On April 4th 2019, The Arc of Natrona County attained CQL Accreditation in the state of Wyoming. By achieving Quality Assurances Accreditation from CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership, they have demonstrated a deep commitment to ongoing organizational transformation through an alignment with the very highest standards in human services. CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership is an approved accrediting body in the state of Wyoming.
“This is a significant accomplishment and we are so grateful to work with The Arc of Natrona County on their journey to improve the quality of their services, and more importantly, the quality of life for those they support,” says Mary Kay Rizzolo, President and Chief Executive Officer of CQL.
The Arc of Natrona County is a local organization based in Casper, Wyoming, which provides a variety of direct and indirect services to children and adults with developmental disabilities. The Arc of Natrona County initially began as an informal parent organization in 1963 and was formally incorporated in May of 1977. The Arc of Natrona County is an affiliate organization of The Arc of Wyoming and The Arc of the United States.
“Working with CQL was such a positive experience! We can’t wait to see what growth comes from our new CQL Accreditation!” says Bethany Young, Executive Director of The Arc of Natrona County, adding “We learned a more in-depth approach on how to educate people on their rights and how we can be advocating for them more appropriately.”
It was clear through the accreditation process that a positive, person-centered organizational culture is a high priority for The Arc of Natrona County. Kendra Julius, CQL Quality Enhancement Specialist, experienced this culture first -hand during the accreditation. “The Arc of Natrona County supports all people to make their desires about services known and responds to each person with respect,” says Kendra. “The organization believes in thinking outside of the box to provide quality supports as defined by each person.”
One way that this culture plays out for people, is through their participation in the life of the local community and greater Wyoming area. During the on-site visit of the accreditation and through focus groups and informal conversations, it was evident that the staff members went above and beyond to ensure community activities were accessible to every person, and then stepped back so people could make real relationships outside of paid supports.
CQL Accreditation provided The Arc of Natrona County with a proven framework for quality enhancement through self-assessments, reviews, interviews, on-site visits, focus groups, data analysis, ongoing partnership, and more. The process goes far beyond traditional accreditation approaches which look at regulatory requirements, and evaluates the impact that policies are having on people’s lives. Through the use of CQL’s trademarked tools, organizations like The Arc of Natrona County can learn about, collect, and analyze data about the outcomes in people’s lives and the supports they provide to help people achieve those outcomes.
“Accreditation through CQL is not easy. It’s not just a policy review or some stamp of approval,” states Katherine Dunbar, Vice President of Services and Systems Excellence of CQL. “It’s a very demanding process that produces real results. Through a collaborative approach with organizations, we work closely with them to leverage areas of excellence, identify opportunities for improvement, and integrate CQL’s proprietary tools to enhance people’s lives.”