Private Organization Accreditation

Sweetser, a Maine non-profit agency operating since 1828, provides comprehensive mental and behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services. Statewide, it serves around 15,000 consumers a year, including children, adults, and families in outpatient, office-based, and residential settings.


Holy Family Institute

Sister Linda Yankoski, President/CEO

The Council On Accreditation provides all stakeholders involved in the delivery of social services the assurance that the organization is credible, effective, and is committed to quality improvement. The COA process is an important tool for anyone involved in leading an organization to establish best practices and maintaining and updating these practices over time.
read more>>


Young adults who receive Independent Living Services obtain safe and stable housing, develop life skills and competencies including work readiness, achieve educational and financial growth goals, and establish healthy, supportive adult and peer relationships.

YIL 11: Aftercare and Follow-Up

At the time the need for aftercare is identified the organization and individual work together to develop an aftercare plan, and follow-up occurs when possible and appropriate.

Interpretation: The decision to develop an aftercare plan is based on the youth’s wishes unless aftercare is mandated. In some programs and services, aftercare and transition (YIL 10) will be integrated. Regardless of how services are structured, the organization is expected to be strongly proactive with respect to aftercare planning.

Research Note: Despite evidence that youth who emancipate from care are under prepared, and enacted legislation that provides states authority to strengthen aftercare services, aftercare is generally considered to be the weakest aspect of independent living programs.

Research Note: A prospective, longitudinal 15 year, 10-cohort study of youth who receive intensive aftercare and long term follow-up found a low attrition rate, gains in employment experience and matched savings, educational achievement and, with at least two years in the five year program, a positive self-sufficiency trajectory. Findings that education achievement rates compared very favorably with the comparison group, U.S. Hispanic youth, NYC Hispanic, Black, and Special Education rates, and U.S. youth in poverty, support conclusions that aftercare services should be long-term, intensive, flexible, and provided by paid professional mentors with reasonable caseloads (15-20 youth). These findings are consistent with evidence that mentoring can work along with necessary services.

Research Note: A qualitative study of teens in foster care concludes that aftercare is needed, lacking, and strongly recommended.

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
  • 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
  • Aftercare planning is not initiated early enough to ensure orderly transitions; 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.,
  • There are 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
    • Aftercare and follow-up procedures
    • Review contract with public authority, as applicable
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Youth
    • Review case records

  • YIL 11.01

    The aftercare plan is developed sufficiently in advance of case closing to ensure an orderly transition.

  • YIL 11.02

    The organization and individual develop a plan that identifies services and supports needed or desired and specifies steps for obtaining these services.

  • YIL 11.03

    The organization follows up on the aftercare plan, as appropriate, when possible, and with the permission of the service recipient.

  • YIL 11.04

    When the organization has a contract with a public authority that does not include aftercare planning or follow-up, the organization:

    1. conducts a formal termination-of-service evaluation and assessment of unmet needs; and
    2. informs the public body of the findings, in writing, as appropriate to the contract and with the permission of the person or his/her legal guardian.

    NA The organization always provides aftercare, or does not have a contract with a public authority.

Copyright © 2019 Council on Accreditation. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy and Terms of Use