SURVEY SUMMARY

Venture Academy, Inc., has strengths in many areas.

The organization actively promotes and supports the academic and professional development of staff members through the funding of post-secondary studies and other relevant training.

The leadership of the organization ensures that the administrative functions of the organization flow smoothly and effectively to enhance the organization’s daily operations, providing insight and direction to all levels of staff members and other stakeholders.

Venture Academy implements an integrated and holistic approach to working with families and youth. It provides services to the families, including support and counselling to the parents of the students, in an effort to ensure a successful transition back into the community upon discharge.

Parents of the students reported that they found the level of caring, competency, and professionalism reassuring when leaving their youth in the care of the organization.

The students interviewed reported that their host parents were welcoming and caring. The youth clearly stated how they had benefitted from the care and treatment they were receiving. The staff members at Venture Academy demonstrate a genuine interest in the well-being, recovery, and personal development of the students. Teachers, counsellors, and therapists are compassionate and committed to the students and the treatment program. They are innovative and responsive to the individual needs of the students.

Staff members noted that there is a strong sense of teamwork in the organization, providing a supportive and healthy work environment. Interviews revealed that the organization is sincerely committed to professional development and furthering the knowledge base and abilities of the staff members and host families through education and training.

Venture Academy provides quality services to families and youth locally, nationally, and internationally.

On balance, Venture Academy has made a commitment to conform to the CARF standards. The positive attitude with which the management and staff members prepared for and participated in the survey and their receptivity to the consultation, suggestions, and recommendations that were offered instill confidence that the organization will use the results of this survey to further improve organizational and service quality. There is a strong commitment and support to continue to upgrade all aspects of Venture Academy.

Venture Academy, Inc., has earned a Three-Year Accreditation. The leadership and staff members are congratulated on this achievement. The organization is recognized for its efforts to provide quality services to the students and families served and is encouraged to continue to remain current with the CARF standards as it addresses the opportunities for improvement.

SECTION 1. ASPIRE TO EXCELLENCE

A. Leadership

Principle Statement

CARF-accredited organizations identify leadership that embraces the values of accountability and responsibility to the individual organization’s stated mission. The leadership demonstrates corporate social responsibility.

Key Areas Addressed

Leadership structure
Leadership guidance
Commitment to diversity
Corporate responsibility
Corporate compliance

C. Strategic Planning

Principle Statement

CARF-accredited organizations establish a foundation for success through strategic planning focused on taking advantage of strengths and opportunities and addressing weaknesses and threats.

Key Areas Addressed

Strategic planning considers stakeholder expectations and environmental impacts
Written strategic plan sets Goals
Plan is implemented, shared, and kept relevant

D. Input from Persons Served and Other Stakeholders

Principle Statement

CARF-accredited organizations continually focus on the expectations of the persons served and other stakeholders. The standards in this subsection direct the organization’s focus to soliciting, collecting, analyzing, and using input from all stakeholders to create services that meet or exceed the expectations of the persons served, the community, and other stakeholders.

Key Areas Addressed

Ongoing collection of information from a variety of Sources
Analysis and integration into business practices
Leadership response to information collected

E. Legal Requirements

Principle Statement

CARF-accredited organizations comply with all legal and regulatory requirements.

Key Areas Addressed

Compliance with all legal/regulatory requirements

F. Financial Planning and Management

Principle Statement

CARF-accredited organizations strive to be financially responsible and solvent, conducting fiscal management in a manner that supports their mission, values, and annual performance objectives. Fiscal practices adhere to established accounting principles and business practices. Fiscal management covers daily operational cost management and incorporates plans for long-term solvency.

Key Areas Addressed

Budget(s) prepared, shared, and reflective of strategic planning
Financial results reported/compared to budgeted performance
Organization review
Fiscal policies and procedures
Review of service billing records and fee structure
Financial review/audit
Safeguarding funds of persons served

G. Risk Management

Principle Statement

CARF-accredited organizations engage in a coordinated set of activities designed to control threats to their people, property, income, goodwill, and ability to accomplish goals.

