Accreditation in Action – Family Service Madison

fs-2010-logo-3Family Service Madison, Inc., a local leader in providing mental health care resources and other services, including drug and alcohol treatment and anti-violence support groups to individuals in the Madison area, has benefited from national accreditation for more than 30 years! In this article they describe how accreditation has helped to advance their agency.

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

Family Service Madison, Inc. is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). We were first accredited in 1981 as an outpatient mental health facility. Since then, we have also earned accreditation for financial counseling, child and family counseling, and employee assistance specialties.

2.  What was the original reason for becoming accredited?

Our former CEO understood that becoming accredited would be imperative for our future and that our agency needed to be in line with national standards.

3.  How has accreditation positively impacted the operations or functioning of your organization?

As a multi-faceted agency that provides a wide range of services and partners with many local organizations, I believe the COA process has helped us to maintain quality services across the board. Accreditation has positively impacted all of the areas listed above, but we have especially benefited in the area of performance quality improvement (PQI) where we are especially focused.

4.  What advice would you give to an organization becoming accredited for the first time?

Recognize that accreditation is a continual journey, not a destination, and your organization may often be reminded of how easily good processes can deteriorate over time. We regularly monitor and restore areas that may have weakened through staff turnover or other unforeseen challenges. The four year site visit review is very helpful in getting us to re-focus.

5.  How did you motivate staff during the self-study and/or site visit phase?

As the CEO, I have never had to motivate our staff as I believe they completely buy into the accreditation process and the added value it brings to our agency.

6.  How has being accreditated added value to you organization’s name recognition in the community you serve or to your outreach and public relations efforts?

Accreditation has helped to educate our board as to the importance of meeting and exceeding national standards of care. We are viewed with respect in our community and by our peers and our COA accreditation is certainly one of the features we promote as an agency.

7.  Did your organization celebrate becoming (re)accredited? If so, how?

We notify our stakeholders and funders with a copy of the re-accreditation notice.

About Family Service Madison

Family Service Madison, Inc. is dedicated to providing a variety of services to those in need of all ages, including counseling services, anti-violence programs, alcohol and drug intervention, school and community-based prevention services and management services, among others.

Our mission statement:

Providing human services to instill hope and promote wellness in our community.

Our vision statement:

Family Service Madison will continue to be a strong human service agency by creating and sustaining quality services through entrepreneurship and collaborative partnerships that will make our community a better place in which to live.

David Johnson, President/CEO
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