Q&A with the Executive Director
What is Accreditation and why is it important?
Accreditation is a process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented and verified. CARF accreditation consists of ongoing consultation and in-depth on-site reviews to help our organization achieve the highest quality of care for our clients and funders.
- Accreditation is an official recognition that our organization is guided by provincial, national and internationally recognized service standards and best practices.
- Accreditation is a statement to the public that our organization strives to ensure that our services other are of the highest possible quality.
- Accreditation demonstrates that the organization behaves ethically and employs suitable quality assurance practices.
- Accreditation demonstrates that our organization has opened its service delivery and business processes to outside scrutiny to improve the quality of our programs.
- Accreditation demonstrates a provider's commitment to continuously improve service quality and to focus on the satisfaction of referral sources and the persons served.
What does achieving accreditation mean to our clients and referral sources?
Accreditation demonstrates to customers that our organization is committed to reducing risk, addressing health and safety concerns, respecting cultural individual preferences, and providing the best possible quality of care. Accreditation demonstrates that our organization values the input of our clients and is accountable to the community and the clients we serve. Accreditation indicates that our organization respects the rights and individually of our clients, we track our outcomes and success. Accreditation demonstrates that our organization has made a specific commitment to put the needs of our youth and families at the center of everything we do.
What does the accreditation process look like?
An organization can choose to have either part or all of its programs and services assessed to meet accreditation criteria. Venture Academy chose to have all our programs and services assessed for accreditation. Venture Academy was subjected to nearly 3,000 points of quality assurance criteria for accreditation assessment in our residential locations. The organization is inspected and evaluated to compare policies procedures and real-life practice to all accreditation standards and criteria.
- Experienced on site CARF surveyors attended our locations to thoroughly assess and evaluate our administrative, clinical, and business practices. This consisted of reading our materials, everything from - introductory and orientation materials through to policies around health and safety processes and critical incident reporting.
- Interaction with our staff - little interaction with management and ownership and more interaction with front-line staff to ensure policies are really being put into practice as compared to simply having good processes "on paper".
- Confidential conversations with our clients. Clients included youth themselves as well as the parents of children in the program currently and historically. Families tell their stories and answer questions from experienced surveyors who know how to dig deep looking for true and accurate measurement of criteria based experiences including care and treatment from staff.
- Confidential conversations with community reference sources from differnt provinces including; a Social Worker referral source who refers and places youth in care of the provincial government with Venture Academy for care and treatment, an Executive Director of a community social service agency, in BC a personal reference from a Team Leader with the Ministry of Children and Family Development regarding Venture Academy Executive Director's previous involvement as a residential caregiver with MFCD.
- Inspection of our clinical processes and practices which includes clinical approaches and counselling practices, psychological assessment processes, treatment planning with goals around mental health, addictions, clinical diagnoses, education, physical health, family counselling etc.
- Inspection, scrutiny and evaluation of our residential treatment care "host family" model and all associated practices and procedures within that model as it pertains to health, safety, clinical support etc.
- Examination and criteria assurance around Outcome Evaluation System in which the organization measures the success of our participants in the program including short and long-term follow-up.
Is accreditation mandatory?
Accreditation is not mandatory. It is a voluntary process in which only a select number of service providers choose to proceed with. Even within the government contracting arena accreditation is not mandatory. For example, with MCFD in British Columbia, the province's child welfare minsitry accrediatation is not mandatory.
Who is CARF?
CARF is the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, known as CARF.
CARF / CARF Canada is an independent nonprofit accrediting body who's mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served. CARF is recognized by provincial ministries across Canada and is chosen and approved by provincial ministries across Canada as the accrediting body of choice to measure and evaluate quality assurance processes and accreditation standards.