SOS Children’s Village BC is thrilled to announce that we achieved national accreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA) in January 2018. SOS Children’s Village BC provides the following services to children in foster care, youth aging out of care, and at-risk youth: The SOS Village in Surrey, Transition to Adulthood Program, Youth Housing Year Intensive Program, Counselling, Expressive Art/Play Therapy, Learning Club Program, Camp Recreation Cultural Exploration Program, Sounds of Learning Music Program, and Caregiver Support Program.
It took us nine months to achieve accreditation. Organizations pursue accreditation to demonstrate the implementation of best practice standards in the field of human services. COA evaluated all aspects of SOS BC’s programs, services, management, and administration.
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, SOS Children’s Village BC 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 trustees, staff, and clients.
Based on their findings, COA’s volunteer-based Accreditation Commission voted that SOS Children’s Village BC had successfully met the criteria for accreditation.
An endorsement of COA and the value of its accreditation process is reflected in it being named by the U.S. State Department as the sole national independent accrediting body under the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption to accredit intercountry adoption service providers. In addition, COA is the only 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 behavioural 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.
SOS Children’s Village BC offers its services to children in foster care, youth aging out of care, and at-risk youth in the Lower Mainland. We have been providing these vital, high-demand, and life-changing services since 1986.
Our biggest achievement is that we had no out-of-compliance ratings and were expedited through the final process, meaning there was no pre-commission review report required. Less than 10% of organizations going through the process achieve this feat. The reviewers told us afterwards our rankings were one of the best they had ever seen.
PERFORMANCE AND QUALITY IMPROVEMENT (PQI)
SOS Children’s Village BC is committed to excellence in client service quality and to respecting the dignity, integrity, and diversity of the clients we serve. We have implemented a Performance and Quality Improvement program as part of our accreditation that assesses and monitors our business practices and the delivery of services to ensure that they are consistent with our goals for providing services that focus on meeting the unique needs and concerns of our clients, employees, and volunteers, thereby enhancing the health and effectiveness of the children, youth, and caregivers we serve.
Within our PQI program, patterns and trends for quality improvement will be identified, necessary changes identified, and remedial steps taken. The primary purpose of data collection and analysis is to look for ways to improve our programs and services. Service evaluation and service improvements are evident on a continuous basis throughout SOS BC.
Our internal processes and services are evaluated by reviews of the following program data:
- Client satisfaction results
- Clinical record reviews
- Clinical service outcomes
- Incidents and accidents
- Management and business operations
We understand that telling you about our best practices is not enough. It is for this reason that we put our organization and our services up to independent scrutiny through the COA Accreditation Process, and achieved official accredited status in January 2018. COA has specific standards for Canadian program providers, including:
- Administration and Management
- Ethical Practice
- Financial Management
- Human Resources
- Performance and Quality Improvement
- Risk Prevention Management
- Administrative Services
- Behavioural Support and Management
- Clients Rights
- Training and Supervision
- Social Services