The tax status granted by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to signify a type of nonprofit public interest or public service organization. Many organizations seeking accreditation under these standards are classified as 501(c)(3) organizations, which indicates that they are tax exempt.
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ACCESSIBILITY OF SERVICE:
The opportunity for consumers to obtain relevant services, with attention to the location of service, hours of operation, affordable fees, and the elimination of barriers including those that impede entrance or use by people with disabilities.
The liaison between the customer organization and the EAP provider responsible for ensuring the needs of the customer are addressed. The account manager is employed by the EAP.
The extent to which an organization is answerable for its processes and outcomes to a variety of relevant stakeholders including: consumers, community representatives, governing bodies, and governmental regulators.
The formal evaluation of an organization against accepted criteria or standards. A professional society, non-governmental organization, or a governmental agency may conduct accreditation activities. A COA-accredited organization has undergone a period of rigorous self-study and is capable of providing programs and services that meet or exceed COA standards.
Intense conditions of sudden onset and short duration, typically lasting less than 6 months.
In the context of substance abuse treatment, those needs that require immediate attention and treatment without which the health of the consumer is at serious risk.
The act of giving a single dose of a prescribed drug to a client by an authorized person in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations governing such acts. The complete act entails removing an individual dose from a previously dispensed, properly labeled container (including a unit dose container), verifying it with a physician's order, giving the individual dose to the proper client, and recording the time and dose given.
The personnel responsible for management functions of the organization, including fiscal management, human resources, and service delivery. Such personnel determine organizational goals, acquire and allocate resources to carry out a program, coordinate activities toward goal achievement, and monitor, evaluate, and make needed changes in processes and procedures to improve the likelihood of goal achievement. The term is synonymously used with MANAGEMENT.
A degree at the Master's level or beyond from an institution of higher education. An advanced degree does not include a Bachelor's degree, an associate's degree, or an educational certificate.
A group of individuals selected by an organization's governing body or management who possess unique skills and/or knowledge and whose role is to make recommendations, provide information, and/or share input from stakeholders. Advisory groups do not have formal governance authority or responsibilities. Advisory groups can be ongoing or ad hoc.
An act performed with or on behalf of others through direct intervention, empowerment, or representation. Case advocacy refers to actions taken in relation to a particular individual consumer. Cause, social, or systems advocacy refers to actions taken in relation to a common issue affecting a group of persons.
Independent contractors who are retained by the EAP to perform the same services as EAP counselors. Also known as "providers."
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PLAN:
A written document that indicates the goals, timetables, programs, and personnel assignments by which an organization ensures that all employees and prospective employees are provided with equal employment
opportunity. COA requires a written plan whenever utilization analysis indicates that the work force does not reflect the cultural, racial, ethnic, religious, or gender composition of the defined community.
Additional services provided beyond the period of primary care that offer continuity and supportive follow-up.
See CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
The consumption of alcohol in a manner and degree that harms or endangers the well-being of the user or those with whom the user comes into contact.
The degree to which a particular service, placement, treatment, intervention, or activity is: best suited to an individual's needs; not excessive, unduly intrusive, or restrictive; anticipated to be effective in achieving the desired and specified outcomes; and adequate or sufficient in quantity to address the problem.
A physical impediment to the use of a facility by persons with physical disabilities including stairs, inaccessible toilet facilities, or other factors that restrict use.
An evaluation, which utilizes professional expertise and skills in the collection and analysis of data to understand and describe the nature of service needs of an individual, family, or group. Assessment, as in needs assessment, is also used to determine priorities of program planning and service development for the organization as a whole. See also DIAGNOSIS.
The commercial or custom-designed devices, modifications, accommodation strategies, and/or related technical services that help persons with disabilities increase, maintain, or improve their functional capabilities.
See FINANCIAL AUDIT
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The review of an individual's personal information typically performed by or at the request of an employer, which may include verification of educational credentials or employment experience, as well as an examination of the individual's criminal records, driving records, licensing records, and civil abuse or neglect history.
BEHAVIOR SUPPORT AND MANAGEMENT:
The use of specialized interventions to guide, control, and redirect client behaviors. Examples of behavior management approaches used in residential treatment settings include mediation, time out, locked seclusion, and physical restraint.
The application of medical, psychiatric, psychological, social work, and education principles and practices in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders.
The quantifiable measurement of best practices in the industry. Organizations can compare their results with the industry benchmark. For example, a benchmark for a community service organization might be to respond to all non-emergency telephone inquiries within 24 hours.
Every two years.
The unit agreed upon by the organization and the purchaser to be the basis for payment, e.g., per consumer hour of service or other element of service.
A discipline that examines the moral implications of advances in the biological sciences and medicine.
The consideration of biological, psychological, and social factors in working with individuals and families. Typically, a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment is undertaken to gather relevant facts and arrive at a complete understanding of a client's problem, situation, or circumstances.
BIRTH OPTIONS COUNSELING:
Counseling services designed to help pregnant individuals make decisions about options for birth, including and not limited to parenting and adoption or other transfer of custody. Organizations providing Birth Options Counseling do not provide information and counseling about pregnancy termination. See also PREGNANCY OPTIONS COUNSELING.
A physician who meets the criteria for board eligibility and is evaluated and certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). ABMS certifies as diplomats those board eligible physicians who have:
adequate preparation in accordance with established educational standards; and
completed comprehensive examinations designed to assess knowledge, skills and experience requisite to the provision of high quality patient care in that specialty.
A physician eligible for specialty board certification after finishing fours years of medical school, earning the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree, and completing residency training.
BRIEF THERAPY OR TREATMENT:
A form of therapy in which a counselor and a client develop a goal-directed plan to focus on a defined problem for a short period of time.