Key Areas Addressed
Identification of loss exposures
Development of risk management
Adequate insurance coverage

H. Health and Safety

Principle Statement

CARF-accredited organizations maintain healthy, safe, and clean environments that support quality services and minimize risk of harm to persons served, personnel, and other stakeholders.

Key Areas Addressed

Inspections
Emergency procedures
Access to emergency first aid
Competency of personnel in safety procedures
Reporting/reviewing critical incidents
Infection control

I. Human Resources

Principle Statement

CARF-accredited organizations demonstrate that they value their human resources. It should be evident that personnel are involved and engaged in the success of the organization and the persons they serve.

Key Areas Addressed

Adequate staffing
Verification of background/credentials
Recruitment/retention efforts
Personnel skills/characteristics
Annual review of job descriptions/performance
Policies regarding students/volunteers, if applicable

J. Technology

Principle Statement

CARF-accredited organizations plan for the use of technology to support and advance effective and efficient service and business practices.

Key Areas Addressed

Written technology and system plan

K. Rights of Persons Served

Principle Statement

CARF-accredited organizations protect and promote the rights of all persons served. This commitment guides the delivery of services and ongoing interactions with the persons served.

Key Areas Addressed

Communication of rights
Policies that promote rights
Complaint, grievance, and appeals policy
Annual review of complaints

L. Accessibility

Principle Statement

CARF-accredited organizations promote accessibility and the removal of barriers for the persons served and other stakeholders.

Key Areas Addressed

Written accessibility plan(s)
Status report regarding removal of identified barriers
Requests for reasonable accommodations

M. Performance Measurement and Management

Principle Statement

CARF-accredited organizations are committed to continually improving their organizations and service delivery to the persons served. Data are collected and information is used to manage and improve service delivery.

Key Areas Addressed

Proactive performance improvement
Performance information shared with all stakeholders

SECTION 2. CHILD AND YOUTH SERVICES GENERAL

PROGRAM STANDARDS

Principle Statement

For an organization to achieve quality services, the philosophical foundation of child- and family- centred care practices must be demonstrated. Children/youths and families are involved in the design, implementation, delivery, and ongoing evaluation of applicable services offered by the organization. A commitment to quality and the involvement of the persons served span the entire time that they are involved with the organization. The service planning process is individualized, establishing goals and objectives that incorporate the unique strengths, needs, abilities, and preferences of the person served. The persons served have the opportunity to transition easily through a system of care.

A. Program/Service Structure

Principle Statement

A fundamental responsibility of the organization is to provide a comprehensive program structure. The staffing is designed to maximize opportunities for the child/youth served to obtain and participate in the services provided.

The organization, where appropriate, provides information to the child/youth served and in collaboration with the parent and/or legal representative.

Child- and family-centred care includes the following:

  • Recognition that, when possible, the family is the constant in the child’s/youth’s life, while the service systems and personnel within those systems fluctuate.
  • Facilitation of family-professional collaboration at all levels of care.
  • Sharing of unbiased and complete information about a child’s/youth’s care on an ongoing basis, in an appropriate and supportive manner.
  • Implementation of appropriate policies and programs that are comprehensive and provide necessary support to meet the needs of children/youths and families.
  • Recognition of child/youth and family strengths and individuality and respect for different methods of coping.
  • Understanding and incorporating the developmental needs of children/youths and families into service systems.
  • Assurance that the design of health and social service delivery systems is flexible, accessible, and responsive to the needs of children/youth and families.

Key Areas Addressed

  • Written plan that guides service delivery
  • Team member responsibilities
  • Developmentally appropriate surroundings and equipment
  • Crisis intervention provided
  • Medical consultation
  • Services relevant to diversity
  • Collaborative partnerships
  • Child/youth/family role in decision making
  • Policies and procedures that facilitate collaboration
  • Qualifications and competency of direct service staff
  • Family participation
  • Team composition/duties
  • Relevant education
  • Clinical supervision
  • Assistance with advocacy and support groups
  • Effective information sharing
  • Arrangement of provision of appropriate services
  • Gathering customer satisfaction information

B. Screening and Access to Services

Principle Statement

The process of screening and assessment is designed to maximize opportunities for the persons served to gain access to the organization’s programs and services. Each person served is actively involved in, and has a significant role in, the assessment process. Assessments are conducted in a manner that identifies the strengths, needs, abilities, and preferences of each person served. Assessment data may be gathered through various means including face-to-face contact, telehealth, or from external resources.

