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Agency Receives High Marks from DDS and CARF

Charles River Center, Needham

In an effort to continue to provide the highest-quality care for those we serve, the Charles River Center regularly undergoes a stringent review and accreditation process from both CARF International and the Department of Disability Services (DDS).  Having outside groups assess and audit our services ensures we continue to meet the high standards we strive for and expect.


This fall, Day Habilitation underwent a CARF certification process.  CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services.  According to CARF, “Accreditation is a sign of quality that assures the public that an organization is committed to encouraging feedback, continuously improving services, and serving the community. It also demonstrates an organization’s commitment to enhance performance, manage risk, and distinguish itself from competing organizations.”


Two CARF surveyors spent three days at Charles River, where they interviewed clients, staff and parents, observed group rooms, and reviewed documents and records.  The report noted sixteen “areas of strength,” which included: the enthusiasm of the members of the leadership team; the strength and sophistication of the agency’s systems and infrastructure; the agency’s emphasis on health and safety; the attractiveness of the facility; the agency’s presence in the community; and the staff’s responsiveness and respect for individuals.  Charles River was given a three-year accreditation, the highest level possible.


Over the summer, Residential Services and Employment & Day Services were both given two –year licenses by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), following their Office of Quality Enhancement (OQE) Survey & Certification process.  All providers who serve individuals funded by DDS are required to meet state licensing and certification regulations that assure health, safety, human rights and quality services for the people they serve.


In Residential, surveyors said the homes were “well-maintained and reflective of [the clients’] personal preferences and tastes.”  The report complimented the agency on its promotion of good nutritional practices by providing ample healthy meal choices, fresh fruits and vegetables, and further stated, “The agency also promoted healthy lifestyles by assisting individuals to be physically active including walking, swimming, and playing basketball.”  


We are extremely proud that Employment & Day Services received a score of 100% compliance to the standards!  Surveyors commented that “individuals interviewed were pleased with the opportunities presented to them and a review of interest inventories, assessments and general information revealed that people were supported to participate in activities based on their preferences,” with the Horticulture Program standing out as a particular favorite.  The report also stated that the “agency has shown that it seeks out and develops jobs that are uniquely geared toward the individuals seeking employment at integrated competitive work sites,” and that “case managers/job coaches remained aware of people’s need for continued support to remain employed and routinely checked-in with employers to ensure that their needs were being met.”  


At the Charles River Center we try to remain true to our mission—to provide the highest-quality supports and services to those we serve--so it is reassuring and rewarding that these two organizations validated that promise.

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