Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Here is the Human Resource Management portion of the COA standards. There are some issues with this one that I wonder about. Since many agencies use CPCs to attain "product," many of those folks are volunteers. Many CPCs are also a front for the adoption agency. I do also know that states regulate adoption differently. They also have different requirements.


In the social and human service field, an organization’s workforce is its greatest asset. Since employee and volunteers perform the tasks and provide the services that fulfill the organization’s mission, it is incumbent upon Human Resource Management to develop and implement strategies, plans, and programs necessary to attract, motivate, develop, reward, and retain the best people to meet the organization’s goals and objectives. The significance of Human Resources Management is that the capacity to attract and retain a stable, qualified workforce is the foundation for achieving positive results for the people the organization serves.

Human Resources Management also holds important implications for risk management. Sound, consistently applied human resources practices help reduce the risk of employment litigation and costs. Sound practices help protect another of the organization’s most important assets: its reputation in the community.

Work Environment.

The organization provides an equitable work environment that is supportive of organizational productivity, diversity, and stability.

  • The organization does not unlawfully discriminate against any person or category of persons.
  1. Policy prohits personnel from engaging in any form of harassment as defined by federal, state or local law.
  2. The organization prohibits preferential treatment and nepotism with regard to hiring, supervision, and promotion.
Got major issues with this one. Aren't they discriminating against adoptees? Oh yea that is right only six states have adoptee access. However they actively fight against those rights. What about their policies of denying rights to parents? By humilating, coercing, stealing. Oh that is right. Hard to prove. What about the gay community? Many of the religious based religions deny gays the privilege of parenting. Oh that is right. They only believe in married couples. Gay couples in most states can't get married. There are too many agencies that have couples or family members working for them. These people will cover each others proverbial behind.

Human resources planning.

The organization assess its workforces as part of annual planning and prepares for future needs by:
  • Comparing the composition of its current workforce, including the number of employees, skills and demographics with projected workforce needs.
  • Determining how to close gaps when possible, through recruiting, training, or outsourcing.
Recruitment, selection and deployment.

The organization hires enough qualified personnel to meet the demands for services.

  • Job descriptions and selection criteria:
  1. State qualifications, job expectations, essential functions, and responsibilities.
  2. Include sensitivity to the service population, culturally and socioeconomic characteristics
  3. Are reviewed and updated regularly.
  • Recruitment and selection procedures include:
  1. Notifying personnel of available positions
  2. Verifying references and credentials of personnel and independent contractors.
  3. Providing applicants with a written job description.
  4. Giving final candidates the opportunity to speak with currently employed personnel.
  5. Retaining hiring records for at least a year.
  • Screening procedures for new employees, contractors, and direct service volunteers include appropriate, legally permissible, and mandated reviews of state criminal history records and civil child abuse registries to determine the appropriateness of hiring prospective personnel who will work:
  1. Work in a residential programs.
  2. Provide direct services to children, the elderly, or other persons determined by the organization to be vulnerable or at risk.
  • An organization that recruits and selects personnel with specific cultural traits or other characteristics establishes that selectivity is:
  1. Legally permissible
  2. Reviewed and approved by the organization's governing body.
  3. Appropriately considered a bonafide qualification.
  • Organizations that deploy volunteers to provide direct services specify their roles and responsibilities.
  • The network has a uniform and fairly applied credentiality process that accesses and confirms the qualifications of licensed independent contractors /providers who provide network services and are not employed by a member or a community partner that includes:
  1. Verification of licensure, education, and other relevant board certification, where applicable.
  2. Experience delivering services to the populations served by the network.(Again, is this anyone who has performed adoptions? What about those agencies that have been shut down? What about people like Jeannene Smith who bounced from agency to agency? )
  3. The professional judgement of at least three peer professional references with regard to competence and prior satisfactory levels of performance.
  4. Information about pending challenges, provisional status, previous suspensions or denials of licensure to practice.(Does this include Jeannene Smith? I don't know how many agencies have shut down and reopened under another name and still get accredited.)
  5. Publicly available information or official information regarding professional liability actions or ligation relevant to the provision of network services.
  6. Information about involuntary termination, reduction of professional staff privileges, or discharge from professional employment obtained prior staff affliations or employers.
  • The network verifies that personnel of network partners and network provider organization who provide clinical services to network clients.
  1. Possess relevant licenses and for credentials.
  2. Are receiving appropriate supervision.
Satisfaction and Retention

