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COA Accreditation

April 13, 2016

In fact, Lethbridge Family Services is one of only a few agencies in Alberta and Canada that have met the rigorous and high standards established by COA for the delivery of social and health services, as well as management and governance.  To receive this accreditation, a stringent process was followed.  COA accreditation is an objective, independent, and reliable validation of an Agency’s performance. The COA accreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of an organization’s administration, management, and service delivery functions against international standards of best practice. The standards driving accreditation, grounded in research, ensure that services are well-coordinated, culturally competent, evidence-based, outcomes-oriented, and provided by a skilled and supported workforce. COA accreditation demonstrates accountability in the management of resources, sets standardized best practice thresholds for service and administration, and increases organizational capacity and accountability by creating a framework for ongoing quality improvement.
To achieve COA accreditation, Lethbridge Family Services first provided written evidence of compliance with the COA standards.  Thereafter, a group of specially trained volunteer Peer Reviewers confirmed adherence to these standards during a series of on-site interviews with trustees, staff and clients, and extensive document review over several days.  Based on their findings, COA’s volunteer-based Accreditation Commission voted that Lethbridge Family Services had successfully met the criteria for accreditation.
Founded in 1977, COA is an independent, not-for-profit accreditor of the full continuum of community-based behavioral health care and social service organizations in the United States and Canada. Over 2,000 organizations — voluntary, public, and proprietary; local and statewide; large and small — have either successfully achieved COA accreditation or are currently engaged in the process. Presently, COA has a total of 47 service standards that are applicable to over 125 different types of programs. To learn more about COA, please visit
Lethbridge Family Services is a highly accredited charitable agency that is the largest community social services organization in Lethbridge and has been operating since 1910. LFS helps over 6,800 people improve their quality of life on an annual basis with the support of their four key program areas; Home Services, Immigrant Services, Counselling/Outreach/Education, and Da Capo (People with Developmental Disabilities) and 325+ staff.  The mission of Lethbridge Family Services is to improve the well-being and quality of life for individuals and families in Southern Alberta.

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