WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Savannah Area's mission is to provide the best non-profit community service, dedicated to delivering professional and confidential counseling, debt management, housing counseling and consumer education to all segments of the community regardless of ability to pay.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Children's Foundation of Mid America

James W. Thurman, President/CEO

Children’s Foundation of Mid America has been accredited through COA since 1983. The process of accreditation ensures that we meet or exceed the highest standards in the industry.
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Purpose

The agency supports personnel and promotes personnel competence, satisfaction, and retention by providing initial and ongoing competency-based training; a variety of personnel development opportunities; and regular, supportive supervision. 

PA-PDS 2: Personnel Competencies

The agency promotes personnel competence through an array of initial and ongoing personnel development opportunities that prepare personnel to fulfill their job responsibilities. 

Interpretation: Competence can be achieved through any combination of experience, formal education, training, coaching, peer support, mentoring, supervision, etc.  Competence can be assessed using a variety of methods including, but not limited to, pre- and post-testing, direct observation in the field, interactive training activities such as behavior rehearsals, etc. It is up to the agency to establish the mechanisms that will be used to assess and track personnel competence in the areas identified in the PA-PDS 2 standards.
 

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    County/Municipality Administered Agency, State Administered Agency (Central Office), or other Public Entity  
    • Annual training calendar and/or training schedules
    • Table of contents of the agency's orientation curriculum (PA-PDS 2.01)
    • Table of contents of the agency’s training curricula
    State Administered Agency (Regional Office)
    • A summary of the region’s training activities (in-service, staff meetings, supervisor groups) for the previous and current calendar year
    All Agencies
    • Training curricula for relevant trainings
    • Training files, database, or personnel files that demonstrate attendance at required trainings 
    • Documentation for tracking that staff have met required competencies
    All Agencies
    • Interview: 
      1. Clinical or program director
      2. Relevant personnel

  • PA-PDS 2.01

    New personnel are oriented within the first three months of hire to:

    1. the agency’s mission, purpose, and practice model;
    2. programs and service goals;
    3. the cultural and socioeconomic characteristics of populations served by the agency;
    4. the agency’s role within and relationship to the communities it serves;
    5. the agency’s human resource policies and procedures; 
    6. ethical practice and the agency’s standards for professional conduct; and
    7. lines of accountability and authority within the agency.


  • FP
    PA-PDS 2.02

    All personnel who have regular contact with individuals and families receive training on legal issues, including:

    1. mandatory reporting and the identification of clinical indicators of suspected abuse and neglect, as applicable;
    2. federal, state, and local laws requiring disclosure of confidential information for law enforcement purposes, including compliance with a court-order, warrant, or subpoena;
    3. duty to warn, pursuant to relevant professional standards and as required by federal, state, and local law;
    4. the agency’s policies and procedures on confidentiality and disclosure of service recipient information, and penalties for violation of these policies and procedures;
    5. the legal rights of service recipients; and
    6. any requirements associated with consent decrees.


  • PA-PDS 2.03

    Personnel receive training on and demonstrate competence in the agency’s technology and information systems, as appropriate to their position and job responsibilities, including:

    1. documentation techniques;
    2. data entry and data integrity; and
    3. the maintenance and security of records.

    Interpretation: As technology is constantly evolving, it is important to keep personnel up to date on any changes or updates made to existing systems and new technologies adopted by the agency.


  • FP
    PA-PDS 2.04

    Direct service personnel receive training on and demonstrate competence in positive engagement with individuals and families receiving services, including but not limited to:

    1. involving individuals and their families as active partners in assessment, service planning, and service delivery;
    2. recognizing and building upon individual and family strengths and successes;
    3. the impact of trauma on individuals, families, and personnel; and
    4. trauma-informed screening, assessment, and service delivery practices. 


