WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Children's Home Society of Florida delivers a unique spectrum of social services designed to protect children at risk of abuse, neglect or abandonment; to strengthen and stabilize families; to help young people break the cycle of abuse and neglect; and to find safe, loving homes for children.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Family Services of the North Shore

Kathleen Whyte, Manager of Human Resources / Accreditation Coordinator

Family Services of the North Shore is about to enter our third accreditation cycle with COA. Accreditation has provided us with a framework that enables us to demonstrate accountability to our clients, our funders and our donors. There is no question that the accreditation process and COA have benefited our agency.
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Purpose

Guardianship Services for Minors support the establishment of a court-appointed, long-term, living arrangement with a committed caregiver that ensures safety and increases stability and child well-being.

GSM 10: Personnel

Personnel are qualified and receive support to facilitate the development of a permanent caring relationship between the child and his or her guardian.

Note: When the organization is unable to fully implement one or more of the practice standards, intensive efforts should be made to fully implement the other standards. For example, if the organization is unable to recruit workers with specific qualifications, it can ensure that appropriate supervision and workload standards are implemented.

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., 
  • With some exceptions, staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) possess the required qualifications, including: education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc., but the integrity of the service is not compromised.
    • Supervisors provide additional support and oversight, as needed, to staff without the listed qualifications.
    • Most staff who do not meet educational requirements are seeking to obtain them.
  • With some exceptions staff have received required training, including applicable specialized training.
    • Training curricula are not fully developed or lack depth.
    • A few personnel have not yet received required training.
    • Training documentation is consistently maintained and kept up-to-date with some exceptions.
  • A substantial number of supervisors meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization provides training and/or consultation to improve competencies.
    • Supervisors provide structure and support in relation to service outcomes, organizational culture and staff retention.
  • With a few exceptions caseload sizes are consistently maintained as required by the standards.
  • Workloads are such that staff can effectively accomplish their assigned tasks and provide quality services, and are adjusted as necessary in accord with established workload procedures.
    • Procedures need strengthening.
    • With few exceptions procedures are understood by staff and are being used.
  • With a few exceptions specialized staff are retained as required and possess the required qualifications.
  • Specialized services are obtained as required by the standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards.  Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • One of the Fundamental Practice Standards received a rating of 3 or 4.
  • A significant number of staff, e.g., direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers, do not possess the required qualifications, including: education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc.; and as a result the integrity of the service may be compromised.
    • Job descriptions typically do not reflect the requirements of the standards, and/or hiring practices do not document efforts to hire staff with required qualifications when vacancies occur.
    • Supervisors do not typically provide additional support and oversight to staff without the listed qualifications.
  • A significant number of staff have not received required training, including applicable specialized training.
    • Training documentation is poorly maintained.
  • A significant number of supervisors do not meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization makes little effort to provide training and/or consultation to improve competencies.
  • There are numerous instances where caseload sizes exceed the standards' requirements.
  • Workloads are excessive and the integrity of the service may be compromised. 
    • Procedures need significant strengthening; or
    • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Specialized staff are typically not retained as required and/or many do not possess the required qualifications; or
  • Specialized services are infrequently obtained as required by the standards.
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.,

?For example:
  • 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
    • Program staffing chart that includes lines of supervision
    • List of program personnel that includes:
      1. name;
      2. title;
      3. degree held and/or other credentials;
      4. FTE or volunteer;
      5. length of service at the organization;
      6. time in current position
    • Chart that specifies caseload size, per worker, for the past six months
    • Procedures or criteria used for assigning and evaluating workload
    • Job descriptions
    • Documentation of training
    • Training curricula
    • Data describing staff turnover
    • Interview:
      1. Supervisors
      2. Personnel
    • Review personnel files

  • GSM 10.01

    Guardianship workers are qualified by:

    1. an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field; or
    2. a bachelor’s degree in social work or a comparable human service field with two years of related experience.

  • GSM 10.02

    Supervisors are qualified by an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field and two years of experience working with children and families, preferably in adoption or guardianship.


  • GSM 10.03

    Guardianship workers must be knowledgeable of child welfare practices in their state and have the competencies to:

    1. counsel families on all available permanency options;
    2. work effectively with kinship families, including Indian families;
    3. conduct assessments and identify children with special needs;
    4. collaborate with several systems including the mental health, judicial, health, and educational systems;
    5. provide effective case management;
    6. guide families through the guardianship process;
    7. help families obtain available benefits, including guardianship subsidies, as appropriate;
    8. address interstate issues; and
    9. provide families with the information they need to find necessary support services and the skills they need to obtain them.

    Interpretation: Competency can be demonstrated through a combination of education, training, and experience.

    Research Note: The increased attention to guardianship is a direct result of the increasing number of children being placed in the homes of relatives, and the unique dynamics of kinship families.


  • FP
    GSM 10.04

    Guardianship workers and supervisors, depending on job responsibilities, are knowledgeable about relevant provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), including:

    1. the importance of ICWA and special considerations for working with American Indian and Alaska Native children;
    2. the identification of American Indian and Alaska Native children;
    3. determining jurisdiction;
    4. appropriate notice and collaboration with the child’s tribe;
    5. placement preferences that support the child’s connection to their native culture and heritage; and
    6. court procedures.

    Update:

    • Revised Standard - 10/31/17
      GSM 10.04 is now a fundamental practice standard. An interpretation was added with guidance on personnel training requirements and a research note was added with training resources. 

    Interpretation: All guardianship personnel should be trained in the basic requirements of ICWA with additional specialized training for staff in specialized service units, such as assessment or permanency planning. All screening personnel must be trained on how to identify children with American Indian or Alaska Native heritage. Workers should also be informed of the cultural norms and historical trauma associated with Indian tribes. 

    Research Note: Training resources on the Indian Child Welfare Act are available from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Indian Child Welfare Association, and the California Social Work Education Center.


  • GSM 10.05

    Guardianship workers maintain a manageable workload, and cases are assigned according to a system that takes into consideration:

    1. the qualifications and competencies of the worker and the supervisor;
    2. the complexity and status of the case;
    3. services provided by other professionals or team members; and
    4. other organizational responsibilities.

    Interpretation: Case complexity can take into account intensity of child and family needs and size of the family. Generally, caseloads do not exceed 12-25 families.

    Research Note: Staff retention literature indicates that high caseloads and time-consuming paperwork are primary factors in child welfare workforce turnover.

    One example of a caseload weighting formula suggests that a useful system is developed with input from staff, time and case study data, uses readily available information, and is not too complex.


  • GSM 10.06

    Supervisors or experienced workers provide additional support when personnel are new or are still developing competencies.

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