Apple Valley, CA – Slowly but surely, the State of California has initiated a new regulation that all behavioral health rehabilitation organizations in the state must be approved by an accreditation agency (CARF or TJC) to continue operation. In January of 2018, Alpha Connection Youth and Family Services (ACYFS) began the process of seeking this accreditation, and received a three-year award in September 2018.
“Our CEO, Barron Wilson, is big on constantly improving and finetuning our program, as a growth tool,” says Michelle Dutto, representative for ACYFS. CARF comes in and shows how to measure our success, and that’s valuable.”
Dutto notes that ACYFS, a residential counseling center for adolescents in crisis situations, had many policies and procedures in place – but had to coordinate to make sure that implementation was consistent across the board at all facilities, and each of the four facilities on campus was in line with each other. Accreditation means that the organization is following specific, measurable quality standards and provides a framework for continuous improvement.
ACYFS is psychosocial focused, not only on the clinical side, but for reintegrating youth into society. The facility works with children that are disturbed, from needing drug rehabilitation to those on probation. Its population comes from all over the state, giving care to abused and neglected individuals as well. Initiated in 1988, ACYFS admits a diverse population – with Four (4) full time residential Facilities for girls and boys, for a total of 24 clients.
“We are very creative and innovative, and one of our biggest strengths is understanding that culture is changing rapidly,” states Dutto, “The staff understands and is very competent.” Dutto herself has worked in several different capacities – from one-on-one admin, to program therapist, in the community and program development, to CARF program coordinator with the recent accreditation.
Aside from it being a mandatory process, accreditation will encourage agencies to look to CARF accreditation as a process for growth, as opposed to a regulation to take care of. “It’s an opportunity to fine tune and tweak your program and or facility,” adds Dutto.
The mission statement of Alpha Connection is: To promote and aid adolescent youth to achieve maximum development by enhancing their potential to become self-sufficient and responsible adults through education, mental health, psychosocial rehabilitation and vocational training. Additional by equipping them with necessary tools to increase their potential to navigate society successfully. More information can be found at http://www.alphaconnection.org.
CARF is an independent, non-profit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of the persons served. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services. For more information about the accreditation process, please visit the CARF website at www.carf.org.