To promote higher standards and consistent quality among children's homes, The Duke Endowment changed its grantmaking strategy in 2002 to provide support only to children's homes with national accreditation.
The Benefits of National Accreditation
Children's homes in North Carolina and South Carolina face many challenges as they work to provide stable, nurturing environments for children who, for a number of reasons, can no longer live with their families. Among other things, homes must maintain facilities that are safe and appealing, offer mental health services that meet a variety of needs, and provide education to students at many different levels to help them achieve their academic potential. To attract ongoing financial support and to meet their service mission, children's homes must have a way to prove their work is effective and incorporates best practices and high standards. Becoming accredited by a national organization is one way that children's homes can show their willingness to strive for effectiveness. However, few group home providers in North Carolina and South Carolina pursued accreditation prior to 2002.
Raising the Bar
The Duke Endowment believes that national accreditation delivers a measure of improved performance for individual children's homes, and will help "raise the bar" for all homes in North Carolina and South Carolina. In 2002, the Endowment announced its intention to provide operating support only to accredited homes.
Examining National Practices and Standards
The Endowment also examined the practices and standards of several national accrediting agencies to determine their ability to provide fair, objective and honest evaluations of children's homes. From its research, the Endowment chose to recognize accreditation from two national agencies: the Council on Accreditation (COA) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
See original participating sites in North Carolina and South Carolina.