WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

As one of the largest family services agencies in the country, Child & Family Services has dedicated its resources to meet the needs of the community since 1873.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Covington

Wm. R. (Bill) Jones, ACSW, MDiv, Chief Executive Officer

Catholic Charities in Covington has been COA accredited since 1996. Though the time spent in completing the self study and hosting the site visit can sometimes feel sometimes daunting, the rewards far outweigh the effort. In our agency, the self-study is a group process that involves every member of the staff from the CEO to the building maintenance staff.
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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 20: Personnel

Personnel are qualified to meet the therapeutic, educational, and safety needs of participants.

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 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
    • Procedures and criteria for assigning and evaluating workloads
    • Job descriptions
    • Interview:
      1. Supervisors
      2. Personnel
    • Review personnel files

  • WT 20.01

    Clinical oversight is provided by a professional with:

    1. an advanced degree in a mental health field, therapeutic or experiential education, or another human service field;
    2. appropriate licensure; and
    3. experience in the field of therapeutic, adventure programming.

    Interpretation: When an administrator or program director does not possess the qualifications outlined in the standards, oversight responsibilities are delegated to a clinician with those credentials.

    NA The organization does not provide clinical services.


  • WT 20.02

    On-site program coordination and supervision of personnel is delegated to a person qualified by:

    1. at least three years of progressively responsible experience in an outdoor adventure service for at-risk or troubled participants;
    2. knowledge of adolescent development;
    3. demonstrated technical competence and safety skills;
    4. problem-solving and leadership skills, sound judgment, and capabilities in interpersonal communication and group facilitation; and
    5. skills in the use of outdoor experiences for therapeutic purposes.

    Interpretation: On-site program coordination and supervision of personnel can be directly assumed by the individual specified in WT 20.01.


  • WT 20.03

    Personnel include at least one mental health professional in a management or supervisory role who:

    1. provides or arranges for the direct clinical services specified in the service plan; and
    2. facilitates collaboration with external service providers.

    NA The organization does not provide clinical services.


  • FP
    WT 20.04

    Before assignment as a group leader or assistant, the organization provides and documents in the personnel record:

    1. supervised field experiences;
    2. competency testing; and
    3. certification in the area of assigned responsibility, when certification is available.

  • WT 20.05

    All group leaders, instructors, or persons assuming responsibility for individual or group supervision of participants:

    1. are at least 21 years of age; and
    2. have technical competence in the activity to which they are assigned.

  • WT 20.06

    Group leaders and direct service personnel are able to:

    1. provide an appropriate environment for participants to carry out their role in the overall service program;
    2. engage in mutually respectful relationships with the participants;
    3. guide participants in their development and their ability to use service resources;
    4. engage in therapeutic interactions with participants;
    5. teach experientially and serve as effective role models;
    6. communicate effectively with participants and personnel; and
    7. facilitate debriefing of group experiences and the transfer of learning.

    Research Note: Literature suggests that the relationship between participants and personnel is an important factor in determining the effectiveness of the therapeutic experience. Staff that are genuine, respectful, empathetic, and honest towards youth have been shown to facilitate positive treatment outcomes.


  • WT 20.07

    Depending on the participant’s needs, the organization provides or arranges for the services of qualified professionals in dentistry, medicine, education, nursing, speech, dietetics, and religion.

    Interpretation: Thresholds for such services are spelled out clearly in the program description, during informed consent, or in the individualized service plan. Consulting services from qualified professionals and specialists are available on an informal basis or through linkages with community organizations. When the organization uses a consultant, it ensures that consulting services are coordinated with services provide by the organization. Organizations in remote locations, where certain professional resources are unavailable, are considered to be in substantial compliance if they make alternative arrangements such as transporting participants. If an extremely large number of participants have a need, the organization recruits an employee to meet that need.


  • FP
    WT 20.08

    Individuals who assume responsibility for supervision of participants in the field have skills in:

    1. navigating and operating in a given terrain;
    2. interpreting and responding to changes in weather and environmental conditions; and
    3. improvising solutions to unanticipated problems and emergencies in the field such as environmental hazards, harmful plants or animals, and extreme weather conditions.

  • FP
    WT 20.09

    Policy prohibits participants and personnel from using alcohol or other drugs while engaging in organization-sponsored activities.


  • WT 20.10

    Employee workloads support the achievement of client outcomes, are regularly reviewed, and are based on an assessment of:

    1. the qualifications, competencies, and experiences of the workers, including the level of supervision needed;
    2. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities; and
    3. service volume, accounting for assessed level of needs of new and current clients and referrals.
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