About Public Agency Accreditation
COA is widely recognized by states and national organizations as an accrediting body with the capacity, scope, and ability to contribute significantly to the improvement of behavioral healthcare and child welfare systems. Strengthening its services for the public sector has been one of COA’s primary goals, and its accredited agencies testify to the value of accreditation for their organizations in terms of creating and sustaining organizational change, improving supervisory practices, and measurably enhancing service delivery.
To that end, COA accredits public agencies that provide a broad array of services—including local management entities/lead agencies—and has standards that specifically address the unique structure, identity, and needs of public entities. COA is the only accreditor that has a comprehensive public agency accreditation process.
The motivation for public agencies to become COA accredited are varied and primarily related to their environment. One significant motivation is that COA’s Public Agency Standards are extremely supportive of effective practices. COA’s standards are research based and outcomes oriented.
For public agencies, the decision to pursue accreditation is a major step in opening up their agency to a high level of self-examination and review. Additionally, accreditation builds public faith in the agency through the knowledge that the administration, management, and services have been rigorously and independently reviewed. It also supports the agency regarding its oversight bodies, whether state, federal or independent. A significant number of states and counties use the accreditation process to assist with their program improvement plans associated with the CFSRs.
Depending on the structure of the public agency pursuing accreditation, COA will create a realistic accreditation timeline that takes into account agency readiness, size, number of programs and sites, and capacity. In addition, COA provides strong support throughout the process that includes one-on-one work with a coordinator, readiness assessments, and many training opportunities.
COA’s public agency accreditation process requires the review of all an agency’s administrative functions as well as its service provision. As such, COA service standards are applied to all the applicable services that are being provided by the public agency at the time it is seeking accreditation.
Private Organization Accreditation
Sweetser, a Maine non-profit agency operating since 1828, provides comprehensive mental and behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services. Statewide, it serves around 15,000 consumers a year, including children, adults, and families in outpatient, office-based, and residential settings.
read more >>
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.