BUDGET-TO-ACTUAL VARIANCE ANALYSIS:
The examination and interpretation of differences between budgeted and actual amounts in any financial category, e.g., income, assets, liabilities, etc.
The operating procedures developed by the governing body and adopted by the organization for the regulation of its internal affairs, including the actions of the governing body and its relationship to the chief executive officer and any advisory board associated with the organization.
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The assumption of responsibility by a clinician or an organization for providing specific services to clients
under pre-established reimbursement agreements.
The provider of physical, emotional, and social needs to another person, often dependent and unable to provide for his or her own needs. Caregiver is the generic term used for the direct service providers in Community Care and Support Services (CCS).
A general term used to designate clients (including individuals, families, and groups) served by an organization for purposes of monitoring the provision of services. A foster care case is generally based on the placement of an individual child, although casework for the child may include services to the child's family. A child protective services case is based on an entire family household if a family assessment model is used; otherwise a case is defined as a child.
A voluntary or involuntary process which occurs when an organization no longer assumes responsibility for providing services to a particular individual, group, or family. Also known as "termination" or "discharge."
A written compilation that describes the client and the services delivered. Records can be in hard copy and/or electronic format. The case record can be used as a source of information for quality improvement or other evaluation activities, for research purposes, or to demonstrate accountability to funding bodies.
A regular and periodic examination of a consumer's service needs, service delivery goals and objectives, intervention plans, prognoses, and the timelines required to achieve them. The direct service provider and supervisor frequently conduct the case review, but it may also involve others, as in an interdisciplinary or inter-organizational case conference. The client, or the parent or legal guardian in the case of a minor, are included in his/her periodic case review by the team.
The aggregate number of clients and/or consumers of service (including individuals, families, and groups) for
whom a given employee is responsible. See also WORKLOAD
Assurance from a state or professional association that a person or organization possesses certain attributes, knowledge, or skills.
Physiological and psychological dependence on a chemical, such as alcohol, tobacco, or narcotics, which results in increased tolerance and withdrawal symptoms when the chemical is removed.
The use of a psychopharmacological drug as a restraint to control behavior or restrict freedom of movement that is not a standard treatment for the person's medical or psychiatric condition.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER:
The person to whom the governing body delegates the day-to-day management of the organization and is held accountable for the organization's performance. This person may also be known as an agency head, executive director, president, commissioner, vice president, executive vice-president, administrator, superintendent, or director.
See service recipient.
The study, assessment, and diagnosis of the client situation followed by direct treatment to help the client achieve prescribed goals.
Qualified and trained professionals who provide the treatment services of an organization. Clinical personnel who assume case responsibilities must meet the applicable regulatory requirements and the minimum standards set by their respective professional organizations. Clinical personnel generally include clinical social workers (MSW or DSW/PhD in social work), clinical or counseling psychologists (PhD or PsyD), psychiatric nurses (MSN), certified marriage or family therapists, certified pastoral counselors, and board eligible or certified psychiatrists. Where additional disciplines or degrees are acceptable, it is stated in the standard for each service section. "Clinical personnel" and "mental health personnel" may be used interchangeably.
CODE OF ETHICS:
An explicit, written statement of the values, principles, and operating rules of a profession that regulates the conduct of a profession's members
A specific group of people living in the same locality and who may share a common culture, values, and norms. Communities can also be defined by race, religion, ethnicity, age, occupation, political status, tribal affiliation, interest in particular problems or outcomes, or other common bonds. The term "community" encompasses worksites, schools, tribes, residential neighborhoods, business districts, recreational areas, and health and human service sites.
The placement of persons with disabilities in vocational settings, working among co-workers both with and without disabilities, and receiving a wage that is at or above minimum wage and representative of the position's stated responsibilities.
An expression of verbal or written dissatisfaction that can include, but is not limited to, services, manner of treatment, outcomes, or experiences. For employees or volunteers, dissatisfaction can include personnel matters such as supervision, evaluations, promotions or demotions, the work environment, and overall treatment. The term is synonymously used with GRIEVANCE.
An approach used in foster care casework that simultaneously involves the identification and assessment of possible alternative permanency options for a child with efforts toward parent/child reunification.
An ethical and practice principle that requires the protection of information shared within a professional-client relationship. An organization that upholds confidentiality prohibits personnel from disclosing information about persons served without their written consent.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST:
A conflict between an individual self-interest and the public good. Example: an organization that operates a day treatment program awards a food services contract to a local restaurant that is owned by a governing body member. From a legal standpoint, "conflict of interest" is a term used in connection with fiduciaries and their relationship to matters of private interest or gain to them. When used to suggest disqualification of a fiduciary from performing his or her sworn duty, the term refers to a clash between public interest and private pecuniary interest of the concerned individual.
The means by which individuals access services that may or may not be provided by the organization itself. These terms are used interchangeably when individuals are connected to services either directly or by referral. See also LINKED.
A settlement between a defendant and the government subject to judicial approval and supervision, under which the defendant agrees to cease activities asserted as illegal by the government and/or implements corrective actions.
A person who provides specialized or technical advice or services to an organization for specific purposes on a contractual or fee basis, or who provides such services as a volunteer with an agreement to provide services on a pro bono basis.
The individual, family, group, or community that seeks or receives services.
A formal written agreement between two or more parties that specifies the services, space, or products to be provided in exchange for some form of compensation. Also known as "purchase of service arrangement."
COUNCIL ON ACCREDITATION (COA):
The largest independent accrediting body for organizations that provide high-quality social and behavioral healthcare services to children, youth, seniors, and families in the United States and Canada.
The immediate response to the acute needs of a person in crisis including referral to appropriate community resources, advocacy, support, or direct assistance.
Systematically developed, objective, and quantifiable statements used to assess the appropriateness of specific decisions, services, and outcomes.
