Private Organization Accreditation

Family Services of Southeast Texas strengthens families through accessible, affordable counseling services and education for issues affecting family life, mental health and employment.  We also provide comprehensive domestic violence shelter and support services.


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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The agency earns and sustains the public trust through honest, truthful, and responsible transactions, partnerships, and relationships with individuals, communities, providers, businesses, donors, and government entities.

PA-ETH 6: Research Protections

An agency that participates in or permits research involving service recipients establishes the right of individuals to refuse to participate without penalty and guarantees participants’ confidentiality.

Interpretation: All research involving service recipients is conducted in accordance with applicable legal requirements. For purposes of PA ETH 6, research includes all forms of internal or external research involving service recipients, except internal program evaluation and outcomes research, and educational projects carried out by students and interns as part of their professional training.

Agencies serving children and youth who are wards of the state are advised to consult Code of Federal Regulations 45 CFR § 46.4.09 and 21 CFR § 50.56. These regulations specify who can participate in research and that an advocate must be appointed for each participating child.

NA The agency does not permit research involving service recipients.

NA State Administered Agency Regional Office

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 administration and management 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
    County/Municipality Administered Agency, State Administered Agency (Central Office), or other Public Entity
    • Human subject research policy and procedures
    • Informed consent form template
    State Administered Agency (Regional Office):
    • Evaluated in the Central Office only
    County/Municipality Administered Agency, State Administered Agency (Central Office), or other Public Entity
    • Informed consent forms for research activities
    • Minutes from research proposal meetings
    State Administered Agency (Regional Office)
    • Evaluated in the Central Office only
    County/Municipality Administered Agency, State Administered Agency (Central Office), or other Public Entity
    • Interview:
      1. Agency head
      2. Governing Body
      3. Personnel at all levels
      4. Persons served/ stakeholders 
    State Administered Agency (Regional Office)
    • Evaluated in the Central Office only

  • PA-ETH 6.01

    The identity and privacy of participants is safeguarded in all phases of research conducted by, or with the cooperation of, the agency.

    Interpretation: Statistical analyses, reports, and summaries are compiled and presented in a manner that masks the identity of the research participants. Case examples from individual case records must be prepared, prior to dissemination, in a manner that masks the individual’s identity.

  • PA-ETH 6.02

    The agency has a mechanism to review research proposals involving service recipients, such as a human subjects committee or an internal review board, that reports to the agency head or senior management.

    Interpretation: The committee makes recommendations regarding the ethics of proposed or existing research, decides whether or not to approve research proposals, and monitors ongoing research activities.

  • PA-ETH 6.03

    Research participants, or a parent or legal guardian, sign a consent form that includes:

    1. a statement that he or she voluntarily agrees to participate;
    2. a statement that the agency will continue to provide services whether or not he or she agrees to participate;
    3. an explanation of the nature and purpose of the research;
    4. a clear description of possible risks or discomfort, as applicable; and
    5. a guarantee of confidentiality.
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