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.
read more>>


Residential Treatment Services provide individualized therapeutic interventions and a range of services, including education for residents to increase productive and pro-social behavior, improve functioning and well-being, and return to a stable living arrangement in the community.

PA-RTX 2: Access to Service

The agency makes every effort to ensure that services are only available to individuals who require and will benefit from a total milieu environment, active psychotherapeutic and psycho-educational interventions, and around-the-clock care for a specified period of time.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • Admission policy
    • Access, screening, and intake  procedures
    • Written materials describing the program 
    • Admission materials outlining permitted and prohibited items
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Intake personnel
      3. Residents and their families
    • Review case records

  • PA-RTX 2.01

    The agency defines in writing:
    1. eligibility criteria, including age and developmental stage; 
    2. scope of services and supports, special areas of expertise, and range of client issues addressed;
    3. service options and levels of care;
    4. opportunities for active family participation and support;
    5. opportunities for active participation in community activities; and
    6. promotion of housing unit compatibility based on age, interests, and group composition.

    Interpretation: Eligibility criteria states whether the agency accepts individuals with special risks, such as children and youth who engage in fire setting; individuals who exhibit sexually reactive behaviors; victims of physical, psychological or sexual abuse; and youth who have committed a delinquent act or violated a criminal law.

    Interpretation: In regards to element (f), COA recognizes that agencies, particularly those that receive clients by referral only, may have limited control of  group composition. In these instances, agencies should identify the population(s) served, state how residents’ diverse service needs will be met, and include strategies for promoting living unit compatibility.

  • PA-RTX 2.02

    The agency screens and informs residents of:
    1. how well the their request matches the agency’s services; and
    2. what services will be available and when.

    Interpretation: The screen is a preliminary test administered to residents to determine whether he or she meets the program’s eligibility criteria. Screenings will vary based the program’s target population and services offered, and can include information to identify any of the following: trauma history, substance use conditions, mental illness, and/or individual’s risk of harm to self or others.

    NA Another agency is responsible for screening, as defined in a contract.

  • FP
    PA-RTX 2.03

    Prompt, responsive intake practices:
    1. ensure equitable treatment;
    2. give priority to urgent needs and emergency situations;
    3. support timely initiation of appropriate services; and
    4. provide for placement on a waiting list and referrals to interim services, if applicable.

    Interpretation: Vulnerable populations, such as youth that are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ), are at high risk of violence and harassment while in residential placement. The agency should ensure these youth are safe and welcomed by staff. 

  • PA-RTX 2.04

    Residents who cannot be served, or cannot be served promptly, are referred or connected to appropriate resources.

    NA The agency accepts all clients.

  • PA-RTX 2.05

    During intake, the agency gathers information to identify critical service needs and/or determine when a more intensive service is necessary, including:

    1. personal and identifying information;
    2. emergency health needs; and
    3. safety concerns, including imminent danger or risk of future harm.

  • PA-RTX 2.06

    Admission decisions are made by experienced and licensed personnel in collaboration with the resident and his or her family and/or legal guardian.

    Interpretation: When facilities provide activities under contract with a “no reject” provision the interdisciplinary team carefully reviews admission decisions to ensure the agency is prepared to address any special needs or services the resident may require.

    Interpretation: Experienced and licensed personnel can include psychiatrists, qualified medical practitioners, psychologists, educators, and other professionals.

  • PA-RTX 2.07

    The resident and his or her family and/or legal guardian are engaged in an informative placement process and are:
    1. apprised of any available options, benefits, and consequences of planned services;
    2. prepared for admission, and given the opportunity for a pre-admission visit, whenever possible; 
    3. informed of how the agency can support the achievement of his or her desired outcomes; and
    4. provided with information on the effectiveness of treatment, when available. 

  • FP
    PA-RTX 2.08

    The agency describes:
    1. personal items residents may bring with them, consistent with a safe, therapeutic setting;
    2. items that are discouraged or prohibited; and
    3. any safety procedures the program follows or consequences that can result when prohibited items are brought to campus.

    Interpretation: Personal items residents might bring with them may include: photos, books, cellphones, computers, or other electronics. 

    Interpretation: Given the rise in information and communication technologies, it is important for agencies to specify in their admission materials what electronic devices are permitted and prohibited.  

    Research Note: Research on trauma-informed systems emphasizes the importance of children not only feeling physically safe, but also psychologically safe. Psychological safety is defined as feeling safe within one’s self and safe from external harm. One way to promote psychological safety in residential facilities is by giving children control and choice, for example, asking a child what personal items will help him or her feel safe while in care. Agencies should allow children to bring the items that provide them with comfort or work with children and their families to determine what can be arranged.

Copyright © 2018 Council on Accreditation. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy and Terms of Use