Catholic Charities of Central Colorado (CCCC) has achieved national accreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA). CCCC provides over 75 programs and services for the working poor, families, individuals, unsupported teens, seniors on a limited income, veterans, people who are disabled, and people experiencing homelessness. Organizations pursue accreditation to demonstrate the implementation of best practice standards in the field of human services. COA evaluated all aspects of CCCC’s programs, services, management, and administration. CCCC has continued to receive accreditation since February 1997.
In addition to receiving accreditation for the more mature programs such as Life Connections Adoption and Pregnancy Counseling program, Family Immigration Services, Marian House programs, as well as the administration, marketing, and finance areas, accreditation was also received for CCCC’s newest, fastest growing programs including:
- The Family Day Center, which helps families and children in crisis;
- Family Mentor Alliance, in collaboration with local congregations, helps families transition out of homelessness;
- The Life Skills and Career Development Center, which recently announced it had helped 200 people become employed, teaches people the skills needed to get and keep a job to become more stable, and;
- The Castle Rock office of CCCC which opened in May 2013 and is helping more than 80 people each month with counseling, emergency services and English as a Second Language classes.
COA accreditation is an objective, independent, and reliable validation of an agency’s performance. The COA accreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of an organization’s administration, management, and service delivery functions against international standards of best practice. The standards driving accreditation ensure that services are well-coordinated, culturally competent, evidence-based, outcomes-oriented, and provided by a skilled and supported workforce. COA accreditation demonstrates accountability in the management of resources, sets standardized best practice thresholds for service and administration, and increases organizational capacity and accountability by creating a framework for ongoing quality improvement.
To achieve COA accreditation, CCCC first provided written evidence of compliance with the COA standards. Thereafter, a group of specially trained volunteer Peer Reviewers confirmed adherence to these standards during a series of on-site interviews with board of directors, staff, and clients. The entire process takes about 12 to 18 months and is repeated every four years. . “This accreditation, and the rigorous process that our staff and board went through to achieve it, is so valuable for our agency. It pushes us to the highest standard of care for those we serve as well as the highest level of stewardship for resources that our community entrusts to us.” said Andy Barton, President & CEO of Catholic Charities.
Based on their findings, COA’s volunteer-based Accreditation Commission voted that Catholic Charities of Central Colorado had successfully met the criteria for accreditation. Only 42 agencies in Colorado have received COA accreditation of which only four are in Colorado Springs: Catholic Charities, Falcon Trail Youth Center at the USAF Academy, Fort Carson Patriot School-Age Services and Mesa School Age Center on Fort Carson, and R.P. Lee Youth Center at Peterson AFB.
An endorsement of COA and the value of its accreditation process is reflected in it being named by the US State Department as the sole national independent accrediting body under the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption to accredit inter-country adoption service providers. In addition, COA is the only national accreditor designated by the U.S. Department of Defense to develop accreditation standards and processes for human service programs provided to military personnel and their families.
Founded in 1977, COA is an independent, not-for-profit accreditor of the full continuum of community-based behavioral health care and social service organizations in the United States and Canada. Over 2,000 organizations — voluntary, public, and proprietary; local and statewide; large and small — have either successfully achieved COA accreditation or are currently engaged in the process. Presently, COA has a total of 47 service standards that are applicable to over 125 different types of programs. To learn more about COA, please visit www.COAnet.org.