Private Organization Accreditation

Catholic Charities alleviates human suffering and improves the quality of life of 100,000 people annually, regardless of religious background. A staff of 600 provides support and services related to housing, food, mental health, children's services, addiction treatment, and domestic violence services.


Brewer-Porch Children's Center

James W. Thompson, Executive Director

The COA standards as applied to the operations at Brewer-Porch Children’s Center at The University of Alabama has given the administration an opportunity to examine best practice and improve the quality of care provided to clients.
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Child Protective Services protect children from abuse and neglect and increase child well-being and family stability.

CPS 8: Service Planning and Monitoring

Families participate in the development and ongoing review of a strengths-based service plan that is the basis for delivery of appropriate services and support.

Interpretation: When the case involves an American Indian or Alaska Native child and family, the tribe or local Indian organization must be included in the service planning process and culturally relevant resources available through or recommended by the tribe or local Indian agencies should be considered and prioritized when developing the service plan. 

NA The organization does not facilitate service planning.

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
  • In a few instances client or staff signatures are missing and/or not dated; 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
  • In a number of instances client or staff signatures are missing and/or not dated (RPM 7.04); or
  • Quarterly reviews are not being done consistently; or
  • Level of care for some clients is inappropriate; or
  • Service planning is often done without full client participation; or
  • Appropriate family involvement is not documented; or
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing; or
  • Assessments are 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.,
  • 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
    • Service planning and monitoring procedures
    • Documentation of case review
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Supervisors
      3. Relevant personnel
      4. Persons served
    • Review case records

  • CPS 8.01

    Service planning is family centered, and includes, as appropriate:

    1. the child;
    2. family members;
    3. additional service providers; and
    4. tribal representatives.

    Interpretation: Service planning is conducted so the family retains as much personal responsibility and self-determination as possible.

    Generally children age six or older are to be included in service planning, unless there are clinical justifications for not doing so. Extended family members and significant others can be involved in service planning, when appropriate, and with the consent of the family. The organization can facilitate participation by, for example, helping arrange transportation, and including them in scheduling decisions.

    Service planning procedures are adapted as needed in cases involving domestic violence to promote safe, healthy, and active participation of all family members. For example, in some instances, the organization may determine that meetings involving both the perpetrator and the survivor would pose a safety risk or would limit the participation of the survivor and would not be appropriate.

    Interpretation: Culturally-relevant interventions and practices or customs of children and families’ cultures, tribes, or faith-based communities should be incorporated into the service plan to the greatest extent possible and appropriate. Organizations should also be mindful that interventions adopted for the broader population, including evidence-based practices, may be ineffective or harmful to American Indian and Alaska Native children and families, and should instead identify culturally appropriate interventions that have been demonstrated to be effective for the population served. 

    Research Note: Family teaming models (such as Family Group Decision-Making, Family Team Meetings, and Family Group Conferencing) have become increasingly prevalent for intentionally collaborating with families throughout the child welfare intervention and particularly at crucial decision-making points. 

    The family “team” is the group of people that a family has chosen to support them in meeting their goals and that may provide support identified in the service plan.  Family teams can include:

    1. extended family members, 
    2. family friends, 
    3. resource parents,
    4. service providers already working with a family, 
    5. community members, 
    6. tribal members, 
    7. faith group members, and 
    8. other supportive people identified by the family. 
    Family teaming models have proven to be successful in supporting positive outcomes by helping service providers share power with families, build and incorporate the larger circle of family support, and develop plans that ensure safety and achieve permanency more quickly. Through evaluation studies family teaming has been identified as an effective practice tool for collaborating with kinship families.

  • CPS 8.02

    During service planning, the worker and family discuss:

    1. the family’s strategies to change behaviors and conditions that led to the abuse or neglect;
    2. services and supports available to address the effects of maltreatment and to prevent future maltreatment;
    3. maintaining or strengthening family relationships and informal social networks;
    4. the family’s cultural needs and the role that cultural or tribal traditions can play in addressing presenting concerns;
    5. how the organization can support the achievement of child safety, child and family well-being, and permanency;
    6. benefits and consequences of family participation in planned services; and
    7. expectations and potential consequences of noncompliance with the service plan.

  • CPS 8.03

    An individualized service plan developed with each family is based on the assessment and includes:

    1. agreed upon goals, desired outcomes, and timeframes for achieving them;
    2. services and supports to be provided, and by whom;
    3. timeframes for evaluating family progress; and
    4. the signature of the parents and the youth, if developmentally appropriate.

    Interpretation: The organization should recognize the value of incorporating culturally-grounded interventions into the service plan, and include traditional practices or customs of the child’s culture, tribe, or faith-based community to the greatest extent possible and appropriate.

    Research Note: Research has shown that despite the availability of information from assessments, workers often base service decisions on other factors, including availability of services, labels, and the type of maltreatment.

  • CPS 8.04

    Individuals with disabilities who have limited ability to make independent choices receive help with making decisions and support to assume more responsibility.

  • CPS 8.05

    Service plans are completed within 30 days of the initiation of services and within additional timeframes established by the organization.

  • CPS 8.06

    The worker and a supervisor, or a service or peer team, review the case at least quarterly to assess:

    1. service plan implementation;
    2. appropriateness of safety and permanency plans;
    3. progress toward achieving service goals and desired outcomes; and
    4. continuing appropriateness of the agreed upon service goals, and the need to keep the case open.

    Interpretation: Workers should assess the family’s progress following each visit and review the case when necessary. The case review is sometimes referred to as an administrative review, a supervisory review, a case conference, or a staffing.

    Experienced workers may conduct reviews of their own cases. In such cases, the worker’s supervisor reviews a sample of the worker’s evaluations as per the requirements of the standard.

    Interpretation: When the case involves an American Indian or Alaska Native child, a representative from the tribe or a local Indian organization must receive timely notification of case reviews to ensure their involvement, particularly when any changes are made to the service plan. Phone and video conferencing can be used to facilitate tribal participation. The case review should include an assessment for compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.

  • CPS 8.07

    The worker and the family regularly review progress toward achievement of service goals, and sign revisions to service goals and plans.

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