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Southwest Key Programs Re-Accredited By Council On Accreditation

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Southwest Key Programs, a national non-profit with headquarters in Austin, Texas and programs in Arizona, California, Georgia, Florida, New York, Texas and Wisconsin, has achieved national accreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA). Southwest Key Programs provides Youth Justice Alternative Programs, Youth Immigrant Shelters and Educational Programming. Southwest Key has undergone the accreditation process with COA every four years since 2008 and this marks the organization’s third COA accreditation. Organizations pursue accreditation to demonstrate the implementation of best practice standards in the field of human services. COA evaluated all aspects of Southwest Key’s programs, services, management, and administration. This week’s announcement is the culmination of months of effort by Southwest Key staff across the organization.

“COA is important to Southwest Key and to our executive management team because it acts as notice of our company’s clean bill of health and it demonstrates our adherence to quality across all of our programs,” says Southwest Key Programs Chief Operations Officer Joella Brooks.

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 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, Southwest Key Programs 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.

Based on their findings, COA’s volunteer-based Accreditation Commission voted that Southwest Key Programs had successfully met the criteria for accreditation.

“Reaccreditation is a tremendous achievement that demonstrates that your organization is recognized as a provider that continues to successfully implement high performance standards and, as such, is delivering the highest quality services to all of its stakeholders,” said COA President and CEO Richard Klarberg in a letter to Southwest Key CEO Dr. Juan J. Sánchez.

An endorsement of COA and the value of its accreditation process is reflected in it being named by the US State Department as the sole national independent accrediting body under the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption to accredit intercountry adoption service providers. In addition, COA is the only national accreditor designated by the U.S. Department of Defense to develop accreditation standards and processes for human service programs provided to military personnel and their families.