Cabinet for Health and Family Services Department of Community Based Services earns reaccreditation

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Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) – the state’s human services agency – has been reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). COA is an international, independent, not-for-profit, child- and family-service and behavioral health care accrediting organization. Kentucky is one of only four states in the country with this distinction.

The reaccreditation means that DCBS’ child and adult protective services and foster care and adoption programs meet the highest national standards and deliver the best quality services to the community.

“The process of reaccreditation is very thorough, leaving no program unevaluated,” said CHFS Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson. “I am very proud of our staff and our policies that protect children, adults and families. Successful reaccreditation affirms DCBS’ commitment to high quality, comprehensive services. Every member of the Division of Protection and Permanency – including our dedicated field staff and Central Office employees — has contributed to this achievement.”

Reaccreditation demonstrates an organization is recognized as a provider that continues to successfully implement high performance standards and, as such, is delivering the highest quality services to all of its stakeholders. Accreditation enhances organizational learning/knowledge, defines staff qualifications, promotes workload efficiencies, improves agency credibility, and promotes best practice/improvement of the quality of services provided.

COA accredits both public and private human service organizations with a specific orientation to child and family services. COA compares all such agencies to a set of national standards. The COA accreditation process for DCBS included self-study and onsite review of all administrative and field offices throughout the state, facilitating the identification of system-wide and region-specific strengths and opportunities for improvement. On-site review involved interviews with community stakeholders, clients and staff; as well as direct observation of facilities, systems data, and case file documentation.

COA relies on peer reviewers, human service professionals from across North America, to complete on-site evaluations. Peer review teams visiting Kentucky reviewed each of the department’s nine regions, as well as DCBS’ administrative central office. Each site visit was conducted over a four- or five-day period during which administration/management, service delivery administration, and specific service standards were assessed.

DCBS Commissioner Adria Johnson said that though the reaccreditation process is intense and takes weeks of planning and meeting with reviewers, staff works toward this accomplishment every day.

“Our staff knows that meeting these standards, reaching this level of accreditation, means not only that we match up with stellar protective services agencies across the world, but that we are doing our best to keep families safe,” Johnson said. “I am pleased that our staff could be recognized for their daily child and adult protection efforts.”

COA was founded in 1977 by the Child Welfare League of America and Family Service America. The organization partners with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

COA has accredited or is in the process of accrediting more than 2,200 private and public organizations that serve more than 7 million individuals and families in the United States, Canada, Bermuda, Belgium, Cuba, Germany, Italy, Japan, Puerto Rico, South Korea, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom.

DCBS was originally accredited in 2002 after being the first state to voluntarily apply for national accreditation. The COA reaccreditation process is generally conducted on a four-year cycle. DCBS has remained continuously accredited to the present, having completed COA reaccreditation in 2007 and 2012.

Kentucky is one of four public state-administered child/adult welfare agencies currently accredited in the nation. The other states are Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee. Certain locally administered public child/adult protection agencies in Alabama, California, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas have also received accreditation.

Read further about COA online at www.coanet.org.

Learn more about DCBS services at chfs.ky.gov.

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

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