On July 31, 2007, Kids Central was the 2nd lead agency in the State of Florida to achieve Network Accreditation with the Council on Accreditation (COA). COA partners with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.
In April 2010, Kids Central launched its bid for reaccreditation as a Network provider, as well as the accreditation of four (4) programs/services, Kinship Care Services, Post Adoption Support Services and Foster Home Licensing and Relicensing and Youth Independent Living Services, which was initially accredited in October of 2009.
In May 2015, Kids Central successfully earned its Council on Accreditation (COA) Reaccreditation of the overall organization and Independent Living, Kinship, Foster Care, and Licensing programs. Additionally, Kids Central’s Healthy Start Programs serving Alachua and Lake Counties were the first in the state to become COA Accredited. In the Final Accreditation Report provided by the COA, the Quality Management and Utilization Management Departments were both recognized for monitoring and tracking services of external case management agencies and internal program outcomes. This is just another piece of Kids Central’s performance management puzzle.
COA envisions excellence in the delivery of human services globally, resulting in the wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities. COA accredits for-profit companies and public agencies at the state, county and municipal levels. At present, five state-administered child welfare systems – Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, and West Virginia – have been accredited by COA, while others are in the process. While most organizations are located in the United States, they can also be found in Canada, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, England, and the Philippines.
There are many benefits for organizations that achieve and maintain accreditation status with COA, including:
- Offers national and external validation of performance;
- Helps to focus, track, and package good service and management practices that an organization uses to operate daily;
- Builds infrastructure to support excellence in performance;
- Expresses concept standards and encourages work in measureable program output language;
- Has positive impact on the workforce and on accountability;
- Builds accountability in management by using a qualitative Self-Study process;
- Demonstrates evidence-based practices;
- Provides measurement tools in the form of administrative and service standards;
- Documents practice through Self-Studies;
- Establishes credibility that the organization is effective and professionally sound;
- Demonstrates accountability in management of resources;
- Constitutes a facilitative process;
- Supports positive outcomes;
- Aligns with other performance models used in human services (i.e., Children and Family Service Review and Baldrige);
- Builds staff morale;
- Provides an external review conducted by experts from around the country and, if appropriate, validates the agency’s documentation of performance as outlined in the Self-Study;
- Placed the organization in a strong competitive position;
- Shows a high degree of commitment to comparing agency practices to national standards;
- Supports federal measures and provides evidence-based documentation for consent decrees;
- Sets standardized best practice thresholds for service and administration;
- Creates a framework for ongoing performance quality improvement;