WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Germaine Lawrence is a residential treatment center for girls ages 12-18 with complex behavioral, psychological and learning challenges.   Girls live at our programs while receiving special education, individual, family and group therapy; psychiatric and primary medical care; and a wide variety of therapeutic activities and interventions.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Holy Family Institute

Sister Linda Yankoski, President/CEO

The Council On Accreditation provides all stakeholders involved in the delivery of social services the assurance that the organization is credible, effective, and is committed to quality improvement. The COA process is an important tool for anyone involved in leading an organization to establish best practices and maintaining and updating these practices over time.
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Purpose

Individuals who receive Services for Mental Health and/or Substance Use Disorders improve social, emotional, psychological, cognitive, and family functioning, and attain recovery and wellness.

PA-MHSU 2: Screening and Intake

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

Rating Indicators
1
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. 
2
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.  
3
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.
4
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
    • Screening and intake procedures 
    • List of community-based providers/referral sources
    • Interview:
      1. Clinical or program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Individuals or families served
    • Review case records

  • PA-MHSU 2.01

    Service recipients are screened at intake and informed about:

    1. how well their request matches the agency’s services; 
    2. what services will be available and when; and
    3. rules and expectations of the program. 

    Interpretation: Screenings will vary based on the program’s target population and services offered and may include information to identify any of the following: trauma history, substance use disorders, mental illness, developmental delays, suicide and self-harm history and current level of risk, and/or risk of harm to others.

    Interpretation: For agencies providing services for substance use disorders, rules and expectations of the program should include any consequences that can result from the verified use of alcohol, drugs, or other substances while participating in the program.

    Interpretation: For residential detoxification treatment programs, rules and expectations could include: 

    1. personal items service recipients may bring with them; and
    2. items that are discouraged or prohibited. 

    Research Note: Employing technology-based interventions can minimize geographic barriers and increase the availability of necessary services, particularly for individuals and families living in rural or underserved areas. 

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


  • FP
    PA-MHSU 2.02

    Prompt, responsive intake practices:

    1. ensure equitable treatment;
    2. give priority to urgent needs and emergency situations;
    3. facilitate the identification of individuals and families with co-occurring conditions and multiple needs;
    4. enable access to a comprehensive assessment process;
    5. support timely initiation of services; and
    6. provide for placement on a waiting list, if desired.

    Interpretation: Screening and intake procedures should direct staff on how to identify and respond to individuals or families experiencing emergency situations to ensure that they receive expedited treatment planning and are connected to more intensive services. For example, individuals discharged from emergency rooms or psychiatric inpatient facilities after a suicide attempt remain a high-risk group post discharge. To reduce the risk of suicide re-attempt, these individuals should be contacted within 24 hours, receive access to services within three to seven calendar days, and active outreach should be initiated in cases of a missed appointment until contact is made. Agencies should have the capacity to refer individuals in crisis to the appropriate services, which may include 24-hour mobile crisis teams, emergency crisis intervention services, crisis stabilization, or 24-hour crisis hotlines.

    Urgent situations can also include those in which an individual has a child in the child welfare system.

    Interpretation: Wait times are a major barrier to individuals and families receiving services. Agencies can monitor waitlists and standardize their referral process to improve accessibility. 

    Research Note: Literature indicates that schools are the primary setting for the identification of children and youth with mental health conditions. Symptoms usually begin in early childhood; however, some disorders may develop and present in later adolescence.  Agencies that serve children and youth should collaborate with school-based and primary health care settings to identify those with mental health needs and facilitate access to services as early as possible. Early intervention can prevent significant mental health issues from developing and reduce risk behaviors, such as suicide or self-harm, substance use, and involvement with the juvenile justice system.


  • PA-MHSU 2.03

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

    NA The agency accepts all service recipients.


  • PA-MHSU 2.04

    During intake, the agency gathers information to identify critical service needs and/or determine when a more intensive service is necessary, including:

    1. personal and identifying information;
    2. emergency health needs; and
    3. safety concerns, including imminent danger or risk of future harm.

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