Private Organization Accreditation

CSS Healthcare Services provides Community based health services to the young, the elderly and to Individuals with Developmental Disability. Founded in 1997, we have the ability to offer a variety of quality community-based services to our clients, which has greatly contributed to our growth and success.


Holy Family Institute

Sister Linda Yankoski, President/CEO

The Council On Accreditation provides all stakeholders involved in the delivery of social services the assurance that the organization is credible, effective, and is committed to quality improvement. The COA process is an important tool for anyone involved in leading an organization to establish best practices and maintaining and updating these practices over time.
read more>>


Shelter Services meet the basic needs of individuals and families who are homeless or in transition, support family stabilization or independent living, and facilitate access to services and permanent housing.

PA-SH 3: Intake and Assessment

Program staff employ prompt, responsive intake practices and assess service recipients’ immediate and long-term needs, wishes, and goals.

Interpretation: Programs should use standardized screening and assessment instruments to ensure that service recipients are connected to the most appropriate services available within the community. The instruments should be evidence-based, person- and/or family-centered, strengths-based, trauma-informed, and facilitate referrals to the full range of services needed (i.e., homelessness programs, affordable housing, mainstream benefits and services, health and mental health services, employment services, child- and youth-specific services, etc.). Screening instruments should be appropriate for administration by non-clinical staff.

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.

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
    • Screening and intake procedures
    • Screening tools
    • Assessment procedures
    • Assessment tools
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Individuals or families served
    • Review case records

  • FP
    PA-SH 3.01

    Individuals or families are admitted regardless of ability to pay, employment status, level of income, criminal record, or sobriety and are connected to the most appropriate services and programs available within the community.

    Interpretation: If services are limited to a specific population, the program has a clear policy for such selectivity. Such programs will refer individuals to other appropriate programs and services in the community.

    Interpretation: Infants and young children who are abandoned at a program site or are not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian are referred to the child welfare authority.

  • FP
    PA-SH 3.02

    Prompt, responsive intake practices:

    1. are culturally responsive;
    2. are trauma-informed;
    3. are non-stigmatizing and non-judgmental;
    4. ensure equitable treatment;
    5. give priority to urgent needs and emergency situations;
    6. support timely initiation of services;
    7. refers individuals to services at other providers, if appropriate; and
    8. provide for placement on a waiting list, if applicable.


    • Revised Interpretation - 10/01/18

    Interpretation: For basic emergency shelters and enhanced emergency shelters, intake should occur on the same day that services are requested.
    Interpretation: Culturally responsive intake practices can include attention to geographic location, language of choice, the person’s religious, racial, ethnic, and cultural background, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and developmental level.

    Interpretation: To ensure that transgender and gender non-conforming service recipients are treated with respect and feel safe, service recipient choice regarding their first names and pronouns should be respected and intake forms and procedures should allow individuals to self-identify their gender and receive access to sleeping quarters, bathroom facilities, and shower facilities in accordance with applicable federal and state laws. 
    Interpretation: Trauma-informed intake practices explore whether a service recipient has been exposed to traumatic events and exhibits trauma-related symptoms and/or mental health disorders. A positive screen indicates that an assessment or further evaluation by a trained professional is warranted. During the screening process, service recipients should feel emotionally and physically safe.

  • FP
    PA-SH 3.03

    Service recipients participate in an intake screening within 24 hours of admission that includes:

    1. gathering personal and identifying information;
    2. health status, including emergency health needs;
    3. recent housing status;
    4. reason for homelessness;
    5. history of homelessness;
    6. the potential for violence or victimization;
    7. risk for suicide; and
    8. basic demographic information.

    Interpretation: Organizations may respond to identified suicide risk by connecting service recipients to more intensive services; facilitating the development of a safety and/or crisis plan; or contacting emergency responders, 24-hour mobile crisis teams, emergency crisis intervention services, crisis stabilization, or 24-hour crisis hotlines, as appropriate.

    Research Note: Homelessness has been associated with an increase in or exacerbation of health problems and creates barriers to accessing proper health care. Living on the street and/or in a shelter can mean exposure to inclement weather, communicable diseases, interpersonal violence, and high levels of stress. Homelessness makes it more challenging to manage medications and recouperate from illness and injuries, and a lack of income and access to insurance limits the ability of individuals experiencing homelessness to receive the health care they need. 

