Lethbridge Family Services is committed to ensuring the highest quality of services to our client as well as to being accountable to our funders, board, staff and the general public. One way this can be accomplished is through the process of accreditation/certification.
The process includes an extensive self-study of agency operations and an on-site review conducted by an external team of experienced professionals. Due to the size and complexity of LFS, the agency currently participates in three accreditation/certification reviews conducted every three to four years. The review bodies include the following:
Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children (COA) - This is the largest comprehensive private accreditor of social and mental health service agencies in North America. An agency accredited by COA has demonstrated that it has effective management, is fiscally sound, designs its programs to meet community needs, continually monitors and evaluates service quality, has qualified personnel, and has safe, accessible facilities. LFS has been accredited by COA since 1984. In the most recent accreditation review completed in January 2012, LFS was found to be in compliance with 99% of standards, and we were awarded four-year accreditation status, COA's highest rating, . Our current accreditation status expires on March 31, 2016. There are only three COA-accredited agencies in Alberta.
Creating Excellence Together (CET) - Certification by this body is required for all Alberta programs funded by Persons with Developmental Disabilities. Due to the fact that LFS is accredited by COA, the agency is only required to participate in a supplemental review which mainly focuses on the quality of life of individuals participating in the program. LFS's first CET Supplemental Certification review was held in September 2004 and the agency was found to be in full compliance with all standards. In the fall of 2006, LFS was given an exemption from the CET certification due to the comprehensive nature of the COA review.
Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships - This audit is designed to review the agency's health and safety program. The agency was reviewed in eight areas including management, leadership and commitment; hazard identification and assessment; hazard control; ongoing inspections; qualifications; orientation and training; emergency response; accident and incident investigation; and program administration. LFS has consistently achieved scores of 95%+ in each of the external reviews since our first in 2003. In our most recent review, in December 2012, we achieved a 98% compliance rating.