Private Organization Accreditation

Money Management International is a nationwide nonprofit organization that provides counseling and education related to credit, housing and bankruptcy, and offers debt management assistance if needed. MMI also conducts community education programs in the areas where we have a physical presence.


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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Family Preservation and Stabilization Services improve family functioning, increase child and family well-being, ensure child safety, reduce the need for CPS intervention and/or the removal of children from the home, and strengthen families with children returning from out-of-home care.

PA-FPS 3: Screening and Intake

The agency’s screening and intake practices ensure that families receive prompt and responsive access to appropriate services.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • Screening procedures
    • Procedures for determining tribal membership and facilitating tribal involvement in cases involving American Indian and Alaska Native children
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Families served
    • Review case records

  • FP
    PA-FPS 3.01

    The agency responds to referrals or requests for service by directly contacting families within:

    1. 72 hours, if providing family preservation and stabilization services; or
    2. 24 hours, if providing intensive family preservation and stabilization services.

    Interpretation: Response time should be appropriate to the urgency of family needs and the level of concern for child and/or family safety. Agencies providing intensive services should be able to respond immediately, if necessary. When special circumstances result in the postponement of contact, the agency should document these circumstances, as well as its efforts to initiate contact, within the first 24 hours of referral or request for service.

  • PA-FPS 3.02

    The family is screened and informed about what services will be available and when, and works with the agency to determine how well family members’ needs and risk factors match the agency’s services.

    Interpretation: The agency should consider both the intensity and duration of the services it provides and recommend the most appropriate and least intrusive service alternative that will preserve child and family safety and well-being.

    NA Another provider is responsible for screening, as defined in a contract.

  • FP
    PA-FPS 3.03

    Prompt, responsive intake practices:

    1. are culturally responsive;
    2. are trauma-informed;
    3. ensure equitable treatment;
    4. give priority to urgent needs and emergency situations;
    5. support timely initiation of services; and
    6. provide for placement on a waiting list, if applicable. 


    • Revised Standard - 11/15/17

    Interpretation: To ensure that transgender and gender non-conforming service recipients are treated with respect and feel safe, intake forms and procedures should allow individuals to self-identify their gender. Additionally, service recipient choice regarding their first names and pronouns should be respected. 

    Interpretation: Trauma-informed intake practices explore whether a service recipient has been exposed to traumatic events and exhibits trauma-related symptoms and/or mental health disorders. A positive screen indicates that an assessment or further evaluation by a trained professional is needed.

  • PA-FPS 3.04

    Families who cannot be served, or cannot be served promptly, are referred or connected to appropriate resources.

    NA The agency accepts all clients.

  • FP
    PA-FPS 3.05

    The agency identifies American Indian and Alaska Native families and collaborates with the tribe or Indian organization to the greatest extent possible and appropriate to:

    1. determine the most appropriate plan for the family; and
    2. maintain connections between the family and tribe when desired by the family.


    • Revised Standard - 11/15/17

    Interpretation: The agency is responsible for having established procedures for identifying American Indian and Alaska Native families who are members of an Indian tribe or eligible for membership. Physical appearance, blood quantum, and perceived presence or absence of cultural cues within the family, are not sufficient for identification purposes. In some cases, such as with reunification following out-of-home placement, tribal membership may already be established. 

    Note: Evidence of efforts to identify and contact the family’s tribe and of tribal participation should be documented in the case record.

    Research Note: Early identification of American Indian and Alaska Native families supports delivery of culturally responsive services and is critical to ensuring that the requirements of ICWA are followed should children later be removed from the home. To facilitate accurate determinations of tribal membership, agencies should provide tribes with: parents’ genograms or family ancestry charts; parents’ maiden, married, and other known former names or aliases; parents’ current and former addresses; and parents’