Private Organization Accreditation

Lutheran Social Services of New England is a high-performing nonprofit organization. LSS is a powerful difference maker and go-to resource, driving ourselves to constantly anticipate futures that are different from the past. For 140 years, LSS has been caring for people in need in New England.


Harry Hunter, MSW, MBA, Ph.D.

Volunteer Roles: Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

Peer Reviewer for the month of January 2013, Dr. Hunter has been volunteering for COA since 2005, conducting five site reviews.
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Respite Care reduces caregiver stress, promotes the well-being and safety of care recipients, and contributes to stable families.

PA-RC 11: Personnel

Respite care providers are qualified for, and receive support in, providing temporary care to improve individual and family well-being, reduce caregiver stress, and promote family stability.

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
    • Program staffing chart that includes lines of supervision
    • List of program personnel that includes:
      1. name;
      2. title;
      3. degree held and/or other credentials;
      4. FTE or volunteer;
      5. length of service at the agency;
      6. time in current position
    • Table of contents of training curricula
    • Procedures for screening respite providers
    • Procedures and criteria used for assigning and evaluating workloads
    • Job descriptions
    • Documentation of training
    • Training curricula
    • Interview:
      1. Supervisors
      2. Personnel
      3. Respite providers
    • Review personnel and respite provider files

  • PA-RC 11.01

    Respite care providers have the personal characteristics necessary to provide flexible, affectionate care.

  • PA-RC 11.02

    Respite care providers are competent to:

    1. assess the need for additional services;
    2. respect and appreciate the cultural background, heritage, and identity of persons receiving services;
    3. communicate effectively;
    4. identify changes in functioning; and
    5. determine if a crisis situation is imminent and intervene using appropriate resources.

    Interpretation: Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or experience.

  • PA-RC 11.03

    Respite care providers are skilled in the following areas, as appropriate to the services provided:

    1. methods of engagement;
    2. helping individuals cope with trauma;
    3. identification of medical needs or problems;
    4. the agency’s plans for handling emergencies;
    5. case advocacy;
    6. use of adaptive equipment, such as braces and wheelchairs;
    7. providing personal care, including lifting techniques; and
    8. other areas necessary to serve the target population.

    Interpretation:Skills can be acquired or improved through education, training, or supervision.

  • FP
    PA-RC 11.04

    Providers are screened and approved prior to having contact with families to ensure they are able to provide the type of care needed, and screenings include:

    1. a criminal record and abuse registry check for all adults living in the provider’s home; and
    2. relevant caregiving experience.

    Interpretation: Record checks are conducted in compliance with applicable law. When a finding of child or adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation is indicated, guidelines are used to determine the appropriateness of provider responsibilities.

    Note: Element (a) is only applicable if respite care is delivered in the provider’s home. 

  • FP
    PA-RC 11.05

    Personnel and respite care providers that provide personal care or basic health services receive a health evaluation prior to providing care to determine their ability to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.

    Interpretation:While a physical examination is preferred, personnel may receive a general health screening performed by a qualified medical practitioner, provided that the screening addresses communicable diseases.

    NA The program is not designed to serve individuals with personal care or health service needs. 

  • PA-RC 11.06

    Respite care providers sign a statement agreeing to refrain from the use of corporal punishment and degrading treatment, and receive training and support to promote positive behavior and implement appropriate discipline techniques.

    Note: Agencies that permit restrictive behavior management techniques must implement relevant Behavior Support and Management (BSM) standards.

  • PA-RC 11.07

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

  • PA-RC 11.08

    Supervisors have:

    1. an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field with one year of relevant experience, or
    2. a bachelor’s degree in social work or a comparable human service field with two years of relevant experience.

  • PA-RC 11.09

    Employee workloads are regularly reviewed and are based on an assessment of the following:

    1. the qualifications, competencies, and experience of the worker, including the level of supervision needed;
    2. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities; and
    3. service volume, accounting for assessed level of needs of new and current clients and referrals.
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