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Abbott House earns four year re-accreditation

Abbott House has achieved national accreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation.

Abbott House provides residential treatment, therapeutic foster homes and independent living programs for 61 South Dakota girls ages 7 to 23. Organizations like Abbott House pursue accreditation to demonstrate the implementation of best practice standards in the field of human services.

Founded in 1977, COA is an independent, not-for-profit accreditor of community-based behavioral health care and social service organizations in the United States and Canada.

COA evaluated all aspects of Abbott House programs, services, management, administration and fundraising. To achieve COA accreditation, Abbott House first provided written evidence of compliance with the COA Standards. Thereafter, a group of specially trained volunteer peer reviewers confirmed adherence to the standards during a series of on-site interviews with trustees, staff, clients, donors and service partners.

"Re-accreditation is a terrific accomplishment for Abbott House," said Eric Klooz, Abbott House executive director. "This year-long process gives us an opportunity to review best practice policies and procedures and ensures that every decision we make is based on what is best for the children we serve. The hard work that our staff do every day was recognized by the fact that we received no out of compliance ratings in any of the fundamental practice standards."

The COA accreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of an organization's administration, management and service delivery functions against international standards of best practice. COA accreditation demonstrates accountability in the management of resources, sets standardized best practice thresholds for service and administration, and increases organizational capacity and accountability by creating a framework for ongoing quality improvement. Based on their findings, COA's volunteer-based Accreditation Commission voted that Abbott House had successfully met the criteria for accreditation.

COA was named by the U.S. State Department as the sole national independent accrediting body under the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption to accredit intercountry adoption service providers. In addition, COA is the only national accreditor designated by the U.S. Department of Defense to develop accreditation standards and processes for human service programs provided to military personnel and their families.