Saturday, July 19, 2008


The Council on Accreditation is one of two organizations that accredit adoption agencies, both private and public. They also accredit various employee assistance programs and debt consolidation companies. I don't understand why they need to be a part of the process but they are. There is another agency that does accreditation. I will present their information after the COA. COA does a majority of the accreditation of adoption agencies.

According to, their purpose is the following:

To establish and maintain, in North America, an accreditation system for private and public agencies providing human services to families, children and individuals to ensure they receive high quality care. The organization was also established to inform the public as to which agencies have met the organization's standards so that they public and institutions can better decide which agencies to utilize and support.

Remember the fee chart for this organization.

Just some statistics on this organization from Guidestar on their 2006 IRS Form 990:

  • Gross receipts for this organization were $8,954,748.
  • Program service revenue was $6,792,116.
  • Membership dues and assessments were $284,947.


  • Accreditation fees were $4,650,792.
  • Standard Development and Research was $312,361.
  • Special Projects and Resource Development was $707,405.
  • Training was $917,182.
  • Total expenses were $6,587,740.

  • Accreditation fees were $4,291,644.
  • Publication sales were $21,921.
  • Training Seminars were $439,226.
  • Peer Review site visits were $1,936,250. (This tells me that most adoption agencies were not visited on site.)
  • Application fees were $283,075.(This tells me that not everyone paid the same application fees.)
  • Membership dues were $260,036.
  • Conferences were $260,036.
  • Foreign Exchange Gain was $17,400.
  • Sales Gains were $116,664.
  • Dividends & Interests were $251,565.
  • Total revenue was $7,902,728.

Highest Paid employees (This includes benefits):
  • Richard Klarberg, President, earned $301,818.
  • John Polsey, CFO, earned $118,819.
  • Allison M. Blake, Vice President of Accreditation Operations, earned $122,863.
  • Virginia A. Morrison-Murphey, Vice President of Standards, earned $115,354.
  • Brenda Williams-Gray, Director of Accreditation, earned $96,666.
  • Julie Fulmer, Director of Quality Service Management, earned $94,492.
They claim that normally they receive a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or general public. Their gross receipts were $25,248,906 from the period from 2002-2005. They have also invested in a multitude of companies including Yahoo, Sprint, Federal Home Loan, Walmart, and Halliburton. This is all big money.

Colorado Department of Human Services:

Their charges for accreditation is as listed:


Original application for one year Temporary Accreditation $1600.00
Original application for two year Temporary Accreditation
Annual fee for agencies with two year Temporary Accreditation $ 1600.00
Original application for Full Accreditation for agencies that complete 100 or more intercountry adoptions in a calendar year $4000.00
Original application for Full Accreditation for agencies that complete 50 - 99 intercountry adoptions in a calendar year $3000.00
Original application for Full Accreditation for agencies that complete 49 or fewer intercountry adoptions in a calendar year $2000.00
Annual Fee for Agencies with Full Accreditation
Original application for Full Accreditation - Agencies with Colorado and Out-Of-State Offices – additional fee $2000.00
Original application for temporary Accreditation - Agencies with Colorado and Out-Of-State Offices – additional fee $500.00

The adoption agencies that they have accredited:
  • AAC (dba - AAC Adoption and Family Network, Inc. Full accreditation
  • Adoption Choices of Colorado. Temporary Accreditation
  • Adoption Options. Full Accreditation.
  • Angeldance International. Full Accreditation
  • Chinese Children. Full Accreditation.
  • Claar Foundation. Full Accreditation. This agency has been shut down. Its owners have been arrested.
  • Hand in Hand International. Full accreditation.
  • Hope's Promise. Full Accreditation.
  • International Adoption Net. Full Accreditation.
  • Lighthouse Adoptions. Full Accreditation.
  • Littlest Angels. Temporary Accreditation.
All of these agencies are in Colorado.

Here is the timeline of the COA accreditation:

COA accreditation begins eighteen months prior to the end of current accreditation expiration date.
  • Once the application is received, it is reviewed within two to four weeks. After this, they send a financial agreement. (The fee for this is $675.00) The organization must either pay all of the accreditation fees upfront or they pay half then and the remainder within two months.
  • Intake is where they are matched with an Accreditation Coordinator. This individual assigns appropriate service standards (Public or Private agency), develop timelines and identify technical assistance and training opportunities.
  • The organization must submit a Self Study. This usually takes four to six months.
  • If it is required, a on site visit is ordered. The COA reserves the right to deny or defer accreditation on the basis of any standard.
  • Pre Commission Review. On the completion of the on site review, the COA produces a PCR report. It is reviewed by an internal committee (PAR). This committee provides the organization with suggestions on improvement of standards which were not implemented during the on site review.. This report is sent to the organization 45 days after the on site review. The organization has 45 days in which to provide their response to the Accreditation Commission.
  • The Accreditation Commission makes the final decision to accredit an organization or request further documentation to demonstrate compliance. All materials reviewed by the commission are done anonymously in order to assure integrity of the process.
  • The organization then receives a final accreditation report following the successful completion of the process. This report provides a list of strengths and weaknesses. It takes approximately 12-14 months to complete.
Accreditation is effective for four years. All organizations must certify annually between accreditation reviews. (This fee is $800 annually) This is to insure that they continue to implement standards. All organizations that come up for re-accreditation following the publication of new standards are required to comply with them.

Next step: Adminstration and Management

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