Private Organization Accreditation

Sweetser, a Maine non-profit agency operating since 1828, provides comprehensive mental and behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services. Statewide, it serves around 15,000 consumers a year, including children, adults, and families in outpatient, office-based, and residential settings.


Anita Paukovits

Volunteer Roles: Peer Reviewer

Being a COA peer reviewer has clearly played a role in my professional development and has made me a better administrator at my own agency as a result!  To be part of a professional network that is on the cutting edge of program, practice, fiscal responsibility, and insuring Best Practice across the field is an amazing opportunity.
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Juvenile Justice Residential Services promote public safety by providing youth with a supportive, structured setting that helps them address their needs and develop the attitudes and skills needed to make responsible choices, avoid negative behaviors, and become productive, connected, and law-abiding citizens.

PA-JJR 13: Service Culture

The service culture and daily living experiences support personal growth, rehabilitation, and positive behavior.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • Include description of services
    • Procedures regarding visits, phone calls, and mail
    • Program rules and expectations
    • Program schedule
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Youth served
    • Review case records
    • Observe site

  • FP
    PA-JJR 13.01

    Rules and expectations are:

    1. clearly conveyed to youth and personnel; and
    2. enforced in a fair and consistent manner.

  • PA-JJR 13.02

    The agency maintains a therapeutic culture that encourages positive, respectful, and supportive interactions between:

    1. youth and personnel; and
    2. youth and their peers.

    Interpretation: Personnel should also strive to anticipate, manage, and reduce the incidence of bullying and other unsafe, negative, or anti-social peer interactions.

    Note: The training and activities addressed in PA-JJR 10 should support the development of the positive, pro-social culture described in this standard.

  • PA-JJR 13.03

    The agency maintains an accurate and readily-accessible schedule of services, and youth spend their days engaged in meaningful programming and activities.

  • PA-JJR 13.04

    Treatment, services, and activities are appropriate for and sensitive to youths’ age, developmental level, language, gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and past experiences of trauma.

    Note: See the Research Note to PA-JJR 7.06.

  • PA-JJR 13.05

    Youth have opportunities to participate in activities appropriate to their skills and interests, including:

    1. sports and athletic activities;
    2. cultural enrichment activities;
    3. social activities; and
    4. religious services.

  • FP
    PA-JJR 13.06

    The agency evaluates youth for their ability to participate in recreational activities, and obtains a medical records release, or a signed document from a qualified medical professional stating that a youth is physically capable of participating in sports and athletic activities.

  • FP
    PA-JJR 13.07

    Youth have the right to:

    1. receive visits;
    2. make telephone calls; and
    3. send and receive mail.

    Interpretation: The agency should allow for privacy in visits, phone calls, and correspondence to the extent possible and appropriate. Mail may be screened for contraband, but should not be read for content without due cause. All mail inspections should be done in the youth’s presence. Correspondence with attorneys may be inspected for contraband but should not be read, and phone calls and meetings with attorneys should not be monitored. Youth should be informed of the agency’s policies and procedures regarding visits, phone calls, and correspondence, and advised of any limitations on privacy.

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