Supporting Accreditation of Children's Homes

To promote higher standards and consistent quality among children's homes, The Duke Endowment changed its grantmaking strategy in 2002 to provide support only to children's homes with national accreditation. 

The Benefits of National Accreditation


Children's homes in North Carolina and South Carolina face many challenges as they work to provide stable, nurturing environments for children who, for a number of reasons, can no longer live with their families. Among other things, homes must maintain facilities that are safe and appealing, offer mental health services that meet a variety of needs, and provide education to students at many different levels to help them achieve their academic potential. To attract ongoing financial support and to meet their service mission, children's homes must have a way to prove their work is effective and incorporates best practices and high standards. Becoming accredited by a national organization is one way that children's homes can show their willingness to strive for effectiveness. However, few group home providers in North Carolina and South Carolina pursued accreditation prior to 2002.


Raising the Bar

The Duke Endowment believes that national accreditation delivers a measure of improved performance for individual children's homes, and will help "raise the bar" for all homes in North Carolina and South Carolina. In 2002, the Endowment announced its intention to provide operating support only to accredited homes.

Examining National Practices and Standards

The Endowment also examined the practices and standards of several national accrediting agencies to determine their ability to provide fair, objective and honest evaluations of children's homes. From its research, the Endowment chose to recognize accreditation from two national agencies: the Council on Accreditation (COA) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

Participating Sites

See original participating sites in North Carolina and South Carolina.



Area of Work

  • Out-of-home care for youth

Program Area

  • Child & Family Well-Being

Grantmaking Status

This program ran from 2002 to 2009

Areas of Work

  • Prevention and early intervention for at-risk children

    To equip children and families with skills to ensure that children reach developmental milestones to lead successful lives.

  • Out-of-home care for youth

    To drive child welfare systems toward greater accountability for child well-being.

  • Quality and safety of health care

    Improving the quality and safety of health care delivery

  • Access to health care

    Improving health by increasing access to comprehensive care

  • Prevention

    Expanding programs to promote health and prevent disease

  • Academic excellence

    Enhancing academic excellence through program and campus development

  • Educational access and success

    Increasing educational access and supporting a learning environment that promotes achievement

  • Campus and community engagement

    Promoting a culture of service, collaboration and engagement among schools and communities

  • Rural church development

    Building the infrastructure and capacity of United Methodist churches to enhance ministry and mission

  • Clergy leadership

    Strengthening United Methodist churches by improving the quality and effectiveness of church leadership

  • Congregational outreach

    Engaging United Methodist congregations in programs that serve their communities