A National Perspective on Exploring Correlates of Accreditation in Children’s Mental Health Careedit
This study is the first to explore national accreditation rates and the relationship between accreditation status and organizational characteristics and quality indicators in children’s mental health. Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey of Mental Health Treatment Facilities (NSMHTF) were used from 8,247 facilities that serve children and/or adolescents. Nearly 60% (n=4,925) of the facilities were accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), or The Joint Commission (TJC). Chi-square analyses were conducted to explore relationships. Compared to non-accredited facilities, more accredited facilities reported greater number of admissions, acceptance of government funding and client funds, and implementation of several quality indicators. Policies with incentives for accreditation could influence accreditation rates, and accreditation could influence quality indicators. These results set the foundation for future research about the drivers of the accreditation phenomenon and its impact on children’s mental health outcomes.