Private Organization Accreditation

Germaine Lawrence is a residential treatment center for girls ages 12-18 with complex behavioral, psychological and learning challenges.   Girls live at our programs while receiving special education, individual, family and group therapy; psychiatric and primary medical care; and a wide variety of therapeutic activities and interventions.


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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Children in Family Foster Care and Kinship Care live in safe, stable, nurturing, and typically temporary family settings that best provide the continuity of care to preserve relationships, promote well-being, and ensure permanency.

PA-FKC 11: Treatment Foster Care

Children with significant emotional, behavioral, medical, or developmental needs receive structured treatment within a therapeutic family setting that promotes well-being, family connections, and community integration.

NA The agency does not provide treatment foster care services.

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
    • A description of services:
      1. description of the treatment model
      2. description of the needs of children served in the program;
      3. team roles and functioning; and
      4. therapeutic services
    • Treatment planning procedures
    • Discharge procedures
    • Table of Contents for staff and foster parent treatment model training
    • Formal agreements with therapeutic facilities and/or providers that serve children and families in the program
    • On-call schedule for treatment foster care programs
    • Documentation of staff and treatment foster parent attendance at treatment model training
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Parents
      3. Treatment team members
      4. Resource parents
    • Review case records

  • PA-FKC 11.01

    The treatment foster care program follows an articulated treatment model.

    Interpretation: The treatment model should contain components that are either evidence-based or evidence-informed. Program staff should receive pre-service and in-service training to understand and implement the treatment approach.

  • PA-FKC 11.02

    Services are team delivered, coordinated by the worker, and as appropriate to the needs of children, treatment teams include: 
    1. family members; 
    2. treatment foster parents; 
    3. local child welfare agency workers;
    4. parole or probation officers; 
    5. the program supervisor and clinicians or clinical consultants;
    6. behavior support specialists; 
    7. mentors and court advocates;
    8. tribal or local Indian agency representatives;
    9. teachers; 
    10. nurses and physicians; 
    11. psychiatric nurses and psychiatrists; and 
    12. rehabilitation therapists.

    Interpretation: The treatment team includes at least one agency or contract employee, in addition to the supervisor, who has an advanced degree in social work or a related field and at least two years of professional experience working with children with therapeutic needs.

  • FP
    PA-FKC 11.03

    Within 30 days prior or subsequent to placement, children, as applicable, receive a diagnostic mental health assessment provided by a board-certified child psychiatrist or other licensed and approved mental health professional, in accordance with state or local regulation.

  • FP
    PA-FKC 11.04

    Treatment teams develop individualized, comprehensive treatment plans within 30 days of placement that: 
    1. identify, incorporate, and build on children’s strengths and assets;
    2. specify diagnoses and presenting problems;
    3. assess needs in major developmental areas; and
    4. specify short- and long-term therapeutic interventions.

  • FP
    PA-FKC 11.05

    Comprehensive treatment plans are:
    1. discussed weekly by the treatment team to coordinate an effective response to current issues and behaviors;
    2. reviewed monthly to evaluate progress towards treatment goals; and 
    3. officially updated every 90 days to evaluate progress and the continued need for treatment foster care.

    Interpretation: Weekly communication between treatment team members can occur by teleconference, when necessary.

  • PA-FKC 11.06

    The agency coordinates the provision of needed therapeutic, rehabilitative, and supportive services and provides assistance to community providers to maximize service benefits for children.

    Interpretation: Therapeutic and rehabilitative services may include, but are not limited to:
    1. individual, family, and/or group therapy, 
    2. social skills groups, and 
    3. medical treatment. 
    Agencies should provide formal and informal support to other service providers in order to best meet the specialized needs of the children in their program.

  • PA-FKC 11.07

    Treatment foster parents receive ongoing training and support to assume primary responsibility for:
    1. implementing in-home treatment strategies;
    2. assisting children to understand treatment goals and interventions; 
    3. documenting children’s behaviors and progress in targeted areas; and
    4. acting as liaisons with clinical personnel.

  • FP
    PA-FKC 11.08

    Formal agreements are established with: 
    1. mental health facilities, medical institutions including neonatal and pediatric facilities, and other rehabilitation service providers to ensure the availability of requisite medical and mental health services; and 
    2. a board-certified physician with appropriate experience who assumes responsibility for medical elements of a program that serves children with significant medical needs.

    Interpretation: The board-certified physician can provide service as an employee, contractor, or through formal agreement. Experience should be appropriate to the level and intensity of service, as well as the needs of the population served.

  • FP
    PA-FKC 11.09

    Treatment foster parents receive the support of: 
    1. weekly contact by the assigned worker; 
    2. in-person contact every two weeks and more frequently when indicated; 
    3. on-call crisis intervention 24-hours a day, seven days a week; and 
    4. the availability of additional personnel, technical assistance, and needed training.

    Interpretation: Additional personnel should be available during critical or stressful periods, such as the time from the end of the school day until bedtime.

  • PA-FKC 11.10

    Discharge reports are prepared for every child that document:
    1. the course of treatment and treatment recommendations;
    2. the transfer of records and appointment information;
    3. the nature, frequency and duration of aftercare services, when applicable.

    Note: The agency should maintain documentation on the provision of aftercare services.

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