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.


The Village for Families & Children, Inc.

Galo A. Rodriguez, M.P.H., President & CEO

COA Peer Reviewers demonstrated their expertise through their knowledge of COA standards as well as experience in the behavioral health field. In addition, COA’s seminars and tools were very helpful in guiding us through the accreditation process.
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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 14: Maintaining Safety and Security

The agency maintains a safe, secure environment where youth, personnel, and the public are protected from harm.


  • Added Evidence - 11/16/17
    Policy and procedures regarding weapons was added to self-study evidence

Note: PA-ASE and PA-BSM address additional practices that contribute to safety and security.

Note: See PA-ASE 6.06 for requirements on developing protocols for preventing and responding to missing and runaway children and youth.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • Youth/staff ratios
    • Procedures for conducting searches
    • Procedures for making housing assignments
    • Policy and procedures regarding weapons
    • Youth/staff ratios and coverage schedules for the past year
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Youth served
    • Review case records
    • Observe site

  • FP
    PA-JJR 14.01

    To promote safety within the facility, the agency considers youths’ age, size, gender and gender identity, vulnerability to victimization, offense history, and ability to adjust to a group when making housing assignments.

  • FP
    PA-JJR 14.02

    When it is necessary to search youth, their rooms, or their property, trained personnel do so according to procedures that:

    1. are consistent with applicable state and federal law;
    2. define when there is reasonable cause to conduct a search;
    3. minimize the invasiveness of the search;
    4. respect youths’ dignity; and
    5. establish a process and timetable for administrative review.

    Interpretation:Agencies should conduct more invasive searches only when there is reason to do so, and demonstrate that these searches are: (1) conducted by qualified staff, and (2) accompanied by an increased level of administrative review.

  • FP
    PA-JJR 14.03

    The agency provides sufficient supervision to ensure the safety of youth, personnel, and the public at all times, and additional personnel are available in case of emergency.

    Interpretation: Personnel-to-youth ratios should be based on youths’ risks and needs, but should generally not exceed 1:8 during the day, and 1:16 at night. On-duty personnel must be awake at all times, and at least two staff members should be on-duty at all times. Same-gender personnel should be available to provide supervision and services, as needed.

  • FP
    PA-JJR 14.04

    Weapons are prohibited within the facility, and armed law enforcement officers are required to check weapons in a secure area.

    Interpretation:If agency policy allows armed law enforcement officers to enter the agency’s facilities, the agency should explain: (1) under what circumstances this practice is permitted (e.g., in emergency situations), and (2) how safety is ensured while the armed officers are on site.

  • PA-JJR 14.05

    When youth have opportunities to leave the facility or interact with the public, the agency maintains safety by:

    1. defining when youth are eligible for the opportunity;
    2. evaluating youth for eligibility and appropriateness; and
    3. providing or arranging for sufficient support and supervision.

    Interpretation: Relevant opportunities may include, but are not limited to: home visits, community service projects, work furloughs, meetings with mentors, and trial visits to community programs.

    NA Youth do not have opportunities to leave the facility or interact with the public.

  • PA-JJR 14.06

    The agency appropriately and consistently documents, reviews, and reports incidents of youth noncompliance.

    Interpretation: The agency should follow any applicable policies, procedures or other rules for reporting infractions to the court or other party with jurisdiction over youth.