    Research Note: Some groups of service recipients may be at higher risk for suicide due to past trauma, compounding risk factors, and/or societal stigma, including individuals with public systems involvement (foster care, juvenile justice, criminal justice), military service members, American Indian and Alaska Natives, and individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT). Service recipients with alcohol use and/or mental health disorders are also at elevated risk for suicide.
    Studies have also shown that individuals experiencing a financial crisis, including foreclosure and eviction, are more likely to experience high levels of stress, poor physical health, depression, anxiety, and be at risk for suicide.

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

  • PA-SH 3.04

    Children and youth receive an age-appropriate intake screening that includes: 

    1. gathering personal and identifying information;
    2. health status, including emergency health needs;
    3. education status, including enrollment in early childhood education or school; and
    4. basic demographic information.

    NA Another agency is responsible for screening, as defined in a contract.
    NA The agency does not admit families with children or children and youth without their parents.

  • PA-SH 3.05

    A comprehensive assessment is conducted in a timely manner and includes, as appropriate:

    1. employment history;
    2. mainstream benefits history;
    3. housing history for the past five years;
    4. housing barriers;
    5. housing goals and preferences;
    6. veteran status;
    7. level of education and educational goals;
    8. income and resources;
    9. substance use history; 
    10. mental health history, diagnoses, and medications;
    11. developmental disability status and history;
    12. family functioning, parental stress, and parenting skills;
    13. a social network inventory, including relationships with family, friends, and/or significant others;
    14. history of childhood victimization and trauma; and
    15. history of adult victimization, including domestic violence and sexual abuse, and imminent and long-term safely concerns. 

    Interpretation: Regarding element (n), assessments may explore a range of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as emotional, physical, and sexual abuse; violence in the home; household substance use; mental illness in the household; parental divorce or separation; household member with criminal justice involvement; and emotional and physical neglect.

    Interpretation: Personnel that conduct assessments should be aware of the indicators of a potential trafficking victim, including, but not limited to: 

    1. evidence of mental, physical, or sexual abuse;
    2. physical exhaustion;
    3. working long hours;
    4. living with employer or many people in confined area;
    5. unclear family relationships;
    6. heightened sense of fear or distrust of authority;
    7. presence of older male boyfriend or pimp;
    8. loyalty or positive feelings towards an abuser;
    9. inability or fear of making eye contact;
    10. chronic running away or homelessness;
    11. possession of excess amounts of cash or hotel keys; and
    12. inability to provide a local address or information about parents.

    Several tools are available to help identify a potential victim of trafficking and determine next steps toward an appropriate course of treatment. Examples of these tools include, but are not limited to, the Rapid Screening Tool for Child Trafficking and the Comprehensive Screening and Safety Tool for Child Trafficking.

    Research Note: The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 requires federal, state, and local officials who discover a minor who may be a victim of human trafficking to notify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services within 24 hours to facilitate the provision of interim assistance.

    Research Note: Studies show a high rate of major depressive disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder among mothers experiencing homelessness, which can negatively affect parenting and the child’s mental and behavioral health status, and school performance.

    NA The agency only provides basic emergency shelters. 

  • PA-SH 3.06

    Children and youth receive a comprehensive, age-appropriate assessment in a timely manner to evaluate their cognitive, language, motor, behavioral, and social-emotional development.

    NA The agency only provides basic emergency shelter.

    NA The agency does not admit families with children or children and youth without their parents.

  • PA-SH 3.07

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

    NA The agency only provides basic emergency shelter. 

  • PA-SH 3.08

    Assessments are completed within timeframes established by the organizationOrganization and are updated periodically.

    Interpretation: Generally, assessments are completed within two weeks of intake. The frequency of updates to assessments vary depending on the age and needs of the service recipient. For example, young children need more frequent updates due to the rapid pace of their development.

    NA The agency only provides basic emergency shelter. 

Copyright © 2019 Council on Accreditation. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy and Terms of Use