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Another Three Years!


Source credit: CARF International

We are very excited to announce that S:US has been awarded another three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International in recognition of the excellent work carried out by our Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, Veterans and Support Services teams.

Founded in 1966 CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services.  The mission of CARF International is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of persons served.  Qualifying for a CARF International accreditation signifies S:US has demonstrated its commitment to quality and dedication to best practices.  This is the third time CARF International has awarded S:US with three-year accreditation.

Before deciding on whether S:US met the criteria for its accreditation, CARF International officials visited 47 of the 87 S:US program locations being surveyed. After surveying the buildings, speaking to staff and interviewing consumers CARF International officials were very impressed!  They highlighted the caring, competence and commitment of staff, the innovativeness of our programs, the condition of our buildings and physical environment and our overall adherence to their rigorous standards.

In July, CARF International issued its findings in a detailed 50-page survey report in which it formally gave high praise and recognition to S:US for our great achievements and continuing quality of care.  Below are a samples of the many acclamatory statements made by the CARF International about S:US:S:US is very honored to receive this recognition and would like to take this opportunity to applaud all our staff who played an integral role in maintaining a high level of quality care to our consumers, not only made by CARF International officials were around but, more importantly, on a daily basis.

Services for the UnderServed (S:US) demonstrates strengths in many areas:

  • Staff members throughout the programs treat persons served with a high degree of respect, restoring their dignity, self-esteem, and belief in their own integrity. As a result, collaborative and respectful partnerships are developed.  These relationships build persons’ hope as they come to believe that they can achieve personal growth and improve functioning.
  • The persons served at the day habilitation programs are actively involved in all aspects of the program, and the staff members appear to truly care about each person, as evidenced by the interaction between the staff members and the persons served.
  • The community housing sites have private spaces, such as patios, rooftop decks, and/or recreation areas, at many of its locations. The organization has worked diligently to add green space at the locations.
  • The persons served in the community housing express pride in their apartment. They express feelings of independence and security in knowing they have a staff member who will work with them and assist them in achieving their goals.
  • The supported living and community living environments are well kept, inviting and personalized. Persons served expressed appreciation for the organization and staff members, and many expressed that they feel hope for the first time in their lives.
  • There is a good use of community volunteers ranging from a Best Buddies® program to art classes and assistance with potted gardens
  • The organization’s rapid rehousing and homeless prevention program (RRHPP) has a turnaround rate that has all but eliminated the homeless veterans in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
  • Veterans credit S:US in helping them with direction and guidance in getting back on their feet and rebuilding a more fulfilling life with independence and self-worth.
  • Outreach efforts to identify homeless veterans, including these who have not previously been connected with VA services, are intensive and have resulted in significant reductions in homeless veterans within the NYC area.
  • The organization is complimented for hiring veterans in various positions on the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) team. Their personal backgrounds and their identification with the military help to engage homeless veterans.  This approach to hiring brings a subset of special skills, unique experiences, and numerous strengths to the organization.

S:US is very honored to receive this recognition and takes this opportunity to applaud all our staff who played an integral role in maintaining a high level of quality care to our consumers, not only when CARF International officials were around but, more importantly, on a daily basis.

In a message to staff, S:US CEO, Donna Colonna said, “Thank you for your diligence in ensuring we were prepared to show the best of who we are as work with people to bring out the best of who they are.  I am grateful to you today and always for your passion, your dedication and your willingness to do right by the work.  I know we ask a lot and I am appreciative that you in turn give a lot.  Thank you and congratulations!”



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