Standards for Public Agencies
- Accreditation Guidelines
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Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children's Services
Galo A. Rodriguez, M.P.H., President & CEO
Since Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children’s Services pursued its COA accreditation on October 14, 2004, this corporation has sustained a continuous quality improvement process by not looking whom to blame among the involved parties but improving what we have already done well… because good enough is not good enough.
COA's Standards for Public Agencies reflect COA's philosophy that accreditation is not an end but a means to an end. The real endpoint is an agency's enhanced growth and stability, an unwavering commitment to the health, safety, and rights of clients, and measurable results.
The standards have a strong coherence due largely to a unifying framework using a three-level structure. At the highest level, a purpose standard provides the overall aim of the practices in a section of standards. At a middle level, each of the parts that comprise a section is headed by a core concept standard. These standards are written to help agencies measure program output. Lastly, at a third level, standards contain detailed practices that contribute to the core concept, and to meeting the purpose. These are practice standards. When implementing the standards, an agency will see at a glance a recognizable outcomes orientation.
The standards rest on a platform of ongoing guidance of three kinds: information gathered formally through expert panels and advisor work groups; informal discussion with human service agencies about how the standards are implemented in a range of circumstances; and reviews of published research and professional literature. Material the standards draw upon—selected research notes, strong practices with evidentiary support, practices COA identifies as "evidence informed," and reference lists—is included for your information. With your participation, this material will continue to grow and evolve as new practice developments and service delivery trends emerge.
The Standards for Public Agencies are grounded in a long-standing, widely held belief that individuals who receive services are the direct beneficiaries when agencies invest in strong management practice, and can validate the impact of their services on those served. COA also embraces the idea that the positive effects of implementing national standards multiply when agencies become part of a community that shares and supports this perspective. We hope you will consult and implement the standards to that end.