Council of Accreditation (COA)

Accreditation is a formal evaluation of an organization or program against accepted criteria or standards. Jewish Family & Child is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). COA is a nationally recognized, independent accreditor of community-based behavioural health care and social service organizations. COA is based in Manhattan, New York and is private, non-profit and was established in 1977. More than 1800 private and public organizations that are serve over 7 million children, individuals, and families are accredited by COA or in the process. Accreditation takes place every four years.

JF&CS has been accredited with COA for over 20 years. JF&CS is responsible for demonstrating compliance in 19 Standards related to management, operations, administration, service environment and service delivery. Reaccreditation takes between 14-18 months, from the start of the process to getting the accreditation decision. There are three phases to the reaccreditation process that include:

  1. Self-Study – Organizational assessment/internal evaluation of JF&CS’s policies, procedures and practices. We review the way JF&CS works and comparing our practices to COA’s Standards. This process involves submitting an electronic compilation of documentation or evidence that is submitted to COA for review. A Peer-Review team is assigned by COA to review our documentation. The self-study is the first opportunity that the agency has in demonstrating that we are meeting COA Standards.

  2. Stakeholder Surveys – Stakeholders such as clients, staff, board members, community members and resource families will be asked to participate in a survey. The feedback provided in the surveys is used by the COA Peer Reviewers to learn how key stakeholders perceive our organization and experience its services. They are an important source of evidence that the Peer Reviewers use when determining the ratings for many Standards.

  3. Site Visit by Peer Review Team – A team of COA reviewers visits JF&CS and assesses the Agency’s implementation of COA’s Standards. The review team evaluates our programs and services and visits all of our branches, interviews staff, board members, clients and resource families and reviews personnel files and client case records. The site visit provides an opportunity to focus on our administrative and management practices including human resources, financial management and the way our Board of Directors functions. Meeting minutes, reports, hiring records, program manuals and other documents are provided during the site visit for the Peer Review team.

Once the site visit is completed JF&CS receives a Pre-Commission Report (PCR) that outlines any improvements that need to be made in the interim prior to the Final Accreditation Report (FAR). At which point, the agency is given an opportunity to submit documentation describing the plan to implement the improvement(s).  Following the Agency’s response to the PCR we will receive the Final Accreditation Report (FAR). The FAR is an important document that contains the observations and recommendations of the Peer Review team based on the Agency’s Self-Study, Stakeholder Surveys and Site Visit. It is a unique view of JF&CS through the eyes of highly experienced professionals.

The Peer Review Team uses the following rating scale to assess implementation of the Standards and organizational performance:

1=Full Implementation/Outstanding Performance

2=Substantial Implementation/Strong Performance

3=Partial Implementation/Concerning Performance

4=Unsatisfactory Implementation and Performance


The 19 Standards that JF&CS must demonstrate compliance include:

Jewish Family & Child chooses to get accredited. It is completely voluntary! It provides our Agency with a number of opportunities. Some of which include:

  • It is an opportunity to improve organizational performance and ensure that the Agency’s services are following best practices.

  • Opportunity to build on our strengths and focus on areas that need improvement

  • Facilitates change in the Agency’s policies, procedures and standards of practices.

  • Strengthens, measures and validates the Agency’s effectiveness

  • Increases efficiency of staff

  • Creates funding opportunities

  • Demonstrates our commitment to quality practice and the staff’s dedication to excellence.

Reaccreditation is a process that takes place every four years, but COA’s Standards and Accreditation is part of the everyday culture of JF&CS.  It informs many aspects of our operations and the way in which we delivery service to our community.

Jewish Family & Child is proud to announce that in May 2017 we received notification that our agency was accredited. The Accreditation status is until December 31, 2020. The Agency did not score higher than 2. We received a combination of 1=Full Implementation and 2=Substantial Implementation.

Some of the Peer Reviewers comments in the FAR include:


“The organization has an active, committed and experienced board. They are knowledgeable and caring about the organization and its service recipients…”

Rating of 1=Full Implementation

Performance and Quality Improvement

“The organization has a very solid PQI plan that encourages the use of data to identify areas of needed improvements and/or to implement improvements in support of achieving performance targets, program goals, client satisfaction, and positive client outcomes.”

Rating of 2=Substantial Implementation

Risk Prevention and Management

“The organization takes risk prevention very seriously. Policies and procedures are in place to make sure that everything is done to prevent risk. The organization has identified eight areas of potential risk and has a person in charge overseeing each area.”

Rating of 1=Full Implementation

Ethical Practice

“The organization has open and transparent practices; putting the child's needs/interests before all others.”

Rating of 1=Full Implementation

To read JF&CS’s Final Accreditation Report (FAR) please click here.  To learn more about becoming accredited and the Council on Accreditation visit

Administration and Management

  1. Ethical Practice

  2. Financial Management

  3. Governance

  4. Human Resources

  5. Performance and Quality Improvement

  6. Risk Management and Prevention

Service Standards

  1. Adoption Services

  2. Child Protective Services

  3. Counselling, Support and Education

  4. Foster Care

  5. Kinship Care

  6. Kinship Service

  7. Domestic Violence

  8. Day Treatment Program

  9. Volunteer Mentoring Services

Service Delivery Administration

     7. Administrative and Service


     8. Client Rights

     9. Training and Supervision

   10. Behaviour and Support



Jewish Family & Child

4600 Bathurst St | 1st Floor

Toronto, ON   M2R 3V3



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