Private Organization Accreditation

Debt Education and Certification Foundation (DECAF), a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, provides high-quality financial education and counseling, with nationwide outreach throughout the U.S. DECAF is HUD-approved, and recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas.


Children's Foundation of Mid America

James W. Thurman, President/CEO

Children’s Foundation of Mid America has been accredited through COA since 1983. The process of accreditation ensures that we meet or exceed the highest standards in the industry.
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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 5: Service Planning and Monitoring

Each individual participates in the development and ongoing review of a service plan that is the basis for delivery of appropriate services and support.

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 and monitoring procedures
    • Documentation of case review
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Individuals or families served
    • Review case records

  • HSCL 5.01

    An individualized, person- or family-centered service plan is developed in a timely manner with the full participation of the individual, and an expedited service-planning process is available when crisis or urgent need has been identified.

    Interpretation: Service planning is conducted such that individuals and families retain as much personal responsibility and self-determination as possible and/or desired. Individuals with limited ability in making independent choices can receive help with making decisions for themselves and assuming more responsibility for making decisions.

    When the service recipient is a minor or an adult under the care of a guardian, the organization should follow applicable state laws and regulations requiring involvement or consent of the service recipient’s legal guardian. In situations where a legal guardian is involved in service planning and monitoring, the service recipient should still have the opportunity to participate in the process. 

  • HSCL 5.02

    The service plan is based on the assessment, and includes:

    1. agreed upon goals, desired outcomes, and timeframes for achieving them;
    2. services and supports to be provided, and by whom; and
    3. the signature of the service recipient and legal guardian.

    Interpretation: Homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing programs are short-term programs that provide immediate access to permanent housing followed by other supportive services based on households’ individualized needs, choices, and preferences. Service plans, in the context of these programs, should be person-centered, focus on the achievement of housing-specific goals in the shortest amount of time possible and practical, and address barriers to housing retention. 

  • HSCL 5.03

    During the service planning process the organization explains:

    1. available options;
    2. how the organization can support the achievement of desired outcomes; and
    3. the benefits, alternatives, and risks or consequences of planned services.

  • HSCL 5.04

    The service plan addresses, as appropriate and with the individual’s consent:

    1. unmet service and support needs;
    2. possibilities for maintaining and strengthening family relationships; and
    3. the need for the support of the service recipient’s informal social network.

    Interpretation: Family members and significant others, as appropriate, and with the consent of the service recipient, are advised of ongoing progress and are invited to participate in case conferences.

  • HSCL 5.05

    The worker and service recipient and legal guardian regularly review progress toward achievement of agreed upon service goals and document revisions to service goals and plans.

    Interpretation: In regards to documentation, any revisions to the service plan or service goals should be signed by a member of the treatment team and the service recipient, and a legal guardian when the service recipient is a minor, or otherwise documented in a manner that is consistent with the organization’s service planning and monitoring procedures.

  • HSCL 5.06

    The worker and a supervisor, or a clinical, service, or peer team, review each case quarterly to assess:

    1. service plan implementation;
    2. progress toward achieving service goals and desired outcomes; and
    3. the continuing appropriateness of agreed upon service goals.

    Interpretation: 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.

    Timeframes for the review should be adjusted depending upon: issues and needs of persons receiving services; frequency and intensity of services provided; and program goals (e.g., cases in a short-term crisis response program would be reviewed and updated much more frequently).

    Interpretation: When assessing the continuing appropriateness of service goals, it is important to consider the service recipient’s current level of housing crisis, continuing need for services, and desired level of program participation. A short-term crisis response program does not directly address longer-term goals such as treatment or rehabilitation.

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