The degree to which an organization modifies or tailors the system of service delivery to the ethnic, racial, cultural, religious, and national diversity in its service population. Such tailoring includes personnel selection, training and development; assessment; service planning and implementation; and program evaluation and consumer care monitoring. Sometimes referred to as "cultural sensitivity" or "cultural responsiveness." See also SERVICE POPULATION and DEFINED COMMUNITY.
The customs, habits, values, skills, technology, beliefs, and religious, social, and political behaviors of a group of people in a specific period of time.
The care, control, and maintenance of a child. The court legally can award custody to an agency in abuse and neglect cases or to parents in divorce, separation, or adoption proceedings. Child welfare departments retain legal custody and control of major decisions for a child in foster care; foster parents do not have legal custody of the children for which they provide care.
An employer, organization, union, or association who signs a contract with an EAP organization to pay all or part of the costs for the employee assistance program.
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The planned, strategic use of personnel.
A body specifically empowered to, or having jurisdiction to, perform certain activities, such as review audits.
The process by which drugs or other harmful substances are removed from a person's body for a time period sufficient to restore adequate physiological and psychosocial functioning.
A condition in which a child has an ongoing, major delay in the achievement of one or more developmental milestones in the areas of language, cognitive, motor, and/or and social skills. A doctor usually diagnoses a developmental delay based on strict guidelines.
A severe, chronic impairment, attributable to a mental and/or physical impairment that manifests before adulthood and is likely to indefinitely continue, and that creates substantial functional limitations in the areas of major life activity: self care, language, learning, mobility, self-direction, potential for independent living, and potential for economic self-sufficiency as an adult. A developmental disability reflects a person's need for special, interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment, or other services on a life-long or extended basis.
DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE PRACTICES:
Program methods and goals that respond to the ages, developmental stages, and individual differences of service recipients. Interests and abilities change as individuals grow and mature, and research suggests that these changes usually occur within a series of predictable stages. These changes often affect social, physical, emotional, and intellectual needs.
The process by which a social, physical, or mental health problem and its underlying cause are identified and a plan of action formulated toward resolution of the problem. The diagnostic process involves collection and analysis of relevant information. See also ASSESSMENT.
A person registered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association or with the documented equivalent.
See CASE CLOSING
The act of processing a drug for delivery to a client pursuant to a practitioner's order. Dispensing medications includes the following:
checking the directions on the label against the directions on the prescription or order to determine accuracy;
selecting the drug from stock to fill the order;
counting, measuring, compounding, or preparing the drug;
placing the drug from stock into the proper container;
affixing the label to the container; and
adding any required notations to a written prescription.
DROP-IN DAY CARE:
A service in which parents can drop off their children on an episodic basis rather than enrolling in and regularly attending day care.
Performance of a process or review with the measure of prudence, activity, or assiduity properly expected from and ordinarily exercised by a reasonable person under particular circumstances. Due diligence is not measured by any absolute standard, but depends on the relative facts of a special case or situation.
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Applies to practices supported by consistent findings of benefit in a large number of studies, conducted over time, in multiple applied settings using the most rigorous designs feasible given the phenomenon of interest, and with conclusions that are clearly compatible with the study methodology and findings. Outcomes are both identified and explained. A wide range of evidentiary support has been found for most practices labeled effective.
EFFECTIVE PRACTICE, LIMITED GENERALIZABILITY:
Applies to practices supported by consistent findings of benefit in a large number of studies using the most rigorous designs feasible given the phenomenon of interest, and with conclusions that are clearly compatible with the study methodology and findings. Outcomes are both identified and explained . Generalizability is limited by the narrow range of time, settings, or populations in which research has been conducted.
The degree to which an individual, family, group, or community meets the specific criteria and qualifications required to receive goods, benefits, or services.
Those individuals (i.e., spouse, significant other, child, grandchild, step-child, or adopted child for whom the employee is legally responsible) who meet criteria to receive paid benefits and the services provided by the EAP.
Applies to practices that are consistent with theory, practice wisdom, and expert consensus as reflected in the broader literature, but which are largely untested or tested with weak designs and in a restricted range of settings or target populations.
Paid member of an organization. Foster parents are not considered employees and are specifically referenced in relevant standards.
The process of helping individuals, families, groups, or communities to increase their personal, interpersonal, political, social, and/or economic strength or position and to develop influence that may impact their circumstances.
A state or condition of being entitled, or a right to benefits specified by law or contract. In the United States, "entitlements" generally refer to government programs that provide financial assistance and healthcare services to members of specified groups, such as the elderly or persons with disabilities.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY:
A written statement that describes an organization's commitment to ensuring all current and prospective employees are afforded equal employment opportunities.
Formal principles or values used to determine whether practices are right or wrong, good or bad. Most professional organizations have ethical codes that define general standards of appropriate professional conduct.
An orientation toward and identification with a population group that shares national origin, religion, race, or language.
The review and assessment of organizational operations, programs and services.
See CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
A payment or obligation to pay for some products or services received, which is typically planned for through the annual budget process of an organization as a specific anticipated operating expense.
Any employee assistance program that is contracted for by an outside organization (as opposed to one that is operated by a host organization).
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Two or more people who consider themselves family and who assume obligations, functions, and responsibilities generally essential to healthy family life. Child care and child socialization, income support, long-term care, and other caregiving are among the functions of family life. The definition of "family" will rest with an individual's indication of who plays a family member role, including current or former foster family, adoptive family, extended family members, fictive kin, or significant others. Organizations that believe family is the central constellation in a child's life, and that family attachments are of primary importance for human development, will strive to work with professional staff to develop a common understanding of "family."
FEE FOR SERVICE:
A charge made to service recipients, or those responsible as their fiscal intermediaries, for a specific service.
