Private Organization Accreditation

Stillwater-based FamilyMeans provides services in budget and credit counseling, mental health, collaborative divorce, caregiver support, youth programming, and an employee assistance program. 


Bonnie Bagley

Volunteer Roles: Evaluator; Lead Evaluator; Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

I have found that being a COA Volunteer builds my professional skills and experience in ways that more traditional workshops do not. The opportunity to learn about best practices through the COA standards and then see how agencies implement them is truly a growth experience.
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Job seekers who receive workforce development, support, and financial asset building services achieve increased economic self-sufficiency through the attainment and retention of jobs in the community and the promotion of asset accumulation.

PA-WDS 5: Training and Personal Development Services

The agency works with community employers to provide job seekers with training programs and other personal development opportunities that help individuals acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve gainful employment and job mobility.

NA The agency does not provide training and personal development services.

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
    • A description of training and personal development services
    • Skill development training curriculum
    • Course descriptions for each training course
    • Sample of training course materials
    • Training schedule
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Individuals served
    • Review case records

  • PA-WDS 5.01

    The agency is knowledgeable about local labor market conditions and courses are modified, as necessary, to ensure that training programs meet the needs of local employers and are appropriate to the skill level of local job seekers.

    Research Note: Research suggests that involving the employer in the development of training curriculum can facilitate placement by increasing employer investment in the program and its graduates, and preparing job seekers for jobs that exist in the community.

  • PA-WDS 5.02

    Job readiness training addresses:

    1. workplace practices;
    2. workforce diversity;
    3. anger management and conflict resolution;
    4. working effectively with others;
    5. stress and time management;
    6. computer literacy; and
    7. financial literacy.

    Research Note: The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s eight-year Jobs Initiative started in the early 1990s as an attempt to connect low-income, low-skilled workers to jobs in six urban communities. Results of the trial point to job readiness training, sometimes known as the accumulation of “soft-skills,” as the most important factor for short-term job retention among workers with limited work experience.

  • PA-WDS 5.03

    Training courses:

    1. are reviewed every two years with input from local businesses; and
    2. provide a written course description including the curriculum, location, and meeting time of training sessions.

  • PA-WDS 5.04

    Training schedules are flexible including evening hours and, when possible, distance learning opportunities and individually paced instruction.

    Interpretation: Individually paced instruction is typically offered through a computer-based program that allows students to skip quickly over material they are familiar with or to move slowly through material that is more difficult. It is often more effective to provide this in a classroom-style setting where a teacher or trainer is available if the student has questions.

  • PA-WDS 5.05

    Based on their assessed needs and individualized employment plan, job seekers have access to a combination of educational programs that can include:

    1. degree or certificate programs;
    2. ESL courses; and
    3. GED or high school courses.

  • PA-WDS 5.06

    Individuals with disabilities are offered professional skill-development training courses in integrated settings, either directly or by referral, as appropriate to their individualized employment objectives.

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