Q: Why do we need an accreditation process for this program?
A: The attempt to bring multiple organizations and service providers together for this effort generally proves unsustainable if not rooted in a structured program. It is also difficult to assess whether communities are truly engaging in new practices and having positive outcomes without an evidence-based system including data collection and performance reviews. Arkansas is the first state to formalize this process and create accreditation standards.
Q: Is this accreditation process going to be expensive and require a complete revamping of my organizations policies and procedures?
A: The short answer to both parts of this question is no. CJI does not charge fees for accreditation nor does the review process involve a complete revamping of your organization’s policies and procedures. The program does require adoption of specific policies related to child maltreatment investigations, trauma reduction, and notification to schools. There are also requirements to enter into some sort of formal agreement with partnering organizations which are nonbinding legally but reinforce the commitment to this program from all partner organizations.
Q: Are there specific people in my organization that are required to attend training and/or implement this program?
A: Yes, in order to be successful with this project strong leadership is required. Certain individuals with positional authority, as well as other individuals with informal leadership skills, will be required to attend training and work to implement this program.
Q: Are there hidden costs associated with this program?
A: The communities currently involved with this effort have not identified or reported any hidden costs associated with implementation. The program is designed to work within your existing resources and to simply realign certain practices in which you are already engaged. The investment in this program is really about coordination, culture change, and willingness to do the best job possible on behalf of Arkansas children.