An independent review by a certified public accountant to certify that an organization's financial report fairly and accurately reflects its financial status according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
A plan that addresses how the organization will meet its long-term financial goals, including those goals and objectives established in the long- and short-term plans. The financial plan is distinct from the annual budget and should speak to how the organization will fund future expansion, identify possible funding sources, and describe how it will address potential financial risks. The financial plan should not include a detailed list of funding sources and expenses, as these items would be included in the annual budget.
FINANCIAL STATEMENT REVIEW:
A service provided by a certified public accountant, in accordance with accounting review standards, that provides some assurance to an organization's board of directors and other interested parties as to the reliability of financial data and the conformity of such data to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. A review is based on representations made by management and is of a much more limited scope than an audit, which requires the gathering of audit evidence and an appraisal of internal control.
An organization that is owned or staffed by professionals and intended to make a financial profit by offering a specific service or set of services. These organizations may provide services similar to those offered by not-for-profit organizations, except that the charges to the consumers may be higher and/or established on bases different than the rate-setting criteria employed by not-for-profit organizations.
State- or county-licensed adults who provide a temporary home for children whose birth parents are unable to care for them. Foster parents are not considered employees or personnel and are specifically referenced in all relevant standards.
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A person or persons with the legal authority and responsibility to set policy and oversee the operations of an organization. Generally, the governing body is a group, such as a board of directors or board of trustees. While the exact responsibilities of the governing body depend on the nature and character of the organization, the governing body has minimum fiduciary responsibilities to the organization set by statute, regulation, and case law, and typically assume responsibilities for long term planning, risk management, and evaluation and effectiveness of management.
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Materials or their residue exposure to which can result in immediate or gradual illness or death.
HIGH RISK TREATMENT:
See SPECIAL TREATMENT PROCEDURES
Activities, interventions, and procedures that interfere with a consumer's right to self-determination, involve risks about which a consumer should be informed, involve physical or psychological pain, or have the potential for harm to consumers or to the organization. Examples include: imposing locked seclusion, implementing physical restraints, administering psychotropic medications, handling the organization's finances, and other interventions that can be used only under controlled conditions and circumstances.
In the context of Volunteer Mentoring Services, youth who are at risk of poor school performance or attendance, involvement with the juvenile justice system, pregnancy or early parenting, substance abuse, welfare dependence, and/or gang involvement.
Services or programs most frequently delivered by the organization. Examples: conducting case assessments, developing service plans, providing counseling and support services, making referrals. The organization can track these services or programs for trends.
A payment, gift, or other benefit given to an individual for services for which fees are not legally or traditionally required, e.g., service as a governing body member. Honoraria typically do not include reimbursement for costs associated with such service.
The larger corporate framework that maintains an internal EAP.
A department or service that is responsible for recruiting, hiring, and retaining personnel and monitoring the regulations and services applicable to a particular organization.
Programs designed to address individual and group development and well-being in addition to conditions that impact individuals and groups including: aging, delinquency and crime, child welfare, poverty, housing, education, employment, mental health, physical health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities.
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An individual not born in the United States, Puerto Rico, or an outlying US territory, who migrates from his/her country of nationality or any country in which they last habitually resided and chooses to seek a better economic, social or religious life abroad. Immigrants, and children of immigrants, can be citizens, Legal Permanent Residents "a step toward naturalization as a US citizen" or non-citizens, either legal or undocumented without legal status.
A loss or abnormality in physiological, psychological, or mental structure or functioning, such as paralysis
of a limb, mental retardation, or blindness.
Educational programs provided by an organization to help personnel become more knowledgeable, skilled, and effective in accomplishing specific tasks or meeting the overall objectives of the organization. Such training often occurs on the job and for short time periods.
A document describing a high risk event or an event at variance with policy, procedure, practice, or usual experience.
Protection for the directors, officers, board members, personnel, and volunteers of an organization against any civil or criminal action, suit, or proceeding resulting from their activities with the organization. Indemnification should include all reasonable expenses, including legal fees, except when it is determined that the person is liable for negligence or misconduct in the performance of his or her duties. Organizations generally will have an indemnification clause in their bylaws, whether or not external insurance coverage has been purchased to cover such risks as may be involved.
An independently employed individual who contracts with an organization to do a piece of work according to his/her own methods and is subject to an employer's control only as to end product or final result of the work, not as to the means whereby it is to be accomplished.
As defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), "Any unmarried person who is under age eighteen and is either (a) a member of an Indian tribe or (b) eligible for membership in an Indian tribe and is the biological child of a member of an Indian tribe." For purposes of compliance with ICWA, the definition provided in the Act shall apply. For purposes of access to services and resources, other more inclusive definitions may apply (e.g. Indian Education Act, tribal definitions, etc.).
INDIAN CHILD'S TRIBE:
As defined in ICWA, "The Indian tribe in which a child is a member or is eligible for membership or in the case of an Indian child who is a member or eligible for membership in more than one tribe, the Indian tribe with which the Indian child has more significant contacts."
The Indian Child Welfare Act defines Indian custodian as any Indian person who has legal custody of an Indian child under tribal law, tribal custom, or state law. An Indian custodian can also be an Indian person to whom the parent has given temporary custody. Indian custodians are granted many of the same rights as parents under the Indian Child Welfare Act including the right to consent to foster care placements, withdraw consent, or petition the court to invalidate any foster care placement or termination of parental rights that violate provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
As defined in ICWA, "Any group, association, partnership, cooperation, or other legal entity owned or controlled by Indians, or a majority of whose members are Indians."
A described activity, event, outcome, or benchmark used for measurement in monitoring the quality and outcome(s) of service.
A child aged one year and under.
The explicit granting of permission by a consumer or his/her legal guardian to the service provider and organization to use a specific intervention or participate in research. The consent is predicated on full disclosure of the facts to enable the consumer to make a decision based on knowledge of the risks and alternatives.
The client's entry point for services at which eligibility is assessed against established criteria and a preliminary evaluation of the presenting problem occurs.
