LSSI Receives 4-Year Reaccreditation from the Council on Accreditation
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois has achieved national reaccreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA). LSSI is the largest statewide provider of social services offering foster care, early childhood education, mental health services, alcohol and drug treatment, senior services (affordable senior housing and home care), residential programs for people with developmental disabilities, and programs that help formerly incarcerated individuals integrate back into society.
Organizations pursue accreditation to demonstrate the implementation of best practices standards in the field of human services. COA evaluated all aspects of LSSI's programs, services, management, and administration. In total, LSSI was evaluated on more than 1,300 standards codes with COA surveyors interviewing staff at program sites across Illinois. The reaccreditation for LSSI is approved through February 28, 2022.
"Reaccreditation upholds LSSI's continuing efforts to always improve how we deliver services to the people with whom we share in life," said Mark Stutrud, LSSI's President and CEO. "This achievement reflects the strength and quality of LSSI's programs, and the expertise of the outstanding, compassionate professionals who make up our staff."
COA is an international, independent, nonprofit organization incorporated in 1977 as an accrediting body of social and behavioral healthcare services. COA's mission "promotes best-practice standards; champions quality services for children, youth and families; and advocates for the value of accreditation."
The COA accreditation process is rigorous. In addition to being evaluated on more than 1,300 standards, the process included site visits and interviews with staff and clients, a review of record keeping, and an evaluation of policies and procedures for both the organization overall as well as individual programs. LSSI has programs throughout Illinois including communities in and around Chicago, Champaign, Dixon, Marion, Peoria, Rockford, Rock Island, and Sterling/Rock Falls.
LSSI was commended on the professionalism of its staff, as well as their commitment to the children, adults, and seniors served by its programs. COA cited staff for being inclusive in their approach to providing services. The organization also was praised for strong quality improvement processes.
"Reaccreditation to COA standards shows the quality and value LSSI management and staff place on the clients we serve and the programs offered through our organization," Stutrud said. "This continues LSSI's 151-year commitment of providing vital services to children, adults, and seniors across Illinois."
Founded in 1977, COA is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of the full continuum of community-based behavioral healthcare and social service organizations in the United States and Canada. Over 2,000 organizations—voluntary, public, and proprietary; local and statewide; large and small—have either successfully achieved COA accreditation or are currently engaged in the process. Presently, COA has a total of 47 service standards that are applicable to over 125 different types of programs.
Serving Illinois since 1867, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) is a nonprofit social service organization of the three Illinois synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). LSSI is the largest statewide social services provider, serving nearly 50,000 people across Illinois last year. The organization provides critical programs for Illinois residents including foster care, early childhood education, mental health services, alcohol and drug treatment, affordable senior housing, residential programs for people with developmental disabilities, and programs that help formerly incarcerated individuals integrate back into society.