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The Council on Accreditation (COA) informed DCFS this week that the agency's Child Welfare program is in compliance with the Interim Public Agency Accreditation Standards. Child welfare services in Louisiana have been accredited through COA since 2003.
"We are honored to receive notice that we continue to meet the high standards required to be recognized as a COA accredited agency," said Suzy Sonnier, DCFS Secretary. "COA accreditation requires a rigorous review of DCFS child welfare service delivery and management practices including on-site review of case records as well as direct feedback from DCFS staff, stakeholders and clients."
The re-accreditation process took more than six months and required detailed reviews of DCFS' performance, management and service delivery functions, which were judged against international best practice standards. Steps included self-study, site visits, a review by the accreditation commission and submission of annual reports.
"This is a tremendous achievement that demonstrates that your agency 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," wrote Richard Klarberg, President and CEO of the Council on Accreditation, in a message notifying DCFS of the accreditation.
Only a handful of state social services agencies are currently COA accredited, including Louisiana, Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee. DCFS' accredited services are adoption services, child protective services, foster care, family preservation and stabilization services, and kinship care services.
The Council on Accreditation is an international, independent, not-for-profit, child-and-family-service and behavioral healthcare accrediting organization. It was founded in 1977 by the Child Welfare League of America and Family Service America (now the Alliance for Children and Families).