Private Organization Accreditation

Southeastern Regional Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services is a Local Management Entity, covering the geographic areas of Bladen, Columbus, Robeson, and Scotland counties. SER ensures continuity of care to consumers through access to a quality of care system available 24/7/365 days a year through management of our network provider services.


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.
read more>>


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 16: Resource Family Training and Preparation

Resource families receive training and preparation to strengthen their capacity to care for children and support children’s families.

Interpretation: Training and other preparation activities should be structured to offer prospective resource parents exposure to real-life examples of caring for children that come into care, such as children that have experienced trauma and maltreatment and/or may exhibit emotional/behavioral challenges.

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
    • Policy or procedure for required training for resource parents (including specific requirements for foster parents, treatment foster parents, and kinship caregivers, as applicable)
    • Table of Contents of training curricula
    • Protocols for responding to emergencies
    • Training curricula
    • Training attendance records
    • Sample of emergency protocols from resource homes, if resource parents develop individualized plans
    • Materials that specify pre- and in-service training requirements
    • Material provided to resource parents describing their rights and responsibilities
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Resource parents
    • Review resource parent records

  • PA-FKC 16.01

    Resource parents receive the appropriate amount of pre-service and in-service training and support to demonstrate competency in:
    1. understanding the agency’s mission, philosophy, and service array;
    2. providing protection and promoting psychological safety to mediate the effects of trauma, maltreatment, separation, loss, and exploitation;
    3. meeting children’s developmental needs across life domains and supporting their identity development;
    4. promoting positive behavior and healing through coaching, nurturing, and positive discipline;
    5. supporting and facilitating children’s emotional, physical, and legal permanency; 
    6. supporting and facilitating family relationships, friendships, cultural ties, and community connections;
    7. managing the caregiver role, self-care, and the impact of fostering on the family;
    8. supporting family stability as a kinship caregiver, if appropriate; and
    9. collaborating with family team members and service providers.

    Interpretation: Family Foster Care or Kinship Care programs that work with kin and unrelated resource parents should make the effort to provide separate training for kinship caregivers in order to provide a space in which kinship caregivers can relate to each other and apply the training to their specific experiences of caring for their kin.  

    If resources do not allow for separate training the training facilitator should work to incorporate the experience of both groups into the training. Training facilitators can follow up with kinship caregivers about their concerns and the training experience, to ensure that their particular concerns can be addressed in the training or at another time by the staff working with their family. Some of the specific training and support needs of kin may relate to negotiating family dynamics, the experience of family trauma, managing boundaries, and disciplining traditions.

    Interpretation: Educating resource parents on sex trafficking is an important component to prevention, identification, and treatment.  Education should address how resource parents can support children through information on topics such as internet safety, how to respond when a child runs away, and developing healthy relationships.  Additionally, education for resource parents of trafficking victims should emphasize the issue of stigma associated with prostitution to help the family provide a healthy, nonjudgmental home environment, supportive of a successful reintegration.

    Interpretation: The agency may offer support groups or skill-building sessions that help kinship caregivers develop the identified competencies, as opposed to offering a comprehensive training program, when kinship caregivers are providing temporary care for kin children for whom the local child welfare agency has not assumed custody.

  • FP
    PA-FKC 16.02

    Resource parents receive pre-service training on rights and responsibilities including: 
    1. specific duties of resource parents; 
    2. identification and reporting of abuse and neglect; 
    3. reimbursement for services and compensation for damages caused by children placed in the home; 
    4. notice of and participation in any review or hearing regarding the child; 
    5. preventing allegations of maltreatment and procedures when allegations are made; 
    6. complaint procedures; and 
    7. circumstances that will result in revoking  a resource family license or certification.

    Interpretation: Element (g) is not applicable training for unlicensed kinship caregivers.

    Research Note: Resource parents participating in a study of retention stated that the lack of reimbursement for some incurred expenses, including transportation, clothing, and recreational services, can impact resource parent turnover. Researchers recommend identifying and addressing concerns about the costs of providing resource family care during training.

  • FP
    PA-FKC 16.03

    Resource parents are: 
    1. trained in basic first aid; 
    2. trained in medication administration; 
    3. certified in CPR, when necessary; 
    4. trained in recognizing and responding to child behaviors that jeopardize health and well-being; and 
    5. trained in medical or rehabilitation interventions and operation of medical equipment required for a child’s care.

    Interpretation: Retraining should be provided at least every two years. 

    Interpretation: CPR certification is required when treatment foster parents provide care to children with exceptional medical needs. In other cases, the agency should consult with the state to determine whether and under what circumstances it is necessary and appropriate for resource parents to be certified in CPR. If it is determined that CPR certification is not necessary, the agency should use the state’s guidance to develop a plan for how resource parents should respond in case of emergency. Appropriate responses may vary based on the geographic area that the agency serves.

    Note: This standard does not apply for unlicensed kinship caregivers.

  • FP
    PA-FKC 16.04

    Resource parents sign a statement indicating that for children placed in their care they agree to:
    1. identify and report abuse and neglect;
    2. employ positive discipline techniques; 
    3. refrain from using physical and degrading punishment; and
    4. ensure that others refrain from using physical and degrading punishment.

    Interpretation: In addition to providing training and support around positive discipline, agencies should help resource parents process their beliefs about discipline and proactively support their use of positive discipline techniques.

  • FP
    PA-FKC 16.05

    Resource families develop or use the agency’s protocols for responding to emergencies including accidents, run-away behavior, serious illness, fire, and natural and human-caused disasters.

Copyright © 2019 Council on Accreditation. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy and Terms of Use