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New Home and Community Services standards augment CARF's full continuum of services accreditation

Service providers can earn accreditation for the program after June 30

Tucson, AZ -- March 4, 2010 -- CARF International's new standards for Home and Community Services complement its existing accreditation standards for programs provided in a variety of settings.

"Home and Community Services across multiple disciplines and program areas are a critical component of service delivery in a full continuum," said Brian J. Boon, Ph.D., CARF president/CEO. "By applying standards that address the safety of persons who receive these services and the unique factors in delivering services in communities and homes, the field is more accountable and person centered. It is a win-win for the consumer and the provider by reducing risk and increasing satisfaction of both parties."

The Home and Community Services standards cut across all of CARF's accreditation areas and are published in the 2010 editions of the Aging Services, Behavioral Health, CARF-CCAC, Child and Youth Services, Employment and Community Services, and Medical Rehabilitation standards manuals. Standards in these manuals will be applied on CARF surveys conducted after June 30, 2010.

  • In a unique effort to address the interests of CARF's multiple customer service markets, the Home and Community Services standards were designed as a broad, flexible framework that is available to service providers seeking to accredit the following types of service delivery in a variety of home and community settings:
  • Services for persons who are in need of specialized health services and assistance due to illness, injury, impairment, disability, or a specific age or developmental need.
  • Services for persons who need assistance to access and connect with family, friends, or coworkers within their homes and communities or who choose to have services that reflect their personal preferences.
  • Services for persons who need or want help with activities in their homes or other community settings.
  • Services for caregivers that may include support, counseling, respite, or hospice.

CARF's leadership in framing the Home and Community Services standards is backed by its 44-year history of accrediting health and human services on five continents.

Development of the Home and Community Services standards began in 2008. CARF crafted the standards with input from service providers, governmental agencies, third-party payers, and CARF surveyors from Europe, Canada, and the United States. In a series of focus groups conducted with consumers who use home and community services, consumers commented on topics ranging from their needs in transportation, respite, and personal care activities to home health nursing and rehabilitation. An International Standards Advisory Committee, representing all of CARF's accreditation areas, wrote the standards using universal terms understood in all service areas. Before their adoption, the standards were posted online for a period of public review that encouraged additional input.

"Persons who require home and community services can feel vulnerable with strangers coming into their homes and interacting with them around personal activities," said Christine MacDonell, managing director of CARF's Medical Rehabilitation customer service unit and managing director of International Aging Services/Medical Rehabilitation. "Consumers told us they want a review of organizations that send persons to assist them -- whether it's a home care aide or a driver transporting them to appointments. They told us they feel more secure if they know an accreditor is watching out for their interests, and they look favorably on service providers that have earned the CARF accreditation seal."

MacDonell added, "Generally, consumers prefer to receive services in their own homes and communities if they are able to, rather than in an institutional setting."

The standards manuals containing the new Home and Community Services standards may be obtained at CARF urges service providers to speak with a resource specialist at CARF before acquiring a standards manual to ensure that the provider's services are matched with appropriate standards. Providers must apply standards for a minimum of six months before a CARF survey may lead to accreditation.

For more information about Home and Community Services accreditation, call CARF International toll free at (888) 281-6531 (voice/TTY) or submit a contact form at

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3/4/2010 12:05:00 AM

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