Private Organization Accreditation

Lutheran Social Services of New England is a high-performing nonprofit organization. LSS is a powerful difference maker and go-to resource, driving ourselves to constantly anticipate futures that are different from the past. For 140 years, LSS has been caring for people in need in New England.


Audrey Coleman, RN-MSN

Volunteer Roles: Military Reviewer; Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

My first experience with COA was in 1999 with what was a NC Area Program. I started as a peer reviewer in 2005, doing two to four site visits a year. I am also a team leader and have recently been approved to be a military reviewer.
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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.

CA-WT 6: Program Components

The organization provides a structured, therapeutic program of services and activities that promote individual growth and learning.

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
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations (CA-HR 6.02) and training (CA-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
  • 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.
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
    • A description of program components
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Youth or families served
    • Review case records

  • CA-WT 6.01

    The organization provides a structured, therapeutic, interdisciplinary program that includes:

    1. an orderly, planned series of activities to help participants develop positive personal and interpersonal skills and behaviours;
    2. therapeutic, developmentally appropriate, experiential activities;
    3. individual, family, and/or group psychotherapy by qualified mental health professionals when indicated in the service plan and as appropriate to the participant’s needs, length of stay, and accessibility to clinical personnel; and
    4. educational services if indicated in the service plan or as required by law.

  • FP
    CA-WT 6.02

    The organization provides:

    1. adequate shelter from the elements;
    2. safe and healthful food and water; and
    3. clothing and equipment appropriate for the activities and environment.

  • FP
    CA-WT 6.03

    Participants may be discharged from a specific adventure-based activity or from the program if:

    1. their behaviour or other problems make continuation unsafe or ineffective; or
    2. evacuation from remote locations is deemed necessary for health or mental health reasons.
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