Eight Accreditation Myths and Misconceptions

Article published in Alliance Magazine: Issue 3 - 2013

By Rochelle Haimes, ACSW

Click here to view the article on the Alliance for Children and Families website. 

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Ask senior leaders why their agency is accredited, and the answer they offer will probably vary greatly from the answer they gave 10-15 years ago. In the past, most agencies that became accredited did so voluntarily to stretch beyond minimal state regulations. Accreditation, in these “early days,” was likened to the Good Housekeeping Seal.

But times have changed. As more public entities have become accredited, their private providers are expected to follow suit. Many states continue to mandate accreditation for those programs that receive Medicaid money for identified mental health services. And, as dollars shrink for nonprofits, accreditation has increasingly become a competitive edge on an agency’s application for corporate and philanthropic dollars.

What hasn’t changed, however, are the myths and misconceptions that keep organizations from pursuing accreditation—misconceptions about how much information to share with the board, how much work is required after the plaque is on the wall, and whether to hire a consultant. This article will identify some common misconceptions about becoming successfully accredited, within the context of this consultant’s experience.

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WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Stillwater-based FamilyMeans provides services in budget and credit counseling, mental health, collaborative divorce, caregiver support, youth programming, and an employee assistance program. 
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Orange County Government, Youth & Family Services Division

Rodney J. Hrobar Sr., LMHC, CPP, Quality Assurance Manager

As the lead agency in Orange County, providing the safety net for children and families, it is reassuring that our clients can be confident that their needs will be addressed in accordance with the most stringent standards of public, as well as private, accountability as monitored and reviewed by the Council on Accreditation. 
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