Private Organization Accreditation

Debt Education and Certification Foundation (DECAF), a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, provides high-quality financial education and counseling, with nationwide outreach throughout the U.S. DECAF is HUD-approved, and recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas.


Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc.

Donna Mathews, Associate Director

Becoming accredited and maintaining our accreditation through COA has helped us increase our professionalism and thereby provide better services to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence survivors.
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Child Protective Services protect children from abuse and neglect and increase child well-being and family stability.

CPS 13: Case Closing

Case closing is a planned, orderly process.

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
  • 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 instances the organization terminated services inappropriately; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent; or
  • A formal case closing summary and assessment is not consistently provided to the public authority per the requirements of the standard.
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
  • Services are routinely terminated inappropriately; or
  • A formal case closing summary and assessment is seldom provided to the public authority per the requirements of the standard.; 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
    • Case closing procedures
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Supervisors
      3. Relevant personnel
    • Review case records

  • FP
    CPS 13.01

    The organization evaluates the need to keep the case open every six months and uses criteria that consider safety and risk factors to determine when to close a case.


    • Revised Interpretation - 10/31/17

    Interpretation: When the case involves an American Indian or Alaska Native child, the tribe or a local Indian organization must receive timely notification of ongoing evaluations to ensure their involvement. Phone and video conferencing can be used to facilitate tribal participation. 

  • CPS 13.02

    Planning for case closing:

    1. is a clearly defined process that includes assignment of staff responsibility;
    2. begins at intake;
    3. involves the family and others, as appropriate; and
    4. includes discussion with the family about the successful changes in behaviors and conditions that reduced risk to the child, and plans and strategies for maintaining those changes.

  • CPS 13.03

    Upon case closing, the organization notifies any collaborating service providers, including the courts and tribal governments, as appropriate.

  • FP
    CPS 13.04

    Reunification planning is ongoing throughout the work with families and

    1. ongoing, mutual assessment of the progress towards meeting family goals;
    2. emotional and physical preparation with parents, non-custodial parents, children, and resource families;
    3. transfer of all applicable legal, educational, and medical documents and service summaries prior to reunification date;
    4. assistance in accessing needed community-based resources prior to reunification date; and
    5. identification of post-reunification services.

  • CPS 13.05

    The organization develops aftercare plans with children and families, sufficiently in advance of case closing that specify options for meeting the families’ needs for supports and services, and the steps to meeting these needs.

    Interpretation: The organization develops the plan in collaboration with children and families, explores suitable resources, and takes the initiative to make contact with service providers with the family or on behalf of the family if they would benefit from this assistance.

    Interpretation: When the case involves an American Indian or Alaska Native  child, resources available through the tribe or local Indian organizations should be considered and prioritized when developing an aftercare plan.

    Research Note: Aftercare services such as in-home support, counseling, housing assistance, and respite care can support reunification efforts.

  • CPS 13.06

    The organization follows up on the aftercare plan, as appropriate, when possible, and with the permission of children and families.

    Interpretation: Reasons why follow-up may not be appropriate include, and are not limited to, cases where the person’s participation is involuntary.

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