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

One Hope United offers a range of services aimed at our mission of "Protecting children and strengthening families" including early childhood education, early intervention and prevention, family preservation, foster care, residential, and adoption.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Covington

Wm. R. (Bill) Jones, ACSW, MDiv, Chief Executive Officer

Catholic Charities in Covington has been COA accredited since 1996. Though the time spent in completing the self study and hosting the site visit can sometimes feel sometimes daunting, the rewards far outweigh the effort. In our agency, the self-study is a group process that involves every member of the staff from the CEO to the building maintenance staff.
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