CMHACY Conference Exhibitors: National Accrediting Organizations

The 2016 CMHACY conference will highlight topics of special interest to those impacted by the child welfare Continuum of Care Reform (AB403). In addition to a number of relevant pre-conference and workshop sessions, representatives from the California approved national accrediting organizations will exhibit their programs and be available throughout the conference to discuss topics related to accreditation and quality care. For those program administrators and staff looking for support to become an accredited organization, accreditation consultants will also be on site to answer questions and address your concerns about the accreditation process.

Under AB403, all Short Term Residential Therapeutic Programs and Foster Family Agencies must be accredited by a national accrediting body. We are pleased to offer you the opportunity to meet with representatives from the approved accrediting organizations so you can be more fully informed and involved in the improvement of quality care to youth and families.


What is national accreditation?

Accreditation has been defined as “A self-assessment and external peer assessment process used by health care and human service organizations to accurately assess their level of performance in relation to established standards and to implement ways to continuously improve”. In other words, achieving accreditation by a recognized organization will ensure that the non-profit or governmental organization providing services meets accepted best practice standards and values, and has a system in place to continually monitor and improve their performance.

How organizations maintain quality and continue to improve in all areas is the subject of much debate. National accreditation is one recognized method by which this can be achieved.


What areas are reviewed in the accreditation process?

Each accrediting organization has slightly different areas that they review. However, all three approved accrediting organizations include a review of the following at a minimum:

Administration and Management

  • Ethics
  • Finance
  • Leadership
  • Staff support
  • Performance and quality improvement processes
  • Management of risk

Service Delivery and Administration

  • Facilities
  • Staff training
  • Client care
  • Client rights

Service Specific Elements:

Each accrediting organization will review the elements of the specific programs provided by the organization under review. For example, if the organization has a foster care program, the accrediting organization will compare all parts of the foster care program to those of highly efficient and effective foster care programs from across the nation.


Why should I visit with the exhibitors while I’m at the conference?

All conference attendees are encouraged to stop by our exhibitors to ask them questions about their review process and their role in monitoring quality care for California’s youth and families.

Several groups of CMHACY conference attendees may be interested in having a more detailed and specific discussion with the exhibitors. For example:

Government and non-profit administrators:

  • Find out more about the steps involved in becoming accredited by each organization.
  • Learn more about the minimal standards required to obtain accreditation to improve confidence in accredited organizations.
  • Compare the accrediting organization to determine which is the best match for your organization.
  • Obtain details about associated costs and timelines.

Program staff:

  • Identify performance standards for the specific programs you provide
  • Learn how to demonstrate the quality of your program(s)
  • Take the fear out of what will be expected of you and the staff you supervise

Youth, family members:

  • Learn more about what is reviewed in the accreditation process.
  • Inform the accrediting organizations of your experiences with the performance of the organizations you have been involved with.
  • Discuss the performance areas that are of most concern to you.

If you have not yet registered for the conference, there is still time.

We look forward to seeing you all at the conference next week!

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