CARF Accreditation

by Underdue Support on January 16, 2016

A survey team from CARF* will be visiting our premises on February 22 and February 23, 2016. (Spanish version here)

We invited the CARF surveyors to evaluate how well our services meet international standards for quality. The survey team will be looking at many things about us and our services. The survey will tell us what we are doing well and ways we might improve.

As a result of this survey, our services may earn or continue CARF accreditation.

As part of the survey, the surveyors will interview people who use our services, their families, our staff, and others.

Some questions the survey team members might ask people are:
• Are our services provided in a clean and safe setting?
• Do you receive the services you need and want?
• Are you treated with respect?
• Do you take part in planning your services?
• Are you told what you need to know about your services?
• Are your questions answered in a way you understand?
• Do you know where to go with questions or concerns?

If you would like to talk with one of the CARF survey team members or want to
learn more about CARF, please let one of our staff members know. You may
also contact CARF directly.

• Internet:
• E-mail:
• Mail: CARF, 4891 E. Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85712
• Toll-free telephone: (866) 510-2273
• Fax: (520) 318-1129

*CARF is an international, not-for-profit organization that accredits human services
providers. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation
Facilities, the accrediting body is now known as CARF.

Stress Reduction Strategy One: TALK

by Underdue Support on January 12, 2016

We are mental health professionals and we should be clear about this particular strategy. We believe in therapy and it’s power to help clients heal. We believe that talking creates an energy that helps us sort out our confusion and build a stronger future. So why do we neglect that very strategy when confronted with our own stress? We certainly suggest it often enough to our clients. And we talk all the time about the importance of speaking openly about what is important to us.

In this strategy I will suggest something even more important. It’s not just talking, it’s about when we talk and with whom.

When you are working with clients facing tremendous stress, trauma and difficulties, you need to be sure you use the strategy of “debriefing.” When you have met with a client or had a difficult session or been on a particularly troubling home visit – find a colleague or supervisor and talk about it – right then. Don’t wait for the traditional and formal supervisory opportunity. Do it NOW!

There is something different about thinking through your initial observations out loud. Immediate reflection provides very different insights than the more considered reflection of a formal supervisory session. Both are important to good clinical intervention. But we tend to ignore the immediate option.

When I was a young social worker, practicing in a private child welfare agency, I was in charge of the foster care placement of children when there was an allegation of child abuse or neglect. I was the one who received the children at the time they were removed from a parent’s custody and placed in foster care.

I remember particularly an occasion when we received word that there was a family of four children to be placed within the next two hours. My first reaction was, perhaps understandably, considerable panic. Which homes, split the children, who could take them all? All of these questions were spinning in my mind.

Two of my colleagues came into my office and we had a 20 minute conversation about our options. We briefly talked about foster families we knew, strategies that would be good or ways to handle the split of the siblings. While management wasn’t sure that was a necessary use of three staff members’ time, I know without a doubt that we made better placements because we took those 20 minutes. And the things we discussed in that meeting were very different than the very important conversations that would later ensue in proper supervision.

Talk with your colleague, supervisors and others who have an understanding of what you do. It helps also to make it possible to go home to your family and leave the stress of the day at work – at least more so.

Stress Reduction Strategy Four: MOVE

January 2, 2016

I have already spent some time on this blog talking about physical exercise and the importance it plays in good mental health. You may also be interested in knowing that in a National Association of Social Workers Membership Workforce Study, exercise was the coping mechanism of choice for a large majority of those surveyed, regardless […]

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True Names

November 12, 2015

There is nothing easy about the topic of Suicide. In fact, I am sure that some of you are wondering why I have chosen such a difficult subject to discuss on this blog. Others of you may wish we would take on more upbeat topics, like family activities and ways to stay healthy. Me too. […]

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The Stress of Caring

September 18, 2015

There is a lot of discussion right now about stress reduction. Today we see an increased work load of mental health professionals, increased occurrences of abuse or violence faced by social workers and other therapists, and the terrible struggles facing our returning veterans. All of these things have increased our awareness of the stressful elements […]

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Stress Reduction Strategy Three: THINK

September 26, 2012

This one probably seems really obvious to all of you. Of course we think. For some of us, we wish we didn’t think quite so much. But this kind of thinking is a little different. In this strategy I want to talk about “mindfulness.” If you remember, which I am sure you don’t, I wrote […]

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Stress Reduction Strategy Two: WRITE

September 24, 2012

This is really an abandoned art form – writing. We can all type really well and we often have digital journals or places on our computer where we put small notes to ourselves. But there is something different that happens with our brains when we use paper and pen. This probably seems pretty crazy coming […]

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Trauma at a Distance

July 24, 2012

All of us have struggled to make sense of the shooting in Colorado, without a lot of success. We were not victims of the actual event because we were separated by distance. But don’t think we aren’t affected by the reality of this situation in a hundred different ways. And if we as adults are […]

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Teens and Opinions

July 6, 2012

So – when was the last time you asked your teen their opinion? And I don’t mean in the form of “What were you thinking?” Try to remember the last time you turned to your teen and said “What do you think?” (without any sarcasm). Was it when you were trying to decide what to […]

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A Declaration of Independence

July 3, 2012

The fourth of July is a celebration of this country’s “Declaration of Independence.” Often referred to as the birthday of our country, it’s a time when we declared our independence from Great Britain and started down the road to becoming an independent nation. There would be many trials, tribulations and sorrows before our young country, […]

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