IL MAY 26, 1999 -- The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
announced today that its Springfield Field Office has been fully accredited
by the renowned New York City-based Council on Accreditation of Services
for Families and Children.
"This was no small accomplishment," said DCFS Director Jess
McDonald, who presented an accreditation plaque to field staff personnel
and honored them for their ongoing hard work in maintaining accreditation
involves thousands of hours refining field office operations to ensure
that it meets a set of rigorous, nationally established requirements
that cover every issue, from personnel to safety to fiscal and program
management," he said.
Springfield Field Office, located at 1001 N. Walnut St., is a 50-person
office responsible for serving Sangamon County. It is among 23 of approximately
90 DCFS field offices to have thus far attained this esteemed stamp
of approval, which the Department is striving to attain for every field
office in the state, as well as the private child welfare agencies it
this ultimate goal would make Illinois the first state in the nation
to have all of its child welfare offices, both public and private, accredited.
The process is lengthy. Once a field office is targeted for accreditation,
year-long preparation begins, which includes reviewing every aspect
of how work is carried out by the office, examining in detail such aspects
as how well clients and the community are being served, reviewing how
well cases are documented and filed, and reviewing how well staff are
trained. The process requires input from the entire staff, as well as
outside participants such as court officials and foster parents.
examiners visited the Springfield site in May 1998 to see if it measured
up to standards. They later presented their findings to the national
COA panel. The Springfield office received written verification of its
accreditation earlier this year.
really pulled together to achieve COA accreditation," said DCFS
Central Regional Administrator Don Vacca. "This ongoing pursuit
of excellence means better services for our clients."
to accreditation include increased client participation, improved case
management and documentation, and improved internal operations and accountability.
Additionally, accreditation builds confidence by clients, foster and
adoptive parents, community members, the courts and other child welfare
advocates in DCFS services.
am extremely proud of the Springfield Field Office," said McDonald.
"Their ongoing dedication to maintaining accreditation not only
speaks to their professionalism, but it attests to others that DCFS
strives to deliver the very best quality in child welfare services."