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.


Advantage Credit Counseling Service

Mary Loftus, VP, Agency Service

Our agency is preparing for reaccreditation under the Eighth Edition Standards. The COA site is well organized and very easy to use. Our team of employees working on the reaccreditation process has found the tools index to be very helpful, particularly some of the templates.
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A stable, qualified workforce contributes effectively and efficiently to consumer satisfaction and positive service delivery results.


In the social and human services field, an organization’s workforce is its greatest asset. Since employees and volunteers perform the tasks and provide the services that fulfill the organization’s mission, it is incumbent upon Human Resources Management to develop and implement strategies, plans, and programs necessary to attract, motivate, develop, reward, and retain the best people to meet the organization’s goals and objectives. The significance of Human Resources Management is that the capacity to attract and retain a stable, qualified workforce is the foundation for achieving positive results for the people the organization serves.

Human Resources Management also holds important implications for risk management. Sound, consistently applied human resources practices help reduce the risk of employment litigation and costs. Sound practices help protect another of the organization’s most important assets: its reputation in the community.

Interpretation: The term “workforce” covers full-time and part-time employees as well as volunteers. The use of these terms is governed by the following guidelines:

  • Direct service, clerical, professional, or management volunteers are considered to be part of an organization’s personnel and will be included in the accreditation self-study;
  • If the organization does not use volunteers in its management, direct service, or any other ongoing activity, standards that only refer to volunteers do not apply to the organization; and
  • COA will not consider occasional or “casual” volunteers in its evaluation of an organization’s compliance. For example, a volunteer who is present a few times to assist in addressing direct mail campaign envelopes or a similar activity has no ongoing role. In contrast, a volunteer custodian, cook, or secretary who works on a regularly scheduled basis has an ongoing role and will be considered in evaluating an organization’s human resource practices.

Interpretation: Network personnel can include:

  1. employees of the network management entity, including administrative personnel and direct service providers;
  2. employees of network partner organizations who provide direct network services, if the network is a membership network;
  3. employees of subcontracting network provider organizations; and
  4. independent, individual providers.

Note: Please see Volunteers, Interns, and Consultants: Applicability of COA Standards to Non-Employee Personnel – Private, Public, Canadian for additional assistance with this standard.

Note: Please see HR Reference List for a list of resources that informed the development of these standards.

Human Resources Management Narrative

Self-Study Evidence
    • Describe how your organization manages its human resources: Does your organization have a separate HR department? If not is there a dedicated HR position, or is human resource management the responsibility of an individual with additional non-HR responsibilities? Does your organization outsource some of its human resources functions? If so which ones?
    • Describe any challenges that your organization may have faced with regard to recruiting and/or retaining qualified staff. Has your organization implemented any solutions that have proven effective? (E.g., there is a shortage of MSW's in your area, or funding cuts have made it difficult to pay for direct service staff with advanced degrees for your foster care program…).
    • Provide any additional information that would increase the Peer Team’s understanding of how your organization’s human resource practices contribute effectively and efficiently to consumer satisfaction and positive service delivery results.
    • A list of administrative and management personnel that includes:
      1. name;
      2. title;
      3. degree held and/or other credentials;
      4. FTE;
      5. length of service at the organization; and
      6. time in current position. Please organize the list by department
    • An organization chart that includes all the organization’s departments or divisions and programs
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