By Jessica J. Burchard
February 19, 2008
Grafton Schools Inc. earned international praise for providing extensive training and support for its employees.
The Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities awarded the Winchester-based Grafton a three-year accreditation and a perfect score on application standards earlier this month.
“They look at business standards and program standards, and evaluate us against 1,062 different standards,” Shweta Adyanthaya, director of communications for Grafton, said on Monday about the commission’s review.
Only 3 percent of the 1,600 facilities that CARF evaluates receive such a rating.
Adyanthaya said the entire report is available at (follow this link).
Representatives from the commission spent two days in January visiting two of Grafton’s facilities – the Ruth Birch campus in Winchester and the residential school near Berryville.
Grafton also has an educational facility in Richmond.
The commission examined all aspects of Grafton’s corporate and client services. It rated Grafton exemplary in its conformance to standards in three different areas: job descriptions, extensive training programs for employees, and an incentive program for clients called Step It Up that rewards positive behaviors with privileges.
CARF, an independent, nonprofit accrediting body that was established in 1966, declined to comment about its evaluation process when contacted on Monday.
In a statement from Grafton, CEO and President James G. Gaynor II said how important the recognition was for the school.
“We are, of course, pleased that we have been given a perfect score by CARF,” he said. “The dedication of our Berryville and corporate staffs to the care of our clients is the reason for outstanding accomplishments, which we consider to be the ‘Grafton Standard.'”
Grafton is a private, nonprofit organization serving youths and adults with emotional disturbances, learning disabilities, mental retardation, autistic disorder, and severe behavioral disorders.
It helps children, adolescents, and adults in 23 group homes statewide, including about a dozen in the Winchester area. Grafton also operates residential schools in Clarke County and Richmond.
Grafton has a total of about 700 employees.
Gaynor said the accreditation will benefit both Grafton and its clients.
“Accreditation is evidence to consumers that an organization is committed to encouraging and utilizing feedback, continuously improving services, and serving the community,” he said in a statement. “For a provider, accreditation is evidence that an organization strives to improve efficiency, fiscal health, and service delivery – creating a foundation for continuous quality improvement and consumer satisfaction.”