Private Organization Accreditation

Germaine Lawrence is a residential treatment center for girls ages 12-18 with complex behavioral, psychological and learning challenges.   Girls live at our programs while receiving special education, individual, family and group therapy; psychiatric and primary medical care; and a wide variety of therapeutic activities and interventions.


Judy Kay, LCSW

Volunteer Roles: Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

In administration for 22 of 24 years at Child Saving Institute, a COA-accredited not-for-profit child welfare agency in Omaha, Nebraska. Retired approximately two years ago, I moved to Tucson, Arizona, where I advocate for children's rights as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer to three young children.
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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 16: Planning for Reentry

The organization and youth work together to plan for transition and prepare for life after residential care.

Interpretation: Although “Planning for Reentry” is a specific core concept standard, it is important to note that reentry preparation should not actually be an entirely separate practice. In contrast, the treatment and services provided throughout residential care should be designed to help youth avoid reoffending behavior and become productive members of society.

Research Note: Recidivism rates are high, and literature suggests that any progress youth make during residential care is jeopardized upon reentry. Accordingly, although not enough is known about how to increase the likelihood of successful reentry, many experts emphasize the importance of preparing for reintegration prior to release.

NA The organization provides only detention services.

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
  • 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
  • A number of client records are missing important information  or
  • Client participation is inconsistent; 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
    • Reentry planning procedures
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Youth served
    • Review case records

  • JJR 16.01

    To ensure an orderly transition, reentry planning begins soon after youth arrive at the facility.

  • JJR 16.02

    Youth, their family members, and relevant personnel are involved in developing plans for transition and aftercare.

    Interpretation: Relevant personnel can include personnel from outside organizations and agencies. If another party, such as an aftercare case manager, is primarily responsible for providing aftercare, he or she should be involved in the planning process as soon as possible and may play a role in implementing the practices noted in this section. However, the organization is still expected to partner with that party to facilitate effective planning and ensure that the standards are implemented, as referenced in JJR 5.07.

  • JJR 16.03

    Individualized aftercare plans are linked to service plans, and determine how to address risks, needs, and strengths in areas relevant to reentry, including, as appropriate:

    1. living arrangements;
    2. family relationships;
    3. peer groups and support networks;
    4. recreational activities;
    5. health;
    6. mental health;
    7. substance use conditions;
    8. finding and enrolling in appropriate education services, such as high school or GED programs, vocational training programs, special education services, and colleges or universities; and
    9. obtaining legitimate employment.

    Interpretation: Like assessments and service plans, aftercare plans should be responsive to the age, developmental level, gender and gender identity, language, religion, race, ethnicity, cultural background, and sexual orientation of youth, as well as to the characteristics of the communities in which youth will reside after release.

    Interpretation: Living arrangements following residential care may vary based on a youth’s age, developmental level, and family situation. Although youth will often return to their families, the organization should have a system in place to ensure this is safe and appropriate. To facilitate a more gradual transition, some organizations may transfer youth to less-restrictive residential facilities, such as group homes, before they transition to longer-term living arrangements.

  • JJR 16.04

    The organization works with resources, services, and supports specified in the aftercare plan to:

    1. ensure that youth are admitted to appropriate programs before release;
    2. prepare service providers and others in the community for youths’ arrival; and
    3. build positive connections to support youth after release.

  • JJR 16.05

    The organization provides youth with advance notice of the cessation of any health, financial, or other benefits that may occur at release, and:

    1. helps youth sign up for alternative health insurance or other appropriate benefits, when available; or
    2. provides information about other options that can help meet youths’ needs, such as free clinics.

  • JJR 16.06

    Youth are helped to obtain and compile any documents they may need after release, including, as appropriate to youths’ ages and needs:

    1. an identification card;
    2. a social security or social insurance number;
    3. a resume;
    4. a driver’s license, when the ability to drive is an appropriate goal;
    5. medical records and documentation;
    6. a birth certificate;
    7. documentation of immigration, citizenship, or naturalization, if applicable;
    8. death certificates when parents are deceased;
    9. a list of known relatives, with relationships, addresses, telephone numbers, and permissions for contacting involved parties; and
    10. educational records.
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