Accreditation Survey Reveals Good and Bad

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The New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA), which works to accredit human service organizations, including private social service groups, sent e-mail surveys in April to 5,000 after-school providers, with the intention of improving its own accreditation standards. Only 128 responded, but they highlighted their positives:

• 94 percent of respondents said they have written program goals.

• 95 percent of respondents have written program budgets.

• 98 percent of respondents have written job descriptions and review them before staff members begin their duties.

• 99 percent of respondents conduct background checks on all employees who have contact with children and youth.

The responses also showed areas that need improvement:

• Nearly one-third of respondents do not update their risk management plans annually.

• Around half of respondents do not review grievances quarterly.

• Almost one-third of respondents do not track measurable program outcomes.

• More than 20 percent of respondents do not have a comprehensive emergency management plan.

In response to a question asking which of COA’s after-school standards were most difficult to implement, 50 percent of respondents indicated they have no difficulty at all, while 37 percent said they were not familiar with the standards.

Contact: Jim Murphy, COA after school project manager, (585) 377-1461.