Key Areas Addressed

  • Policies and procedures defining access
  • Waiting list criteria
  • Orientation to services
  • Primary assessment
  • Interpretive summary

C. Individualized Plan

Principle Statement

Each person served is actively involved in and has a significant role in the individual planning process and has a major role in determining the direction of the individualized plan. The individualized plan contains goals and objectives that incorporate the unique strengths, needs, abilities, and preferences of the persons served, as well as identified challenges and problems. Individualized plans may consider the significance of traumatic events. Planning is consumer directed and person centred.

Key Areas Addressed

  • Participation of child/youth in preparation of individual plan
  • Components of individual plan
  • Coordination of services for child/youth
  • Co-occurring disabilities/disorders
  • Content of program notes

D. Transition/Discharge

Principle Statement

Transition, continuing care, or discharge planning assists the persons served to move from one level of care to another within the organization or to obtain services that are needed but are not available within the organization. The transition process is planned with the active participation of each person served. Transition may include planned discharge, placement on inactive status, movement to a different level of service or intensity of contact, reunification, re-entry in a juvenile justice system, or transition to adulthood.

The transition plan is a supportive document that includes information about the person’s progress and describes the completion of goals and the efficacy of services provided. It is prepared to ensure a seamless transition to another level of care, another component of care, or an after care program.

A discharge summary, identifying reasons for discharge, is completed when the person leaves services for any reason (planned discharge, against medical advice, no show, infringement of program rules, aging out, etc.).

Just as the assessment is critical to the success of treatment, transition services are critical for the support of the individual’s ongoing well-being. The organization proactively attempts to contact the person served after formal transition or discharge to gather needed information related to his or her post discharge status. The organization reviews the post discharge information to determine the effectiveness of its services and whether additional services were needed.

The transition plan and/or discharge summary may be included in a combined document as long as it is clear whether the information relates to a transition or discharge planning.

Key Areas Addressed

  • Transition/discharge planning
  • Components of transition plan
  • Follow-up after program participation

E. Medication Use

Principle Statement

Medication use is the practice of handling, prescribing, dispensing, and/or administering medications to persons served in response to specific symptoms, behaviours, and conditions for which the use of medications is indicated and deemed efficacious. Medication use may include self administration, or be provided by personnel of the organization or under contract with a licensed individual. Medication use is directed towards maximizing the functioning of the persons served while reducing their specific symptoms and minimizing the impact of side effects.

Medication use is the practice of handling, prescribing, dispensing, and/or administering medications to persons served in response to specific symptoms, behaviours, and conditions for which the use of medications is indicated and deemed efficacious. Medication use may include self administration, or be provided by personnel of the organization or under contract with a licensed individual. Medication use is directed towards maximizing the functioning of the persons served while reducing their specific symptoms and minimizing the impact of side effects.

Medication use is the practice of handling, prescribing, dispensing, and/or administering medications to persons served in response to specific symptoms, behaviours, and conditions for which the use of medications is indicated and deemed efficacious. Medication use may include self administration, or be provided by personnel of the organization or under contract with a licensed individual. Medication use is directed towards maximizing the functioning of the persons served while reducing their specific symptoms and minimizing the impact of side effects.

Self administration for adults is the application of a medication (whether by injection, inhalation, oral ingestion, or any other means) by the person served, to his/her body; and may include the organization storing the medication for the person served, or may include staff handing the bottle or blister-pak to the person served, instructing or verbally prompting the person served to take the medication, coaching the person served through the steps to ensure proper adherence, and closely observing the person served self-administering the medication.

Self administration by children or adolescents in a residential setting must be directly supervised by personnel, and standards related to medication use applied.

