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. 


Family Services of the North Shore

Kathleen Whyte, Manager of Human Resources / Accreditation Coordinator

Family Services of the North Shore is about to enter our third accreditation cycle with COA. Accreditation has provided us with a framework that enables us to demonstrate accountability to our clients, our funders and our donors. There is no question that the accreditation process and COA have benefited our agency.
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Individuals and families who receive Disaster Recovery Case Management Services access and use resources and support that build on their strengths and meet their service needs.

DRCM 2: Access to Service

The organization works with community partners and resources to minimize barriers that prevent individuals and families from accessing services.

Interpretation: The organization should establish partnerships and cultivate relevant resources that are LGBTQ-friendly to ensure that service recipients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or are gender non-conforming are not hindered from receiving much needed recovery services. 

Note: Please refer to guidance on responding to service recipient communication needs at CR 1.06.

Research Note: Research demonstrates that language barriers are a primary impediment to receiving effective disaster recovery services and restoring or achieving pre-disaster life status. 

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
  • 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
  • A number of client records are missing important information  or
  • Client participation is inconsistent; 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
    • Eligibility requirements
    • Outreach strategies and informational materials
    • Evidence of collaboration with community providers; including MOUs or other formal agreements, documentation from local, state, or national disaster related community collaborators, as applicable
    • Interview:
      1. Clinical or program director
      2. Relevant personnel

  • DRCM 2.01

    Case managers are knowledgeable about current eligibility requirements and application processes, including:

    1. how to determine eligibility; and
    2. specific registration or procedural application sequences required to avoid duplication or loss of benefits.

    Research Note: The type of the disaster experienced by the service recipient is a factor ins determining eligibility for certain types of aid and assistance. Individuals who have experienced mass violence victimization may be eligible for services and funding from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). 

    NA Eligibility requirements are not in force or do not apply.

  • DRCM 2.02

    Organizations affiliated with national networks that share responsibility for disaster recovery case management service delivery:

    1. follow national guidelines for seeking and securing resources and collaborating with partners;
    2. are clear on their local and, if applicable, national scope of responsibility;
    3. adhere to decision-making guidance from the national organization first, then locally, as needed. 

    NA The organization is not affiliated with a national network.

  • DRCM 2.03

    Local organizations with responsibility for disaster recovery case management services have formal, written agreements with other service providers which address potential barriers to access.

    Interpretation: Organizations recognize that efficient recovery operations depend upon coordination at all levels of service delivery and strive to enhance cooperative efforts to address disaster-related needs. Examples of cooperation that address barriers to access would be community arrangements for provision of care and services for school age children that make it possible for adults to participate in disaster recovery services; transportation services for persons with disabilities; and providing, or arranging for, bilingual personnel or translators to address the communication needs of individuals.

  • DRCM 2.04

    Effective, culturally- and linguistically-competent outreach strategies connect potential service recipients with accurate and appropriate information about community resources, service availability, and eligibility.

    Interpretation: Case managers may receive cases through referral from another service provider or service unit within the organization that is responsible for outreach. Case managers that play no direct role in determining eligibility should, however, have sufficient and current information about eligibility to provide the best answers to service recipients’ questions.

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