Private Organization Accreditation

Stillwater-based FamilyMeans provides services in budget and credit counseling, mental health, collaborative divorce, caregiver support, youth programming, and an employee assistance program. 


Nicole Deprez-Garrity, M.Ed.

Volunteer Roles: Endorser, Lead Endorser

Nicole Deprez-Garrity is a lead After School Endorser based in Germany.
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The rights and dignity of clients are respected throughout the organization.


One of COA’s Guiding Principles for Effective Practice is to respect the rights of individuals, which requires that practices reflect a profound respect for personal dignity, confidentiality, and privacy. This principle is evident throughout all service standards, and it plays a particularly important role in the development of this section, devoted to the rights and dignity of all service recipients. In addition to addressing legally protected client rights, the standards in this section also center on the professional ethics of service delivery. This section promotes privacy, transparency, and mutual respect.

Interpretation: COA recognizes that mandated clients and individuals receiving Adult Guardianship (AG) services may have a reduced level of rights; and the standards in this section highlight instances in which this may be the case. However, the standards are not necessarily comprehensive, and organizations should become familiar with, and follow, applicable laws and regulations governing the rights of mandated or incapacitated clients. Individual rights may not be abridged unless superseded by legal mandate or court order.

Research Note: Ethics documents published by the National Association of Social Workers and the American Psychological Association both state that individuals have a right to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination. Practitioners, while not always required by law, are ethically obligated to protect these rights for all individuals.

Note: Please see HIPAA Fact Sheet and HIPAA Business Associate Addendum for additional assistance with this standard.

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

Client Rights Narrative

Self-Study Evidence
    • Cite 2-3 examples of activities or decisions that your organization has undertaken to protect and promote client rights (e.g., The past four years have brought a steady increase in the Chinese population to the neighborhood surrounding our program site. To accommodate the changing demographic of our service population, we have hired two bilingual caseworkers, fluent in both Mandarin and English…).
    • Identify a part of your client rights practices that has been:
      1. the most difficult to advance, and indicate the reasons why; and
      2. the least difficult to advance, and indicate the reasons why (e.g., Due to several recent changes in leadership at our organization, we have been working on drafting more comprehensive grievance procedures to replace the informal system that was previously in place. Drafting the procedures, training staff, and incorporating results into PQI and risk management practices has taken longer than anticipated as personnel get settled in their new positions…).
    • Describe how your organization reconciles its confidentiality and privacy practices with legal requirements on the release of identifying information, mandatory reporting, and duty to warn (e.g., The results of last year’s employee satisfaction survey identified confidentiality guidelines as an area of primary concern among direct service personnel. In response, we have designed an extensive training program on our organization’s confidentiality policies including the relationship between our policies and legal regulations governing information about mental health consumers, victims of domestic violence, child abuse…).
    • Provide any additional information that would increase the Peer Team’s understanding of how your client rights practices promote respect for the rights and dignity of clients throughout the organization.
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