All in Community

When in Doubt, Improvise

When you think of improvisation, Christopher Guest movies like Waiting for Guffman or television programs like Whose Line is it Anyway? might come to mind. But improv does more than inspire laughter. It teaches us to be mindful, adaptable and collaborative.

Applying the principles of improvisation to your work in human services isn’t about making it up as you go along – although, let’s face it, we all do that a little bit from time to time – it’s about fostering trust, respect and acceptance at your organization in order to galvanize your staff to be fearless, open and inventive. Let’s explore some elements of this mindset and discuss how it can influence your work.

The Story of a Standard: Updated Child & Youth Development Standards, An Ode to Afterschool

For Kimo Richardson, February is the perfect month to write about our release of updated standards for afterschool programs/services. Among the really important things we celebrate this month is love, and as COA's Director of Child and Youth Development Program Accreditation, Kimo loves the afterschool field! He's  spent more than 15 years in the field and continue to be inspired by the creative methods used by organizations and the commitment of staff to helping youth learn and thrive. In this article, Kimo tells the story of devloping the standards and explores the "big ideas" incorporated throughout the udpates.

Animal Assistance: A Cause for Paws?

The human-animal connection is nothing new. However, the increased awareness and utilization of animals offering aid and support brings up a lot of questions around definitions, legal protections, and associated benefits. This post will examine all of these areas and explore how this hot topic issue can impact social service providers in their everyday work with clients. 

3 Ways Communities are Using Naloxone to Fight the Opioid Epidemic and Save Lives

The relentless pace of opioid overdose deaths has taken a toll on communities and left friends, family and neighbors of individuals struggling with opioid dependency feeling powerless.  As the country struggles to keep up with the relentless pace of opioid overdose deaths, local communities have galvanized to develop and promote innovative strategies to get naloxone into the hands of any potential life savers, looking at a greater range of first responders and beyond to play a role.

Children's Aid Society of Alabama - 32 Years of Wisdom

At the Council on Accreditation (COA) we are continuously inspired by the work and dedication of the staff at our accredited organizations and their voracity to provide unparalleled services to their clients. In honor of COA’s 40th anniversary, we would like to highlight Children’s Aid Society of Alabama (CAS), an organization that has partnered with COA for many years and continues to reap the benefits of the accreditation process.

Be the One to Save a Life

In this post, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline discusses their campaign, #BeThe1To 5-steps to Save a Life. Lifeline initially launched this widely successful campaign in 2016 to recognize that year’s National Suicide Prevention Month and provide people with concrete, actionable tools. For 2017, the campaign has established partnerships with over 30 suicide prevention and mental health organizations across the country and will host Facebook Live and Twitter chats throughout the month of September. The author Chris Maxwell paints a picture of someone in crisis and walks the reader through ways to successfully address this type of situation and the individual's needs. 

Literary Corner: Five Picks from the COA Community

Books are a valuable tool for professional and personal growth; many social service organizations encourage staff to increase their knowledge and stay engaged with trends in the field by organizing book clubs, establishing office libraries, or allocating professional development funds for book purchases.

Interested in discovering your next great page turner? Luckily, we have a few great recommendations from our well-read stakeholders -- books that inform, inspire, and can influence your work. In this post, check out these great picks from COA’s Community. 

Why Your Organization Should Enlist an MSW Intern

Tis the season for expounding the virtues of professional social workers. Social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. As of 2017, over 650,000 individuals hold social work degrees. Committed to creating positive change, these individuals go to work everyday to address disadvantage through service delivery and advocacy, while simultaneously influencing broader social issues affecting our most vulnerable citizens. During the fall of 2016, I enrolled in the Advanced Standing Program at Columbia University’s School of Social Work with the desire to contribute to this positive impact. 

As a Master of Social Work (MSW) intern at the Council on Accreditation, and in honor of National Professional Social Work Month, I would like share six reasons why your organization can benefit from having an MSW intern: