Private Organization Accreditation

Northside Psychological Services is a combination of both private practice and community mental health provider. We provide services to children and adults (EAP, private insurance, private pay, etc.) in our private practice setting. In our Community Care Program, we provide services to children and adolescents in their homes.


The Village for Families & Children, Inc.

Galo A. Rodriguez, M.P.H., President & CEO

COA Peer Reviewers demonstrated their expertise through their knowledge of COA standards as well as experience in the behavioral health field. In addition, COA’s seminars and tools were very helpful in guiding us through the accreditation process.
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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 4: Service Planning

Service plans are developed, reviewed, and updated in partnership with children, parents, and resource families to guide service delivery and ensure implementation of effective interventions and supports.


  • Revised Interpretation - 10/31/17

Interpretation: When the organization receives a service plan from another provider this service plan should contain all components identified within the standards and the organization must ensure that the service plans that guide their daily work with children address all life domains.

Interpretation: When the case involves an American Indian or Alaska Native child and family, tribal or local American Indian or Alaska Native representatives must be included in the service planning process and culturally relevant resources available through or recommended by the tribe or local Indian organizations should be considered and prioritized when developing the service plan.

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
  • In a few instances client or staff signatures are missing and/or not dated; 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
  • In a number of instances client or staff signatures are missing and/or not dated (RPM 7.04); or
  • Quarterly reviews are not being done consistently; or
  • Level of care for some clients is inappropriate; or
  • Service planning is often done without full client participation; or
  • Appropriate family involvement is not documented; or
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing; 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.
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
    • Service planning procedures
    • Service Plan template
    • A description of strategies for promoting parent and resource family collaboration (FKC 4.01, FKC 8.03)
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Parents
      4. Children and youth
    • Review case records
    • Review documentation of quarterly service plan review (if not in case record)

  • FKC 4.01

    Service plans are developed with the full participation of children, families, and resource families.

    Interpretation: Generally children age six and older are to be included in service planning, unless there is clinical justification for not doing so. 

    Service planning procedures are adapted as needed in cases involving domestic violence to promote safe, healthy, and active participation of all family members. For example, in some instances, the organization may determine that meetings involving both the perpetrator and the victim/survivor would pose a safety risk or would limit the participation of the victim/survivor and would not be appropriate.

    Interpretation: In situations where children have no family involvement, the standard is implemented through demonstrating children’s full participation in the development of their service plan.

    Interpretation: Safety concerns for victims of human trafficking often do not end when they enter care. The organization should work with the victim to develop a safety plan that focuses on increasing physical safety by securing needed documents, property, and services; maintaining the shelter’s location in confidence; and linking efficiently to law enforcement, if needed.  

    In cases where the child is a victim of human trafficking, it is important to be aware that the child’s parent or caregiver may be the trafficker or complicit in the trafficking. In such cases, determining appropriate family supports and level of involvement should include the input of the child, as well as child welfare and law enforcement systems.

    Research Note: Including resource families in the service planning process can ensure more comprehensive service delivery to children, strengthen the network of supports for birth families, and promote resource family retention.

  • FKC 4.02

    Children and families are given the opportunity to include supportive people of their choice, such as extended family, friends, and community members in the service planning process.

    Research Note: Family teaming models (such as Family Group Decision-Making, Family Team Meetings, and Family Group Conferencing) have become increasingly prevalent for intentionally collaborating with families throughout the child welfare intervention and particularly at crucial decision-making points. 
    The family “team” is the group of people that a family has chosen to support them in meeting their goals and that may provide support identified in the service plan.  Family teams can include:
    1. extended family members, 
    2. family friends, 
    3. resource parents,
    4. service providers already working with a family, 
    5. community members, 
    6. tribal members, 
    7. faith group members, and 
    8. other supportive people identified by the family. 
    Family teaming models have proven to be successful in supporting positive outcomes by helping service providers share power with families, build and incorporate the larger circle of family support, and develop plans that ensure safety and achieve permanency more quickly. Through evaluation studies family teaming has been identified as an effective practice tool for collaborating with kinship families. 

  • FKC 4.03

    Service planning builds on the assessment process and explores: 
    1. families’ short- and long-term goals, child welfare system goals if applicable, and the desired outcomes when goals are met;
    2. how to maintain and strengthen relationships while children are not living with their parents;
    3. strategies to address needs through formal services and informal family and community support; 
    4. the organization’s role in supporting the achievement of desired outcomes; 
    5. benefits, cultural relevance, and alternatives to planned services; and 
    6. the legal timeframes for achieving child permanence and the ramifications of non-participation in services, as applicable. 

    Interpretation: When the organization is working with American Indian and Alaska Native children and families, tribal representatives should, whenever possible, play an active role in service planning, beyond mere document review.

    Culturally-relevant interventions and practices or customs of children and families’ cultures, tribe, or faith-based communities should be incorporated into care to the greatest extent possible and appropriate. 

  • FP
    FKC 4.04

    Service plans are completed within timeframes determined by the organization, expedited when needed, and include: 
    1. service goals, objectives, measurable outcomes, and timeframes for achievement; 
    2. services and supports to be provided, by whom, and by when; and
    3. the signature of parents, children, and family teams, whenever possible.

    Interpretation: The contents of service plans will vary depending on the organization’s role in providing services to children, families or both. Service plans should address all major life domains. For youth age 14 and older, service plans must contain a description of the services and activities that will prepare them for the transition to adulthood.

    Treatment Foster Care Programs complete preliminary treatment plans prior to placement that identify diagnoses, strategies to ensure children’s adjustment to treatment families, and identify short-term goals for the first 30 days of placement.

    Note: See FKC 11.04 for required components of the comprehensive treatment plan.

  • FKC 4.05

    Workers and supervisors, or clinical, service, or peer teams, review cases quarterly, or more frequently as determined by case status, to assess: 
    1. service plan implementation; 
    2. progress toward service and permanency goals and desired outcomes; and 
    3. the continuing appropriateness of the agreed upon service goals.


    • Revised Interpretation - 10/31/17
      The interpretation was revised to strengthen expectations around tribal involvement in service planning. 

    Interpretation: More frequent review may be necessary because of decision-making milestones, the involvement of other systems, the frequency and intensity of service provision, or other case-specific factors. 

    Experienced workers may conduct reviews of their own cases. In such cases, the worker’s supervisor reviews a sample of the worker’s evaluations as per the requirements of the standard. 

    Interpretation: When the case involves an American Indian or Alaska Native child, a representative from the tribe or a local Indian organization must receive timely notification of case reviews to ensure their involvement, particularly when any changes are made to the plan. Phone and video conferencing can be used to facilitate tribal participation. The case review should include an assessment for compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act. 

  • FP
    FKC 4.06

    Workers and families regularly review progress toward achievement of agreed upon goals, make adjustments to service plans as needed, and sign updated plans.

    Research Note: Using a solution-focused approach when monitoring and adjusting plans with families supports positive engagement through acknowledging and building on successes, and working from a shared vision so families can experience monitoring as a mutual process intended to ensure that their goals are met.

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