Providing meaningful life-affirming pregnancy and parenting support services requires that individuals are available to listen to the concerns of women in crisis and to provide them with non-judgmental support. Real Alternatives utilizes a network of existing community agencies, known as service providers, to accomplish these goals.
The 77 service provider centers in Pennsylvania consist of 35 social service agencies, 27 pregnancy support centers, 3 adoption agencies, and 12 maternity homes located throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The 21 service providers centers in Indiana consist of 4 social service agency and 17 pregnancy support centers located throughout the State of Indiana.
The quality of the service provided to women is of utmost importance to Real Alternatives.
This dedication to quality service is reflected in the Real Alternatives Service Provider Approval Process. Once a potential service provider expresses interest in becoming a provider for the program, the potential service provider is asked to submit information to start the evaluation process.
As a preliminary step, potential service providers must submit documentation confirming that they:
- are a nonprofit organization with 501(c)3 tax exempt status
- maintain a pro-life mission and agree not to promote, refer, or counsel abortion nor abortifacients as an option to a crisis or unplanned pregnancy
- have a minimum of one year of experience in providing alternative to abortion services to women in crisis pregnancies
- do not charge a fee for services to eligible clients
- are nondiscriminatory
- agree to serve all eligible clients, including those with Limited English Proficiency
- agree not to promote the teaching or philosophy of any religion or religious organization while providing program services to the client
- will annually verify that all staff and volunteers have current PA State Police and Child Abuse background check clearances
- maintain client confidentiality
- will submit their counselor training materials, and policies and procedures manual for evaluation
If these preliminary requirements are met, potential service providers must then provide additional documentation regarding its operations, including:
- a copy of the Corporate Articles of Incorporation and Amendments filed with the Commonwealth Secretary of State
- a copy of the Bylaws of the Corporation
- a copy of the Mission Statement
- a policy and procedures manual to include a written confidentiality policy, nondiscrimination policy, Limited English Proficiency (LEP) policy, sexual harassment policy, abortion and abortifacient policy, and client grievance reporting policy.
- written State Police and Child Abuse Background Check employee/volunteer clearances
- board of directors or equivalent governing body
- staff orientation training materials
- counselor training materials
- proof of general liability insurance for sites where services are rendered, as well as automobile and workers compensation insurance
- a copy of the IRS 501(c)3 tax-exempt determination letter
- statement of agreement to Charitable Choice Act guidelines
Real Alternatives reviews these materials to ensure that the potential service provider has in place policies and procedures, including counselor training, to ensure the provision of quality pregnancy support services. If all criteria meets the approval of Real Alternatives staff and executives, Real Alternatives then inspects the physical sites, which must be handicapped accessible or have the capability to make special provisions for persons with disabilities.
Real Alternatives then provides program training to the service provider counselors who deliver the services pursuant to program guidelines. Only counselors who have received the program training can participate in the Real Alternatives program.
Service Provider Monitoring
Once a service provider is added to the network, Real Alternatives monitors compliance with all program requirements annually.
Vendor Service Provider monitoring encompasses three parts. During the Corporate Administration and Program Profile Review, the following is reviewed:
- Review of policy and procedure manuals and documentation of Board of Directors approval (manuals include: Non-Discrimination Policy, Confidentiality Policy, Sexual Harassment Policy, Spiritual Issues Policy, Abortion/contraception Policy, internal client grievance procedures, Limited English Proficiency Policy, Adoption Policy);
- Review of counselor training plan, counseling skills training, training materials, assessment and ongoing training;
- Review of corporate documents (Mission statement, board of directors listing, articles of incorporation, by-Laws, non-profit status);
- Review of program operations (including, client services, primary client referral sources, provider referral resource list, pregnancy test requirements, client educational materials, and staff/volunteer training procedures)
During the Facility Inspection, the following is reviewed:
- Inspection of facility including: waiting area, counseling areas lavatories, fire safety procedures and equipment,
- Review of literature, review of current counselor child abuse clearance, handicap accessibility, confidential handling of client files, review of service site website and/or yellow page ads.
During the Reimbursement Compliance Review, the following is reviewed:
- Review of randomly selected client files for accuracy of billing.
Client Satisfaction and Feedback
At EVERY service session provided by the service providers, clients are provided the opportunity to call Real Alternatives and comment about the services they received.