Eighteen months of hard work paid off for the Creston and District Community Resource Centre (CRC), which was recently told it earned a three-year accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
Accreditation is requirement when an organization receives over $500,000 from the Ministry of Children and Family Development, which funds the majority of the CRC’s $1.2 million budget.
“The accreditation process is intended to indicate that the organization is dedicated and committed to improving the equality of the lives of the people the organization serves,” said board chair Rita Scott. “It clearly shows the services, personnel and documentation establish a pattern of practiced excellence.”
Led by executive director Serena Naeve, finance and administration manager Justine Keirn and clinical supervisor Colleen Deatherage, the CRC’s staff and management worked overtime and weekends to ensure programs met CARF standards.
That was no small matter. While some small communities have a half-dozen or less programs, the CRC runs 27, 13 of which required accreditation — meaning that each program in the children and adolescent areas of counseling, early childhood development, intensive family based services, and promotion and prevention programming had to meet 1,300 internationally-recognized standards for administration and direct services.
“We have such a wide and diverse number of services delivered to the community, the accreditation process was extremely time consuming and complex,” said Scott. “I’m so impressed with the dedication and industry that went into this.”
The outcome wasn’t assured — upon completing the review, an agency can receive accreditation for one or three years, or none at all. That the CRC earned three years is not only a matter of pride, it comes with the hope that the review process will be simpler when its accreditation expires in June 2016.
“It will be a question of maintaining and building on what’s been accomplished at this point,” said Scott.
And it should make it easier for the CRC to leverage other funds with the goal of providing additional services to the Creston Valley.
“It assures funders, clients and community partners that we’re doing things right,” said Scott.