WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Southeastern Regional Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services is a Local Management Entity, covering the geographic areas of Bladen, Columbus, Robeson, and Scotland counties. SER ensures continuity of care to consumers through access to a quality of care system available 24/7/365 days a year through management of our network provider services.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Family Services of the North Shore

Kathleen Whyte, Manager of Human Resources / Accreditation Coordinator

Family Services of the North Shore is about to enter our third accreditation cycle with COA. Accreditation has provided us with a framework that enables us to demonstrate accountability to our clients, our funders and our donors. There is no question that the accreditation process and COA have benefited our agency.
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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 5: Promoting Positive Behaviors and Healthy Peer Relationships

Personnel partner with children and youth to build a nurturing, inclusive community that supports positive behavior and encourages respectful, cooperative interactions.

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 how the organization welcomes all children and youth and promotes positive behavior and healthy peer relationships, including strategies for promoting social and emotional development
    • Program schedule/routine
    • Program rules and behavioral expectations
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program Administrator
      2. Site Director
      3. Program Personnel
      4. Children, youth, and families
    • Observe program space and activities
    • Observe interactions of children and youth with peers and personnel

  • OST 5.01

    Program space, materials, and activities are designed to be welcoming to and supportive of all children and youth regardless of their background, race, ethnicity, culture, language, religion, socioeconomic status, gender identity and expression, sexual identity, sexual orientation, disability, or ability. 
     

    Interpretation: Diversity should be incorporated and embraced throughout all aspects of the program, from the pictures displayed, to the books read, to the games and music played, to the holidays celebrated, to the food served.


  • OST 5.02

    The organization supports positive behavior by establishing a consistent routine that:

    1. is clearly communicated to children, youth, and families;
    2. supports achievement of program goals;
    3. encourages active participation and engagement;
    4. provides stability and predictability;
    5. includes time for children and youth to settle in and adjust upon arrival;
    6. facilitates smooth transitions and minimizes the need for waiting or rushing;
    7. allows children and youth to meet their physical needs (e.g., for water, food, or the restroom) in a relaxed way; and
    8. complements and extends the school-day routine, to the extent possible and appropriate.

    Interpretation: The daily schedule should be posted, and participants should be prepared in advance when changes or exceptions will occur.
     
    Interpretation: Implementation of element (h) may be minimal if the program is not affiliated with a school.


  • OST 5.03

    Children and youth are involved in developing rules and behavioral expectations that:

    1. establish clear expectations for interactions and behavior;
    2. are designed to encourage the development of a safe, caring, respectful, and inclusive environment that supports self-expression and learning;
    3. are appropriate to the ages and developmental levels of program participants, as well as to the goals of the program;
    4. are clearly communcated to all program participants; and
    5. are consistently upheld and implemented.

    Interpretation: Rules and behavioral expectations should ideally be written in positive language. For example, as opposed to stating “Don’t run in the hall,” or “Don’t be mean,” positive phrasing would specify “Walk in the hall” and “Be kind to others.” Time should be set aside to discuss rules in order to ensure that children and youth understand expectations and limits.


  • OST 5.04

    In an effort to facilitate the development of peer relationships and foster a sense of community, children and youth are provided with opportunities to: 

    1. socialize with their peers; and
    2. participate in structured community-building activities such as introductions, icebreakers, or community circles.

    Interpretation: Opportunities for socialization may be provided both within and between program activities.
     

    Note: Helping children and youth develop the self-regulatory and social skills addressed in OST 5.05 through 5.07 will help to ensure that the peer interactions addressed in this standard are pro-social and supportive.

    Research Note: Some research suggests that providing opportunities for friends to get together may foster program participation. For example, teenagers put great emphasis on the importance of their peers, and are more willing to engage in programs when they are able to spend time with their friends. Accordingly, some organizations serving older youth set aside designated space where teens can socialize with one another apart from younger program participants. 


  • OST 5.05

    In an effort to help children and youth learn to self-regulate their emotions and behavior, personnel:

    1. model healthy strategies for expressing and managing emotions;
    2. help children and youth learn how to recognize and understand emotions and their causes and effects, including how emotions can influence thoughts and behaviors;
    3. help children and youth learn strategies for expressing and managing their emotions in an appropriate and constructive manner;
    4. provide opportunities for children and youth to practice handling their emotions in healthy and responsible ways; and
    5. offer coaching and guidance to help children and youth appropriately express and manage their emotions, as needed.

    Interpretation: Opportunities to practice handling and expressing emotions will likely occur within the context of program activities, as addressed in OST 9, as well as within the context of managing interpersonal conflicts and behavior-related challenges, as addressed in OST 6.


  • OST 5.06

    Personnel support children and youth in developing empathy, openness, and respect for others by:

    1. explaining that all people are unique individuals;
    2. helping children and youth learn about diversity and difference, including diversity of perspectives, cultures, temperaments, needs, and abilities;
    3. modeling inclusiveness and respect for difference;
    4. teaching children and youth to be kind and stand up for others; and
    5. facilitating opportunities for children and youth to listen to and learn about the experiences, feelings, and perspectives of others.

    Interpretation: Personnel can facilitate opportunities for program participants to listen to and learn from one another by engaging children and youth in explicit discussions, as well as by encouraging children and youth to interact with their peers, including those who may be perceived as “different” (e.g., children and youth with special needs, children and youth with different personalities or temperaments, or children and youth who speak a different language).  In addition to learning about the experiences, feelings, and perspectives of peers and personnel, the organization can also facilitate opportunities for children and youth to learn about the experiences of others by providing resources that illustrate different perspectives and cultures, or inviting guests with different backgrounds or experiences to visit.

    Note: Ground rules that support safe expression, as addressed in OST 5.03, can help to promote the development of an environment where children and youth can safely share with, and learn from, their peers.


  • OST 5.07

    Personnel use modeling, instruction, practice, and coaching to help children and youth develop interpersonal skills and knowledge that facilitate appropriate interactions and collaboration, including:

    1. treating others with fairness and respect;
    2. understanding social norms and cues;
    3. demonstrating an awareness of different perspectives and cultures;
    4. listening actively and deeply, without interrupting;
    5. effectively conveying their points of view; and
    6. resolving conflicts and disagreements.

    Note: Learning to regulate emotions and behavior and empathize with others, as addressed in OST 5.05 and 5.06, underlies and supports the development of the interpersonal skills needed to get along and collaborate effectively with others.

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