The organization promotes a high level of personnel satisfaction and retention. ( I wonder if this applies to CPS situations. They are still failing this in many states. I wonder if it also is affecting the agencies that are working in the states where privatized foster care exists.)
  • The organization promotes open communication and collaboration among disciplines and staff levels by:
  1. Holding regular team, organizational and divisional meetings as appropriate to the organization.
  2. Appropriate feedback to personnel about their suggestions and recommendations.
  • The organization enourages initiative, creativity and innovation and rewards and recognizes the contributions of employees.
  • The organization establishes personnel satisfaction and retention goals and measures rate of personnel turnover and personnel satisfaction.
  • The organization takes action to address staff satisfaction and retention concerns.
  • The organization establishes a formal mechanism through which employees can express and resolves grievances which includes:
  1. How grievances are filed, to whom and who will make the final determination.
  2. Timely written notification of the resolution and explanation of any further appeal, rights and recourse.
  3. Documenting responses and actions taken.
  4. Maintaining a copy of the notification of resolution in the personnel record.
Human Resource Practices

Human resource practices are equitable and consistenly applied.

  • The organization complies with applicable laws and regulations governing fair employment practices, and contractual relationships
  • All personnel receive and confirm in writing receipt of an up to date employee policies and procedure manual that articulates current:
  1. Conditions of employment.
  2. Benefits.
  3. Rights and responsibilities of employees
  4. Other important employment related information.
  • Total compensation and benefits are reviewed regularly in relation to industry practices and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • The organization analyzes employment practices, and when the cultural characteristics of its defined service population, the organization implements a plan that:
  1. Establishes goals for recruitment, employment and promotion. (Congratulations on the number of babies you sold.)
  2. Includes a timetables for correction.
  • To ensure compliance with legal requirements the organization reviews its use of contingent workers, including independent contractors, leased workers, volunteers, and temporary employees with respect to tax law, wage and hour laws, and other applicable employment and labor laws.
Performance Evaluation.

The organization holds personnel accountable for their work performance.
  • Every full time and part time employee and volunteer receives a written annual performance evaluation conducted by the person to whom he or she reports.
  • Performance evaluations assess job performance, and emphasize self development and professional growth, in relation to:
  1. Specific expectations defined in the job description.
  2. Organization-wide expectations for personnel.
  3. Objectives established in the most recent evaluation and objectives for future performance as they relate to the organization's mission and goals.
  4. Development and professional objectives.
  5. Recommendation for further training and skill building.
  6. Knowledge and competence related to the characteristics and needs of service recipients, if applicable
  • Personnel have the opportunity to sign the performance evaluation, obtain a copy, and provide comments.
  • The organizaiton monitors quality of services provided by independent contractors.
Personnel Records.

The organization maintains personnel records.
  • Personnel records are updated regularly and contain:
  1. Identifying information and emergency contacts.
  2. Application for employment, hiring documents including job postings, and interview notes, and reference verification.
  3. Job description
  4. Compensation documentation as appropriate.
  5. Pre-service and in-service training records.
  6. Performance evaluation and all documentation relating to performance, including disciplinary actions and termination summaries if applicable.
  • Personnel records contain health information or preports for annual physical examination, appropriate to the job position or when required by law.
  • Access to personnel records is limited to authorized personnel on a need-to-know basis.
  • Personnel may review, add, or correct information contained in their records, in accordance with applicable law. (Oh they get to look at their own records but adoptees can't.)
  • Personnel who leave the organization voluntarily have the opportunity to participate in an exit interview.
  • The network maintains a record for independent providers that contain:
  1. Identifying and contact information.
  2. Documentation related to the network and credentialing process.
  3. Documentation of quality monitoring of practioner performance.
  4. Documentation of relevant training.
  5. Performance evalutions and all documentation related to performance, including disciplinary actions and termination summaries if applicable.
With adoption agencies having so many of their employees being related to someone on the governing board, how can they do a fair and equitable performance evaluations? What about the many agencies that have closed shop and opened up in another town under a new name? These agencies are still being accredited. An agency director recently told me that Texas and other states are forgoing actual licensing of these agencies because they are COA accredited. That is a scary prospect. There isn't an independent party giving these agencies a license. These agencies seem to be paying for the licensing and accreditation without following the rules.

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