A group of persons from different professions, disciplines, service areas, organizations, and/or personnel levels who collaborate to make decisions about and provide a range of services for the same consumer or consumer group. The service delivered would not be possible or as efficient if one organization or one professional alone provided the services.
Any employee assistance program whose EAP counselors or employee assistance clinicians are employed by the host organization.
A person compelled to partake of services by court decision or other legal mandate. This term is synonymously used with MANDATED CLIENT.
The practice of separating a person from others and placing him/her in a monitored, non-locked or "quiet" room in order to calm the person. A person in isolation is physically prevented from leaving the designated space or room where s/he is placed. For purposes of COA accreditation, isolation is distinguished from TIME-OUT.
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Explicit obligations and specific tasks required of personnel as a condition of employment. Such descriptions are in writing and may include educational, experiential, and skill requirements associated with the job.
An order or other finding enforced through the judiciary branch of government.
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A nonprofit organization's leadership consists of its governing body, chief executive officer, and may also include its senior management. In a public agency the term refers to the agency head and administration team. The term "leadership" is not generally applied to for-profit organizations. With respect to COA standards, in for-profit organizations the term leadership applies to the owner and board of directors if one exists.
A person who has legal responsibility for the care and management of a person incapable of administering his/her own affairs. In the case of a minor child, the guardian is charged with the legal responsibility for the care and management of the child and of the minor child's estate.
The placement of a child with a family for the purposes of adoption prior to the complete termination of the birthparent's legal rights concerning the child.
An obligation, responsibility, or debt.
A pictorial and written representation of the child's life designed to help the child make sense of his unique background and history. The life book includes, but is not limited to, birthparents, other relatives, birthplace and date and can be put together by the social workers and foster/adoptive parents working with the child.
The means by which individuals access services that may or may not be provided by the organization itself. These terms are used interchangeably when individuals are linked to services either directly or by referral. See also CONNECTED.
The practice of placing a person in a locked room to prevent harm to self and others.
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MAJOR LANGUAGE GROUP:
The presence of a substantial core of people in both the community and the client population that share a language.
MANAGED HEALTH CARE:
A formal network of health care providers, third-party funding sources, and other fiscal intermediaries
who provide a full array of health and mental health services for those participating in the network. As a program, managed care refers to the systematic administration of health care, including mental health, delivery systems within the context of fiscal responsibility.
MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM:
An administrative method used by organizations to gather, process, analyze, maintain, and disseminate data required for effectively carrying out the goals of the organization.
A letter addressed to an organization containing an auditor's conclusions regarding the organization's accounting policies and procedures, internal controls, and operating policies. The letter evaluates the organization's present system, identifies problems and recommends improvements. It is also referred to as a Letter of Recommendation.
See INVOLUNTARY CONSUMER
The legal obligation to report specific forms of child abuse to a government authority when a person suspects that abuse has occurred. State laws outline specific reporting requirements for professionals if they have information related to public or private safety issues. For example, certain professionals are required to report to state authorities if they see evidence of child abuse or neglect, or have knowledge that someone is likely to be dangerous to themselves or others.
The practice of physically holding a person's arms, legs, or head to prevent harm to self and others.
The use of any physical device to limit movement and prevent harm to self or others, not including devises such as prescribed orthopedic devices, surgical dressings or bandages, protective helmets, or any other methods that involve physical holding of an individual for the purpose of conducting routine physical examinations, conducting tests, protecting the child from falling out of bed, or to permit the child to participate in activities without the risk of physical harm.
A team approach to health care that coordinates the family and all involved health care providers to promote communication and effective service delivery. The medical home maintains a centralized record of all health related services to promote continuity of care.
A prescribed or over-the-counter drug that is injected, taken orally, applied topically, or otherwise administered.
Ongoing review and oversight of a client's use of prescribed or over-the-counter medications by a physician or other prescribing clinician.
MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL:
A professional with specialized training and skills in the nature and treatment of mental illness and who uses this information to provide clinical, preventive, and social services. Mental health professionals include: psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric registered nurses, and social workers.
MENTAL HEALTH SCREENING:
A general assessment used to detect the possible presence of, or risk for, a mental health problem. If the screening is positive, a further assessment by a trained professional is necessary to definitively establish the presence or absence of a mental health problem and to establish a diagnosis.
MENTAL STATUS EXAM:
A special assessment used to establish a person's mental state at a point in time.
An evaluation involving a periodic review of consumer services, organizational activities, or conduct. Specifically, monitoring is an activity of case coordination, whereas more broadly, monitoring is an evaluation technique used in overall quality assurance.
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In the context of early intervention services, and in accordance with the federal definition, "settings that are natural or normal for the child's age peers who have no disabilities." (34 CFR 303.18) Examples include, but are not limited to, family homes, childcare centers, community playgroups, playgrounds, and libraries. Service settings that are not "natural" include clinics, hospitals, and therapists' offices.
An initial survey undertaken to determine the special service needs of a defined population.
Employees subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act based on duties performed and manner of compensation. Non-exempt employees must account for hours and fractional hours worked, are guaranteed at least minimum wage compensation, and are compensated for overtime hours at the premium, time-and-one-half, rate
A practice principal whereby service providers help individuals, groups, and families to achieve their desired goals through "normal" or "mainstream" social and educational activities.
According to law, a not-for-profit organization is formed for a charitable or benevolent purpose rather than for making a profit. Not-for-profit organizations are generally organized under special statutes for this purpose and are often afforded special tax treatment. Such organizations must be incorporated in the state in which they operate and must have a charter, constitution, or bylaws or be a part of a religious body with separate legal status. As used in these standards, a not-for-profit organization is a private, voluntary social agency funded from a variety of sources, such as client fees, third parties, public contributions, philanthropic contributions, and government grants and contracts. Also called voluntary or non-profit organizations. See also 501(c)(3) ORGANIZATION.
