Private Organization Accreditation

Germaine Lawrence is a residential treatment center for girls ages 12-18 with complex behavioral, psychological and learning challenges.   Girls live at our programs while receiving special education, individual, family and group therapy; psychiatric and primary medical care; and a wide variety of therapeutic activities and interventions.


Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc.

Donna Mathews, Associate Director

Becoming accredited and maintaining our accreditation through COA has helped us increase our professionalism and thereby provide better services to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence survivors.
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Experiential Education provides safe, activity-based opportunities for learning and reflection that support the achievement of identified program outcomes.

EES 3: Safety and Risk Management

The organization ensures safe practice through advanced planning, safety procedures, and personnel and participant training.

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
    • Safety procedures that address standards in this section
    • Three trip or activity plans
    • Procedures for maintaining medication and emergency and first aid supplies
    • Procedures for vehicle use
    • Contracts for any outside transportation providers
    • The table of contents for safety training curricula
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel

  • FP
    EES 3.01

    Safety procedures include:

    1. use of a written safety manual or safety plan for each type of activity offered;
    2. completion of a safety or risk-management plan before each activity that contains safety preparations and other emergency planning information;
    3. providing activity leaders with funds or other means for obtaining emergency resources during trips or programs held outside the organization’s immediate vicinity;
    4. filing reports for accidents or incidents in which personnel or participants were injured or at risk;
    5. a mechanism for making participants’ relevant health and medical information available to staff conducting activities including procedures for bringing such information into the field when applicable; and
    6. notifying the chief executive officer or designee if emergency procedures are invoked or an unanticipated problem or incident occurs.

    Interpretation: Element c will not apply when activities are conducted at the program site.

  • FP
    EES 3.02

    When conducting trips or outdoor activities in remote areas, the organization:

    1. develops written evacuation and search and rescue procedures;
    2. trains staff on protocols for conducting medical evacuation; and
    3. provides appropriate equipment for emergency communication links from field personnel to outside medical and other resources.

    NA The organization does not conduct trips or activities in remote areas.

  • FP
    EES 3.03

    When conducting offsite activities, the trip or activity plan specifies:

    1. an itinerary maintained at the headquarters;
    2. weather conditions under which evacuation may be warranted;
    3. detailed information regarding contact with the program director, or a designee, and rangers when appropriate;
    4. means of contacting rescue resources, medical facilities, and law enforcement; and
    5. any public or private entity notified of the itinerary.

    NA The organization does not conduct trips or activities away from the program site.

  • FP
    EES 3.04

    Safety training related to missing persons addresses:

    1. search and rescue procedures;
    2. public safety agency involvement, when necessary; and
    3. notification of all relevant personnel.

  • FP
    EES 3.05

    The organization trains all participants in planned trips or activities about the prevention of relevant risks that may include:

    1. sunstroke, sunburn, hyperthermia, dehydration, frostbite, and snow blindness as appropriate to the type of activity and weather conditions;
    2. dangerous plants, animals, situations, and other hazards that may be associated with particular activities or locations; and
    3. allergic and anaphylactic reactions.

    Interpretation: Participants only need to be trained on the prevention of risks associated with the type of trip or activities being conducted. For example, training on frostbite, snow blindness, or sunburn would not be needed for experiential activities conducted indoors.

  • FP
    EES 3.06

    First aid, emergency response kits and supplies, and medications needed by participants are available and under the control of the activity leader or other responsible personnel at all times.

  • FP
    EES 3.07

    An organization that provides transportation in agency-owned vehicles, or in vehicles owned by personnel or contractors, requires:

    1. access to emergency roadside repair tools, spare tires and parts, and other equipment required by law;
    2. pre-trip vehicle checks; and
    3. advance planning for appropriate breaks and rest stops, with a full day of rest scheduled following four consecutive days of vehicular travel.

    NA The organization does not provide transportation directly or by contract.

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