Private Organization Accreditation

Northside Psychological Services is a combination of both private practice and community mental health provider. We provide services to children and adults (EAP, private insurance, private pay, etc.) in our private practice setting. In our Community Care Program, we provide services to children and adolescents in their homes.


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 4: Screening

Child abuse and neglect reports are screened promptly.

NA The organization only provides Child Protective Case Management Services.

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
  • Referrals procedures need strengthening; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met;
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
  • In a few rare instances urgent needs were not prioritized.
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
  • Urgent needs are often not prioritized, or
  • Services are frequently not initiated in a timely manner; or
  • Applicants are not receiving referrals, as appropriate; or
  • A number of client records are missing important information  or
  • Client participation is inconsistent; or
  • Screening and intake done by referral source and no documentation and/or summary of required information present in case record; 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.,
  • There are 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
    • A description of the access line and how it is publicized
    • Screening procedures
    • Procedures for identification and notification in ICWA cases
    • Criteria for decision making
    • Coverage schedule for personnel that screen reports
    • Indian Child Welfare Act information provided to families
    • Copies of tribal-state agreements, when applicable
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Supervisors
      3. Screening personnel
    • Review case records

  • FP
    CPS 4.01

    The organization maintains a well-publicized, 24-hour access line to receive reports of suspected abuse and neglect.

    Interpretation: The organization must keep the community informed about how to report suspected abuse and neglect, including in jurisdictions where police have the initial responsibility to respond to reports. When screening is conducted by another organization, the child protective service program provides appropriate follow-up. When multiple access numbers are used the organization provides a clear description of the appropriate means of reporting.

  • CPS 4.02

    Reporters of abuse and neglect are informed about:

    1. the organization’s responsibilities, including protection of the reporter’s identity;
    2. the screening and investigation process and any ongoing role of the reporter; and
    3. the result of the screening or investigation, unless prohibited by law or court order.

    Interpretation: The organization should clarify if the reporter can have any possible ongoing role in the screening or investigation process.

  • FP
    CPS 4.03

    The organization identifies American Indian and Alaska Native children during screening and collaborates with the tribe or Indian organization to:

    1. determine the applicability of, and ensure compliance with, the Indian Child Welfare Act;
    2. determine jurisdiction;
    3. assess the child’s needs;
    4. provide the family with information regarding their rights under the Indian Child Welfare Act;
    5. determine and the most appropriate plan for the child; and
    6. maintain connections between the child, the child’s extended family, and his or her tribe.

    Interpretation: The organization should have established procedures for identifying American Indian and Alaska Native children to determine if the child or his/her biological parent(s) are members of a federally recognized tribe, or if the child is eligible for membership in a federally recognized tribe. Physical appearance, blood quantum, and perceived presence or absence of cultural cues within the family are not appropriate determinants of ICWA applicability. The organization should document efforts to identify and contact children’s tribes and if tribes are unknown the organization should contact the regional office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to identify, locate, and notify the child’s tribe. Notification procedures must meet the requirements specified in the Indian Child Welfare Act and the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act.

    Note: Evidence of tribal participation should be documented in the case record.

    Research Note: Early identification of American Indian and Alaska Native children is critical to ensuring that the requirements of ICWA are followed from the beginning of the case and preventing harmful placement delays or disruptions later in the proceedings. To facilitate accurate determinations of tribal membership, organizations should provide tribes with: parents’ genograms or family ancestry charts; parents’ maiden, married, and other known former names or aliases; parents’ current and former addresses; and parents’ places of birth and birthdates.

    Research Note: The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) authorizes states and federally recognized tribes to enter into agreements governing the care and custody of American Indian and Alaska Native children and jurisdiction over child custody proceedings. Organizations should refer to tribal-state agreements and ICWA to determine what role each party should play in cases involving American Indian and Alaska Native children, and to ensure compliance with all relevant legal requirements.

  • FP
    CPS 4.04

    Standardized decision-making criteria are used, in consultation with supervisory personnel, to determine if the report meets statutory and agency criteria, and if the case will be:

    1. screened out;
    2. referred for alternative response services;
    3. investigated; and/or
    4. reported to other authorities.

    Interpretation: Decision-making criteria should specify critical indicators or risk factors and the appropriate level of response. The organization should define factors that are inappropriate for use in decision-making and monitor decisions through supervision or performance and quality improvement efforts.

    Research Note: Literature has identified factors that can impact decision-making including: cultural competence of staff, caseload size, availability of resources, source of the referral, characteristics of the child and family such as ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, and age.

  • FP
    CPS 4.05

    Cases are assigned for investigation, referred, or screened out, within 24 hours.

    Interpretation: The organization should ensure it has appropriate staffing or an alternative provider to meet these timeframes.

  • CPS 4.06

    During intake, the organization gathers information to identify critical service needs and/or determine when a more intensive service is necessary, including:

    1. personal and identifying information;
    2. emergency health needs; and
    3. safety concerns, including imminent danger or risk of future harm.

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