WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Savannah Area's mission is to provide the best non-profit community service, dedicated to delivering professional and confidential counseling, debt management, housing counseling and consumer education to all segments of the community regardless of ability to pay.
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VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIAL

Barry Gourley

Volunteer Roles: Endorser; Peer Reviewer

It is an honor to be a COA volunteer. I’ve had a great opportunity to work with fabulous COA volunteers, I’ve grown professionally in the COA accreditation process and I’ve met some wonderful people across this nation who are working hard to help and support children and families.
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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 2: Initial Assessment and Access to Services

The organization conducts prompt and responsive initial assessment and outreach to ensure awareness of services, determine if the program can meet the needs of children and families, and provide alternative service recommendations if needed.

Interpretation: Because organizational roles in the initial assessment process are dependent on referral systems and contractual obligations, organizations should provide procedural or documentary evidence that demonstrates implementation of the standards. 

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
  • Culturally responsive assessments are the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations (HR 6.02) and training (TS 2.05); or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent; or
  • Diagnostic tests are consistently and appropriately used, but interviews with staff indicate a need for more training (TS 2.08).
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
  • Assessment and reassessment timeframes are often missed; or
  • Assessment are sometimes not sufficiently individualized;
  • Culturally responsive assessments are not the norm and this is not being addressed in supervision or training; or
  • Staff are not competent to administer diagnostic tests , or tests are not being used when clinically indicated; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent; or
  • Assessments are done by referral source and no documentation and/or summary of required information present in case record; 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.,
  • There are 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
    • Initial assessment procedures
    • Admission policy
    • Procedures for identification of children with American Indian and Alaska Native heritage and collaboration with tribes on ICWA cases
    • Screening or Assessment tool that addresses American Indian and Alaska Native heritage
    • Copies of tribal state agreements, when applicable
    • Outreach materials
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
    • Review case records

  • FP
    FKC 2.01

    Prompt, responsive initial assessment practices: 
    1. ensure equitable treatment; 
    2. give priority to urgent needs and emergency situations; 
    3. support timely initiation of services; and
    4. ensure that referral sources are notified immediately if services cannot be provided or provided promptly.

    NA The organization is not responsible for initial assessment.


  • FKC 2.02

    During intake, the organization gathers information to identify critical service needs and/or determine when a more intensive service is necessary, including:

    1. personal and identifying information;
    2. emergency health needs; and
    3. safety concerns, including imminent danger or risk of future harm.


  • FKC 2.03

    Organizations maintain an admission policy that includes:
    1. steps and requirements for admission;
    2. prohibition of discriminatory selection processes; and
    3. reasons the program may decline referrals.

    NA The organization: (1) accepts all clients, or (2) only receives clients by referral, and is required by contract to accept all referrals.


  • FKC 2.04

    Organizations conduct outreach in their service area to: 
    1. ensure families are aware of and able to access services offered; 
    2. promote community awareness and collaboration; and
    3. increase resource family recruitment.

    Interpretation: Regarding element (c), outreach should include increasing awareness of the needs of children and families, the critical and valuable role that resource parents have, and the steps for becoming a resource parent. 


  • FP
    FKC 2.05

    The organization identifies American Indian and Alaska Native children and has a process to ensure outreach and collaboration with the tribe or Indian organization to: 
    1. determine jurisdiction; 
    2. ensure compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act ; 
    3. provide families with information regarding their rights under the Indian Child Welfare Act; 
    4. participate in assessment and service planning  to determine the most appropriate plan for children and families; and 
    5. maintain connections between children, their extended family, and their tribes.

    Interpretation: The organization should have established procedures for identifying American Indian and Alaska Native children to determine if the child or his/her biological parent(s) are members of a federally recognized tribe, or if the child is eligible for membership in a federally recognized tribe. Physical appearance, blood quantum, and perceived presence or absence of cultural cues within the family, are not appropriate determinants of ICWA applicability. The organization should document efforts to identify and contact children’s tribes, and if tribes are unknown, the organization should contact the regional office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to identify, locate, and notify the child’s tribe.

    Research Note: Early identification of American Indian and Alaska Native children is critical to ensuring that the requirements of ICWA are followed from the beginning of the case and preventing harmful placement delays or disruptions later in the proceedings. To facilitate accurate determinations of tribal membership, organizations should provide tribes with: parents’ genograms or family ancestry charts; parents’ maiden, married, and other known former names or aliases; parents’ current and former addresses; and parents’ places of birth and birthdates.

    NA The organization provides kinship care services only.

    NA The organization provides services for foreign-born children only.


  • FP
    FKC 2.06

    Organizations conduct an initial assessment of children’s risk of harm to self or others and when risks are identified, that information is used to: 
    1. inform decision-making;
    2. identify suitable resource families; and/or 
    3. develop safety plans with parents and resource families.

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