WHO IS ACCREDITED?

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.
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VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIAL

Bonnie Bagley

Volunteer Roles: Evaluator; Lead Evaluator; Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

I have found that being a COA Volunteer builds my professional skills and experience in ways that more traditional workshops do not. The opportunity to learn about best practices through the COA standards and then see how agencies implement them is truly a growth experience.
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Purpose

Individuals and families that use Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services obtain and maintain stable housing in the community and strengthen personal support systems in order to live as independently as possible.

HSCL 4: Assessment

Individuals participate in an individualized, strengths-based, culturally responsive assessment.

Interpretation: The Assessment Matrix - Private, Public, Canadian, Network determines which level of assessment is required for COA’s Service Sections. The assessment elements of the Matrix can be tailored according to the needs of specific individuals or service design.

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
    • Assessment procedures
    • Assessment tools
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Individuals or families served
    • Review case records

  • HSCL 4.01

    The information gathered for assessments is directed at concerns identified in initial screenings, and limited to material that is pertinent to service requests and objectives.

    Interpretation: For programs providing homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing services, information gathered through assessment should focus on the individual’s immediate housing crisis and target the person’s goals, strengths and barriers as they relate directly to obtaining or maintaining housing. Service objectives should be directly related to resolving the housing crisis as quickly as possible. 


  • HSCL 4.02

    A comprehensive assessment is conducted in a timely manner and, based on the population served, may include:

    1. employment history;
    2. mainstream benefits history;
    3. housing history for the past five years;
    4. housing barriers;
    5. housing goals and preferences;
    6. veteran status;
    7. level of education and education goals;
    8. income and resources;
    9. substance use history;
    10. mental health history, diagnoses, and medications;
    11. developmental disability status and history;
    12. family functioning, parental stress, and parenting skills;
    13. a social network inventory, including relationships with family, friends, and/or significant others;
    14. history of childhood victimization and trauma; and
    15. history of adult victimization, including domestic violence and sexual abuse.

    Interpretation: Regarding element (n), assessments may explore a range of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as emotional, physical, and sexual abuse; violence in the home; household substance use; mental illness in the household; parental divorce or separation; household members with criminal justice involvement; and emotional and physical neglect.

    Interpretation: Personnel that conduct assessments should be aware of the indicators of a potential trafficking victim, including, but not limited to: 

    1. evidence of mental, physical, or sexual abuse; 
    2. physical exhaustion; 
    3. working long hours; 
    4. living with employer or many people in confined area; 
    5. unclear family relationships; 
    6. heightened sense of fear or distrust of authority; 
    7. presence of older male boyfriend or pimp; 
    8. loyalty or positive feelings towards an abuser; 
    9. inability or fear of making eye contact; 
    10. chronic running away or homelessness; 
    11. possession of excess amounts of cash or hotel keys; and 
    12. inability to provide a local address or information about parents. 

    Several tools are available to help identify a potential victim of trafficking and determine next steps toward an appropriate course of treatment. Examples of these tools include, but are not limited to, the Rapid Screening Tool for Child Trafficking and the Comprehensive Screening and Safety Tool for Child Trafficking.

    Research Note: The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 requires federal, state, and local officials who discover a minor who may be a victim of human trafficking to notify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services within 24 hours to facilitate the provision of interim assistance.

    Research Note: Studies show a high rate of major depressive disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder among mothers experiencing homelessness, which can negatively affect parenting and the child’s mental and behavioral health status, and school performance.


  • HSCL 4.03

    Children and youth receive a comprehensive, age-appropriate assessment in a timely manner to evaluate their cognitive, language, motor, behavioral, and social-emotional development.

    Interpretation: To help decrease family rejection and increase family support for youth who identify as LGBTQ, the assessment should include a network inventory of family relationships, experiences with family rejection, capacity for increasing family acceptance and support, and specific culturally appropriate education and guidance. 
     

    Research Note: A meta-analysis of research studies showed that school-aged children experiencing homelessness are significantly more likely to have mental health issues than low-income children living in stable housing. Overall, up to 26% of preschoolers and up to 40% of school-aged children experiencing homelessness may have mental health issues that require a clinical evaluation.
     

    NA The organization does not admit families with children.


  • HSCL 4.04

    Assessments are completed within timeframes established by the organization and are updated periodically.

    Interpretation: Generally, assessments are completed within two weeks of intake. The frequency of updates to assessments vary depending on the age and needs of the service recipient. For example, young children need more frequent updates due to the rapid pace of their development.

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