Private Organization Accreditation

Debt Education and Certification Foundation (DECAF), a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, provides high-quality financial education and counseling, with nationwide outreach throughout the U.S. DECAF is HUD-approved, and recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas.


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.
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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.

RTX 8: Service Array

The residential treatment program utilizes residents’ interests, strengths, and needs to develop a wide array of structured, supportive, therapeutic services, and educational and vocational components that combine residential and community activities, as appropriate, and offers residents choice and flexibility.

Rating Indicators
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted, however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations (HR 6.02) and training (TS 2.03); or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • A number of client records are missing important information  or
  • Client participation is inconsistent; or
  • One of the Fundamental Practice Standards received a rating of 3 or 4.
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing; or  
  • Two or more Fundamental Practice Standards received a rating of 3 or 4.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • A description of services and program activities
    • Sample of activity schedules showing opportunities for choice and options according to needs, interests, skills and functioning
    • Activity schedules showing opportunities for choice and options according to needs, interests, skills and functioning
    • Documentation that residents are able to participate in recreational or athletic activities
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Residents
    • Review case records
    • Observe the program

  • RTX 8.01

    A structured, interdisciplinary program appropriate to the age, developmental level, social and emotional needs, strengths, and interests of individual residents, includes:
    1. treatment for severe emotional disturbance or mental health and substance use conditions;
    2. individual and group counseling;
    3. family therapy;
    4. educational and/or vocational programming;
    5. recreational activities;
    6. legal advocacy, as appropriate;
    7. opportunities to participate in religious observances in a faith or spirituality of choice;
    8. community cultural enrichment;
    9. positive parenting techniques, as appropriate; and  
    10. independent living preparation.

    Interpretation: Unless contraindicated, family therapy occurs as frequently and practically as possible, as agreed upon by the family.
    Interpretation: Central coordination of services is one of the most important aspects of care for victims of human trafficking.  It provides the opportunity to develop an important, consistent connection with the staff person while the complex myriad of needed services are accessed and coordinated.

    Note: Some standards elements may not be applicable for crisis stabilization and short-term diagnostic programs due to length of stay and program design. 

  • RTX 8.02

    Services provide predictability, structure, support, and a positive culture that includes:
    1. a written, individualized program for each resident that reflects the voice and choice of the individual;
    2. daily living experience to effect healthy behavior change;
    3. advanced posting of schedules for structured and supervised activities;
    4. encouragement of talents and interest in music and the arts; and
    5. involvement in educational, vocational, social, athletic, and recreational programs.

    Note: Some standards elements may not be appropriate for crisis stabilization and short-term diagnostic programs due to length of stay and program design. 

  • RTX 8.03

    When planning milieu activities, the organization takes into account:
    1. developmental level and age;
    2. emotional stability;
    3. group characteristics;
    4. personality;
    5. skills and interests; and
    6. gender.

  • RTX 8.04

    Program activities provide opportunities for residents to interact with peers in a positive, respectful, and cooperative manner.

    Interpretation: Program personnel strive to anticipate, prevent, and reduce the occurrence of bullying and other unsafe or negative peer interactions.

    Interpretation: Organizations should create a normative environment for residents while they are in care. One way this can be accomplished is by creating opportunities for children and adults to engage in activities with peers in the community. For example, sports teams, drama, choir, and musical groups promote pro-social behaviors and values. 

  • FP
    RTX 8.05

    The organization evaluates residents for their ability to participate in athletic activities and obtains, as necessary:
    1. a written, signed permission slip from the resident’s legal guardian;
    2. a medical records release; 
    3. a signed document from a qualified medical professional stating that the resident is physically capable of participating; or
    4. adult waiver and release of liability.

    NA The organization does not offer athletic activities to residents.

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