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.


Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children's Services

Galo A. Rodriguez, M.P.H., President & CEO

Since Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children’s Services pursued its COA accreditation on October 14, 2004, this corporation has sustained a continuous quality improvement process by not looking whom to blame among the involved parties but improving what we have already done well… because good enough is not good enough.
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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 2: Community Engagement

The organization engages a diverse group of community stakeholders to plan and carry out initiatives that improve the community.

Note: See Gov 4 for more information on engaging and maintaining effective partnerships with community stakeholders. 

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 (HR 6.02) and training (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
    • List of stakeholders
    • A description of the roles/ responsibilities of the organization and stakeholders
    • Procedures for group decision making
    • A description of how the organization builds trust and addresses conflicts
    • Procedures for communicating and collaborating with stakeholders, including procedures for collecting stakeholder feedback
    • Evidence of collaboration with stakeholders (i.e., meeting notices, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, correspondence, documentation of decisions)
    • Copies of outreach and informational materials provided to various stakeholder groups
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Stakeholders
    • Observe community meetings, if possible

  • CCI 2.01

    The organization helps the initiative to identify and engage a diverse group of community stakeholders on an ongoing basis.

    Interpretation: Stakeholders should represent many segments of the community, and should include organizations, institutions, and residents. Relevant organizations and institutions can include, but are not limited to: civic associations; tenant associations; neighborhood centers; parks and recreation services; schools and colleges; faith-based institutions and associations; health and social services agencies; libraries; cultural institutions; youth development or afterschool school programs; for-profit businesses; public officials and policymakers; funders; and the media. Residents should reflect the diversity of the community, including individuals of diverse lifestyles, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, races, religions, genders, socio-economic status, skills, interests, and ages.

    It is also important to note that stakeholder identification and engagement should not be a one-time event. New stakeholders should be identified and involved on an ongoing basis, throughout the course of the initiative. Stakeholders involved in the earliest stages of the initiative may in turn help to identify and reach out to others, ensuring sustained overall levels of participation.

    Research Note: Some literature suggests that engaging a diverse array of community stakeholders helps to promote the long-term effectiveness of an initiative, and the sustainability of positive results. Involving a diverse group of organizations and individuals brings a wider range of talents, resources, and connections, and can help to legitimize the initiative and its work.

  • CCI 2.02

    The organization provides opportunities for community stakeholders to be involved in all aspects of the initiative.

    Interpretation: As referenced in CCI 4, 5, 6, and 7, the involvement of community stakeholders should be encouraged in all aspects of the initiative, from outreach, to the community assessment, to strategic planning and decision-making, to implementing and monitoring specific improvement projects. In the event that a key stakeholder chooses to not participate, the organization must demonstrate efforts to encourage participation and show that the stakeholder was not intentionally excluded.

    Note: See CCI 2.04 for more information on practices that support ongoing stakeholder involvement.

    Research Note: Literature emphasizes that the knowledge and perspective brought by community stakeholders are crucial to developing a successful initiative. Further, involving community stakeholders in a meaningful way is also essential to building stakeholders’ capacity. The importance of capacity building is addressed further in CCI 3, as well as throughout CCI as a whole.

    NA The organization only provides technical assistance to community change initiatives.

  • CCI 2.03

    The organization facilitates a collaborative working arrangement by:

    1. bringing community stakeholders together as peers and equals;
    2. ensuring that no stakeholder, including the organization itself, dominates the initiative;
    3. demonstrating tolerance, understanding, and respect for both stakeholders and the community as a whole;
    4. facilitating the development of trust and respect among community stakeholders;
    5. following fair and clearly-understood procedures for decision-making and dispute resolution; and
    6. addressing and managing any conflicts that arise.

    Research Note: Literature indicates that it is not unusual for conflicts to occur during the course of an initiative. For example, there may be disputes or conflicts related to competing goals, resource allocation, lack of trust, varying perceptions about roles, differing values, differing needs, differing skills and interests, and differing language and culture.

    NA The organization only provides technical assistance to community change initiatives.

  • CCI 2.04

    The organization facilitates ongoing stakeholder involvement by:

    1. providing timely notification of meetings;
    2. documenting all important decisions in writing;
    3. developing mechanisms for communicating with community stakeholders about the initiative and its activities;
    4. regularly reporting to the community on the initiative’s progress; and
    5. developing mechanisms for community stakeholders to provide regular feedback about the initiative and the organization’s role in the initiative

    Interpretation: Examples of strategies and techniques to facilitate communication with stakeholders include, but are not limited to: community meetings and public forums; newsletters; news releases; resident information brokers and organizing coordinators; neighborhood networks; house parties; festivals; parades; and other special events.

    Note: See CCI 7.05 for more information on how reporting on and celebrating the initiative’s achievements can help promote engagement.

    NA The organization only provides technical assistance to community change initiatives.

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