Private Organization Accreditation

Family Services of Southeast Texas strengthens families through accessible, affordable counseling services and education for issues affecting family life, mental health and employment.  We also provide comprehensive domestic violence shelter and support services.


Judy Kay, LCSW

Volunteer Roles: Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

In administration for 22 of 24 years at Child Saving Institute, a COA-accredited not-for-profit child welfare agency in Omaha, Nebraska. Retired approximately two years ago, I moved to Tucson, Arizona, where I advocate for children's rights as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer to three young children.
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Adults with serious and persistent mental illness who participate in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services achieve their highest level of self-sufficiency and recovery through gains in personal empowerment, hopefulness, and competency.

PA-PSR 3: Assessment

Service recipients participate in a comprehensive, individualized, strengths-based, family-focused, culturally responsive assessment.

Interpretation: The Assessment Matrix - Private, Public, Canadian, Network determines which level of assessment is required for COA’s Service Sections. The assessment elements of the Matrix can be tailored according to the needs of specific individuals or service design.

Note: Refer to the interpretation at PA-PSR 1 regarding the definition of “culturally responsive.” 

Research Note: Personnel that conduct initial and comprehensive assessment should be aware of the indicators of a potential victim of human trafficking. Several tools are available to help identify a potential victim and determine next steps toward an appropriate course of treatment.

Research Note: For an assessment to be trauma-informed, it assumes that every individual has likely been exposed to experiences that are traumatic, including abuse (physical, psychological, or sexual), neglect, out-of-home placements, exposure to community or familial violence, or persistent stress. Adopting this assumption in all levels of treatment ensures the organization actively avoids instances that traumatize the individual.

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
    • Assessment procedures
    • List of standardized assessment tools used
    • Copies of standardized assessment tools used
    • Interview:
      1. Clinical or program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Individuals or families served
    • Review case records

  • PA-PSR 3.01

    Personnel who conduct assessments are qualified by training, skill, and experience and able to recognize individuals and families with special needs.

    Research Note: Literature suggests that involving the individual in the assessment process increases ownership of the assessment. To facilitate such involvement personnel should be familiar with skills such as orienting, giving instructions, requesting information, demonstrating understanding, and the ability to develop a trusting relationship.

  • PA-PSR 3.02

    The information gathered for assessments is strengths-based, comprehensive, directed at concerns identified in the initial screening, and limited to material for meeting service requests and objectives.

    Research Note: Literature suggests that involving the individual in the assessment process increases ownership of the assessment. To facilitate such involvement, personnel should be familiar with skills such as orienting, giving instructions, requesting information, demonstrating understanding, and the ability to develop a trusting relationship.

  • PA-PSR 3.03

    Individuals are assessed:

    1. for a history and presence of serious and persistent mental illness and substance use or other health conditions;
    2. for life skills and available resources;
    3. traumatic experiences and trauma-related symptomatology;
    4. past or present connection to the criminal justice system;
    5. medical history, including past medication prescription and community support; and
    6. to determine if they can benefit from services that promote the ability to live and function in the environment of their choice.

    Interpretation:The assessment includes use of standardized diagnostic tools such as the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association, the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), or another comparable standardized diagnostic tool. Assessments are completed within timeframes established by the agency and updated periodically.

    Research Note:Researchers suggest the assessment should address a person’s skills and supportive resources, as well as history and symptoms, because rehabilitation outcomes are often related to the presence or absence of such skills and supports rather than one’s psychiatric diagnosis and symptoms.

  • PA-PSR 3.04

    Assessments are conducted in a culturally responsive manner to identify resources that can increase service participation and support the achievement of agreed upon goals.

    Interpretation:Culturally responsive assessments can include attention to geographic location, language of choice, and the person’s religious, racial, ethnic, and cultural background. Other important factors that contribute to a responsive assessment include attention to age, sexual orientation, and developmental level.

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