For a third consecutive time, Catholic Charities of Buffalo has been reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation, an international, independent, non-profit accrediting organization of community-based social and behavioral health care services. The human service provider was first given the four-year accreditation by COA in 2007, then again in 2011.
The reaccreditation, voluntarily sought by Catholic Charities, indicates that the organization continues to meet or exceed the highest best practice national standards and is delivering the best quality services to the community and individuals it serves. The standards emphasize services that are accessible, appropriate, culturally responsive, evidence-based and outcome-oriented, confirming the workforce is skilled and supported and all individuals are treated with respect.
"To be successfully accredited for a third time shows that we continuously strive to meet best practices, that we are client-driven and very concerned with the quality improvement process," said Dennis Walczyk, Catholic Charities chief executive officer. "Through this designation, donors and supporters can also be assured that we are good stewards of the funding we receive."
A post-accreditation report outlined several standards where Catholic Charities showed strength and achieved positive remarks, including recent improvements to internal control systems related to fiscal responsibility, how performance and quality improvement are well-integrated and permeate every aspect of the organization, and staff and volunteers' commitment to Catholic Charities' mission in a manner that treats the client with dignity and respect.
A Gathering Place, a daily social program for older adults age 60 and older, was specifically mentioned for providing clients with an "excellent experience in facilitating activities and social interactions with other clients focused on maintaining their community-based residence."
The reaccreditation process involved a detailed review and analysis of Catholic Charities' governance, administrative and financial operations and its service delivery practices over a four-day period in June, when a five-person team of COA peer reviewers visited more than 20 offices and conducted more than 60 interviews with many employees, clients and volunteers.
During the exit meeting, the COA review team was "impressed by the scope and effectiveness of our programs and services, the strong dedication of our employees to our mission and our commitment to performance quality improvement," according to Walczyk.
Founded in 1977, the mission of COA is to promote best-practice standards and champion quality services for children, youth and families. Currently, more than 1,800 public and private organizations are accredited by COA or are in the process of seeking accreditation.
Catholic Charities is also an accredited charity by the Better Business Bureau, having met its 20 Standards for charity accountability. The evaluation is based on four main categories: governance, mission effectiveness, charity finances and fundraising and informational materials.
In all situations, Catholic Charities delivers support to meet immediate needs, and then assesses clients for other needs to ensure long-term success. It is the most comprehensive human service provider serving Western New York. Donors feel confident they are making a sound giving decision.
For information on Catholic Charities or any of its services, call 716-856-4494 or visit ccwny.org.