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Health and Family Services Cabinet
State’s Human Services Program Reaccredited; Department again meets Council on Accreditation’s national best practice standards

Press Release Date:  Monday, March 19, 2012  
Contact Information:  Media Contact: Anya Armes Weber, (502) 564-6786, ext. 3104; or Jill Midkiff, (502) 564-7042, ext. 3429  

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 19, 2012) – The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) – the state’s human services agency – has been reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).  COA is an international, independent, not-for-profit, child- and family-service and behavioral health care accrediting organization

COA officials made the announcement to CHFS in a letter last week.

The reaccreditation means that DCBS’ child and adult protective services and foster care and adoption programs meet the highest national standards and deliver the best quality services to the community.  CHFS Acting Secretary Eric Friedlander said his entire leadership team is proud of the work of the 1,981 child welfare staff within DCBS. 

“Repeat accreditation is no small achievement,” Acting Secretary Friedlander said. “It’s a process that requires thousands of hours of staff preparation – all while maintaining current caseloads and customer relations. Achieving safety and well-being for Kentucky children, adults and families is the primary goal of DCBS staff -- from the commissioner’s office to the front lines. Thanks to the combined efforts of department staff statewide, this COA reaccreditation reflects the Cabinet’s commitment to providing services that meet our goals and the high professional standards of best practice.”

COA accredits both public and private human service organizations with a specific orientation to child and family services. COA compares all public agencies to a set of national standards. The COA review process involves onsite case reviews, community stakeholder, client and staff interviews as well as a data review.   COA relies on peer reviewers, human service professionals from across North America, do on-site evaluations. Peer review teams visiting Kentucky reviewed each of the cabinet’s nine regions, as well as DCBS’ administrative central office. Each regional site visit was conducted over a four- or five-day period during which administration, management and direct service standards were reviewed.

In his letter to DCBS staff, COA President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Klarberg congratulated staff on receiving high marks in a detailed review and analysis of administrative operations and service delivery practices.

“These standards emphasize services that are accessible, appropriate, culturally responsive, evidence-based, and outcomes-oriented. In addition, they confirm that the services are provided by a skilled and supported workforce and that all individuals are treated with dignity and respect,” Klarberg wrote, noting that COA is proud to have DCBS as part of its “Community of Excellence.”

COA was founded in 1977 by the Child Welfare League of America and Family Service America.  The organization partners with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying and promoting accreditation standards. 

COA has accredited or is in the process of accrediting more than 1,800 private and public organizations that serve more that 7 million individuals and families in the United States, Canada, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, England and the Philippines. 

DCBS was originally accredited in 2002 after being the first state to voluntarily apply for national accreditation. Kentucky’s program was reaccredited by COA in 2007. COA accreditation lasts four years.

Kentucky is one of six state-administered child welfare agencies currently accredited. The other states are Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri and Tennessee. Locally administered child/adult protection agencies in California, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia have also received accreditation.

DCBS Acting Commissioner Teresa James expressed appreciation and congratulations to her staff for their accomplishment.

“This recognition from COA builds confidence in the families we serve and all of our partners, from child advocates to law enforcement and justice officials,” she said. “I commend every one of our employees for their contributions toward COA accreditation and its validation of their good work and outstanding customer service.”

Since its original accreditation in 2002, Kentucky has continued to strengthen its commitment to quality improvement as a direct result of COA’s standards, James said. 

DCBS services are administered through its network of nine service regions and offices in each of Kentucky's 120 counties. In addition, DCBS utilizes a network of contract officials to deliver services, such as child care. The provision of services is enhanced through a close relationship and coordination with local community partners.

Read about COA online at

Learn more about DCBS services at

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Last Updated 3/19/2012