After a year and a half of preparation, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois proudly received our COA re-accreditation in October of last year. During the 18 months leading up to the review, the organization had been undergoing evaluation and ensuring each of our policies and procedures were up-to-date and being properly utilized. Our COA accreditation is a testament to the fact that we are among those that provide the highest quality of services in our field.
What is the COA?
The Council on Accreditation (COA) was founded in 1977 by the Child Welfare League of America and Family Service America. They focus on partnering with human service organizations worldwide to consistently develop and uphold high accreditation standards. COA accredits the full spectrum of child welfare, behavioral health, and community-based social services.
By obtaining COA accreditation, we are acknowledging our focus on the well-being of our youth, their families, and our communities. Our accreditation also signifies that SOS Children’s Villages Illinois is effectively managing our resources and providing the best possible services to all of our stakeholders.
How Does the Accreditation Process Work?
COA accreditation applies to social services provided by both nonprofit and for-profit businesses and requires extensive review of the entire organization including their services, administration, and management functions. Each accreditation is good for four years.
The process from beginning to completion for accreditation is very involved and takes anywhere from 12-18 months. During this process, several things are occurring:
In-Depth Review of the Organization
The COA conducts a thorough and in-depth review of each organization before accreditation can occur. These review processes include comparing the organization and programs against currently accepted best practice standards as well as an onsite visit by an expert evaluation team and review. Once this process has been complete, a decision can be made by the accrediting body.
The Site Visit
A review team from the Council on Accreditation performs a thorough visit for each organization to verify the standards are being implemented properly. The site visit is usually is conducted over several days, but due to the pandemic, the majority of the evaluation was facilitated virtually. The areas addressed include:
- Document review
- Formal and informal interviews with staff, governing body members, clients & other stakeholders
- Facility and program observations
SOS Illinois Continues to Maintain High Standards
In our mission to provide children in foster care a family and community filled with hope so that they may grow into caring and productive adults, SOS Illinois maintains exceptionally high standards in our care. These standards include the programs and services that we offer to our youth as well as our dedicated and loving Foster Parents, on-site support staff, and the wonderful volunteers and mentors among our Villages. Our COA accreditation is evidenced by the quality of care we provide our children.
If you’d like to know more about the COA accreditation process, you can do so on their website.