Private Organization Accreditation

As one of the largest family services agencies in the country, Child & Family Services has dedicated its resources to meet the needs of the community since 1873.


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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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 6: Therapeutic Services

Service recipients receive ongoing, coordinated therapeutic services based on their assessed needs and goals. 

Note: For detoxification treatment programs, please refer to the interpretation at PA-MHSU 5. 

NA The agency provides Diagnosis, Assessment, and Referral Services only.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • A description of services, including strategies for identifying and engaging other community-based providers, as appropriate  
    • Copies of agreements with cooperating service providers and/or an up-to-date referral list of identified community-based providers, as applicable
    • Interview:
      1. Clinical or program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Individuals or families served
    • Review case records

  • PA-MHSU 6.01

    Services are delivered in a holistic, trauma-informed, and culturally and linguistically responsive manner, and focus on the treatment of mental health and/or substance use disorders. 

  • PA-MHSU 6.02

    Therapeutic and educational interventions may include individual, family, or group service modalities that are:

    1. based on research or clinical practice guidelines where they exist; and
    2. matched with the assessed needs, age, developmental level, and personal goals of the service recipient.

    Interpretation: For detoxification treatment programs, therapeutic and educational interventions may be limited given the length of treatment and the service recipient’s treatment progress; however, any and all interventions employed should be evidence-informed and tailored to the individualized needs of the service recipient. 

  • PA-MHSU 6.03

    Service recipients receive goal-directed, psychosocial treatments, including:

    1. psychotherapy; 
    2. illness management and psychoeducation interventions;
    3. medication education;
    4. coping skills training; 
    5. relapse prevention; and
    6. support groups and self-help referrals.

    Research Note: Certain types of mental health disorders have been shown to respond better to specific psychotherapies. For optimal treatment outcomes, the type of psychotherapy should address the nature of the presenting issue and be appropriate to the individual’s age and developmental level, personality, cultural background, and family situation. 

  • PA-MHSU 6.04

    Service recipients and their families, when possible, are connected with peer support services appropriate to their request or need for service.

    Interpretation: Peer support refers to services provided by individuals who have shared, lived experience. Services promote resiliency and recovery and can include peer recovery groups, peer-to-peer counseling, peer mentoring or coaching, family and youth peer support or other consumer-run services. 

    Interpretation: Organizations may provide peer support services directly or have a referral system in place to ensure that service recipients have access to peer support services when needed. Peer support workers may also be part of the treatment team.

    Research Note: Individuals who receive a combination of clinical treatment and peer support have had improved health and recovery outcomes. Research has suggested that peer models increase social contacts, improve daily functioning, and increase the individual’s sense of empowerment and hopefulness. In a 2009 survey of parents with children who have mental health needs, the majority of surveyed parents reported that they gained needed information from other parents. One-to-one support, support groups, and family advocacy agencies were all identified as valuable resources by respondents.

    Research Note: Individuals affected by a loved one’s suicide attempt or death can experience trauma and complicated grief, often lack bereavement supports, and may experience societal stigmatization and isolation. In addition to professional mental health services, peer support services have been found to be very helpful. Similarly, research has shown that suicide attempt survivors can benefit greatly from peer support by instilling hopefulness, teaching coping skills, and counteracting shame and social isolation. Cultural differences exist in how suicide is understood and processed, which may affect individuals’ service preferences and wishes following a suicide attempt or death.

  • FP
    PA-MHSU 6.05

    The agency directly provides or makes referrals for a comprehensive range of prevention and treatment services, including acute care services when necessary.

    Interpretation: Services may include detoxification, inpatient care, intensive outpatient care, medical care, psychiatric rehabilitation and targeted case management services.

    Research Note: Evidence shows that prevention interventions such as cognitive behavior therapy, crisis lines, and mobile applications are useful for helping individuals at risk for suicide and individuals with severe and persistent mental health disorders.

    Research Note: Research suggests that individuals who participate in more structured and