WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Debt Education and Certification Foundation (DECAF), a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, provides high-quality financial education and counseling, with nationwide outreach throughout the U.S. DECAF is HUD-approved, and recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas.
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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

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

PA-CFS 30: Administrative Practices for Adoption Services

Administrative practices pertaining to adoptions are ethical and professional, and respect the rights of all parties involved in the adoption. 

Rating Indicators
1
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions; exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
2
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement. 
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented.  
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.  
3
Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  
  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.   
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner. 
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.   
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
4
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.  
Please see Rating Guidance for additional rating examples. 

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • Policy regarding fees
    • Procedures for: 
      1. Fees
      2. Releasing information
    • Fee scale
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Agency leadership
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Adoptive parents
    • Review adoptive parent records
    • Review financial records of fees paid by adoptive parents

  • PA-CFS 30.01

    Fees are fair, reasonable, and based on costs associated with service delivery, and adoptive parents are only charged for services provided.

    NA The agency does not charge fees for adoption services.


  • PA-CFS 30.02

    When reviewing and approving the agency’s adoption fee policy, consideration is given to ethical issues associated with charging adoption fees, including: 

    1. the influence fees can have on decision-making about child relinquishment and matching; and 
    2. the psychological impact fees can have on birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted individuals. 

    NA The agency does not charge fees for adoption services.


  • PA-CFS 30.03

    The agency, its personnel, and independent contractors do not accept or provide financial or other consideration beyond reimbursement for services.
     

    Interpretation: The agency must demonstrate thoughtfully developed, fully implemented policies that ensure that professional decision-making is separate from financial considerations, and that all actions have a sound ethical and professional basis. Prospective adoptive parents interested in making donations can be advised to do so after the adoption has been finalized.


  • PA-CFS 30.04

    All releases of identifying information about adopted persons, birth parents, and adoptive families are in accordance with individual preferences and applicable regulation. 

    Interpretation: In cases where an individual waives confidentiality, informed consent is obtained in the form of a notarized affidavit before any contact or exchange of identifying information occurs. 
     


  • PA-CFS 30.05

    When the agency discontinues adoption services for prospective adoptive parents prior to placement, a written reason is provided within five working days of the date services ended, and efforts are made to link the prospective adoptive parents with appropriate services.

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