Private Organization Accreditation

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Savannah Area's mission is to provide the best non-profit community service, dedicated to delivering professional and confidential counseling, debt management, housing counseling and consumer education to all segments of the community regardless of ability to pay.


Mike Angstadt

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

Serving as a Team Leader for COA has been an enriching experience in many ways. Utilizing the Contextual Accreditation process to discern the means in which agencies, offering a variety of services, located throughout the US, Canada ,the Philippines and other countries provide best and most promising practices to their consumers has been particularly rewarding. read more>>


Juvenile Justice Residential Services promote public safety by providing youth with a supportive, structured setting that helps them address their needs and develop the attitudes and skills needed to make responsible choices, avoid negative behaviors, and become productive, connected, and law-abiding citizens.

JJR 1: Screening and Assessment

The organization screens youth to identify immediate needs and concerns, and conducts assessments that identify strengths, needs, and risks and are the basis for service planning and delivery.

Interpretation: COA recognizes that youth may be screened and assessed elsewhere before they are placed at the organization. However, the organization can still take steps to further evaluate youth after admission. At minimum, the organization should review the results of previous screenings and assessments to ensure they meet COA’s standards, and conduct additional assessments if those done previously are insufficient.

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
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
  • 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).
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.
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
    • Screening and intake procedures
    • Assessment procedures
    • Assessment tool and/or criteria
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Youth served
    • Review case records

  • JJR 1.01

    During intake, the organization gathers information to identify critical service needs and/or determine when a more intensive service is necessary, including:

    1. personal and identifying information;
    2. emergency health needs; and
    3. safety concerns, including imminent danger or risk of future harm.

  • FP
    JJR 1.02

    Prompt, systematic screening practices facilitate the identification of urgent risks and needs related to health and mental health, including suicidality, substance use, medication needs, and emergency medical conditions.

    Interpretation: Screenings should be conducted within 24 hours of admission, and youth cannot be left unsupervised until they have been screened.

  • FP
    JJR 1.03

    When initial screenings reveal urgent risks and needs, the organization promptly provides or arranges for specialized assessments to further evaluate those issues.

    Interpretation: When the organization discovers urgent risks and needs it is not equipped to address, it should transfer youth to more appropriate programs, or advocate for transfer with the parties responsible for making placement decisions. Organizations required by contract to serve all youth should make every effort to ensure youth are placed in their care only when services and supervision provided are a good match for youth, as referenced in JJR 5.01.

  • FP
    JJR 1.04

    Comprehensive assessments are conducted in a standardized manner, and address risks, needs, and strengths related to:

    1. health;
    2. mental health;
    3. substance use;
    4. education;
    5. vocation;
    6. social skills and behavior; and
    7. family functioning and dynamics.

    Interpretation: When possible, assessments should be based on multiple sources of information, including youth interviews, observations of youths’ behavior, interviews with family members and previous service providers, and case records.

    Valid and reliable tools should be used if available. Organizations that do not have the resources to comprehensively assess all youth in all of the listed areas, for example, mental health, may conduct systematic service need screenings to determine when youth are in need of more in-depth assessments. However, this screening for ongoing service needs should be distinct from the emergent risk screening described in JJR1.01.

    NA The organization provides only detention services.

  • JJR 1.05

    Personnel who conduct assessments are qualified by relevant training, skill, and experience, and can recognize youth with special needs.

    Interpretation: Personnel that conduct assessments should be aware of the indicators of a potential trafficking victim, including, but not limited to, evidence of mental, physical, or sexual abuse; physical exhaustion; working long hours; living with employer or many people in confined area; unclear family relationships; heightened sense of fear or distrust of authority; presence of older male boyfriend or pimp; loyalty or positive feelings towards an abuser; inability or fear of making eye contact; chronic running away or homelessness; possession of excess amounts of cash or hotel keys; and 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.

  • JJR 1.06

    Screenings and assessments are conducted in a responsive manner that includes attention to age, developmental level, gender and gender identity, language, race, ethnicity, immigration status, religion, sexual orientation, and trauma history.

  • JJR 1.07

    Assessments are conducted within timeframes specified by the organization, and are updated periodically to promote ongoing safety and responsive service delivery.

    Note: Timeframes for conducting health and mental health assessments are specified in JJR 6.01 and JJR 7.01.

    NA The organization provides only detention services.

Copyright © 2019 Council on Accreditation. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy and Terms of Use