WHO IS ACCREDITED?

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. 
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VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIAL

Mike Angstadt

Volunteer Roles: Commissioner; Hague Evaluator; Lead Evaluator; Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

Serving as a Team Leader for COA has been an enriching experience in many ways. Utilizing the Contextual Accreditation process to discern the means in which agencies, offering a variety of services, located throughout the US, Canada ,the Philippines and other countries provide best and most promising practices to their consumers has been particularly rewarding. read more>>

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 17: Resource Family Development, Support, and Retention

The organization promotes resource family development and retention by collaborating with resource families to determine the support needed to ensure that children receive safe, consistent, and nurturing care.

Research Note: Kinship care has not always been identified as its own area of practice in large part because of policy structures that situate kinship care as a form of foster care or family preservation. At the same time, due to societal changes and policy that requires preference be given to kin, children are entering kinship care in greater numbers. 

Regardless of the service model for working with kin, researched conducted with kinship caregivers supports a collaborative approach.  Collaboration entails mutual support and commitment between adults who are responsible for ensuring a child’s safety, stability, permanency, and well-being. 

This research identified that collaborative support is demonstrated through five crucial competencies: 
  1. respecting mutual knowledge, skills, and experiences; 
  2. building trust by meeting needs; 
  3. facilitating open communication; 
  4. creating an atmosphere in which cultural traditions, values, and diversity are respected; and 
  5. using negotiation skills.

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
    • A description of support efforts and services, including opportunities for peer support
    • A calendar or listing of recreational or social activities
    • Community resource and referral list
    • Procedures for safety assessment of resource family home and vehicle
    • Kinship caregiver strengths and needs assessment
    • Documentation of and/or attendance records for  peer support opportunities
    • Documentation of formal relationships with community providers for the provision of support services, as applicable
    • Informational materials on community resources provided to resource parents, including any specific materials for kinship caregivers
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Resource parents
    • Review resource parent records
    • Review case records

  • FKC 17.01

    The organization provides accessible opportunities for peer support among resource parents.

    Interpretation: Organizations should consider the different needs of the foster parents, kinship caregivers, and treatment foster parents they work with and offer opportunities tailored to the different groups. Opportunities for support include regular meetings in which resource parents can share concerns and discuss strategies for managing their role, and/or social events that bring resource families together and give them the chance to get to know each other better. 

    Organizations can work with resource parents to determine how to make peer support opportunities more accessible- such as by offering food and/or childcare.

    Research Note: Research indicates that kinship caregivers best benefit from a hybrid approach to training and support in which the support group component is emphasized and serves as a space for targeted training activities.


  • FKC 17.02

    The organization offers recreational or social activities for resource families.

    Interpretation: Kinship care programs should offer activities more regularly if these activities are a fundamental component of the services they offer kinship families, such as if recreational activities function as a form of respite for kinship caregivers.


  • FKC 17.03

    Resource families have access to services to improve family functioning and prevent and reduce stress and family crisis including: 
    1. child care; 
    2. counseling; 
    3. peer support opportunities outside of the organization; 
    4. cultural, recreational, and social activities outside of the organization; 
    5. respite care; and
    6. transportation.

    Interpretation: When working with Indian children, services offered by tribes or local Indian organizations should be considered when identifying support services.

    Research Note: An identified effective practice for increasing retention of foster parents is to encourage their participation in local, state, and national associations for foster parents, which can offer powerful opportunities for peer support and involvement in a larger movement to advocate for children.


  • FKC 17.04

    Resource families participate in an annual mutual review to identify areas of strength and concern, and develop plans for needed support and training.

    Interpretation: The mutual review conducted as part of the home recertification process may be used to demonstrate implementation of this standard, provided such reviews are conducted annually. Resource families should receive ongoing feedback regarding performance, which focuses on strengths and needs, as part of the ongoing support provided.

    NA The organization provides kinship care or informal kinship care services only.


  • FP
    FKC 17.05

    Resource families’ homes are regularly assessed to identify and address any safety concerns including, but not limited to: 
    1. inadequate heat, light, water, refrigeration, cooking, and toilet facilities; 
    2. malfunctioning smoke detectors; 
    3. unsanitary conditions; 
    4. lack of phone service; 
    5. unsafe doors, steps, and windows, or missing window guards where necessary; 
    6. exposed wiring; 
    7. access to hazardous substances, materials, or equipment; 
    8. rodent or insect infestation; and 
    9. walls and ceilings with holes or lead.

    NA The organization provides kinship care or informal kinship care services only.


  • FP
    FKC 17.06

    Resource parents who transport children in their own vehicles: 
    1. use age-appropriate passenger restraint systems; 
    2. provide adequate passenger supervision, as required by statute or regulation; 
    3. properly maintain vehicles and obtain required registration and inspection; 
    4. provide the organization with annual validation of their driving records; and 
    5. provide the organization with regular validation of their licenses and appropriate insurance coverage.

    Interpretation: Regarding element (e), this information should be provided as frequently as necessary, based on the amount of time licenses and insurance are valid. For example, if licenses are valid for two years, license validation can occur every two years. Regarding validation of appropriate insurance coverage, it is suggested that the organization maintain a copy of each resource parent’s auto policy declaration.

    NA The organization provides kinship care or informal kinship care services only.


  • FKC 17.07

    The organization collaborates with resource families, and when appropriate with parents, to identify informal resources that can offer support, including as appropriate:
    1. friends;
    2. neighbors;
    3. other resource parents;
    4. members of clan, tribal, religious, and spiritual communities; and
    5. local businesses or other community organizations.

    Interpretation: As appropriate to each family’s situation and in line with requirements for ensuring safety, the family and resource family can collaboratively or individually identify informal resources to help care the for the child and/or provide other types of support. This type of support may need to be included in service plans to ensure communication.


  • FKC 17.08

    Strengths and needs assessments are conducted in collaboration with kinship caregivers who receive assistance, directly or through referral, to obtain supports or services, including but not limited to: 
    1. financial assistance; 
    2. legal services; 
    3. housing assistance and resources to provide a safe home environment; 
    4. food and clothing; 
    5. physical and mental health care; and 
    6. in-home support services.

    Interpretation: Organizations should be aware of applicable state regulations governing financial supports available to kinship caregivers. Kinship caregivers should be provided with all available options that can support stability and assisted to access the option that is best for their family and best for child permanency.

    Interpretation: When the organization is working with Indian children and families, tribal representatives should be used as resources to help locate the most appropriate services for kinship caregivers.

    NA The Family Foster Care program does not work with kinship caregivers.

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