Private Organization Accreditation

Lutheran Social Services of New England is a high-performing nonprofit organization. LSS is a powerful difference maker and go-to resource, driving ourselves to constantly anticipate futures that are different from the past. For 140 years, LSS has been caring for people in need in New England.


Barry Gourley

Volunteer Roles: Endorser; Peer Reviewer

It is an honor to be a COA volunteer. I’ve had a great opportunity to work with fabulous COA volunteers, I’ve grown professionally in the COA accreditation process and I’ve met some wonderful people across this nation who are working hard to help and support children and families.
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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 6: Family-Focused Approach to Service Delivery

Families receive services that are flexible, accessible, and responsive to their particular needs and circumstances.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • A description of services
    • A description of typical or preferred length of service
    • Procedures and/or criteria for extending services
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Families served
    • Review case records

  • PA-FPS 6.01

    Families and providers establish respectful, family-centered relationships that facilitate collaborative and productive service planning and delivery.

    Interpretation: To facilitate the development of supportive, trust-based relationships that empower families, services should be delivered by a single provider, or by a consistent set of providers who work together as a team.

    Research Note: Literature emphasizes the importance of developing good relationships with families, and one study found that parents were more likely to report improvements in discipline and emotional care of their children when they viewed their relationships with providers as positive. The same study also found that encouraging open communication and making frequent visits were predictors of a positive relationship.

  • PA-FPS 6.02

    Service providers act as consultants and facilitators of change who empower family members and help them to:

    1. identify strengths, competencies, resources, and options;
    2. understand problems in new, more helpful ways; and
    3. devise solutions to specific problems.

  • PA-FPS 6.03

    Services are provided in home and community settings.

  • PA-FPS 6.04

    Services are:

    1. tailored to meet families’ unique needs;
    2. designed to involve all family members, including extended family, children, youth, and adults, to the maximum extent possible and appropriate; and
    3. available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that families receive help when and where they need it.

  • PA-FPS 6.05

    Service frequency and intensity is based upon the initial and ongoing assessments of family functioning and determined by:

    1. family needs; and
    2. the level of concern for child and/or family safety.

    Interpretation: The frequency and intensity of services should be modified to reflect any observed or measured changes in individual or family functioning, as referenced in PA-FPS 4.06, PA-FPS 506, and PA-FPS 5.07.

  • PA-FPS 6.06

    Services are of limited duration and focused on resolving the pressing issues that precipitated the need for service.

    Interpretation: Services are generally time-limited. However, it can also be appropriate to extend services when families are not ready for them to end. An agency should document and justify in the case record any extension of service beyond the limit it establishes.

    Research Note: Although services reviewed under this section are traditionally of limited duration, some literature questions the extent to which short-term services can be expected to solve the problems of the families typically served, many of whom experience chronic and serious difficulties. Research in the field of child welfare suggests that long-term supports and services should be maintained for at least 12 months in cases of family reunification. This perspective points to the importance of linking families with more long-term supports and services, as referenced in PA-FPS 7 and PA-FPS 10.

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