Private Organization Accreditation

Heartland for Children is the not-for-profit agency responsible for the foster care system in Polk, Highlands, and Hardee Counties.


Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children's Services

Galo A. Rodriguez, M.P.H., President & CEO

Since Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children’s Services pursued its COA accreditation on October 14, 2004, this corporation has sustained a continuous quality improvement process by not looking whom to blame among the involved parties but improving what we have already done well… because good enough is not good enough.
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Child and Family Services promote child and family well-being, protect children’s safety, stablilize and strengthen families, and ensure permanency.

PA-CFS 32: Case Closing and Aftercare

The agency works with children and families to plan for case closing and develop aftercare plans. 

Note: Please note that this core concept applies regardless of permanency outcome – in preparing for case closing the agency is expected to work with families who received in-home services, reunified families, adoptive families, families with permanent legal guardianship, youth transitioning to independence, and birth parents who will not be reunited with their children. Please also note that the aftercare plans described in this core concept may overlap with the plans for support and services described in PA-CFS 21: “Family Reunification,” PA-CFS 22: “Transition to Adulthood,” and PA-CFS 29: “Supporting and Maintaining Adoptions and Guardianships.” 

Rating Indicators
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. 
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.  
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.
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
    • Procedures for:
      1. Case closing
      2. Aftercare planning and follow-up
    • Materials on community resources provided to children and families
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Agency leadership
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Children and families 
    • Review case records 

  • PA-CFS 32.01

    Planning for case closing: 

    1. is clearly defined and includes assignment of personnel responsibility; 
    2. begins at intake; 
    3. involves children, families, resource families, and others, as appropriate; and
    4. includes collaboration with the court to ensure that jurisdiction is terminated before the case is closed, when necessary.

    Interpretation: When planning for case closing the agency should ideally employ a family teaming model and encourage families to involve supportive people of their choice, such as extended family, friends, community members, and service providers, including both previously involved providers and providers who will work with families in the future.

  • PA-CFS 32.02

    Upon case closing, the agency notifies any collaborating service providers, including tribal governments, as appropriate.

  • PA-CFS 32.03

    When children have remained or been reunified with their families, the case closing process includes discussion with the family about the successful changes in behaviors and conditions that reduced risk to the child, and strategies for maintaining those changes.

  • PA-CFS 32.04

    The agency develops aftercare plans with children and families, sufficiently in advance of case closing, that specify options for meeting the families’ needs for supports and services, and the steps to meeting those needs.

    Interpretation: The agency should develop plans in collaboration with children and families, explore suitable resources, and take the initiative to make contact with service providers with families or on behalf of families if they would benefit from this assistance. When the case involves an American Indian/Alaska Native child, resources available through the tribe or local American Indian/Alaska Native agency should be considered when developing the aftercare plan. The plan should also include contact information for a resource that can be accessed in case of crisis.

    Note: When a case is closed because an adoption or guardianship has been finalized the specifics of aftercare planning will be covered by PA-CFS 29, and when a youth ages out of care without having achieved legal permanency additional details regarding transition planning will be covered by PA-CFS 22.07 and 22.08. Similarly, when children have been reunified with their families the aftercare plans referenced in this standard will likely be extensions of the plans for support and services described in PA-CFS 21. When cases are closed following the provision of in-home services, without children ever being separated from their families, aftercare planning will be entirely covered by this core concept standard. 

  • PA-CFS 32.05

    The agency follows up on aftercare plans, as appropriate, when possible, and with the permission of children and families.

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