WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Family Services of Southeast Texas strengthens families through accessible, affordable counseling services and education for issues affecting family life, mental health and employment.  We also provide comprehensive domestic violence shelter and support services.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Orange County Government, Youth & Family Services Division

Rodney J. Hrobar Sr., LMHC, CPP, Quality Assurance Manager

As the lead agency in Orange County, providing the safety net for children and families, it is reassuring that our clients can be confident that their needs will be addressed in accordance with the most stringent standards of public, as well as private, accountability as monitored and reviewed by the Council on Accreditation. 
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Purpose

Children in Family Foster Care and Kinship Care live in safe, stable, nurturing, and often temporary family settings that best provide the continuity of care to preserve relationships, promote well-being, and ensure permanency.

FKC 13: Transition to Adulthood

Youth are supported in their transition to adulthood through individualized planning and preparation that promotes emotional well-being, connected support systems, access to needed resources, and skill development.

Interpretation: The transition to adulthood refers to both the developmental life stage and the transition out of the foster care system.

Research Note: Research consistently shows that youth who have left the foster care system face more challenges than the general population around educational attainment, employment, criminal justice involvement, substance abuse, mental illness and poverty.
 
Systematic skills assessment, independent living skills training, involvement of caregivers as facilitators, and developing and maintaining community connections are four overarching strategies that have been identified as effective for preparing youth for self-sufficiency.

NA The organization does not serve youth 14 or older. 

NA The organization provides informal Kinship Care Services only.

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.,
  • 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.
3
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.
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
    • Procedure for transition planning
    • A description of services to support youth in the transition to adulthood
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Youth
    • Review case records

  • FKC 13.01

    Transition planning is a youth-driven, strengths-based process that:
    1. ensures maximum youth participation through involvement in all aspects of planning;
    2. includes important informal and formal members of youths’ lives;
    3. explores involved adults’ commitment to the youth;
    4. incorporates attention to safety, well-being and permanency; and 
    5. involves collaboration and coordination among all service providers.

    Interpretation: Implementation of the standard is demonstrated through case record documentation and interviews with youth that indicate that the organization has worked consistently and collaboratively with youth through the planning process to identify and engage family members, friends, natural mentors, and other community supports in the planning process for their transition. Collaborative, team-based transition planning that begins well in advance of the youth’s transition will naturally promote the development of a positive support system.

    Interpretation: For youth transitioning into adult systems of care planning meetings and discussions should include providers from the adult-serving systems that will be working with the youth. 

    Interpretation: For American Indian and Alaska Native youth, their tribe and/or the local Indian organization must be included in transition planning. 


  • FKC 13.02

    With the worker or another supportive professional, youth have the opportunity to explore:
    1. their family relationships and relationships with supportive peers and adults;
    2. their families’ readiness for healthy participation in their lives;
    3. the range of housing options available to them, including tribal options for Indian youth; 
    4. the risks and benefits of available housing options;
    5. their academic needs and interests and available educational paths; and
    6. their work interests and skill sets, as well as different vocational interests, career paths, and employment supports.

    Research Note: Transitional periods in life are often particularly stressful for survivors of trauma who need to guide their own transition planning at a pace that feels comfortable for them and may require additional supports in order to have a safe experience of transition.


  • FP
    FKC 13.03

    The organization assists youth in developing individualized transition plans, at least six months prior to their 18th birthday or discharge from care, that identifies specific plans for:
    1. coping with and healing from stress and trauma associated with grief and life transitions;
    2. education and academic support;
    3. employment and workforce support;
    4. finances/income;
    5. health insurance and healthcare;
    6. housing; and
    7. mentoring and continued support services.

    Research Note: A theme in the area of transition planning is the importance of understanding normal adolescent brain development and using this understanding as the foundation for creating transition plans with youth that support them through these normal developmental stages.


  • FKC 13.04

    As appropriate to each individualized transition plan, the organization ensures youth have information and support around: 
    1. the transfer or termination of custody; 
    2. benefits that will end at transition or case closing, at least six months in advance;
    3. accessing affordable community based healthcare and counseling; 
    4. transitioning to adult systems of care for mental health or developmental disabilities; 
    5. services and supports available to youth who were in foster care for education and independent living activities;
    6. public assistance programs and the court system; 
    7. maintaining an ongoing relationship with their tribe and tribal community members to receive supports and services available from the tribe and engage in cultural activities; 
    8. child care services; 
    9. available support through community volunteers or individuals who have made a successful transition; 
    10. how to contact the organization and what supports the organization can offer after case closing; and
    11. who they can contact in an emergency, crisis, or for support.


  • FKC 13.05

    The organization ensures that youth transition to adulthood with social supports in place, including: 
    1. access to at least one committed, caring adult; 
    2. access to cultural and community supports; and 
    3. access to positive peer support.

    Interpretation: When the organization is working with Indian youth, tribal representatives should be active members in the creation of a transition plan.

    Research Note: Youth who leave the foster care system consistently name emotional support as the most common element missing from their lives.

    Research Note: The organization may consider using permanency pacts, which provide the opportunity to discuss and document specific supports that an involved, caring adult will provide a youth, with the goal of promoting the development of a lifelong relationship. 


  • FKC 13.06

    The organization assists youth in obtaining or compiling documents necessary to function as an independent adult, including, when applicable: 
    1. an identification card; 
    2. a social security or social insurance number; 
    3. a resume; 
    4. a driver’s license; 
    5. an original copy of the youth’s birth certificate; 
    6. bank account access documents;
    7. religious documents and information; 
    8. documentation of immigration or refugee history and status; 
    9. documentation of tribal eligibility or membership; 
    10. death certificates when parents are deceased; 
    11. a life book or a compilation of personal history and photographs; 
    12. a list of known relatives, with relationships, addresses, telephone numbers, and permissions for contacting involved parties; 
    13. previous placement information; and 
    14. educational records, such as high school diploma or general equivalency diploma, and a list of schools attended.

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