Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch opened its doors wide this year to welcome a team of experts from the Council on Accreditation to evaluate the organization and its programs. Recently, Boys Ranch received excellent news from the New York-based nonprofit accreditor.
“After intense in-depth interviews with board members, staff, alumni, business partners and, most importantly, our children, we received a notice that we received an ‘expedited reaccreditation’,” said Dan Adams, president and CEO of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. “We received zero non-compliances on the essential standards, those directly impacting the quality of care of children.”
Adams was understandably proud, saying the expedited reaccreditation affirms what Boys Ranch residents and employees see every day.
“It’s one thing for those of us invested in the mission of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch to say we are one of the best residential programs for children in the country,” he said, adding, “but, it’s something of a higher order for a national accrediting entity to announce it with a four-year stamp of approval. I’m proud to be part of such an incredible endeavor.”
COA has conducted accreditation reviews since 1977. Every four years, COA evaluates whether Boys Ranch provides the best possible outcomes to all stakeholders, but primarily the children and families it serves.
“At Boys Ranch, we go above and beyond what is required by the state in providing quality residential care to children,” explained Michelle Maikoetter, Boys Ranch’s chief program officer. “It also means we are willing and able to consistently meet these quality-of-care indicators. We do not ‘tack on’ quality improvement, but rather integrate it into everything we do.”
The accreditation team reviewed many areas of operation, looking specifically to make sure services meet best-practice standards and are being delivered by appropriately trained staff. The group gave careful attention to the campus environment, making sure services are provided in a safe and respectful way, where health and safety are protected, and risk and liability are minimized.
Boys Ranch does not seek government funding for its work with children; its adherence to COA standards is self-imposed and dates back more than 20 years. The organization’s leadership and board of directors believe independent oversight and evaluation is healthy for the children Boys Ranch serves.
COA accreditation is an important and longstanding practice for Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. According to Adams, residential care for children has been under the microscope across the country in recent years.
“That’s a good thing,” he said. “Child welfare has received some black eyes in years past, so the demand for excellence and quality is increasing.”