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Family & Children’s Place best in class services re-accredited

April 12, 2016

Council on Accreditation affirms highest standards of care, proven, positive outcomes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 12, 2016) – Family & Children’s Place, the leading agency in Louisville and Southern Indiana providing services that stop, prevent and heal trauma caused by child abuse, violence and neglect, has been reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), the premier accrediting body for social service agencies in the United States.

600600p2362EDNmain2199COA LogoCOA accreditation – which requires a comprehensive review of the agency’s practices every four years – attests Family & Children’s Place meets the highest national standards of best practice and delivers the best quality services to child and family clients. Although a reaccreditation, COA conducts the evaluation as if the agency were going through the process for the first time.

“Reaccreditation affirms our commitment to deliver the highest quality, highest level and most impactful services at Family & Children’s Place,” said Pam Darnall, president and CEO, “but it also reflects the talent and commitment of staff that daily helps heal children and families struggling to recover from trauma.”

This reaccreditation includes for the first time the agency’s supervised visitation center, which provides a safe place for visits and exchanges for children and families impacted by violence and for children removed from their home due to abuse and/or severe neglect.

The accreditation process begins with a self-study by the agency, includes feedback from agency clients and stakeholders and a visit by third-party evaluators who review every aspect of the work – ethical practice, financial management, governance, human resources management, performance and quality improvement and risk prevention and management (program operations and clinical practices).

COA then measures the outcomes and performance findings against a set of standards based on research and a national consensus process conducted to define “best practice.”

“This is no small achievement,” said Darnall. “Thousands of hours of research, review and effort went into this process, led by our vice president of Programs, Donna Russow. I’m extremely proud of the Family & Children’s Place team and happy that COA agrees that we provide accessible, culturally appropriate, evidence based and trauma informed services that create positive outcomes.”

Citations in the COA report include:

  • The organization’s training program supports staff’s ability to provide competent, high quality services to clients. Supervision is provided by well-qualified leaders invested in guiding, directing and assisting staff.
  • The Child Advocacy Center and HANDS program meet high standards for service delivery, quality of workforce, supervision and training. Strong community collaboration and outreach occurs in both programs. Innovative practices and services are implemented and ongoing evaluation occurs.
  • The organization has a superior mental health treatment program. Interventions are trauma-focused and staff has the skills and supports necessary to help targeted populations served by the organization. There is strong evidence of collaboration and service planning with the client, family and community partners.
  • The agency’s supervised visitation program provides high quality, secure supervision between children and their parents. The organization’s development of off-site visitation is also commendable and demonstrates commitment to the safety and well-being of all participants.
  • The PAL Coalition is a demonstrably effective community coalition focused on the prevention and reduction of youth substance abuse.
  • A major strength for CLASP (Collaborative Learning After School Program) is the dedicated, knowledgeable, skilled, creative, caring staff who function extraordinarily well as a team providing a high quality program for youth and their families.

“We are proud to continue to be included in COA’s Community of Excellence,” Darnall said.

The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Founded in 1977, its mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards. It envisions “excellence in the delivery of human services globally, resulting in the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.”

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Family & Children’s Place works to protect Kentuckiana children, families and communities from abuse, neglect and exploitation and, through research-based, trauma-informed services, help them heal. The organization has supported families for more than 130 years and today serves approximately 5,000 children and families annually. For more information about Family and Children’s Place, visit or call 502-893-3900.