Our current version of the standards has evolved from a rich history of more than 30 years in partnership with individuals, groups of like-minded programs, and health and human services organizations. Since the release of the first version of standards, they have been developed, revisited, revised and are continually evolving in order to provide the most current best practice.
There have been many changes over the course of the past 30 years, such as the broadening of the Program Standards to include a wider range of programs, reflective of our evolution from focusing solely on accrediting programs supporting children, youth, and families to a wider focus that includes adult and health programs. The Enhanced Designations were also created to allow programs to be recognized in their areas of specialty.
We also understand that different program types and communities have very different needs. To allow organizations to demonstrate the uniqueness of their programs, we have worked with many different stakeholders to develop standards that reflect their individual needs. Below is a list of some of the different types of organizations and programs we provide accreditation services to.
CAC is committed to working in collaboration with First Nations communities to enhance programming through the process of accreditation. Standards supporting on-going learning about aboriginal history and culture, access to aboriginal resource people, and providing positive role models through recruiting and retaining aboriginal staff were first introduced in the 1999 Edition of Standards and remain embedded in the current editions. An enhanced designation for Aboriginal or Cultural Programs also allows organizations to demonstrate the deeper uniqueness of their programming.
CAC understands the needs of individuals who participate in addictions programs. An enhanced designation has been created specifically to ensure that there is additional training in the area of addictions as well as the medical and clinical support required to operate this type of service.
In 2011, CAC launched the 2011 Edition of Adult Standards, an extension of the standards we already provided to Child, Youth and Family organizations. The 2015 Edition of Standards has maintained this expansion into adult-oriented programs, ensuring that the Governance & Management Standards are appropriate for all organizations and the program types used for adult programs have been maintained. Extensive research and expert feedback was used in the creation of these standards, ensuring that the unique needs of adults within programs have been taken into consideration and are reflected in the standards.
Calgary Homeless Foundation
CAC continues to work with the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) to utilize our process for their Case Management Standards in order to promote excellence in practice. As CHF works towards the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, it will continue to work with the local community in developing a process for standards to be reviewed and supported, assisting programs working with the case management model to implement and consistently demonstrate common standards. If you would like to learn more about the Calgary Homeless Foundation and Calgary’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, please visit their website at www.calgaryhomeless.com
Child, Youth, and Family
CAC has a rich history of providing services to organizations specializing in children, youth, and families, and we continue to improve upon those standards with each cycle. We offer a wide range of standard sets applicable to Child, Youth, and Family programs and organization, as well as the ability to combine these sets to better reflect the uniqueness of the programs in operation.
These standards are designed to introduce individuals into the workforce by reviewing and supporting the development of basic skills necessary to pursue work opportunities. The focus is on the individuals in the program, from exploring their interests to increased competence, cumulating in obtaining and maintaining long term employment.
Community Health Centres provide health care, health promotion and community development services to individuals who live in semi-isolated communities across Canada. CAC works closely with these organizations to provide standards that reflect the wide range of programs they offer, all of which share a similar goal in promoting healthy living, social connection, and the provision of necessary resources.
Mental Health is a crucial dimension of overall health and an essential resource for living. Our standards for Mental Health Programs are designed to increase the individual’s capacity to feel, think, and act in ways that will enhance their ability to enjoy life and deal with challenges. These programs help to address various capacities, including relating to others, handling stress, evaluating challenges, and pursuing goals.
Military Family Resource Centres
In 2014 CAC began working with the Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) which are committed to enriching the lives of individuals and families in the Canadian Armed Forces communities across the country. CAC has been working with these centres to provide continued support and services to them as they strive towards accreditation with CAC.
Nursing Stations operate across Canada, providing health care to isolated and semi-isolated communities. CAC has standards to help support the functions of these centres and the programming they offer.
As Canada’s population continues to age, the need for organizations that provide services to seniors increases. CAC has program types tailored to the needs of those individuals, from programs that offer basic living support to those that assist with the ongoing care of the individuals in their program.