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A sub-goal stated in operational terms, i.e., a statement that makes clear what expected results are to be measured or assessed.
In the context of Volunteer Mentoring Services, middle school and high school students.
A school that is operated by an agency for children and youth in residential care.
The written findings of an auditor set forth upon the completion of an audit which outlines the fairness of the organization's representation of its financial positions reflected in financial statements and details the consistent use of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles to record underlying transactions and prepare financial statements.
Services for persons living in environments outside of their usual households. Foster Care Services are considered to serve persons in out-of-home care.
A process to determine if a program is achieving its objectives, and whether the results can be attributed to the interventions provided. Outcome evaluations range from rigorous experimental designs employing pre and post measurements to more subjective judgments made by consumers of service and service providers.
Contact initiated by a provider to identify persons in need of services, to provide information to them about
services and benefits, and to encourage the use of appropriate services.
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Parents can include: birth, foster, kinship, and adoptive parents. Please see service standards for more specific information about use of this term.
An evaluation process in which professionals from similar backgrounds review the work of their associates.
A measure of how well an organizational system provides services to consumers. Performance is often based on key indicators, such as rates of service, cost per consumer, degree of satisfaction with services, and extent of consumer access to services.
PERFORMANCE QUALITY IMPROVEMENT:
A comprehensive, ongoing management system incorporating intensive stakeholder involvement, systematic data collection and analysis, information sharing, and corrective action in order to improve the functioning of an organization
PERMANENCY OF LIFE SITUATION:
Stability in one's living situation for an indefinite period of time.
PERMANENT PLANNED LIVING ARRANGE:
A permanency option for a child or youth in foster care other than reunification, adoption, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative.
PERMISSIBLE SERVICE INTERVENTION:
Activities that the organization sanctions or permits staff to use in delivering services. For example, an organization may sanction the use of hypnosis in the treatment of clients.
The body of employees and/or volunteers that carries out the organization's tasks under the organization's administration and/or supervision. This definition does not include foster parents who are specifically referenced in relevant standards
Activities conducted both in and out of the organization to improve the ability of personnel to perform their assigned tasks, to assume higher levels of responsibility, and to better serve the needs of individuals and families.
PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES:
Individuals with physical or mental impairments that result in substantial functional limitations.
According to the CWLA Best Practice Guidelines for Behavior Management, the application of physical force by one or more individuals that reduces or restricts the ability of an individual to move his or her arms, legs, or head freely. Physical restraint does not include the temporary holding of an individual to assist him or her to participate in activities of daily living.
The process of specifying objectives, evaluating the means for their achievement, and exercising deliberate decision making about appropriate courses of action.
A written statement of principles, values, or intent that provides a basis for consistent decision making and guides the actions of staff, management, and board of trustees. A policy is intentionally broad in its language and application. The following is an example of an anti-discrimination policy:
"[Organization Name] shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers, selection of vendors, and provision of services."
In contrast, a procedure is a detailed, step-by-step description of a process. It tells the reader how to do something. Generally, policies are implemented through procedures. For example, the above anti-discrimination policy would require a detailed grievance procedure in order to operationalize it within an organization.
The governing body has the fiduciary responsibility for setting organizational policy. Therefore, policies must be approved and periodically reviewed by the organization's governing body. However, the governing body typically delegates (via policy) the responsibility for policy development to management. In owner-operated for-profit companies, the owner can act as the company's governing body, depending on the company's corporate structure.
In a public agency the responsibility for setting and reviewing policies may belong to the agency's management team, elected officials, another governmental agency, or as is often the case, a combination of the above.
POLICY GOVERNANCE MODEL:
The adoption and use of the "Carver" model of organizational governance, which clearly specifies the roles, responsibilities, and limitations of administrative staff and board members.
Established actions or ways of proceeding in the regular performance of organizational duties. Policies and procedures often guide practice.
PREGNANCY OPTIONS COUNSELING:
Counseling services designed to help pregnant individuals make decisions about all possible options for a pregnancy including and not limited to parenting, adoption or other transfer of custody, and termination. See also BIRTH OPTIONS COUNSELING.
To issue lawful order from a practitioner for the preparation and administration of a drug or device for a specific client that is communicated directly to a pharmacist in a licensed pharmacy.
Actions taken to minimize and/or eliminate social, psychological, or other conditions. Prevention can occur at the individual, group, community, and societal levels and enhances opportunities to achieve positive fulfillment.
Written instructions that outline the steps for performing a task(s) or operationalizing an administrative or service delivery process. A procedure can be written as a step-by-step set of instructions or as a narrative description of a process. A procedure tells someone how to do something not just what to do.
Unlike policies, procedures do not need to be approved or reviewed by the governing body, and need not be associated with a specific policy. For example, whereas a broad anti-discrimination policy requires grievance or other procedures in order to be operationalized within an organization, assessment procedures do not require a governing body approved assessment policy.
Note: Procedures are sometimes referred to as administrative policies.
Individuals who have met standards of specialized education or training, have demonstrated their mastery of a systematic body of knowledge, and comply with the code of ethics required by their professional groups. Professionals in family and children's organizations traditionally include, but are not limited to social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and other physicians, nurses, teachers, nutritionists, gerontologists, certified alcohol and drug abuse counselors, persons with advanced degrees in related human service fields, and educators with various specialties. The entry-level professional degree in social work is the B.S.W., but in certain service sections, it is explicitly stated that an advanced degree is required. The greater specificity takes precedence.
A system of services offered by an organization. For example, an organization providing a mental health service may offer several mental health programs to different populations, e.g., a mental health program for adolescent teens. The word "program" can be used interchangeably with the word "service" or to describe specific programs.
