WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Catholic Charities alleviates human suffering and improves the quality of life of 100,000 people annually, regardless of religious background. A staff of 600 provides support and services related to housing, food, mental health, children's services, addiction treatment, and domestic violence services.
read more >>

VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIAL

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.
read more>>

Purpose

Supervised Visitation and Exchange Services enable children to maintain connections with parents with whom they are not living by protecting the physical and emotional safety of the children and their families, including the safety of parents who have been victims of domestic violence.

SVE 12: Personnel

Personnel are prepared to promote physical and emotional safety while supervising visits and exchanges.

Note: For additional standards guidance on the use of non-employee personnel, please refer to Volunteers, Interns, and Consultants: Applicability of COA Standards to Non-Employee Personnel – Private, Public, Canadian.

Rating Indicators
1
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.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards; e.g.,  
  • With some exceptions, staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) possess the required qualifications, including: education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc., but the integrity of the service is not compromised.
    • Supervisors provide additional support and oversight, as needed, to staff without the listed qualifications.
    • Most staff who do not meet educational requirements are seeking to obtain them.
  • With some exceptions staff have received required training, including applicable specialized training.
    • Training curricula are not fully developed or lack depth.
    • A few personnel have not yet received required training.
    • Training documentation is consistently maintained and kept up-to-date with some exceptions.
  • A substantial number of supervisors meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization provides training and/or consultation to improve competencies.
    • Supervisors provide structure and support in relation to service outcomes, organizational culture and staff retention.
  • With a few exceptions caseload sizes are consistently maintained as required by the standards.
  • Workloads are such that staff can effectively accomplish their assigned tasks and provide quality services, and are adjusted as necessary in accord with established workload procedures.
    • Procedures need strengthening.
    • With few exceptions procedures are understood by staff and are being used.
  • With a few exceptions specialized staff are retained as required and possess the required qualifications.
  • Specialized services are obtained as required by the standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards.  Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • One of the Fundamental Practice Standards received a rating of 3 or 4.
  • A significant number of staff, e.g., direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers, do not possess the required qualifications, including: education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc.; and as a result the integrity of the service may be compromised.
    • Job descriptions typically do not reflect the requirements of the standards, and/or hiring practices do not document efforts to hire staff with required qualifications when vacancies occur.
    • Supervisors do not typically provide additional support and oversight to staff without the listed qualifications.
  • A significant number of staff have not received required training, including applicable specialized training.
    • Training documentation is poorly maintained.
  • A significant number of supervisors do not meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization makes little effort to provide training and/or consultation to improve competencies.
  • There are numerous instances where caseload sizes exceed the standards' requirements.
  • Workloads are are excessive and the integrity of the service may be compromised. 
    • Procedures need significant strengthening; or
    • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Specialized staff are typically not retained as required and/or many do not possess the required qualifications; or
  • Specialized services are infrequently obtained as required by the standards.
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.,

For example:
  • 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
    • Program staffing chart that includes lines of supervision
    • List of program personnel that includes:
      1. name;
      2. title;
      3. degree held and/or other credentials;
      4. FTE or volunteer;
      5. length of service at the organization;
      6. time in current position
    • Table of contents of training curricula
    • Job descriptions
    • Documentation of training
    • Training curricula
    • Policy and procedures regarding background checks
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Personnel
    • Review personnel files

  • SVE 12.01

    Personnel supervising visits or exchanges receive training on:
    1. protocols for monitoring and documenting visits and exchanges;
    2. identifying and responding to behaviors that pose physical or emotional safety risks, including assertiveness and conflict resolution training;
    3. treating all service recipients fairly and respectfully; 
    4. providing services in a culturally competent manner;
    5. positive parenting skills and behaviors;
    6. the social service systems with which families are likely to come into contact, including child welfare, law enforcement, and the courts; and
    7. relevant laws and regulations, including those related to visitation and exchange, child protection, family violence, and custody.


  • SVE 12.02

    Training on supervising visits or exchanges covers:
    1. what children of different ages and developmental stages may need during supervised contact, and how they may respond to services;
    2. how separation and divorce may affect the way children and parents respond during supervised visitation;
    3. understanding the grief and loss associated with the removal of a child from the home;
    4. understanding and monitoring cases involving child abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse;
    5. understanding and monitoring cases involving substance use conditions; and
    6. understanding and monitoring cases involving mental health issues.


