Caring for Clients: CSS’s Substance Use Services Re-accredited for Three Years

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Mecklenburg County’s Substance Use Services team recently earned re-accreditation for three years by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).  

Substance Use Services, a program of the Community Support Services department, works to help people with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services that works to ensure a team is operating at the highest standard of client care.  

To receive accreditation, County staff underwent a rigorous three-day survey where CARF determined conformance to all applicable standards by touring facilities, observing services, interviewing persons served and stakeholders, reviewing policies and procedures, and personnel and client files. The CARF survey included a review of the mission, vision, policies, procedure, protocols, business practices and the program specific practices and operations. The survey highlights the quality of the team’s work and shares that recognition with the public and clients. Accreditation demonstrates that organizations are adhering to the high standards set by CARF and meeting those standards on a consistent basis.

“For the people who look to Community Support Services for help with treatment for substance use, it is important that they receive the best service possible and that these services are provided and guided by skilled staff and knowledgeable leadership,” said Elyse Hamilton-Childres, division director of CSS’s Prevention and Intervention Services, which houses the Substance Use program. “One reason clients can be assured that they’re receiving the best treatment is because of our program’s accreditation.

In granting the re-accreditation, CARF noted that CSS leadership and staff “demonstrate a commitment to conform to the CARF standards and to engage in continuous quality improvement.” CARF also said: “Services are valued by the organization’s clients, who appear to be benefiting from the treatment they receive, and by the stakeholders. Among the organization’s strengths are its actively engaged leadership team; strong mission-inspired leadership; skilled team-oriented staff members; holistic approach to treatment; proactive stance in addressing the population of persons who are homeless in need of the services offered; and supportive service delivery and workforce cultures.”

This year the work of preparing for the program’s fifth CARF survey was led by Substance Use Program Manager Chinita Craighead-Davis. “We worked diligently to prepare for re-accreditation,” she said. “It was our first survey with the current team in place. But it is important that we all do the work required to remain compliant with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and Alliance Health.”

To learn more about the program or ask for assistance, call 704-816-0260