Dispensing is considered the practice of pharmacy; the process of preparing and delivering a prescribed medication (including samples) that has been packaged or re-packaged and labelled by a physician or pharmacist or other qualified professional licensed to dispense (for later oral ingestion, injection, inhalation, or other means of administration).

Prescribing is evaluating, determining what agent is to be used by and giving direction to a person served (or family/legal guardian), in the preparation and administration of a remedy to be used in the treatment of disease. It includes a verbal or written order, by a qualified professional licensed to prescribe, that details what medication should be given to whom, in what formulation and dose, by what route, when, how frequently, and for what length of time.

Key Areas Addressed

  • Individual records of medication
  • Physician review
  • Policies and procedures for prescribing, dispensing, and administering medications
  • Training regarding medications
  • Policies and procedures for safe handling of medication

F. Nonviolent Practices

Principle Statement

Programs strive to be learning environments and to support persons served in the development of recovery, resiliency, and wellness. Relationships are central to supporting individuals in recovery and wellness. Programs are challenged to establish quality relationships as a foundation to supporting recovery and wellness. Providers need to be mindful of developing cultures that create healing, healthy and safe environments, and include the following:

Key Areas Addressed

  • Engagement
  • Partnership
  • Holistic approaches
  • Respect
  • Hope
  • Self direction

Programs need to recognize that individuals may require supports to fully benefit from their services. Staff are expected to access or provide those supports wanted and needed by the individual. Supports may include environmental supports, verbal prompts, written expectations, clarity of rules and expectations, or praise and encouragement.

Even with supports, there are times when individuals may show signs of fear, anger, or pain, which may lead to aggression or agitation. Staff members are trained to recognize and respond to these signs through de-escalation, changes to the physical environmental, implementation of meaningful and engaging activities, redirection, active listening, etc. On the rare occasions when these interventions are not successful and there is imminent danger of serious harm, seclusion or restraint may be used to ensure safety. Seclusion and restraint are never considered treatment interventions; they are always considered actions of last resort. The use of seclusion and restraint must always be followed by a full review, as part of the process to eliminate the use of these in the future.

The goal is to eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint in behavioural health child and youth services employment and community services opioid treatment, as the use of seclusion or restraint creates potential physical and psychological dangers to the persons subject to the interventions, to the staff members who administer them, or those who witness the practice. Each organization still utilizing seclusion or restraint should have the elimination thereof as an eventual goal.

Restraint is the use of physical force or mechanical means to temporarily limit a person’s freedom of movement; chemical restraint is the involuntary emergency administration of medication, in immediate response to a dangerous behaviour. Restraints used as an assistive device for persons with physical or medical needs are not considered restraints for purposes of this section. Briefly holding a person served, without undue force, for the purpose of comforting him or her or to prevent self-injurious behaviour or injury to self, or holding a person’s hand or arm to safely guide him or her from one area to another, is not a restraint. Separating individuals threatening to harm one another, without implementing restraints, is not considered restraint.

Seclusion refers to restriction of the person served to a segregated room with the person’s freedom to leave physically restricted. Voluntary time out is not considered seclusion, even though the voluntary time out may occur in response to verbal direction; the person served is considered in seclusion if freedom to leave the segregated room is denied.

Seclusion or restraint by trained and competent personnel is used only when other less restrictive measures have been found to be ineffective to protect the person served or others from injury or serious harm. Peer restraint is not considered an acceptable alternative to restraint by personnel. Seclusion or restraint is not used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation.

In a correctional setting, the use of seclusion or restraint for purposes of security is not considered seclusion or restraint under these standards. Security doors designed to prevent elopement or wandering are not considered seclusion or restraint. Security measures for forensic purposes, such as the use of handcuffs instituted by law enforcement personnel, are not subject to these standards. When permissible, consideration is made to removal of physical restraints while the person is receiving services in the behavioural health care setting.

Key Areas Addressed

  • Training and procedures supporting non-violent practices
  • Policies and procedures for use of seclusion and restraint
  • Patterns of use reviewed
  • Persons trained in se
  • Plans for reduction/elimination of use

G. Records of the Person Served

Principle Statement

A complete and accurate record is developed to ensure that all appropriate individuals have access to relevant clinical and other information regarding each person served.

