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.


Nicole Deprez-Garrity, M.Ed.

Volunteer Roles: Endorser, Lead Endorser

Nicole Deprez-Garrity is a lead After School Endorser based in Germany.
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Children and youth who participate in Out-of-School Time programs gain the personal, social, emotional, and educational assets needed to support healthy development, increase well-being, and facilitate a successful transition through childhood and adolescence, and into adulthood.

PA-OST 8: Community Relationships and Partnerships

Connections with other community agencies, institutions, and members increase the ability of the agency and community to support and engage children and youth.

Research Note: Literature emphasizes the importance of developing strong relationships and partnerships with other community agencies and institutions. Some experts highlight the particular promise of community schools, which join schools with other community partners in an effort to create stronger families and communities and improve student learning. These schools engage families and other community stakeholders as equal partners in implementing comprehensive efforts to meet needs in the areas of education, youth development, family support, and community development, using the school as a base where all services are provided.

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 community relationships/partnerships and their benefits (to the agency, program participants, and the community)
    • List of community organizations, institutions, and resources, including both current and potential partners
    • Documentation of collaboration efforts, including collaboration with school personnel if applicable (e.g., meeting minutes, correspondence, agreements, contracts, etc.)
    • Documentation of activities that connect children and youth with the community
    • Interview:
      1. Program Administrator
      2. Site Director
      3. Program Personnel
      4. Children, youth, and families
      5. Program host, if applicable and possible
    • Observe program activities (re: opportunities that connect children and youth with the community)
    • Observe interactions between personnel and program host, where applicable and possible

  • PA-OST 8.01

    The agency develops and maintains a list of community organizations and institutions to identify the potential for collaboration and partnerships. 

    Interpretation: Relevant community organizations and institutions may include, but are not limited to: schools, libraries, parks, community centers, recreation and athletic services and facilities, cultural institutions (e.g., museums or theatres), community colleges and universities, local businesses, faith-based institutions, and other out-of-school time programs. Agencies should typically consider program goals and areas of focus when identifying the potential for collaboration and partnerships.  For example, an agency providing language arts programming might partner with the local library, and an agency providing STEM programming might partner with a local science museum.

    Note: See PA-OST 8.02 for more information regarding the ways partnerships can benefit an agency.

  • PA-OST 8.02

    The agency establishes partnerships that enable it to sustain and enhance programming by facilitating access to resources that include: 

    1. needed space, transportation, equipment, supplies, and funding, including sources of subsidy that can help make the program affordable;
    2. experts with specialized content knowledge relevant to programming and activities;
    3. opportunities for staff training and professional development;
    4. opportunities to recruit potential personnel and volunteers; and
    5. opportunities to recruit prospective program participants.

    Note:  See PA-OST 8.03 for additional expectations regarding partnerships with school-day personnel.

    Research Note: Some literature highlights the particular importance of partnering with organizations and institutions that can provide the material and human resources needed to strengthen programming in specialized areas such as the arts or STEM learning.  

  • PA-OST 8.03

    The agency partners with school-day personnel to:

    1. ensure that programming and activities complement, extend, and expand school day learning;
    2. learn about the strengths, needs, and progress of children and youth; and
    3. communicate information about children and youth’s performance and progress at the program.

    Interpretation:  While implementation of this standard may be especially critical when the agency partners with a school to offer academic programming and/or homework help, building relationships with school-day personnel can be beneficial for all types of programs.  However, COA does recognize that it may be challenging for some agencies to establish partnerships with school-day personnel, especially if the agency serves students who attend different schools.  When this is the case, it may make sense for the agency to consider whether it might be able to build a relationship with appropriate staff at the district level.

    Note:  See PA-OST 2.06 and 9.06 for additional expectations regarding the collaboration that should occur to support children and youth with special needs.

    Research Note: Research suggests that youth and families fare better when there is a coordinated, cooperative approach across systems, and some literature suggests that collaborating with different types and levels of school day staff can help to promote the strength and sustainability of the partnership.  For example, while a principal might set the overall tone for the partnership and enable an agency to share the school’s resources, teachers might offer valuable information about the school-day curriculum and the progress of children and youth.  Relationships with other personnel, from guidance counselors and secretaries to coaches and custodians, can yield their own opportunities and benefits.  Multi-level partnerships can also protect against disruptions that might occur as a result of turnover.

    NA The organization does not run a program designed to collaborate with a school.

  • PA-OST 8.04

    Children and youth are provided with opportunities to get to know and become involved with their communities.

    Interpretation:  In addition to providing opportunities designed to benefit children and youth, agencies should ideally also facilitate activities that enable children and youth to contribute to the community, such as through community service or service learning projects.  Personnel should also remain aware of, and encourage children and youth to attend, outside opportunities and events related to programming and areas of interest.

    Note: Implementation of this standard will likely overlap with some aspects of PA-OST 8.02, regarding utilization of community resources.  For example, recruiting and matching children with volunteer mentors will simultaneously foster children’s connection to the community.

  • PA-OST 8.05

    In an effort to ensure that the needs of children and youth are met, the agency:

    1. establishes working relationships with agencies and organizations prepared to address factors that pose barriers to children’s engagement and learning; and
    2. collaborates with other community agencies, institutions, and members to identify and address gaps in services needed by children and families.

    Interpretation: Organizations and agencies prepared to address factors that pose barriers to children’s engagement and learning include both those that provide family support services and those that serve children and youth with special needs.

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