 1: Service Philosophy

The organization is guided by a service philosophy that:

  1. respects the community and community members;
  2. supports the meaningful involvement of stakeholders at all levels;
  3. articulates a commitment to facilitating the process without dominating the initiative;
  4. allows and encourages the community to take on increasing responsibility for the initiative and for sustaining its achievements;
  5. promotes diversity, tolerance, and understanding; and
  6. guides the development and implementation of the initiative based on the best available evidence of effectiveness.

Interpretation: A functional service philosophy, defined through a practice model, logic model, or similar framework, guides program development and implementation by linking the program’s mission or purpose with the strategies, practices, and tools needed to integrate these into daily work. A well-defined and visible practice model will help staff and stakeholders think systematically about how the program can make a measurable difference by drawing clear connections between program values, community needs, available resources, program activities, program outputs, and desired outcomes.

Interpretation: Regarding element (d), the organization should allow and encourage the community to take on increasing responsibility for the initiative to the greatest extent possible. However, the extent to which an initiative can operate with autonomy may vary given the circumstances that prompted its development. For example, some funding sources might mandate a certain level of ongoing management and involvement by the lead organization (the organization seeking COA accreditation).

Research Note: Literature highlights the importance of being aware of the existing evidence base, and of using evidence-based practices whenever possible. For example, evidence-based approaches should be considered when conducting the community assessment, and when devising strategies to achieve desired goals and outcomes, as noted in CCI 4 and 5.

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
  • Written service philosophy needs improvement or clarification; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations (HR 6.02) and training (TS 2.03); or
  • In a few rare instances required consent was not obtained; or
  • Monitoring procedures need minor clarification; or
  • With few exceptions the policy on prohibited interventions is understood by staff, or the written policy needs minor clarification.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • The written service philosophy needs significant improvement; or
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Documentation is inconsistent or in in some instances is missing and no corrective action has not been initiated; or
  • Required consent is often not obtained; or
  • A few personnel who are employing non-traditional or unconventional interventions have not completed training, as required; or
  • There are gaps in monitoring of interventions, as required; or
  • Policy on prohibited interventions does not include at least one of the required elements; or
  • Service philosophy is not clearly related to expressed mission or programs of the organization; 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.,
  • There is no written service philosophy; or
  • There are no written policy or 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
    • Service philosophy
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Stakeholders
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