Accreditation in Action – Goodwill Industries

Goodwill Industries Serving Northeast Nebraska, Goodwill LogoInc., is an agency dedicated to helping those with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities or dependence on public support to become productive members of their communities. See how maintaining national accreditation has enhanced the work that Goodwill does with its clients and for the communities it serves.

1.  Which accreditation does your agency hold and for how long?

Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. was recently reaccredited by CARF for a period of 3 years; we have earned accreditation for the past 21 consecutive years.

2.  What was the original reason(s) for becoming accredited?

Goodwill Industries International requires that all member organizations either be CARF accredited or go through a peer review conducted by another Goodwill agency.

3.  How has accreditation positively impacted the operations or functioning of your organization? For example: risk reduction, quality improvement, staff performance, services provided, etc.

By following CARF’s standards, our organization has become more transparent, sound, and staff and client focused. This has strengthened our ability to anticipate and prepare for the unexpected and for our clients to have a voice in the services they receive.

A focus on risk reduction during the accreditation process has resulted in more robust Risk Management and Crisis Communication Plans, which received recognition during our 2012 CARF survey.

4.  What advice would you give to an organization becoming accredited for the first time? Or, in other words, what do you wish that you had known when you were starting on the road to accreditation?

To facilitate a smooth process have all documentation ready, including operating policies and procedures. Documentation will show how standards are being met. Ensure that the agency’s formal management and strategic plans are in place and up-to-date. Even if your organization reviews its policies and procedures annually, without documentation, as the old adage goes, “If it isn’t documented it didn’t happen.”

5.  How did you motivate staff during the self-evaluation development phase and/or preparing for the onsite survey?

Our preparation begins about 12 months before the actual onsite survey. While many of our employees are not directly involved in this preparation, everyone understands the importance of accreditation. Throughout the process, we continually update our staff about our progress and remind them why their roles are essential to achieving accreditation.

6.  What is one way that accreditation has added value to you organization’s name recognition in the community you serve or to your outreach/public relations efforts?

Even if many people in our community are not familiar with CARF specifically, most recognize and respect what an accrediting body is and the rigorous third-party review and certification that it represents. We are seen as an organization that has voluntarily undergone a rigorous review process to ensure that our programs are the best that they can be for those we serve and for our community.

7.  About Goodwill Industries Serving Northeast Nebraska, Inc.

Fulfilling our mission “willing workers employed and community resources maximized,” Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. serves those with barriers to employment via services that provide the necessary tools needed to become gainfully employed. This benefits the Lincoln community through a lower unemployment rate and less reliance on government assistance. Goodwill also cares for the environment through considerable recycling efforts of unsellable textiles and other recyclable materials. The community can support Goodwill throughout the year by donating gently-used items, shopping at Goodwill Stores and making tax-deductible monetary donations. The proceeds earned from donated goods remains the greatest source of funding for the programs we provide.

Find us online at:
Twitter: @LincolnGoodwill

For additional information contact: Amanda Hamilton, Communications Director

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