Private Organization Accreditation

Family Services of Southeast Texas strengthens families through accessible, affordable counseling services and education for issues affecting family life, mental health and employment.  We also provide comprehensive domestic violence shelter and support services.


Anita Paukovits

Volunteer Roles: Peer Reviewer

Being a COA peer reviewer has clearly played a role in my professional development and has made me a better administrator at my own agency as a result!  To be part of a professional network that is on the cutting edge of program, practice, fiscal responsibility, and insuring Best Practice across the field is an amazing opportunity.
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Adoption Services establish a permanent family for children and youth awaiting adoption, and increase the well-being and functioning of birth parents, adoptive families, and adopted individuals.

CA-AS 2: Assessment

Individualized, strengths-based, family focused, culturally responsive assessments identify the needs of children and birth parents.

Interpretation: Assessments include the child study and the birth parent assessment.

NA The organization provides homestudy services only.

NA The organization provides post placement services only.

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
  • Culturally responsive assessments are the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations (CA-HR 6.02) and training (CA-TS 2.05); or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent; or
  • Diagnostic tests are consistently and appropriately used, but interviews with staff indicate a need for more training (CA-TS 2.08).
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
  • Assessment and reassessment timeframes are often missed; or
  • Assessment are sometimes not sufficiently individualized;
  • Culturally responsive assessments are not the norm and this is not being addressed in supervision or training; or
  • Staff are not competent to administer diagnostic tests , or tests are not being used when clinically indicated; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent; or
  • Assessments are done by referral source and no documentation and/or summary of required information present in case record; 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
    • Procedures for child assessments
    • Procedures for identification and collaboration for Aboriginal children
    • Procedures for birth parent assessments
    • Assessment tools and/or criteria included in assessment
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Parents
      4. Children
    • Review case records

  • CA-AS 2.01

    The information gathered for assessments is limited to material pertinent to meeting service requests and objectives.

  • CA-AS 2.02

    Assessments are conducted in a strengths-based, culturally responsive manner to identify resources that can increase service participation and support the achievement of agreed upon goals.

    Interpretation: Culturally responsive assessments can include attention to geographic location, language, and religious, racial, ethnic and cultural background. Other important factors that contribute to a responsive assessment include attention to age, sexual orientation, and developmental level.

  • CA-AS 2.03

    An age-appropriate child study is conducted to assess the child’s readiness for adoption, and includes:

    1. an evaluation of the child’s ability to bond and develop relationships;
    2. history of maltreatment and prior placements;
    3. prenatal history and developmental screening of infants and young children;
    4. current medical and dental health examinations; and
    5. a psychological evaluation, if needed.

    Interpretation: The assessment reflects the child’s point of view, and considers the special needs of children and youth. Youth should be encouraged to discuss their interest in being adopted, and their understanding of adoption.

    Research Note: Research on attachment capabilities of adopted children suggests the need for service providers to be knowledgeable and sensitive when assessing the child’s ability to bond and develop ongoing relationships.

  • CA-AS 2.04

    The organization identifies Aboriginal children and collaborates with the nation or Aboriginal child and family service organizations, where available, to determine the most appropriate plan for the child.

  • FP
    CA-AS 2.05

    Information is gathered from birth parents and maintained for the child’s future use, including:

    1. the child’s medical and social history;
    2. contact information for organizations, medical facilities, or others involved in services to the birth parents and the child;
    3. all available information about the medical and social history of the birth parents and the pregnancy; and
    4. photographs or a physical description of birth parents.

    Interpretation: A birth parent’s social history can include information about: marital status, family history, employment, education, religion, interests, and talents. Provision of information by birth parents is voluntary, and necessary consent forms must be obtained. When the organization is unable to obtain this information, documentation of efforts to do so are included in the case record. The organization may consider how appropriate and necessary it is to keep identifying information in a separate record, and should seek legal consultation regarding the collection and maintenance of identifying information.

    In foster care adoptions, information from the foster care record should be obtained before the record is sealed, and appropriate information is shared with the prospective adoptive parents.

  • CA-AS 2.06

    Assessments are completed within timeframes established by the organization.

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