WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Heartland for Children is the not-for-profit agency responsible for the foster care system in Polk, Highlands, and Hardee Counties.
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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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Purpose

Sound governance increases the nonprofit organization’s viability and sustainability.

CA-GOV 8: Chief Executive Officer

The chief executive officer effectively collaborates with the governing body, as appropriate, to enunciate and achieve the organization’s mission and vision, promote a healthy organizational culture, and oversee and manage the organization’s operations.

Interpretation: There are varying titles for the head of an organization, such as President, Chief Executive Officer, or Executive Director. Depending upon the type of organization or service (e.g., multi-service organization, large or small organization, internal or external EAP program, etc.) the individual fulfilling this role may have other designations, such as Operating Manager, Program Director, or Program Officer. The standard requires that there is a clearly identified person to whom the governing body delegates the day-to-day management of the organization and whom it holds accountable for the organization’s performance.

Research Note: Some literature proposes a key to success in a leadership role is achieving and defining strategic clarity. Strategic clarity can be defined as aligning an organization’s operational systems and structures through setting priorities, establishing performance measures and making trade-offs around a common objective in efforts to gain organizational stability.

Rating Indicators
1
The organization's practices fully meet the standard, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the CA-GOV 8 Practice standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the CA-GOV 8 Practice standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the CA-GOV 8 Practice standards.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the CA-GOV 8 Practice standards.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
No Self-Study Evidence
    • CEO job description
    • CEO resume
    • Interview:
      1. CEO
      2. Governing Body Chair
      3. Personnel at all levels

  • CA-GOV 8.01

    The chief executive officer’s primary responsibilities are:

    1. overall management of the organization; 
    2. implementation of organization-wide, long-term strategic planning and periodic reviews; 
    3. encouragement of timely, engaged, mission-oriented board deliberations; 
    4. working with the governing body to secure adequate resources; 
    5. development and review of strategies and procedures required to offer effective, efficient and outcome based services approved by the board;
    6. attendance at meetings of the governing body or advisory group, except possibly those held to review the executive’s performance, status, or compensation; 
    7. active promotion of strategic, planned adaptation to changing conditions; 
    8. provision of regular reports to the governing body on the organization’s operations, finances, and implementation of the long-term plan; and 
    9. establishment of a workplace environment that is respectful of and supportive of the rights and welfare of the organization’s staff, volunteers and service recipients. 

    Interpretation: The chief executive officer involves, consults with, and gives leadership to the governing body and/or advisory group in visioning, planning, policy, and decision-making processes. The chief executive officer and governing body work as an effective team with information, coordination, staffing, and assistance provided by the executive, to support the governing body in its leadership, policy making and oversight functions.

    Interpretation: Regarding element (g), the chief executive officer should stay current on issues that could impact service delivery and operations that may require sustained efforts to address logical changes. Adapting to changing conditions requires the executive to be flexible and capable of addressing systemic challenges that may require development of new processes, systems, or skills.

    Research Note: Best practice emphasises the importance of leadership’s visibility outside the organization, investing in activities such as advocating and educating about the organization’s mission and collaborating with other organizations in the community. Investing in these activities can assist organizations in mitigating uncertain economic climates and proactively identifying opportunities for change.

    Research Note: Setting broad long-term goals rather than rigid, detailed action plans allows for flexibility in adapting to changing conditions by maintaining focus on the core objectives and underscores leadership responsibility in driving organizational impact.

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g., 
    • The executive director does not attend, or have a representative at every board meeting (excluding audit committee meetings); or
    • Minor communication problems exist; or
    • The executive director and governing body are actively working to improve their effectiveness as a team in response to a few identified issues; or
    • One or two of the elements are not fully addressed, e.g., executive director reports to the governing body sometimes lack depth.
    3
    Practice needs significant improvement; e.g.,
    • The executive director tightly controls information the board receives, so that the board frequently lacks the information needed to make informed decisions and effectively govern; or
    • The executive director does not attend or provide staff support for many meetings for two or more governing body and/or committee meetings per year; or
    • The executive director often provides only verbal reports, or provides written reports that are cursory or otherwise do not provide timely or useful information; or
    • Three of the elements are not fully addressed; or
    • One element is not addressed at all.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
    • The partnership between the executive director and governing body is completely ineffective or nonexistent; e.g. 
      • The governing body is asked only to ratify decisions or is told of decisions after the fact, or
      • The executive is excluded by the governing body action from most committee activity; or
    • More than three of the elements of the standard are not fully addressed; or
    • Two or more elements are not addressed at all.

  • CA-GOV 8.02

    The chief executive officer inspires, directs, and works effectively with senior management to provide the structure, values, leadership, and adaptive, technical, and managerial processes and activities that maintain a positive, productive, ethical culture.

    Interpretation: Adaptive processes address actions and innovations made in response to changing conditions.

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
    • The executive director and management staff are actively working to improve their effectiveness as a team in response to a few identified issues.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g., 
    • The executive director's relationship with management staff is strained to the extent that the organization's ability to operate effectively is in jeopardy.
    4
    The relationship between the executive director and management has deteriorated to the point that the organization's ability to deliver quality services is a risk.

  • CA-GOV 8.03

    The chief executive officer is qualified by:

    1. an advanced degree from an accredited college or university in a field related to the organization’s mission and services;
    2. at least five years of related leadership experience;
    3. competence in administering services to families, adults, youth and/or children;
    4. the skills to oversee human resource and financial management matters; and
    5. the ability to work effectively and proactively with other providers, and local, provincial/territorial and federal entities.

    Interpretation: In credit counseling organizations the chief executive officer is qualified by a bachelor’s degree and does not require competence in administering services to families, adults, youth and/or children (element c).

    Interpretation: In an EAP the the executive director is quailifed by experience in workplace programs, an understanding of the dual client relationship, and does not necessarily require competence in administering services to families, adults, youth and/or children (element c).

    Note: The elements of the standard will be considered together to assess the competence of the chief executive officer and provide a rating.

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization's executive director is qualified as per the requirements of the standard.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
    • The executive director does not meet element (a), however he/she is qualified as per elements (b) – (e); or
    • The executive director meets the advanced degree requirement but has less than five years of related leadership experience; or
    • The executive director has limited skills to oversee human resource and/or financial management matters but is receiving training to develop/enhance these skills or has consultants that provide support and advice.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
    • The executive director does not meet two of the standard's elements.
    4
    The organization's executive director does not meet three or more of the standard's elements.
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