Agencies’ Views on the Effects of the Council on Accreditation Processedit
While accreditation is widespread, the evidence of its effectiveness is still developing. This exploratory, multiple case study of five children and family service agencies aims to understand agency leaders’ and employees’ views on the effects of undergoing COA accreditation. COA affected processes, including quality improvement practices, policies and procedures, and communication among staff. COA spurred some structural changes, such as decreased caseloads and creation of new staff positions. Some employees were skeptical about accreditation, and the COA experience both increased and decreased morale. COA’s effect on client outcomes was not always prominent. Further research is needed to maximize accreditation’s potential.