WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Heartland for Children is the not-for-profit agency responsible for the foster care system in Polk, Highlands, and Hardee Counties.
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VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIAL

Harry Hunter, MSW, MBA, Ph.D.

Volunteer Roles: Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

Peer Reviewer for the month of January 2013, Dr. Hunter has been volunteering for COA since 2005, conducting five site reviews.
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Purpose

Youth who participate in Wilderness and Adventure-based Therapeutic Outdoor Services expand individual capabilities, develop self-confidence and insight, ameliorate symptoms, and improve interpersonal skills and relationships.

WT 16: Care and Supervision

Participants are closely supervised, and group size is adjusted to promote safety and reduce liability and risk.

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.,
  • 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.
3
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.
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
    • Procedures for establishing and adjusting personnel/participant ratios
    • Procedures regarding staff assignment for activities
    • Procedures that address solo activities
    • Coverage schedules for a recent three-month period
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Youth or families served
    • Review case records
    • Review logs

  • FP
    WT 16.01

    Group size is adjusted according to:

    1. the nature of the activity;
    2. the age and abilities of participants; and
    3. applicable legal requirements.

  • FP
    WT 16.02

    Adventure-based group activities are supervised by:

    1. at least two group leaders or instructors; and
    2. additional staff when known risks are present.

    Interpretation: Group leaders or instructors have demonstrated competence or completed training outlined in WT 21.


  • FP
    WT 16.03

    Personnel-participant ratios are adjusted according to:

    1. the level of the activity’s difficulty, risk, and distance from the organization’s central location;
    2. the skill and experience of personnel; and
    3. the age, developmental level, and therapeutic needs of the group.

  • FP
    WT 16.04

    For solo activities, a group leader or instructor:

    1. is responsible for the safety of that person or group;
    2. maintains sight or sound contact 24 hours a day, or has a plan for making contact in the event of urgent or emergent situations; and
    3. adjusts the degree of supervision to the participant’s ability, the terrain, and environmental conditions.

    NA The organization does not conduct solo activities.


  • FP
    WT 16.05

    At least one person assigned to an adventure activity or group:

    1. is certified by an organization with recognized expertise in the activity area when such certification is available; or
    2. has documented and verified training and actual experience, and can demonstrate competence in conducting the particular activity.

  • FP
    WT 16.06

    A coverage and supervision plan is developed for groups physically distant from the organization’s central location and:

    1. indicates the reporting relationships and delegation of authority; and
    2. gives decision-making authority to a person qualified by a combination of education, field experience, technical and safety expertise, and maturity.

    Interpretation: “Physically distant” can mean off-property or off-site.

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