The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) is a private, nonprofit organization who believes in the following core values:
- All people have the right to be treated with dignity and respect
- All people should have access to needed services that achieve optimal outcomes.
- All people should be empowered to exercise informed choice.
The mission of CARF is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served. CARF provides organizations with guidelines for business development and practices, is committed to the continuous improvement of both organizational management and service delivery, and is an authoritative resource to use when preparing for a survey and accreditation.
Preparing for a survey is a lengthy process requiring agencies to commit numerous resources including time and personnel over a period of one or more years. This accreditation process is considered equal to the type of certification hospitals complete called JAYCO. After intense work hours and procedural implementation, we were ready for our survey in August 2009 and are proud to share the following information directly from our CARF Survey Summary.
CARF Survey Summary: Step By Step Academy, Inc., has strengths in many areas…
- The owners, board members and staff members are highly dedicated, committed and seek excellence in service provision for persons served and their families. Staff members are creative, caring, loving, energetic, positive and motivated.
- Parents express deep appreciation and satisfaction with the care provided to their children by the organization. One parent said, “I can trust my child with any of the staff, and they would help me out if I ever needed them no matter when or where.” Another said, “Staff know how to handle my child in any circumstance.”
- Parents are integrated into the organization, providing volunteer services on an ongoing basis. “They assist as advocates for their children in the community and throughout the state.”
- Parents receive daily detailed information of their child’s activities and behaviors as well as homework assignments to continue the teaching that is being provided during therapy at the organization.
- Referral sources consider Step By Step Academy as a leading resource due to the high quality of services provided and the knowledge of the staff in treating autism. Family support and involvement are noted by referral sources as high priorities.
- Persons served are provided individual one-on-one treatment and training during all activities of the [seven] hours of attendance. These services include all areas of skill development, from prevocal to vocal, with continual positive praise and recognition. Each child is monitored, directed and prompted, with documentation of each skill and behavior. Prompts are provided through many mediums (including pictures for all daily activities scheduled) to assist persons served in developing basic skills from infancy level on. The children also have the opportunity, when appropriate, for group interaction at their individual level of ability and coping.
- The utilization of peer buddies assists other children from the community to understand children who have special needs and helps motivate persons served to recognize everyday activities and behaviors. The peer buddies have developed an empathy and sensitivity to other children.
- The physical environment, although crowded, is child friendly, safe and equipped with age– and developmentally-appropriate furnishings.
In the following areas Step By Step Academy demonstrates exemplary conformance to the standards.
- The organization’s dedication to persons experiencing autism and their families is exemplary. Step By Step Academy uses applied behavior analysis (ABA), which is a researched-based methodology recommended for treating autism. The organization is constantly seeking additional research to improve treatment services and seek ongoing consultation from specialists in the field from Ohio State University and throughout the nation. The organization’s goal is to reduce symptoms and to improve the quality of life so that youths served can live at the highest level possible. Some youths have been able to transition into the public schools after completing the intensive treatment services provided by Step By Step Academy.
- The organization’s extensive and intensive training provided to staff members on an ongoing basis to meet the special needs of persons served and their families is exemplary. Individual observation, training and monitoring of staff at least twice a month are conducted to determine skills that are accomplished and additional skills that are required to provide intensive treatment services. The staff is given new treatment skills only after successfully demonstrating competency of all the previously assigned skills. All direct service staff members are required upon hire to have a minimum of 80-plus hours of training in the management and treatment of children and youths who are autistic using ABA and other evidence-based techniques.
- Step By Step Academy’s extensive efforts of seeking funding sources for families with children with autism are exemplary. The dedicated efforts by staff members have provided many children with the needed intensive services that would nor have been accessible without additional funding. Many children and their families were attempting to manage this illness through home care that was inadequate for their needs.
Step By Step Academy, Inc., has earned a One-Year Accreditation. The leadership and staff members are congratulated on this accomplishment. They are encouraged to continue to use the standards in seeking excellence in service provision for this special population.