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.


Family Services of the North Shore

Kathleen Whyte, Manager of Human Resources / Accreditation Coordinator

Family Services of the North Shore is about to enter our third accreditation cycle with COA. Accreditation has provided us with a framework that enables us to demonstrate accountability to our clients, our funders and our donors. There is no question that the accreditation process and COA have benefited our agency.
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Child Protective Services protect children from abuse and neglect and increase child well-being and family stability.


Child Protective Services receive, screen, and investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect, and conduct safety and risk assessments. Child protective services can also provide, or refer families to, alternative response services. Child Protective Case Management services monitor the safety of children at risk of abuse or neglect who remain in the home, and help parents or legal guardians to fulfill their parental roles. When necessary, and with statutory authority, Child Protective Services remove children from parental care as a protective intervention and arrange for appropriate out-of-home care.

Note: Child Protective Case Management Services will complete: CPS 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, and 14.

Note: When the case involves an American Indian or Alaska Native child, the organization should engage and collaborate with the child’s tribe throughout the provision of child protective services as outlined in the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which establishes "minimum federal standards" governing state proceedings involving American Indian and Alaska Native children. Updates to the federal regulations and guidelines were made in 2016 and went into effect for all proceedings initiated on or after December 12, 2016, irrespective of any previously initiated proceedings. Organizations must have established procedures for identifying and serving American Indian and Alaska Native children and families that articulate their role in the context of tribal-state child welfare agreements, ICWA, and any relevant state laws pertaining specifically to Indian child welfare. 

ICWA requires the inclusion of tribal representatives throughout all aspects of service delivery, including, but not limited to, assessment, service planning, permanency planning, and case closing. Additional opportunities for inclusion are identified in the standards. While collaboration with federally recognized tribes is required by ICWA, organizations should reach out to tribal representatives in cases involving federally non-recognized tribes as well, as their involvement in the case will improve access to culturally-relevant resources and help establish permanency through a heightened sense of belonging and connectivity to the child’s extended family, clan, or tribe.

While local Indian organizations are not granted the same rights as federally recognized tribes under the Indian Child Welfare Act, there may be circumstances under which their involvement is necessary and appropriate. These organizations can facilitate the child’s connection to his or her tribe, inform the family and the organization of services available to the child, act as an advocate for the American Indian or Alaska Native child and his or her family, and provide ongoing support and information. This involvement is particularly important when the child’s tribe does not have the infrastructure to participate formally in the case.

The terms “American Indian and Alaska Native”, “Indian”, and “Native” are used interchangeably throughout the standards to refer to children or families who are members of federally recognized tribes and protected under the Indian Child Welfare Act as well as to agencies or organizations that belong to or advocate on behalf of tribes. 

Note: Please see CPS Reference List for a list of resources that informed the development of these standards.

Child Protective Services Narrative

Self-Study Evidence
    • Provide an overview of the different programs being accredited under this section. The overview should describe:
      1. the program's service philosophy and approach to delivering services;
      2. eligibility criteria;
      3. any unique or special services provided to specific populations; and
      4. major funding streams.
    • If elements of the service (e.g., assessments) are provided by contract with outside programs or through participation in a formal, coordinated service delivery system, provide a list that identifies the providers and the service components for which they are responsible. Do not include services provided by referral.
    • Provide any other information you would like the peer review team to know about these programs.
    • A demographic profile of persons and families served by the programs being reviewed under this service section with percentages representing the following:
      1. racial and ethnic characteristics;
      2. gender/gender identity;
      3. age;
      4. major religious groups; and
      5. major language groups
    • As applicable, a list of groups or classes including, for each group or class:
      1. the type of activity/group;
      2. whether the activity/group is short-term or ongoing;
      3. how often the activity/group is offered;
      4. the average number of participants per session of the activity/group, in the last month; and
      5. the total number of participants in the activity/group, in the last month
    • A list of any programs that were opened, merged with other programs or services, or closed
    • A list or description of program outcomes and outputs being measured
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