30, 2002 -- The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services announced
today that eight of its field offices have been accredited by the Council
on Accreditation for Children and Family Services (COA).
of field offices in Quincy Granite City, Harrisburg, Murphysboro, Metropolis,
Ottawa, Princeton and Sparta brings the Department closer to its goal
of having all of its offices accredited by the Council. As an agency,
DCFS achieved accreditation in June 2000 when 60 percent of its field
offices became accredited.
is a tremendous accomplishment," said DCFS Director Jess McDonald,
who is presenting each office an accreditation plaque sent by the Council
on Accreditation. "Staff in these offices have devoted thousands
of hours to refining services in order to meet rigorous standards set
by COA, and the greatest benefactors are the children and families they
The COA accreditation
process is lengthy, requiring more than a year of intense preparations.
When a field office is selected for accreditation, staff begin a multi-step
process that includes client and community surveys, comprehensive reviews
of case files, and reviews of staff training. The eight field offices
were visited by COA examiners in March 2001, and they received written
confirmation of their accreditation in August 2002.
to accreditation include increased client participation, improved case
management and documentation, improved internal operations and greater
accountability. Accreditation also builds confidence in DCFS services
by clients, foster and adoptive parents, court personnel and the community.
extremely proud of the workers," said McDonald. "Their ongoing
dedication and professionalism demonstrates to others that DCFS strives
to deliver the highest quality in child welfare services."