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Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (C.A.R.F.)

Comox Valley Family Services Association delivers human service programs accredited through *CARF. CARF is an international, not-for-profit organization founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities. October 2011 CVFSA received their third 3 Year Accreditation, and surveyor's comments were:

Comox Valley Family Services Association has earned a Three Year Accreditation.  The board, leadership, staff members who work daily with individuals with disabilities, the stakeholders of the organization and the community should be proud of this accomplishment.

CVFSA provides quality services and programs that appear to benefit and be well received by the persons served, their significant others, and referral process.  The commitment, professionalism, and in some cases longevity of staff members are great indicators of consistency of service delivery.  These qualities assist personnel in focusing on producing positive outcomes for the persons served.

CVFSA has strategically planned for the future.  The organization has developed excellent planning tools for accessibility, information management, and strategic planning.  The use of evidence-based practices to create a seamless continuum of care is evident.  The corporate culture of support and respect for colleagues is a core element to the organizations success.  Team spirit is evident at all levels of CVFSA, with respect for each team member's role evident in the delivery of services to persons served.  The organization is held in very high regard by resource people in the community.  One person said. "It has been a really positive experience with CVFSA.  They have been strong collaborators for the persons they serve with both care and treatment".

Interviewed family members noted that services received were extremely valuable for making their lives better in efforts to support their lovd ones.  One mother reported she would recommend the organization "hands down".

Why are we doing Accreditation?

The funding body, Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), has made accreditation a requirement for any agency who receives over $500,000 in funding.  CARF-accredited programs and services have demonstrated that they meet internationally recognized standards in providing care.  CARF accreditation means that you can be confident that an organization has made a commitment to continually enhance the quality of its services and programs, and its focus on the satisfaction of the people it supports.    

Who is CARF?

CARF is an international accreditation society located in Tucson, Arizona, with offices in both Edmonton and Ottawa.  They research and write standards for various programs and services and then conduct site surveys at agencies like ours to check to see if we are meeting the standards. We selected them because they are user friendly and a good fit for our organization.

Who is going to do all the work?

Everyone is!  Some by participating on committees, some by writing policies, some by being involved in training and presentations, others by reading this, thinking about it, and asking questions.  What’s most important is that everyone, staff, clients, community partners, funders and anyone else involved with our agency know about the accreditation process and help in any way they can.

How does it all work?

CARF provides a set of standards for the overall agency and for each program area, that we must meet.  At a site survey surveyors who are professionals in our field will visit CVFSA.  They will be checking to see if we are meeting the standards through documentation (policies, meeting minutes etc.), observation and interviews (clients, funders, staff, community partners, etc.).  We are rated on our services and then will receive a final report including recommendations for areas we need to work on.  Within 90 days we will provide CARF with a “Quality Improvement Plan” detailing how and when we will meet their recommendations.  

If you would like to know about CARF, please let one of our staff members know and/or you may contact CARF directly at

CARF Canada, Edmonton, Alberta
Phone: 1-877-434-5444