Council on Accreditation

Council on Accreditation (COA)

A major milestone occurred last Friday Nov. 10 with the submission of our self-study to COA in New York. Everyone in this organization needs to be congratulated on your contributions to building a “Culture of Quality”. A special thanks goes to Terry Bush for shepherding us through this development. In addition to the ongoing PQI meeting and activities, a diocesan board committee chaired by Judge John Parnham has been formed to prepare for our COA site visit on January 21-23, 2007.

A mock site visit by Peggy Walker, consultant and COA trustee is scheduled for Jan. 11-12, 2007. COA recognition in 2007 will affirm our growth and development as a vibrant, high performing non-profit, leading the way to new visibility, funding and programs in all regions. We plan to conduct a major marketing campaign following this recognition, expected by April 2007.


The Council on Accreditation (COA), a national association that accredits public agencies and private providers of child and family services and behavioral health services, will be making a site visit to assess the agency for reaccreditation. This team of trained peer reviewers will be assessing all areas of our organization to ascertain that we meet the highest standards of service and management.

Our focus is on building a Culture of Quality here at Catholic Charities. This effort has involved the participation of everyone in the organization. We have strived over the past year to identify areas of needed improvement so that we can achieve strong performances, our program goals, and positive results for clients.
Recent studies by the U.S. General Accounting Office and COA researchers found that accredited agencies and organizations enjoy significant benefits over non-accredited agencies. The GAO report cited the success of two COA-accredited state agencies in retaining staff and delivering services. The COA report found that accredited agencies had superior risk management, personnel evaluation and corrective action processes in place – all three key requirements for delivering quality services.


COA is an international, independent, not-for-profit, child and family services and behavioral healthcare services accrediting organization.

Founded in 1977 by the Child Welfare League of America and Family Service America, COA promotes best practice standards; champions quality services for children, youth, and families; and advocates for the value of accreditation. In 2001, COA accredited or was in the process of accrediting more than 1,600 private and public organizations that serve more than seven million individuals and families in the United States and Canada.

COA accreditation is a process of evaluating an organization against best practice standards. COA develops standards by using a consensus model with input from service providers, funders, policymakers and consumers across the United States and Canada. The standards represent up-to-date research findings, regulations, and practice experiences that together serve to define quality organizational practice.

COA’s standards are comprised of organizational and management standards and service standards, including the full array of child and family services, behavioral healthcare services, financial management/debt counseling services, employee assistance programs, and many service areas for which no othe