  • PA-PDS 2.05

    Direct service personnel receive training on and demonstrate competence in providing services in a culturally responsive and affirming manner, including: 

    1. skills and available resources for working with non-English language speakers;
    2. the role cultural identity plays in motivating human behavior; and
    3. understanding bias or discrimination, including implicit bias.

    Research Note: Literature identifies a lack of culturally responsive services as one of the major barriers to equal opportunity for racial or ethnic groups that are underserved and/or overrepresented in the child and family serving system.


  • FP
    PA-PDS 2.06

    Personnel receive training on and demonstrate competence in the needs of special populations, including:

    1. the need for normalizing experiences and social inclusion;
    2. working with persons with various written and oral communication needs;
    3. responding to the needs of victims of violence, abuse, neglect, or exploitation and their families;
    4. the needs of individuals and families in crisis including recognizing and responding to mental health crises; 
    5. recognizing and responding to signs of suicide risk; and
    6. the health and medical needs of the service population.

    Interpretation: “Special populations” include, but are not limited to, those who are abused and neglected, those with a developmental disability, and those with mental health and substance use disorders. Depending on the services provided and the population served, required competencies may range from different treatment approaches, to procedures for referring individuals to other providers when those needs cannot be addressed by the agency.  

    Interpretation: Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is one way to prepare personnel to recognize, understand, and respond to service recipients and colleagues experiencing a mental health crisis. Similarly, “gatekeeper training” programs prepare personnel to recognize, interpret, and respond to signs of suicide risk.
     

    Research Note: Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an evidence-based public education program that educates individuals on the warning signs of mental health and/or substance use disorders. The holistic training is intended for a variety of audiences, including homeless shelter workers, school administrators and educators, social workers, and substance abuse and mental health professionals. Program participants learn how to aid individuals in crisis, assess for suicide risk, and connect them with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help resources. Preliminary studies show that MHFA builds mental health literacy, reduces stigma, and empowers individuals to help others.

    Research Note: “Gatekeeper training” programs include several evidence-based education programs that train individuals to identify those at risk for suicide, assess level of risk, and make appropriate referrals. These training programs can be specific to a setting such as schools, the broader community, or the military. A wide variety of stakeholders can benefit from participation, for example educators, clergy, social workers, counselors, mental health clinicians, first responders, hospital staff, and military service members. Studies show that gatekeeper training programs can increase participant knowledge about suicide, improve attitudes and beliefs about suicide prevention, and reduce reluctance to intervene with an at-risk individual.  
     


  • PA-PDS 2.07

    Direct service personnel receive training on and demonstrate competence in:

    1. identifying and accessing needed community resources;
    2. accessing financial assistance, including public assistance and government subsidies; and
    3. empowering service recipients and their families to advocate on their own behalf.


  • PA-PDS 2.08

    Direct service personnel who administer clinical diagnostic tests used to establish treatment goals are appropriately trained according to testing protocols.

    Interpretation: This standard refers to sophisticated clinical testing (for example, Stanford-Binet or other intelligence scales) that should be conducted by personnel with advanced clinical credentials and specialized training. It is not applicable to the use of basic assessment tests that profile or describe a person’s functioning, which can be administered by parents or teachers. Additionally, the standard does not apply to outcome measurement instruments.

    NA Direct service personnel do not administer clinical diagnostic tests.
     


  • FP
    PA-PDS 2.09

    Residential services, shelter services, day services, early childhood education, opioid treatment services, and youth development services have at least one person certified in basic first aid and CPR on duty at each program site, at any time the program is in operation.

    Interpretation: First Aid and CPR certification programs may include components that are conducted online, but must also include a hands-on, skills-based assessment with a certified instructor. Training and/or certification should be appropriate to the age of the population being served. 

    Interpretation: The service standards identified in PA-PDS 2.09 may include more stringent CPR and First Aid certification requirements. Agencies seeking accreditation for any of the identified services must meet requirements outlined in the service standards for all applicable programs.
     

    NA The agency does not provide residential, shelter, day program, early childhood education, opioid treatment, or youth development services.

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