All direct service and administrators or supervisors of direct services that are involved in the operation of the organization's social service programs. "Program personnel" does not include MIS, accounting, facilities, clerical, or other staff that are not involved in the provision or oversight of direct services.
Applies to practices that are consistent with theory, practice wisdom, and expert consensus, but whose benefit is empirically supported only by studies that lack the rigor necessary to reasonably rule out the effects of chance or extraneous variables. This term may also apply to the application of a more well-supported practice in an alternative setting or with a different population when that new application is supported only by one or a few small studies.
See FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
Instruments and procedures used to accomplish a particular goal, activity, or purpose.
A qualified professional who has a doctoral degree from a program of psychology accredited by or recognized as meeting the standards set by the American Psychological Association. A master's degree in psychology is an acceptable credential for the provision of counseling services provided that licensure is attained.
A type of professional assessment that describes the summary judgment derived from a multidimensional evaluation of psychological, sociocultural, and environmental factors that are components of a presenting problem. It includes results of tests and evaluations, brief expressive descriptions of the problem, an inventory of actual and potential assets and resources, the prognosis, and analysis of what is needed or planned to resolve the problem. A psychosocial assessment is also called a psychosocial diagnosis
Interaction between a client and a clinical social worker or other mental health professional in which a relationship is established to help resolve mental health problems, relationship problems, psychosocial stress and distress, and difficulties in coping with or functioning in the social environment.
Medications used by psychiatrists and other physicians to help people achieve psychological or emotional changes, including reduction in depression, anxiety, and other manifestations of mental or emotional disturbance.
An agency under government auspices. A public agency is typically governed and operated by a public entity (e.g., a state, a county, or a department of the federal government. Public agencies seeking accreditation will utilize the Public version of COA's 8th Edition Standards, found at http://www.coastandards.org/standards.php?navView=public.
PUNITIVE WORK ASSIGNMENT:
Work assigned exclusively for punishment rather than as a shared responsibility for maintenance or duties; for example, stacking and restacking a wood pile repetitively as a punishment for breaking a rule.
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QUALIFIED MEDICAL PRACTITIONER:
See QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL
An individual licensed by the state in which the organization operates to perform duties outlined in the regulation requirements. Similar terms include: qualified health practitioner, qualified clinician, and qualified medical practitioner.
In this context, the extent to which contemporary and generally recognized standards for professional practice are met and exceeded, and desirable service outcomes achieved.
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Resource suggestions provided to consumers to address problems or needs that are beyond the scope of the organization's mission.
Those who flee their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion and are unable or unwilling to return to, or avail themselves of, their home country.
The process of correcting a problem.
For purposes of COA accreditation, all forms of internal or external research involving persons served except internal program evaluation and outcomes research, or educational projects performed by students and interns that are part of their professional training.
RESTRICTIVE BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT:
Interventions that restrict, limit, or curtail a person's freedom of movement to prevent harm to self or others. These interventions include isolation, manual or mechanical restraint, and locked isolation.
RETROSPECTIVE CASE REVIEW:
Case review conducted when an individual or family is no longer in treatment or receiving a service. See also CASE REVIEW.
A systematic process of evaluating and reducing potential risks that may befall personnel, clients, an organization, or a facility. Risk management activities are directed toward reducing an organization's legal and financial exposure, especially to lawsuits.
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A portion or representative percentage of a greater whole.
The process of gathering data on only a portion, or percentage, of pertinent sources of information, such as case or service records, service plans, or other documents. Organizations use sampling methods when a study population or area of study is quite large.
Children and adolescents legally required to attend school. COA does not provide specific age limits for this term; however "school-age" is generally considered to be between the ages of 5 - 17 years old.
A preliminary test administered to a client to determine whether he/she meets eligibility criteria for the services offered by an organization.
The act of restraining an individual, usually in an institution, jail, or other holding facility for some legal purpose.
A living unit where adults in charge of the facility control entry and exit.
Voluntary associations of nonprofessionals who share common problems or needs and meet together over a period of time to provide mutual support and exchange information and resources useful in problem-solving. These groups are self-directed.
Employees who assume administrative oversight for the organization's programs. Senior management positions may include vice presidents, chief operating officers, assistant commissioners, directors, or other positions that involve management of program administration. The term does not include supervisors of direct service workers.
One or more organization-operated programs or activities that have a common general objective and deploy the organization's material and human resources in a planned and systematic manner. An organization that publicly promotes or identifies itself in writing as offering a service, is licensed to deliver a service, assigns personnel and/or space to a service, or allocates financial resources to a service is considered to offer that service.
Broad, issue-oriented statements that reflect the realistic achievements to be accomplished in the short or long term. Goals are achieved through the accomplishment of specific quantifiable objectives.
The results achieved as a product of interventions measured against the treatment objectives specified in the service plan; the consequences of service that can be demonstrated in some objective manner.
The theoretical framework that describes and explains an organization's approach to service.
A written plan of action based on the assessment of consumer needs and strengths that identifies problems, sets goals, and describes a strategy for achieving those goals and engaging in joint problem solving with the consumer. Also known as a "treatment plan".
A group or target population that the organization's services are designed to serve in accord with its mission, and which includes the organization's service recipients. An organization's service population may be defined by geographic location, specific problems or needs, religion, ethnicity, culture, or other factors.
The individuals, groups, organizations, or communities that use, receive, or benefit from programs and services. Service recipients can include consumers, patients, family members, legal guardians, advocates, public/private organizations, employers, and purchasers. All are regarded as significant stakeholders served in a variety of agencies and practice settings.
Abusive, discriminatory, and/or unfair treatment of a person because of his or her sex.
The degree to which individuals, families, and groups are able to cope with social and psychological problems affecting their day-to-day functioning.
