Accreditation

Accreditation Process

Child First Accreditation is a process which is used to determine if a Child First program operating at an affiliate agency is implementing Child First with fidelity to the model. Every year, an existing Child First affiliate site, which has completed Learning Collaborative training and has been operating for at least one year, will undergo a comprehensive assessment by the Child First Quality Enhancement Team in order to determine the site's adherence to the Child First model. This process is collaborative in nature and is based on a pre-existing partnership between the Child First site, the Child First Model Developer at the National Program Office, and the Child First Quality Enhancement Team

All sites are required to meet the following components for Accreditation:

  • Meet Benchmarks in both process (Metrics) and Outcome measures.
  • Show presence of all chart components, including all assessments, formulation, treatment plan (Child and Family Plan of Care), diagnosis, progress notes, service plan (Service Planning Tracking Form), and discharge note.
  • Meet standards upon review of videos of clinical intervention.
  • Demonstrate clinical model fidelity, using the Child First Fidelity Framework.
  • Meet standards for participation in Child First Training.
  • Meet agency compliance standards.

An Accreditation Report, detailing the findings of the assessment and identified areas of strength and challenge, will be shared and discussed with each site.

Accreditation Status

Based on the findings, a site may receive one of three statuses: Child First Accreditation, Child First Provisional Accreditation, or Probation.

Child First Accreditation: The site has been determined to meet the minimum threshold necessary in the domains specified. Additionally, all the “Critical Factors” have been met. This indicates that services are being provided in a manner that is consistent with the Child First Model as set forth by the Model Developers. Performance in comparison to Guidelines established will also be assessed and recommendations may be made, but will not be used to determine Accreditation. 

Child First Provisional Accreditation:  The site has been determined to not meet the minimum threshold necessary in the domains specified, but the data indicates that the site is actively working towards meeting the threshold and there has been consistent improvement within the prior four months. Additionally, all the “Critical Factors” have been met. This indicates that the services are being provided in a manner that meets some of the criteria established, consistent with the Child First Model as set for by the Model Developers. In almost all cases, such a site will already have a Performance Improvement Plan, and will have shown good progress. A new Performance Improvement Plan will be developed, as needed. Performance in comparison to Guidelines established will also be assessed and recommendations may be made, but will not be used to determine Accreditation. 

Probation: There are significant concerns about the affiliate site’s adherence to the Child First model. This is because the site has met not met the minimum threshold necessary in the domains specified and the data indicates that there has been little improvement within the prior four months. Such a site may already have a Performance Improvement Plan in place, but the data suggests that the site would not meet the minimum threshold in the near future without considerable support and intervention.  A new Performance Improvement Plan will be developed.