  • SVE 12.03

    Personnel supervising visits or exchanges receive training specific to domestic violence that addresses:
    1. the dynamics of domestic violence, including the fundamentals of power and coercive control;
    2. the potential impact of domestic violence on children;
    3. behaviors common to perpetrators, and how these behaviors may be manifested during supervised visitation or exchange;
    4. safety concerns that may arise when a victim attempts to separate from a perpetrator; and
    5. legal remedies in domestic violence cases, including orders of protection.

    Research Note: Research suggests that abuse often continues, and may even escalate, after separation. Accordingly, since visitation and exchange may present an opportunity for renewed violence or harassment, literature emphasizes the importance of ensuring that personnel are prepared to understand, recognize, and manage the coercive behaviors common to perpetrators of domestic violence. Examples of these behaviors include, but are not limited to: denying the abuse or attempting to blame it on the victim; making disparaging comments about the victim; trying to extract information from the children about the victim; trying to send messages to the victim through the children; ignoring program rules; refusing to pay for visits; or trying to charm staff in an attempt to influence their actions or decisions.


  • SVE 12.04

    Personnel that incorporate feedback, education, or discussion into supervision have the skills and training needed to: 
    1. implement interventions that promote change; and
    2. recognize when the assistance provided is causing potential harm to children or other family members.

    NA The organization does not incorporate feedback, education, or discussion into supervision.


  • SVE 12.05

    Personnel managing the supervised visitation and exchange program receive additional training that addresses:
    1. receiving referrals and conducting intake and orientation;
    2. establishing conditions for service participation and fees for service;
    3. referring family members to other needed services;
    4. setting up physical space to promote safety during visits and exchanges;
    5. managing and reviewing cases;
    6. suspending or terminating services;
    7. collaborating with and reporting to the court and other referring agencies; and
    8. testifying in court.


  • SVE 12.06

    Training consists of a minimum of:
    1. 24 hours for personnel who supervise visits;
    2. 16 hours for personnel who only supervise exchanges; 
    3. 40 hours for personnel who supervise off-site visits or exchanges; and
    4. 40 hours for personnel who manage the program.

    Interpretation: Training should typically be completed within 12 months of hire and include a practicum component that consists of shadowing, co-supervision with trained personnel, and observation of the trainee, as appropriate to the position. Personnel who have not yet completed the required training are only permitted to monitor parent-child contacts under the supervision of fully-trained personnel.
     
    Topics to be covered during training include those addressed in SVE 5.05 and SVE 12.01 through 12.05, as appropriate to the position. Program managers should complete training covering the topics addressed in all six practice standards, or in SVE 12.01 through 12.05 if the organization does not provide off-site supervision.

    Research Note: Many programs rely extensively on volunteers and student interns. Given that the families participating in services face a host of complex problems and may present a number of challenges on-site, literature emphasizes that training is crucial to maintaining safety.


  • FP
    SVE 12.07

    The organization uses the information obtained during background checks of personnel to protect the safety of service recipients, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

    Interpretation: Background checks yield information, but the organization must decide how to use the information it obtains. Accordingly, the organization should define what offenses will disqualify an applicant, but should also take care to ensure that it does not illegally discriminate in its hiring practices.

    Note: As referenced in HR 3.03, the organization should not use criminal history records to deny employment to qualified individuals unless the nature of the conviction is related to job duties. The organization should consult with legal counsel about any concerns regarding the appropriate use of background information. See HR 3.03 for more information regarding background checks.

    Research Note: The Supervised Visitation Network (SVN) recommends that personnel: (1) should not have been convicted of child molestation, child abuse, or other crimes relating to children; (2) should not have been convicted of a violent crime during the last five years; and (3) should not have been on probation or parole during the last five years. SVN also recommends that personnel typically should not have had civil or criminal restraining orders issued against them within the last five years, and should not have been the subject of a court order which required them to be supervised by a supervised visitation or exchange program; however, it also acknowledges that in some cases exceptions may be necessary (for example, if a victim of domestic violence was made the subject of a mutual restraining order when attempting to leave an abusive relationship).


  • SVE 12.08

    Workloads support the achievement of positive outcomes, are regularly reviewed, and are based on an assessment of the following:
    1. the qualifications, competencies, and experience of personnel, including the level of supervision and support they need; 
    2. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities; and
    3. service volume.


  • SVE 12.09

    Security officers are trained to perform the functions they are expected to provide.

    NA The organization does not employ security officers.

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