SOCIAL SERVICE MODEL:
Organizationally based practice that seeks to enhance personal and social functioning, based on the theory and techniques of social work and closely related professions. Five elements are generally present in an organization adopting the social service model:
personnel who have been professionally trained in social work;
accountability to the community;
consumer participation in decisions about services provided on their behalf; and
use of a holistic approach that recognizes the interaction of social/environmental and psychodynamic/psychological factors.
Activities that enable individuals, families, and groups to cope with social and psychological problems interfering with their functioning.
Professionally responsible interventions carried out by persons with formal, professional education at the BSW or MSW level from an accredited school of social work and appropriate licensing, certification, and registration credentials. Interventions are directed toward improving the transactions between people and environments to enhance the adaptive capacities of the participants and improve environments for all that function within them. Social work is a professional practice with a consumer group consisting of individuals, families, small groups, organizations, neighborhoods, and communities and involving the disciplined application of knowledge and skill.
A designation used in reference to conditions or characteristics of a person that reflect a need for special care, services, or treatment. When the term is used in the context of adoption services, special needs refers to conditions that make a child harder to place for adoption. This includes children who are members of sibling groups, older children, children with disabilities, children of certain racial /ethnic backgrounds, etc. When the term is used in the context of foster care it refers to the need for a higher degree of specialized case services and attention due to mental and physical disabilities. When the term is used in the context of out-of-school time services, a child or youth may have special physical, behavioral, medical, emotional, or cognitive needs that should be addressed or accommodated. The term is also used in other contexts. See also DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES.
SPECIAL TREATMENT PROCEDURES:
Any procedure that interferes with the right of a consumer to self-determination, involves risks about which a consumer should be informed, involves physical or psychological pain, or has the potential for harm. Examples may include, but are not limited to: interventions with consumers who resist treatment for drug or alcohol problems, wilderness/recreational activities that challenge physical abilities and contain inherent risks, or unusual approaches to behavior management, the use of physical restraint, and the use of psychotropic medication. This term is synonymously used with HIGH-RISK TREATMENT.
Any person, group, or organization that has a vested interest in the services provided by the organization. Examples: clients, consumers, personnel, funding organizations, referral organizations, vendors, and governmental bodies.
STATISTICALLY VALID SAMPLE:
A set of units (e.g., individuals) drawn from a population using appropriate sampling techniques representative of the population sampled and allowing for the generalization of results obtained from the sample to the larger population.
An event, condition, or circumstance that causes or contributes to stress and anxiety. Stress involves physical, mental, and emotional reactions that are experienced because of life changes and demands. Unplanned pregnancy, unemployment, and family conflicts are all examples of stressors.
A company or firm formally retained by the EAP to provide a specific service, for example, legal sevices.
The misuse of a chemical substance in a manner that is detrimental to an individual's physical or mental health.
A state of physiological dependence that results from the abuse of chemical substances. In the absence of the substance, an individual experiences symptoms of withdrawal.
Assumption of responsibility for directly overseeing and evaluating the work or work products
of personnel within an organization. Also includes inspecting the act or process of accomplishing a function or activity.
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A person's disposition or nature. The intensity and range of a person's emotions are influenced by temperament. A person's temperament will define his or her activity level, regularity of bodily functions, and response to new situations or things. Temperament is also linked to a person's adaptability, quality of mood, attention span, and persistence. Individual differences in temperament are present from birth. Temperaments are thought to be hereditary, and they remain relatively consistent over time. However, individual experiences and development can effect temperament.
See CASE CLOSING
A structured environment established to facilitate treatment. The milieu includes the physical setting, the personnel assigned to provide direct clinical care, the peer group, and the interaction of these components.
The practice of removing a person from his/her current environment or situation to another environment or situation for a specified period of time in order to reflect on his/her behavior. Unlike isolation, time-out offers an individual the freedom to leave the room or space if s/he chooses. For purposes of COA accreditation, time-out is distinguished from ISOLATION.
Instruction so as to make fit, qualified, or proficient in a skill or body of knowledge.
In the context of out-of-school time services (OST), transitions are times when individuals or groups move from one place in the program to another. Transitions take place: (1) when individual children or youth enter or exit the program; (2) when a child or youth has finished an activity and chooses to move on to another; (3) when children and youth clean up or rearrange space to prepare for a new activity; and (4) when children and youth move from one area of the program to another (e.g., when moving from the cafeteria to the gym).
The application of therapeutic agents, techniques, and procedures to assist a client. Examples include individual, group, and family counseling.
See SERVICE PLAN
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A calculation of the price or value of a fixed amount or unit of service that takes into account the sum of all organizational expenditures involved in the provision of that service.
The number of employees seen by the program divided by the number of covered employees in the company. A client who does not keep a scheduled appointment without informing the counselor should not be counted in the utilization rate. Note: The EAP must designate the numerator and denominator for purposes of utilization. Training to supervisors and other units as well as work-life services accessed are not acceptable factors to be addressed in utilization. A return client with the same primary problem should be counted only once in the utilization rate.
A process whereby an organization uses established criteria to evaluate the services and resources provided to consumers in terms of their necessity, appropriateness, and cost-effectiveness.
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An organization or person that sells services.
A group of persons who serve without pay, either as an advisory board or as a voluntary governing board of an organization. In a not-for-profit organization, the governing body functions as the link with the community; a separate voluntary board is not required. According to COA standards, personnel, paid consultants, and governing body members of voluntary organizations cannot have direct or indirect interest in the organization's assets or leases.
An individual who performs services for an organization for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons, without promise, expectation, or receipt of compensation for services rendered. Such service must be offered freely and without pressure or coercion, direct or implied, from an employer. If the individual is otherwise employed by the same employer for which s/he volunteers, the individual cannot volunteer to perform the same type of services that s/he is paid to perform as an employee.
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The amount of work assigned to or expected from a person within a specified period of time. See also CASELOAD.