WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Children's Home Society of Florida delivers a unique spectrum of social services designed to protect children at risk of abuse, neglect or abandonment; to strengthen and stabilize families; to help young people break the cycle of abuse and neglect; and to find safe, loving homes for children.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Covington

Wm. R. (Bill) Jones, ACSW, MDiv, Chief Executive Officer

Catholic Charities in Covington has been COA accredited since 1996. Though the time spent in completing the self study and hosting the site visit can sometimes feel sometimes daunting, the rewards far outweigh the effort. In our agency, the self-study is a group process that involves every member of the staff from the CEO to the building maintenance staff.
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Purpose

Child and Family Services promote child and family well-being, protect children’s safety, stablilize and strengthen families, and ensure permanency.

PA-CFS 29: Supporting and Maintaining Adoptions and Guardianships

Supportive services promote child and family well-being and the stability and success of adoptions and guardianships.
 

Research Note: Families often seek supportive services in response to issues of separation and loss, relationship problems, self-development and identity issues, and emotional and behavioral problems resulting from childhood abuse or neglect. Research has shown that financial support, medical services, and respite care are particularly important to families that adopt children with special needs and help to prevent adoption disruption, dissolution, and unregulated custody transfer. Increased levels of financial support and available support services are correlated with decreased rates of disruption and dissolution.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • A description of:
      1. Assistance provided to adoptive parents and guardians during children’s transition to the home
      2. Services to support permanency
    • Procedures for: 
      1. Developing plans to support permanency
      2. Following up on plans to support permanency
    • Local community resource and referral list(s)
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Agency leadership
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Children
      4. Adoptive parents and guardians
    • Review case records 

  • PA-CFS 29.01

    Adoptive parents and guardians receive assistance:

    1. with children’s transition to the home;
    2. obtaining available subsidies;
    3. obtaining needed services and supports, including resources for children with special needs; and
    4. completing the legal adoption or guardianship.

    Interpretation: When children are already living with prospective adoptive families or guardians, it will not be necessary to actually assist with the transition to the home. However, families should still receive assistance obtaining available subsidies, insurance, and services, as well as with completing the legal adoption or guardianship. 

    Note: As noted in PA-CFS 18.08, families should also be helped to obtain health insurance for children. See PA-CFS 18.08 for more information regarding the health-related services and supports that children should be connected to following out-of-home care.


  • PA-CFS 29.02

    The agency works with children and their adoptive parents or guardians to identify and locate family members who might reestablish relationships with the children, in accordance with applicable state or local regulation and the terms of the adoption or guardianship.
     

    Interpretation: Such efforts will be an extension of the family finding efforts undertaken throughout the life of the case (e.g., during service and permanency planning). When guardianship has been established the identification of family members should include possible successor guardians who could care for the child should the guardian be unable to care for the child in the future.

    Research Note: The literature suggests that the identification of a successor guardian and the development of a coordinated transition plan leads to a smoother transition for youth. This is particularly important when the caregiver is an older adult. 


  • PA-CFS 29.03

    The agency works with children and adoptive parents or guardians to:

    1. explore the need for post-permanency services; and
    2. identify available services and supports.

    Interpretation: Children’s extended family and other community members should be considered as valuable resources when exploring post-permanency supports and services, unless contraindicated.

    Research Note: Affordable access to high-quality post-permanency services is a critical factor in the long-term success of adoptions. For example, a website or clearinghouse can be established that clearly lays out the available post-permanency resources with information on how to access and utilize them. 


  • PA-CFS 29.04

    The agency partners with children and adoptive parents or guardians to develop post-permanency plans that:

    1. are responsive to assessed needs;
    2. specify steps for obtaining a range of needed community-based services and resources;
    3. outline plans for ongoing communication and shared activities with birth families, as appropriate, including with siblings that are not living together; and
    4. are flexible to the changing needs of children and families.

    Interpretation: The decision to develop a post-permanency plan should be based on the wishes of the child and his or her adoptive parent or guardian, unless it is mandated. When the case involves an American Indian/Alaska Native child, the tribe or a local American Indian/Alaska Native organization should be included in post-permanency planning and resources offered by the tribe or a local American Indian/Alaska Native organization should be considered.

    Note: See PA-CFS 29.05 and 29.06 for more information regarding the potentially relevant services and supports to be included in post-permanency plans.


  • PA-CFS 29.05

    Children and their adoptive parents or guardians have access to needed post-permanency services that are culturally relevant and include:

    1. assessments;
    2. information and referral;
    3. educational services;
    4. physical and mental healthcare, counseling, and crisis intervention services;
    5. family preservation and stabilization services;
    6. peer support;
    7. respite and residential treatment services;
    8. child care;
    9. transportation; and
    10. case management.

    Interpretation: Needed services and supports should be specified in the post-permanency plan, as noted in PA-CFS 29.04. Whenever possible families should be connected to professionals who have experience working with this service population. If the agency does not provide post-finalization services directly, it must document referral to a post-permanency services provider.   

    Interpretation: In some situations it may be appropriate to include the birth parent in ongoing support services, unless contraindicated.

    Research Note: Research and policy guidance suggest that agencies should provide post-adoption services to all families regardless of whether the agency was previously involved in facilitating the adoption or guardianship to prevent children from entering/re-entering the agency’s care.


  • PA-CFS 29.06

    When special needs have been identified, children and their adoptive parents or guardians have access to the following supportive post-permanency services, as needed:

    1. early childhood intervention services;
    2. opportunities within the local school district;
    3. specialized services for health, mental health, and substance use conditions;
    4. education and vocational training;
    5. advocacy training; and
    6. personal advocates or legal counsel.

    Interpretation: Needed services and supports should be specified in the post-permanency plan, as noted in PA-CFS 29.04. Whenever possible families should be connected to professionals who have experience working with this service population. If the agency does not provide post-finalization services directly, it must document referral to a post-permanency services provider.


  • PA-CFS 29.07

    When special needs have been identified and guardianship has been established, the agency:  

    1. includes in the post-permanency plan connections to community resources and necessary systems that young adults will need when they are no longer considered minors; and
    2. advises guardians of mechanisms in their state, or by their tribe, to extend guardianship beyond age 18.

    Interpretation: Connections to necessary systems can include, for example, referring young adults with special needs to the mental health system to be assessed for continuing support needs or an ongoing guardianship arrangement. 


  • PA-CFS 29.08

    The agency informs guardians of any ongoing reviews that will be conducted by the guardianship subsidy unit or the court.

    Interpretation: When a case involves an American Indian/Alaska Native child, a representative from the child’s tribe or a local American Indian/Alaska Native organization should be informed of ongoing reviews and be given an opportunity to participate. 
     

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