WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

As one of the largest family services agencies in the country, Child & Family Services has dedicated its resources to meet the needs of the community since 1873.
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VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIAL

Harry Hunter, MSW, MBA, Ph.D.

Volunteer Roles: Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

Peer Reviewer for the month of January 2013, Dr. Hunter has been volunteering for COA since 2005, conducting five site reviews.
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Purpose

Children and youth who participate in Out-of-School Time programs gain the personal, social, emotional, and educational assets needed to support healthy development, increase well-being, and facilitate a successful transition through childhood and adolescence, and into adulthood.

OST 3: Program Climate

Program and organizational leaders demonstrate a commitment to establishing a positive climate that allows all children and youth to feel socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually safe and supported.

Interpretation: Leaders can demonstrate that they are committed to establishing a positive climate by: (1) proactively establishing and communicating values that underlie a positive climate and are sensitive to the cultures of program participants; (2) identifying and implementing practices that support those values and foster the development of a positive climate; (3) seeking the input of children, youth, and families regarding the climate that exists at the program; and (4) implementing improvement/corrective action plans to address any problems or negative elements.

Note:  Please note that practices that support the development of a positive progam climate are included throughout OST.  For example, see OST 4 regarding the importance of building supportive relationships between children and youth and adults; OST 5 regarding the importance of establishing a respectful and inclusive culture that encourages positive behaviors and interactions; OST 6 regarding the importance of employing positive approaches to guiding behavior; OST 7 regarding the importance of involving and meeting the needs of program participants’ families; OST 9 regarding the importance of ensuring children and youth are engaged in activities that support learning and positive development; and OST 16, 17, and 18 regarding the program environment.  

Research Note:  Literature emphasizes that a positive climate will support learning and development, and is shaped by a number of different factors. The National School Climate Center (NSCC) envisions a positive school climate as being comprised of the following essential elements: (1) respect for diversity; (2) rules and norms that are clearly communicated and consistently enforced; (3) a sense of safety, including physical, social, and emotional safety; (4) supportive and caring relationships with adults; (5) supportive relationships with peers; (6) encouragement for the development of social and emotional learning; (7) supportive teaching practices; (8) a sense of connection with the school; and (9) an adequate physical environment, including both facilities and resources.  NSCC also highlights the importance of a school’s administration and staff, noting that leaders should articulate a clear vision and ensure staff are appropriately developed and supported, and that staff should work together in a positive and effective manner. 

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
  • 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.
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
  • 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.
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
    • A description of the program climate, including leaders’ efforts to establish a positive climate 
    • Program climate assessment tools
    • Documentation that leaders have sought stakeholder input regarding the program climate
    • Improvement/corrective action plans, if applicable
    • Interview:
      1. Program Administrator
      2. Site Director
      3. Program Personnel
      4. Children, youth, and families
    • Observe program space, interactions, and activities
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