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.


Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc.

Donna Mathews, Associate Director

Becoming accredited and maintaining our accreditation through COA has helped us increase our professionalism and thereby provide better services to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence survivors.
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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 7: Coordinated, Individualized Team Approach

Team members are aligned in implementing a structured, individualized therapeutic program in collaboration with residents and families to ensure that residents’ daily living experiences are well integrated and promote the development of positive skills and behaviors.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • A description of services that includes an overview of how teams align to coordinate and customize treatment and care
    • A description of strategies for promoting family collaboration and engagement
    • Procedures for involving residents in programming and treatment decisions
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. An interdisciplinary team or observe team meeting
      3. Residents and their families
    • Review case records

  • PA-RTX 7.01

    In collaboration with the resident and their family, an interdisciplinary team coordinates, monitors, and, when necessary, advocates for services tailored to the needs of individual residents and makes decisions regarding service planning and implementation, including:
    1. initial and additional needed assessments;
    2. the appropriate level of care;
    3. delivery of family services or referral to an agency that provides the needed services to resolve concerns that will otherwise extend the resident’s stay;
    4. transition planning and case closing; and
    5. follow-up services.

    Note: Interdisciplinary program elements are discussed in PA-RTX 8.01.

    Research Note: Research has shown that individuals receiving a combination of clinical treatment and recovery supports have had improved outcomes. There has been a trend towards integrating peer support services within traditional delivery systems, including residential treatment programs. Some agencies are including peer support specialists, peer or youth advocates, mentors and/or family advocates in interdisciplinary treatment teams to ensure that residents feel supported and that their voices are heard throughout the treatment process.

  • PA-RTX 7.02

    Interdisciplinary teamwork:
    1. encourages resident participation in treatment team meetings;
    2. specifies the intended result of daily living experiences, activities, and interventions in the service plan;
    3. engages residents in developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed, culturally sensitive activities and interactions designed to alter or improve behavior, provide support, and promote healthy development and return to their community;
    4. provides opportunities for participation by one or more consistent caring adults, taking into account the resident’s strengths and interests;
    5. coordinates therapeutic and educational and/or vocational activities with individual service and skill development plans; and
    6. maintains predictable routines and activities.

    Research Note: Regarding element (d), a landmark longitudinal study following development of children from infancy to adulthood found that youth who made a successful transition tended in their formative years to seek out and rely on guidance and support of at least one consistent caring adult, usually a family, extended family or community member, or substitute caregiver.

    Research Note: Regarding elements (a),  (c), ( d), and (e), residents in a qualitative study report that a lack of decision-making ability, the lack of a support system, and boredom, particularly during evening hours and on weekends and holidays, contribute to running away from care.

  • FP
    PA-RTX 7.03

    A coordinated team approach promotes establishing and maintaining stable, ongoing, goal-directed caseworker-resident relationships.

    Interpretation: Agencies should establish a coordinated process to minimize the need for multiple case managers from different agencies, when possible. Identifying overlapping responsibilities and tasks; clarifying roles; and establishing guidelines and procedures that ensure collaboration across systems are ways agencies can streamline services and coordinate service goals.

    Research Note: Children that have experienced complex trauma have difficulty developing strong healthy attachments to caregivers. Research shows that for children, treatment progress is influenced by the presence of positive, caring adults. When it comes to establishing a therapeutic bond with a provider, the most important aspect of the relationship is safety, specifically the adult’s ability to help the child feel safe.

  • PA-RTX 7.04

    Residents participate in decision-making processes relating to their treatment and are given an opportunity to formally express feedback including dissatisfaction with aspects of care.

    Interpretation: The establishment of resident councils is one way to involve residents in all aspects of care and ensure that their voice is integrated into programming decisions. Residents should have an opportunity to provide feedback on staff, activities, rules, food, their overall experience, sense of safety and support, and the living environment. This type of activity also provides opportunities for peer advocacy, self-advocacy, and leadership. 

    For programs serving for youth, family advisory councils can be established to involve families in the governance of the program.

    Research Note: Perceptual barriers have a strong effect on youth engagement. When youth perceive that residential providers dismiss their concerns and limit their opportunities to make choices they become frustrated with and disengaged in the treatment process. Providers that create opportunities for youth feedback and value the ideas of youth offer promote engagement and active program participation.

    Innovative programs are allowing youth to assume a leadership role in their own treatment team meetings to encourage taking control over decisions that impact their lives. Encouraging youth empowerment ensures young residents develop a sense of control over their lives and gives them the opportunity to recover from past trauma in order to become healthy adults.

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