H. Quality Records Review

Principle Statement

The program has systems and procedures that provide for the ongoing monitoring of the quality, appropriateness, and utilization of the services provided. This is largely accomplished through a systematic review of the records of the persons served. The review assists the program in improving the quality of services provided to each person served.

Key Areas Addressed

  • Focus of quarterly review
  • Use of information from quarterly review

SECTION 3. CHILD AND YOUTH SERVICES CORE PROGRAM STANDARDS

L. Day Treatment

Principle Statement

Day treatment programs are time-limited, medically-monitored programs that offer comprehensive, intensive, individually planned, coordinated, and structured services.

A day treatment program consists of a scheduled series of structured, face-to-face therapeutic sessions organized at various levels of intensity and frequency in order to assist the child/youth served in achieving the goals identified in their individual treatment plans. Day treatment programs are typically offered four or more days per week, with some available in the evenings and on weekends. Such a program functions as a step-down or alternative to inpatient care or partial hospitalization, as transitional care following an inpatient or partial hospitalization stay in order to facilitate return to the community or to prevent or minimize the need for a more intense or restrictive level of treatment. Day treatment programs are more intensive than outpatient treatment and serve persons who need a structured behavioural health setting for daytime activities.

Key Areas Addressed

  • Program availability: 4 days per week / 3 hours per day
  • Directed by qualified behavioural health practitioner
  • Treatment activity requirements
  • Consistent personnel and activities
  • Referrals

X. Specialized or Treatment Foster Care

Principle Statement

These programs provide treatment services outside of their natural homes to children/youths for whom there are documented reports of maltreatment or identified needs requiring intensive interventions in a community-based setting. Treatment is provided in a safe and supportive setting and may be time limited. The program goal is to reunite the children/youths with their natural families or to provide what is identified as being in the best interest of each child/youth. The program may include treatment foster care, specialized foster care, therapeutic family services, or therapeutic foster care.

Key Areas Addressed

  • Organization responsibilities
  • Training of specialized providers
  • Referral network
  • Advocacy
  • Clinical supervision

CARF Survey Report for Venture Academy Ontario, Inc.

SURVEY SUMMARY

Venture Academy Ontario, Inc., has strengths in many areas.

  • Venture Academy Ontario employs highly skilled staff members, administrators, and host parents who are dedicated to providing effective services. Staff members demonstrate passion and commitment to ensuring that the youth served are provided with opportunities to build new skills as they work towards wellness.
  • Venture Academy Ontario has strong values and believes the biological families involvement in the treatment process is essential.
    CrossFit is a physical fitness program that all youth served and staff members participate in to increase their physical health and fitness. The students are taken to CrossFit daily, and it is evident from observations of the staff members that the physical activities have assisted the youth in managing their behaviours and attitudes.
  • The Venture Academy Ontario campus is located in a rural area with well-maintained facilities. The students have the opportunity to utilize the peaceful environment as they seek progress towards gaining control over their thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
  • The boys and girls have separate classrooms with rotating qualified teachers who provide the youth with the opportunity to catch up and maintain their academics. Most youth are able to return to their home schools at an age-appropriate level when they return to their families.
  • The host parents and staff members receive extensive training to learn the skills needed to work with this high-risk population.
  • The biological parents are contacted during the survey express deep appreciation to the staff members and the highly structured program for the changes being made for their youth within this environment. The parents further stated that the staff members consistently share information and skills with them, which encourages the parents to learn new ways in which to provide continued structure and concern when the youth returns home.
  • Transition planning is extensive prior to discharge to guide the parents in maintaining the structure needed to ensure that their youth continue in their progress towards respectful interactions with them and their peers.
  • Venture Academy Ontario provides quality services to the families and youth served locally, nationally and internationally.
  • The leadership diligently continues to prepare, empower, and support the students with a variety of behavioural health issues and co-occurring issues by helping them to participate in the programs to their fullest physical, social, emotional, and spiritual potential.