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Three leading children and youth advocacy organizations join CARF’s International Advisory Council

New additions bolster representation of child and youth population

February 26, 2016, Tucson, Arizona — The Association of Children’s Residential Centers (ACRC), the National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health (NACBH), and Youth M.O.V.E.  (Motivating Others through Voices of Experience) National have accepted seats on CARF’s International Advisory Council (IAC). CARF International provides accreditation services, including child and youth services, worldwide.

The IAC comprises organizational and individual members representing the spectrum of CARF’s accreditation services. Members provide guidance on the development of the CARF standards and input on issues affecting fields in which CARF offers accreditation. The addition of these three new members to the IAC increases the total member count to 41 organizational and 5 individual members. A list of IAC members can be found at

CARF’s managing director of child and youth services, Leslie Ellis-Lang, said of the additions, “Adding ACRC, NACBH, and Youth M.O.V.E. National to the IAC will assist us in ensuring that the voice and interests of children, youth, and their families have a strong presence in all CARF activities. In particular, it strengthens CARF’s continued effort to unify behavioral health and child welfare needs and practices within the standards, and supplies direct input from youth themselves.”

CARF’s child and youth services accreditation area has standards that focus primarily on services to children and youth, along with their families, in the fields of behavioral health and child welfare. For more information about CARF accreditation of child and youth services, please write or call toll free (888) 281-6531.

ACRC believes that children and adolescents and their families are entitled to treatment which offers the maximum opportunity for growth and change. Its website states, “Children and adolescents with behavioral health disorders present unique treatment challenges. The complexity of their clinical conditions and their developmental needs demand that many children and adolescents be served in settings that are constructed to ensure experiential learning of healthy and productive life skills.”

Kari Sisson, executive director of ACRC, said, after being named to the IAC, “We are excited to join CARF’s IAC. ACRC respects the hard work and dedication of CARF’s staff and accredited organizations, working to improve services to children and families. This focus is directly in line with ACRC’s emphasis on best practices, innovation, and clinical excellence.”

NACBH’s mission is to enhance the availability and delivery of services for children and families dealing with mental or substance use disorders. Its activities include advocating children’s behavioral healthcare with Congress and federal agencies, educating its membership on key issues for the field, and convening biannual leadership conferences. Its main focus is to advance both practice and public policies that support state-of-the-art services and responsive systems of care.

Upon being named to the IAC, the executive director of NACBH, Patricia Johnston, stated, “NACBH is pleased to join industry leaders in human services as a member of CARF’s IAC. For more than 30 years, NACBH has been a force for change in the provision of high quality behavioral health services for children and families. A seat on the IAC provides an opportunity to continue our pursuit of excellence and offer our members’ experience to influence standards that are critical in today’s human services environment.”

Youth M.O.V.E. National
Youth M.O.V.E. National is a youth-led, national organization that unites the voices of individuals who have experienced various systems, including mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare. It advocates strongly for the empowerment and equal participation of youth in the process of improving these systems.

“Youth M.O.V.E. National is proud to join the diverse array of stakeholders on the CARF IAC to ensure that meaningful participation of youth voice is included in the work,” says Johanna Bergan, executive director of Youth M.O.V.E. National. “As advocates and leaders in the behavioral health field, working in partnership with CARF offers us the opportunity to ensure that youth voice and choice is included in quality services.”

2/26/2016 1:55:00 PM

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