WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

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

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 18: Respite Care

Respite care reduces caregiver stress and promotes the stability of placements.

Note: If care is going to continue for an indefinite period of time, the notice and placement preferences in the Indian Child Welfare Act may apply.

NA The agency does not provide respite care in its resource family homes.

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
    • A description of respite services, including number of children permitted in respite care homes
    • Guidelines for the review of respite care options with resource families
    • Procedures and criteria for matching children with respite caregivers
    • Procedures for providing respite services in response to a crisis
    • Health and safety procedures and protocols
    • Informational materials regarding the respite care program
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Respite caregivers
      4. Resource parents
    • Review case records

  • PA-FKC 18.01

    Respite care options are reviewed with resource parents prior to placement and on a regular basis.


  • FP
    PA-FKC 18.02

    Children are matched with respite caregivers who can meet their needs, and: 
    1. are familiar with their daily routines, preferred foods and activities, and needed therapeutic or medical care; and 
    2. respect their culture, race, ethnicity, language, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

    Interpretation: Children who require therapeutic or medical treatment should be matched with a caregiver that has appropriate skills and qualifications.


  • PA-FKC 18.03

    Respite caregivers offer enriching activities appropriate to the interests, age, development, physical abilities, interpersonal characteristics, culture, and special needs of children.

    Interpretation: When children are involved in regular therapeutic, educational, or employment activities, respite caregivers work with the resource parents to plan for continued participation.


  • FP
    PA-FKC 18.04

    When respite care is provided in response to a crisis, the agency provides needed developmentally, culturally, and age-appropriate interventions to help children cope with trauma or stress associated with the crisis.

    NA The agency does not provide respite care in its resource homes in crisis situations.


  • FP
    PA-FKC 18.05

    Respite caregiver homes have no more than: 
    1. five children with no more than two children under age two; or 
    2. two foster children in treatment foster care.

    Interpretation: Resource parents are expected to meet the same criteria with respect to the total number of children able to reside within the family home regardless of whether children join the family for traditional foster care placement or temporary respite care placement. Exceptions to the total number of children approved to reside with the family are usually considered only to accommodate sibling groups, kinship care placements, or if the home is specially licensed by the state or tribe to care for more children. 

    Interpretation: When overnight care is provided, accommodations include sleeping arrangements appropriate to the number, age, special needs, and gender of the individuals in the home.


  • FP
    PA-FKC 18.06

    When children in respite care experience accidents, health problems, or changes in appearance or behavior, information is promptly recorded and reported to the resource parents and administration, and follow-up occurs, as needed.


  • FP
    PA-FKC 18.07

    Respite caregivers return children only to the resource parents, or another person approved by the resource parents, and follow guidelines for situations that pose a safety risk or when a child requires protection.

    Interpretation: Protocols should provide direction on how to use appropriate organizational or community resources to respond to individuals who are intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, mentally or physically unstable, or who present a safety concern.

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