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

ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions

Tim Spearin, Vice President, Quality Assurance

ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions has been accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) since 1996.  Reaccreditation attests that a member organization continues to meet the highest national operating standards as set by the COA.  It also provides assurance that ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions is performing services which the community needs, conducting its operations and funds successfully.
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Purpose

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 8: Personnel

Personnel have appropriate education, training, and experience to the meet the needs of the service population. 

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 include 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
    • Job descriptions
    • Table of contents of training curricula
    • Procedures and criteria used for assigning and evaluating workload
    • Procedures for responding to a crisis or traumatic event 
    • Training curricula
    • Documentation of training
    • Documentation of formal training and/or certification for peer support providers, as applicable
    • Interview:
      1. Supervisors
      2. Relevant personnel
    • Review personnel files

  • CSE 8.01

    Prior to having contact with service recipients, personnel receive orientation on:

    1. the needs of the service population
    2. responding to emergency situations; and
    3. legal or policy requirements governing the delivery of needed services.

    Interpretation: In regards to element (c), personnel should be trained on relevant legal and civil rights issues, laws governing disclosure of suspected abuse or other criminal behavior, organization policy reconciling the principles of consumer confidentiality and the requirements of the law, and documentation requirements. 


  • CSE 8.02

    Personnel receive ongoing training and education in the following areas, as appropriate to the services provided: 

    1. cultural and linguistic competence; 
    2. community resources and how to access services;
    3. procedures for making referrals or providing information;
    4. methods of engagement, including establishing rapport and building trust; 
    5. recognizing and responding to signs and symptoms of trauma;
    6. recognizing and responding to signs of suicide risk; and
    7. special issues related to working with the identified service population. 

  • CSE 8.03

    Personnel leading education and support groups have the competence and support needed to:

    1. engage and motivate group members;
    2. advocate for individuals and families;
    3. understand group dynamics;
    4. lead discussions; and
    5. facilitate group activities.

    Interpretation: Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, lived and/or professional experience.

    NA The organization does not provide education or support groups.


  • CSE 8.04

    Individuals who provide peer support must:

    1. be willing to share their personal recovery stories;
    2. have adequate support and appropriate supervision; and
    3. obtain formal training and certification, as appropriate.

    Interpretation: Providers of peer support must complete training and certification as defined by their state. 

    NA The organization does not provide peer support services. 


  • CSE 8.05

    Individuals who provide peer support receive pre- and in-service training and ongoing supervision and support around:

    1. how to recognize the need for more intensive services and how to make an appropriate referral;
    2. established and ethical guidelines, including setting appropriate boundaries; and
    3. skills, concepts, and philosophies related to recovery and peer support.

    Interpretation: Peers should receive ongoing education to remain current on wellness support methods, trauma-informed care practices, and recovery resources as the field of recovery and peer support is rapidly evolving.
     

    Interpretation: Peers establish relationships with service recipients that are based on mutual respect and trust and support bidirectional learning and reciprocity. One of the greatest perceived challenges of delivering peer support services is peers’ ability to handle confidentiality and boundaries. Clearly defining and communicating the role of the peer worker is critical when establishing the peer-to-peer relationship. 

    Research Note: A national network of researchers, health care professionals, behavioral health experts, and individuals in recovery developed a set of universal recovery principles. The ten guiding principles of recovery include: 

    1. hope;
    2. person-centered/self-directed;  
    3. individualized/many pathways; 
    4. holistic;
    5. peer support;
    6. relational; 
    7. cultural competence; 
    8. trauma-informed; 
    9. strengths-based/responsibility; and
    10. respect. 

    NA The organization does not provide peer support services.


  • CSE 8.06

    Supervisors must have the education, training, and experience required to adequately support and supervise direct service personnel.

    Interpretation: Supervisor qualifications will vary depending on the services provided and program design.   


  • CSE 8.07

    Supervisors demonstrate a commitment to providing structure and support to direct staff to:

    1. address and reduce stress, anxiety, secondary traumatic stress, and vicarious trauma; 
    2. process and debrief following a crisis or traumatic event;
    3. create an atmosphere of problem-solving and learning;
    4. build and maintain morale;
    5. provide constructive ways to approach difficult situations with service recipients; and 
    6. facilitate regular feedback, growth opportunities, and a structure for ongoing communication and collaboration.

    Interpretation: Supervision is an important determinant of service recipient outcomes, organizational culture, and staff retention.

    Interpretation: In order to promote workforce well-being, organizations should implement policies that address and help prevent stress-related problems. Strategies to reduce the adverse effects of secondary traumatic stress and vicarious trauma include: helping staff identify and manage the difficulties associated with their respective positions; promoting self-care and well-being through policies and communications with personnel; offering positive coping skills and stress management training; and providing adequate supervision and staff coverage. 

    Interpretation: Before a crisis or traumatic event occurs, the organization’s leadership should establish a coordinated plan detailing its organization-wide response strategy (see also ASE 7), in accordance with all applicable confidentiality laws and regulations. For example, response plans in the event of a suicide can include: procedures for managing information about the death, coordination of internal or external resources, supports for those affected by the death, commemoration of the deceased, and follow-up with anyone at elevated risk for suicide.

    Interpretation: The suicide attempt or death of a service recipient can be a traumatic experience for staff and appropriate supports and avenues for grief are often not provided. Staff may feel responsible for the individual’s death, professionally inadequate, and ashamed. Individuals exposed to suicide can also be at elevated risk for suicide. To help staff process the loss of a service recipient to suicide, voluntary non-judgmental support services should be provided to help the affected staff and other personnel grieve and prepare for future contact with individuals at risk for suicide.

    Research Note: Secondary traumatic stress (STS)—distress that results from being exposed to the traumatic stories of others, and vicarious trauma (VT)—internal changes in the perception of self due to chronic exposure to traumatic material, have a significant impact on direct care workers and supervisors. STS has been linked to increased absenteeism among employees, high staff turnover, and decreased compliance with organizational requirements. The impact of VT can impede organizational function and negatively influence an individual’s sense of trust, safety, control, and esteem. 


  • CSE 8.08

    Employee workloads support the achievement of service recipient outcomes, are regularly reviewed, and are based on an assessment of the following:

    1. the qualifications, competencies, and experience of the worker, including level of supervision needed;
    2. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities; and
    3. service volume.

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