[By Rebecca Stearns, Quality and Compliance coordinator, Lutheran Social Services]
“LSS demonstrates an organizational culture of genuine warmth, caring and teamwork. These qualities support a synergy and unity of mission in creating a positive therapeutic environment for the persons served.” – CARF Survey Report, 2014
Jubilation! On July 17, 2014 Lutheran Social Services of the South (LSS) received word that we had once again been awarded a three-year accreditation from CARF International! The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human service providers and is recognized worldwide.
After almost a year of preparation and hard work, our staff successfully navigated the accreditation process by opening up our service delivery process to the scrutiny of the CARF survey team. Over an intense, three-day period, seven surveyors visited every LSS office providing childcare services throughout the state, interviewed foster parents, children served and staff, reviewed case records along with our policies, methods, and practices.
Why CARF? CARF Accreditation demonstrates to the people we serve that LSS is committed to respecting cultural and individual differences, reducing risk, addressing health and safety concerns, and providing the best possible services. Accreditation indicates we have made a commitment to put the needs of the children and families we serve above all else.
So, is LSS finished with CARF? After the accreditation process, a Survey Report was provided by CARF. This report will be a valuable tool, used by our Compliance Department, to initiate the “Keep CARF Alive” campaign throughout the state.
Over the next three years, LSS plans to more effectively incorporate the CARF standards into our daily operations and in each new policy and procedure. In essence, moving forward we will “Keep CARF Alive” in all we do. Along with the ongoing support of CARF International, the Survey Report provides suggestions and recommendations for making improvements and maintaining our high level of quality services. LSS has every intention of maintaining a CARF accreditation in the years to come, so our dedication to the CARF standards will be an ongoing, never-ending endeavor as we “Keep CARF Alive.”
From the CARF Survey Report, 2014:
“LSS personnel are dedicated to providing quality service to the community and demonstrate genuine care and concern for the persons served. The persons served are treated with dignity and respect and are involved as active participants in their programs.”
“It is clear that all LSS staff members are motivated to provide the best possible support to the foster parents and children and youths they serve. LSS staff members go above and beyond to provide support 24 hours a day, seven days a week to foster families and children/youths requiring support. It is obvious that the staff members genuinely care about the persons they serve.”