Private Organization Accreditation

Northside Psychological Services is a combination of both private practice and community mental health provider. We provide services to children and adults (EAP, private insurance, private pay, etc.) in our private practice setting. In our Community Care Program, we provide services to children and adolescents in their homes.


Advantage Credit Counseling Service

Mary Loftus, VP, Agency Service

Our agency is preparing for reaccreditation under the Eighth Edition Standards. The COA site is well organized and very easy to use. Our team of employees working on the reaccreditation process has found the tools index to be very helpful, particularly some of the templates.
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Individuals and families that use Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services obtain and maintain stable housing in the community and strengthen personal support systems in order to live as independently as possible.

PA-HSCL 7: Services for Pregnant and Parenting Families

The organization provides services, either directly or by referral, which support child development and family functioning in a child-friendly and safe environment.

Interpretation: Programs that provide some or all supportive services listed in PA-HSCL 7 through collaborative arrangements with other service providers need to show evidence of coordination with and monitoring of services received from collaborating organizations.

Interpretation: Family life and parenting practices are often disrupted during periods of housing instability and homelessness, which can negatively affect the well-being of parents and their children. To support stability, family functioning, and minimize stress, families should be allowed to follow their schedules, routines, and rituals to the greatest extent possible during their stay.

NA The organization does not serve pregnant service recipients or families with children.

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
    • A description of services and support for expectant and parenting service recipients
    • Educational curricula for expectant and parenting service recipients
    • Information describing age appropriate recreational and educational activities
    • Procedures for coordinating educational services
    • Procedures and data for evaluating referral resources
    • Procedures outlining how to make appropriate referrals
    • Written agreements with collaborating agencies
    • Documentation in case records for referrals made in response to identified service needs
    • Evidence of coordination with and monitoring of services received from collaborating agencies
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Individuals or families served
    • Review case records
    • Observe facilities and settings

  • PA-HSCL 7.01

    The organization maintains families as a unit and keeps sibling groups together.

    Interpretation: If maintaining a family as a unit is contraindicated, other appropriate placement alternatives may be considered.

    NA The organization does not serve families with children.

  • PA-HSCL 7.02

    The agency evaluates the educational status and needs of children and youth, and:

    1. informs youth and parents of their educational rights;
    2. connects children ages 0-5 with early childhood learning programs;
    3. coordinates educational services with relevant school districts;
    4. assists high school students with Free Application for Federal Student Aid and college applications; and
    5. assists children and youth to stay current with the curricula.

    Interpretation: Regarding element (e), children and youth should have access to a quiet space for reading, studying, and help with school assignments.

    NA The agency does not serve families with children.

  • PA-HSCL 7.03

    The organization meets the developmental needs of children and youth by:

    1. facilitating connections to early intervention and trauma-specific services, as necessary;
    2.  informing parents of age-appropriate developmental milestones; and
    3.  sharing age- and developmentally-appropriate parenting skills and techniques with parents.

    NA The agency does not serve families with children.

  • PA-HSCL 7.04

    The agency provides, or arranges for, age-appropriate recreational and educational activities in a physical environment that is childproofed and encourages play and physical activity.

    Interpretation: Indoor and outdoor play spaces provide a safe enviroment with age, developmentally, and culturally appropriate toys and equipment. Examples include: sensory materials, books in the languages spoken by residents, art materials, sorting/stacking toys, and gross-motor equipment. All toys and equipment must be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

    NA The agency does not serve families with children.

    NA The agency only provides homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing services.

  • PA-HSCL 7.05

    Pregnant service recipients are provided or linked with specialized services that include, as appropriate:

    1. pregnancy counseling;
    2. prenatal health care;
    3. genetic risk identification and counseling services;
    4. fetal alcohol syndrome screening;
    5. labor and delivery services;
    6. postpartum care;
    7. mental health care;
    8. pediatric health care, including well-baby visits and immunizations;
    9. peer counseling services; and
    10. children’s health insurance programs.

    Interpretation: Regarding element (g), expectant mothers should be screened for depression, informed about postpartum depression, and connected to available support and treatment services.
    Interpretation: Young residents may need more intensive services that are developmentally appropriate for adolescence and early adulthood. 

    NA The agency does not serve pregnant service recipients.

  • PA-HSCL 7.06

    Pregnant and parenting service recipients are helped to develop skills and knowledge related to:

    1. basic caregiving routines;
    2. child growth and development;
    3. meeting children’s social, emotional, and physical health needs;
    4. environmental safety and injury prevention;
    5. parent-child interactions and bonding;
    6. age-appropriate behavioral expectations and appropriate discipline; 
    7. family planning; and 
    8. establishing a functioning support network of family members or caring adults.

    Interpretation: Agencies should tailor how topics are addressed based on service recipients’ needs. For example, when serving expectant parents or parents of young children, education on environmental safety and injury prevention should address topics such as safe practices for sleeping and bathing.  

    Interpretation:  When an agency does not provide linkages to family planning services because doing so is counter to its mission or beliefs, the agency should disclose this fact to service recipients and provide individuals with a list of other community providers that offer pregnancy support and education services.

    NA The agency does not serve pregnant or parenting service recipients.

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