SPRINGFIELD – Project Woman of Ohio has achieved national accreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA), the independent, not-for-profit accreditor of the full continuum of community-based behavioral health care and social service organizations in the United States and Canada.
Since 1974, Project Woman has been dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault in Clark and Champaign Counties through programs and services that protect, educate, and empower, such as emergency and transitional housing, advocacy and survivor assistance, behavioral health, and community advocacy and education. The COA accreditation process involved all staff in a detailed review and analysis of Project Woman’s administration, management, programs, and service delivery functions against international standards of best practices.
The accreditation standards ensure that services are well-coordinated, culturally competent, evidence-based, outcomes-oriented, and provided by a skilled and supported workforce. “COA accreditation lets our stakeholders and the community know that we have demonstrated accountability in the management of our resources and have met the standards for best practices in our programs, services, and administration,” said Laura Baxter, Project Woman executive director. “It also means that we have created a framework for ongoing quality improvement that increases our organizational capacity and accountability.”
To achieve COA accreditation, Project Woman first provided written evidence of compliance with the COA standards. In mid-December, a group of specially trained volunteer Peer Reviewers confirmed adherence to these standards during a series of on-site interviews with trustees, staff, and clients. Based on their findings, COA’s volunteer-based Accreditation Commission voted that Project Woman had achieved full compliance of all 14 of the standards for accreditation.