First CARF accreditation for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics is issued to Acadiana Area Human Services District

Home / News Releases / First CARF accreditation for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics is issued to Acadiana Area Human Services District

The Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) model is a program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

CARF International notified Acadiana Area Human Services District (AAHSD) executives in Lafayette, Louisiana recently, that their organization is the first clinic to receive CARF accreditation as a CCBHC.

The CCBHC model is designed to ensure vulnerable individuals with both physical and behavioral health needs have access to coordinated comprehensive services. CCBHCs are required to serve anyone who requests care for mental health or substance use – regardless of their ability to pay, place of residence, or age – and to deliver crisis services that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. CCBHCs must also provide care coordination to help people navigate various systems they are involved in, such as behavioral healthcare, physical healthcare, and social services.

“The entire purpose of this survey, and CCBHC project, is to raise the scope and quality of services we are providing to our community. This is ‘quality improvement’ in action,” said AAHSD Executive Director Brad Farmer. “I am very proud of our team and their efforts.”

CCBHCs are funded through SAMHSA. There are more than 500 clinics in the United States. The SAMHSA 2023 Criteria for CCBHCs encourages states to require accreditation by an independent accrediting body. CARF converted the SAMHSA criteria into ratable standards for the purpose of accreditation.

“The creation of CCBHCs has been a significant investment in the improvement of community mental health services in the U.S.,” said CARF International Senior Managing Director of Behavioral Health Michael Johnson. “CARF is excited to participate in the assurance of implementation and quality improvement of this vitally important program.”

The CARF survey of AAHSD took place in October over three days.

“CARF is grateful to AAHSD for volunteering to be the first organization to go through the CCBHCs accreditation process,” said Johnson. “Our collaboration in this process will ensure a better product for future organizations seeking this important accreditation. Brad and his team did a great job of preparing and demonstrating conformance to the standards.”

CCBHCs are responsible for meeting criteria, which establish a basic level of service at which a CCBHC should operate, and fall into six key program areas:

  1. Staffing
  2. Availability and accessibility of services
  3. Care coordination
  4. Scope of services
  5. Quality and other reporting
  6. Organizational authority and governance

By meeting these criteria, CCBHCs across the country are transforming systems by providing comprehensive, coordinated, trauma-informed, and recovery-oriented care for mental health and substance use conditions. To learn more, go to the SAMHSA website.

“We are very proud, and honored, to be associated with CARF and to be able to participate in this initial (CCBHC accreditation) effort,” said Farmer. “We hope others can learn from us as they seek to improve the quality of services for their organizations and communities.”

About CARF International

Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services in the areas of aging services; behavioral health; child and youth services; employment and community services; medical rehabilitation; and opioid treatment programs. The CARF International group of organizations includes CARF, CARF Canada, and CARF Europe and accredits more than 65,000 programs on five continents. More than 13.7 million persons of all ages are served annually by CARF-accredited providers.

For more information about the accreditation process, please visit the CARF International website at carf.org.

Reporters and members of the media interested in more information about CARF, visit our News Center at carf.org/news, and our Media Center at carf.org/media-center/ to connect with CARF accreditation experts.

CARF International headquarters is located at 6951 East Southpoint Road, Tucson, AZ 85756-9407, toll free (888) 281‑6531. CARF has offices in Washington, D.C.; Edmonton, Alberta; Toronto, Ontario; and London, U.K.

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