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.


Catholic Charities, Diocese of Covington

Wm. R. (Bill) Jones, ACSW, MDiv, Chief Executive Officer

Catholic Charities in Covington has been COA accredited since 1996. Though the time spent in completing the self study and hosting the site visit can sometimes feel sometimes daunting, the rewards far outweigh the effort. In our agency, the self-study is a group process that involves every member of the staff from the CEO to the building maintenance staff.
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Group Living Services allow individuals who need additional support to regain, maintain, and improve life skills and functioning in a safe, stable, community-based living arrangement.

GLS 13: Group Living Environment

The organization provides group living experiences and a program of individualized services for each resident.

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
    • A description of group living services and activities
    • Sample of schedules of daily program activities
    • Procedures for including residents in decision-making processes
    • Schedules of daily program activities
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Residents
    • Review case records

  • GLS 13.01

    Residents participate in the development of a group living program that is individually tailored to their age, developmental level, social and emotional needs, strengths, and interests.

  • GLS 13.02

    Group living services are integrated with the resident’s daily living experience and include, as appropriate:
    1. treatment for severe emotional disturbance or mental health and substance use conditions;
    2. individual and group counseling;
    3. family therapy;
    4. educational and/or vocational programming;
    5. recreational activities;
    6. legal advocacy;
    7. opportunities to participate in religious observances in a faith or spirituality of choice;
    8. community cultural enrichment, shopping, volunteer and paid work activities; and
    9. independent living preparation.

    Interpretation: Central coordination of services is one of the most important aspects of care for victims of human trafficking.  It provides the opportunity to develop an important, consistent connection with the staff person while the complex myriad of needed services are accessed and coordinated.

  • GLS 13.03

    Program activities provide opportunities for residents to interact with peers in a positive, respectful, and cooperative manner.

    Interpretation: Program personnel strive to anticipate, prevent, and reduce the occurrence of bullying and other unsafe or negative peer interactions.

    Interpretation: Organizations should create a normative environment for residents while they are in care. One way this can be accomplished is by creating opportunities for children and adults to engage in activities with peers in the community. For example, sports teams, drama, choir, and musical groups promote pro-social behaviors and values.

  • GLS 13.04

    Program personnel provide predictability and structure by developing routines and rules with residents and their family members.

  • GLS 13.05

    Residents participate in decision-making processes relating to program activities and are given an opportunity to formally express feedback including dissatisfaction with aspects of care.

    Interpretation: The establishment of resident councils is one way to involve individuals in all aspects of care and ensure that their voice is integrated into programming decisions.  Residents should have an opportunity to provide feedback on staff, activities, rules, food, their overall care experience, sense of safety and support, and the living environment. This type of activity also provides opportunities for youth advocacy, self-efficacy and leadership. 

    For programs serving youth, family advisory councils can be established to involve families in the governance of the program.

    Research Note: Perceptual barriers have a strong effect on youth engagement. When youth perceive that residential providers dismiss their concerns and limit their opportunities to make choices they become frustrated with and disengaged in the treatment process. Providers that create opportunities for youth feedback and value the ideas of youth promote engagement and active program participation.

    Innovative programs are allowing youth to assume a leadership role in their own treatment team meetings to encourage taking control over decisions that impact their lives. Encouraging youth empowerment ensures young residents develop a sense of control over their lives, and an opportunity to recover from past trauma in order to become healthy adults.

  • GLS 13.06

    Program personnel provide residents with:
    1. nutritious meals and snacks;
    2. personal items such as clothing and an individual allowance;
    3. companionship;
    4. support and assistance needed to participate in group living and community activities; and
    5. a flexible daily schedule to develop and enhance positive personal and interpersonal skills and behaviors.

    Interpretation: Residents should be provided with a variety of nutritious food options. Special diets should be planned to meet the modified needs of individual residents.

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