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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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

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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Purpose

Child Protective Services protect children from abuse and neglect and increase child well-being and family stability.

CPS 14: Personnel

Personnel are qualified and receive support to provide immediate and ongoing services to children in need of protection.

Note: When the organization is unable to fully implement one or more personnel standards, intensive efforts should be made to fully implement the other standards. For example, if the organization is unable to recruit workers with specific qualifications, it can ensure that appropriate supervision and workload standards are implemented.

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., 
  • With some exceptions, staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) possess the required qualifications, including: education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc., but the integrity of the service is not compromised.
    • Supervisors provide additional support and oversight, as needed, to staff without the listed qualifications.
    • Most staff who do not meet educational requirements are seeking to obtain them.
  • With some exceptions staff have received required training, including applicable specialized training.
    • Training curricula are not fully developed or lack depth.
    • A few personnel have not yet received required training.
    • Training documentation is consistently maintained and kept up-to-date with some exceptions.
  • A substantial number of supervisors meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization provides training and/or consultation to improve competencies.
    • Supervisors provide structure and support in relation to service outcomes, organizational culture and staff retention.
  • With a few exceptions caseload sizes are consistently maintained as required by the standards.
  • Workloads are such that staff can effectively accomplish their assigned tasks and provide quality services, and are adjusted as necessary in accord with established workload procedures.
    • Procedures need strengthening.
    • With few exceptions procedures are understood by staff and are being used.
  • With a few exceptions specialized staff are retained as required and possess the required qualifications.
  • Specialized services are obtained as required by the standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards.  Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • One of the Fundamental Practice Standards received a rating of 3 or 4.
  • A significant number of staff, e.g., direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers, do not possess the required qualifications, including: education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc.; and as a result the integrity of the service may be compromised.
    • Job descriptions typically do not reflect the requirements of the standards, and/or hiring practices do not document efforts to hire staff with required qualifications when vacancies occur.
    • Supervisors do not typically provide additional support and oversight to staff without the listed qualifications.
  • A significant number of staff have not received required training, including applicable specialized training.
    • Training documentation is poorly maintained.
  • A significant number of supervisors do not meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization makes little effort to provide training and/or consultation to improve competencies.
  • There are numerous instances where caseload sizes exceed the standards' requirements.
  • Workloads are excessive and the integrity of the service may be compromised. 
    • Procedures need significant strengthening; or
    • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Specialized staff are typically not retained as required and/or many do not possess the required qualifications; or
  • Specialized services are infrequently obtained as required by the standards.
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.,

For example:
  • 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
    • Program staffing chart that includes lines of supervision
    • List of program personnel that includes:
      1. name;
      2. title;
      3. degree held and/or other credentials;
      4. FTE or volunteer;
      5. length of service at the organization;
      6. time in current position
    • Table of contents of training curricula
    • Chart that specifies caseload size, per worker for the past six months
    • Procedures and criteria used for assigning and evaluating workload
    • Supervisory schedule for 24-hour coverage
    • Procedures for overtime compensation
    • Data describing staff turnover
    • Documentation of training
    • Job descriptions
    • Training curricula
    • Interview:
      1. Supervisors
      2. Personnel
    • Review personnel files

  • CPS 14.01

    Child protection workers are qualified by:

    1. an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field; or
    2. a bachelor’s degree in social work or a comparable human service field with two years of related experience.

  • CPS 14.02

    Supervisors are qualified by an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field and at least two years experience working with children and families, preferably in child protective services.


  • CPS 14.03

    Child protection workers have the competencies needed to:

    1. empower and engage families;
    2. assess risk and safety and identify families with special needs;
    3. collaborate with community providers;
    4. exercise good judgment and competent decision making; and
    5. work with the court system when necessary.

    Interpretation: Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or experience.


  • CPS 14.04

    Child protective services workers and supervisors, depending on job responsibilities, are knowledgeable about relevant provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), including:

    1. the importance of ICWA and special considerations for working with Indian children;
    2. the identification of Indian children;
    3. determination of jurisdiction;
    4. appropriate notice and collaboration with the child’s tribe;
    5. active efforts to prevent removal or reunify families;
    6. placement preferences that support the child’s connection to their native culture and heritage; and
    7. court procedures.

    Interpretation: The organization can consider the average number of cases where the Indian Child Welfare Act applies when determining which personnel need to be trained. Screening personnel must be trained on relevant provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act.


  • FP
    CPS 14.05

    A manageable workload, which includes caseload and other organizational responsibilities:

    1. makes it possible for workers to meet practice requirements;
    2. does not impede the achievement of outcomes; and
    3. takes into consideration the qualifications and competencies of the worker and case status and complexity.

    Interpretation: Case complexity can take into account: intensity of child and family needs, size of the family, and the goal of the case. Generally, investigative workers should manage no more than 12 active investigations at a time including no more than 8 new investigations per month. Ongoing and preventive services workers should be working with no more than 15-18 families (cases) at a time, with no more than 10 children that are in an out-of-home placement. However, there are circumstances under which caseloads may exceed these limits. For example, caseload size may vary depending upon the volume of administrative case functions (e.g., entering notes, filing, etc.) assigned to the worker. Caseloads may also be higher when organizations are faced with temporary vacancies on staff. New personnel should not carry independent caseloads prior to the completion of training.

    Note: The evaluation of this standard will focus on whether the assigned workload is manageable for staff, taking into account the factors cited in the standard and interpretation. The specific caseload sizes stated in the interpretation are only a suggestion of what might be appropriate. Each organization should determine what caseload size is appropriate, and reviewers will evaluate: (1) whether the organization’s designated caseload size reflects a manageable workload, and (2) whether the organization maintains caseloads of the size it deemed appropriate.

    Research Note: Two themes in staff retention literature indicate that high caseloads and time-consuming paperwork are primary factors in child welfare workforce turnover.


  • CPS 14.06

    Supervisory personnel are involved in all decisions related to child safety and permanency, and workers have access to a supervisor by telephone 24 hours a day.


  • CPS 14.07

    Supervisors or experienced workers provide additional support when personnel are new or are still developing competencies.


  • CPS 14.08

    The program director or designee ensures:

    1. work schedules are flexible;
    2. sufficient staff coverage at all times;
    3. supports are in place to prevent burnout; and
    4. non-exempt employees that work overtime are appropriately compensated.

    Interpretation: Non-exempt employees are compensated for overtime according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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