Founded in 1977 by the CHILD WELFARE LEAGUE OF AMERICA INC. and Family Service America and funded by many sources, including grants from the Department of Health and Human Services and foundations, the council provides national accreditation for social services agencies, a credential agencies may cite. This accreditation does not replace the licensing process of state, county or local governments.
According to executive director David Shover, accreditation is a voluntary and private activity that has been created and implemented to optimize professionalism. Shover envisions the council's primary purpose as encouraging high-quality service through a stringent review process as well as the building of confidence in the effectiveness of the accreditation process.
The council currently accredits 550 agencies in the United States and Canada. Its board of directors meets twice a year, and the executive committee also meets twice a year. The council publishes accreditation requirements in its Provisions for Accreditation, which includes sections on adoption and pregnancy counseling. The COA Update is published twice per year.
Social services agencies are evaluated by a broad array of criteria, for example, the council sets "generic organizational requirements," such as "The Agency in the Community" and "Fiscal Management." "Specialized service requirements" include such evaluation criteria as "emergency shelter for abused and neglected children," "pregnancy counseling and supportive services," "resettlement service" and critically important functions.
The council charges accreditation fees every four years and an annual maintenance fee.
The seven council sponsors are the ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH FAMILY & CHILDREN'S AGENCIES, Catholic Charities USA, Child Welfare League of America, Family Service America, Lutheran Social Ministry System, National Association of Services and Homes for Children and the NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR ADOPTION.
For more information, contact
Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children Inc.
The Association Center
120 Wall Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10005
Find more information on Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children Inc.
©2000 by Christine Adamec and William Pierce, Ph.D. Reprinted from The Encyclopedia of Adoption, 2nd Edition (2nd Edition) with permission of Facts On File, Inc.
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