Jewish Family Services provides Richmond’s highest quality Care, Counseling and Adoption services. One way we ensure all JFS services do not simply meet, but exceed, industry standards is through our accreditation by the Counsel on Accreditation (COA). COA is an independent organization, separate from the government, that ensures all of our programs and services are being delivered to the highest possible standards. Currently, JFS is one of only three social service agencies in Richmond to be accredited by COA.
JFS has been accredited by COA for 25 years. This fall we had our agency reaccreditation visit. Reaccreditation is not an easy process and occurs every four years. The year prior to the visit, JFS completes an in-depth self-study which reviews all of our policies, record keeping processes and client feedback.
The site visit itself, which occurred in September, is overseen and conducted by COA certified independent field experts. The experts review every agency practice from the communication of client’s rights to client wait time and experience. They accomplish this review process through comprehensive interviews with JFS program and administrative staff, clients, and an exhaustive review of all JFS policy and procedure documents.
During the exit interview, the COA independent reviewers remarked specifically about overwhelming positive feedback during client interviews where they stressed that “JFS truly impacted each client’s lives”. The auditors also emphasized JFS’ success in providing wrap-around services: One auditor commented, “Some of the services you provide are so unique and demonstrate that you will do anything to serve the client. Furthermore, the communication between and within departments allows all of the client’s needs to be met; this is the future of social service agencies.”
Dr. Sydney Fleischer, JFS COO, remarked after the site visit had concluded, “I have been with JFS for over 25 years and we have always done well with COA, but this year’s feedback is the best I’ve ever seen.”
As a result of this site visit, JFS was reaccredited. Additionally, JFS’ accreditation was expedited through the Commission Review process as a result of receiving no negative compliance rating in any of the practice standards.
The Board of Directors and staff at JFS is very proud of this accomplishment. However, this does not mean that our agency stops assessing our services and questioning how we can improve. On a regular basis, our Telephone Reassurance Phone Call or Weekly Friendly Visitors, Caregiver Support Groups, Care Management or Home Care services by highly-qualified Nurses, Social Workers, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), or Personal Care Aides (PCAs), and specialized Counseling by Licensed-Clinical Social Workers and Clinical Psychologists are constantly being analyzed, evaluated and improved.
For 168 years, JFS has strived to provide the highest quality services and improve lives in our community. It is for this reason we take the extra step to license all JFS programs with badges of excellence, such as the Counsel of Accreditation. The JFS mission of transforming lives and strengthening communities is seen in all of our work, but is best summarized in a client testimonial received during COA; “If not for JFS, I wouldn’t be here”.
To learn more about COA, please visit coanet.org or contact Lisa Davey, JFS Compliance and Marketing Director, at [email protected] or 282-5644 ext. 248.