Private Organization Accreditation

CSS Healthcare Services provides Community based health services to the young, the elderly and to Individuals with Developmental Disability. Founded in 1997, we have the ability to offer a variety of quality community-based services to our clients, which has greatly contributed to our growth and success.


Advantage Credit Counseling Service

Mary Loftus, VP, Agency Service

Our agency is preparing for reaccreditation under the Eighth Edition Standards. The COA site is well organized and very easy to use. Our team of employees working on the reaccreditation process has found the tools index to be very helpful, particularly some of the templates.
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Individuals and families who participate in Counseling, Support, and Education Services identify and build on strengths, develop skills to manage situational change, access appropriate community support and resources, and improve functioning in daily activities at home, at work, and in the community.

CSE 3: Screening and Intake

The organization’s screening and intake practices ensure that service recipients receive prompt and responsive access to appropriate services.

Interpretation: Service recipients can include individuals, families, or community groups that request the organization’s services on a one-time, occasional, or regular basis. 

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
    • Screening and intake procedures
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Individuals or families served
    • Review logs, progress notes, or case records for documentatin of services applied, as applicable (CSE 3.06)

  • CSE 3.01

    Service recipients are screened and informed about:

    1. how well their request matches the organization’s services; and
    2. what services will be available, and when.

    Interpretation: If the service recipient’s request does not match the organization’s services, the organization should initiate a conversation with the individual and make every effort to link the person with appropriate services. The organization should inform applicants about any behaviors that might result in involuntary discharge from the program.

    Research Note: Employing electronic, telephonic, or technology-based interventions can minimize geographic barriers and increase the availability of necessary services, particularly for individuals and families living in rural or underserved areas.

    NA Another organization is responsible for screening, as defined in a contract.

  • CSE 3.02

    Prompt, responsive intake practices:

    1. ensure equitable treatment;
    2. give priority to urgent needs and emergency situations;
    3. address criteria for determining when a more intensive service is necessary;
    4. support timely initiation of services; and
    5. provide for placement on a waiting list, if applicable.

  • CSE 3.03

    Service recipients who cannot be served, or cannot be served promptly, are referred or connected to appropriate resources.

    NA The organization provides services to community members or groups on a one-time or occasional basis.

    NA The organization accepts all service recipients.

  • CSE 3.04

    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, if appropriate; and
    3. the nature of the request or presenting issue.

    NA The organization provides information and referral services only.

  • FP
    CSE 3.05

    The organization has mechanisms to identify and respond to service recipients at risk of suicide, self-injury, neglect, exploitation, and violence towards others.  

    Interpretation: If the program model does not necessitate individual risk screenings, organizations may implement a program-wide screening to evaluate the potential risk of harm by or to service recipients or others. Best practice would be for programs serving children, vulnerable adults, or individuals with a history of danger to self or others to conduct individual risk screenings. Organizations may respond to identified risk by connecting service recipients to more intensive services; facilitating the development of a safety and/or crisis plan; or contacting emergency responders, 24-hour mobile crisis teams, emergency crisis intervention services, crisis stabilization, or 24-hour crisis hotlines, as appropriate. 

    Research Note: Some groups of service recipients may be at higher risk for suicide due to past trauma, compounding risk factors, and/or societal stigma, including individuals with systems involvement (foster care, juvenile justice, criminal justice), military service members, American Indian and Alaska Natives, and individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT). Service recipients with alcohol use and/or mental health disorders are also at elevated risk for suicide.

  • CSE 3.06

    Logs or progress notes are maintained to document individual or group progress, as appropriate to the intervention.

    Interpretation: A more formalized system of documentation may be necessary, depending on the service. For example, if the organization is establishing and tracking service goals, a service plan may be developed to monitor progress. Information that informs service delivery (e.g., screenings/assessments and service plans) should be maintained in the service recipient’s case record.

    NA The organization provides services to community members or groups on a one-time or occasional basis.

    NA The organization provides information and referral services only.

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