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What Our CARF Accreditation Means For You and Your Child’s Care

A Gillette patient using our Lokomat

Gillette Children’s is just one of just three pediatric specialty programs in Minnesota accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in acute inpatient rehabilitation for young children and teens. We’re also one of eight U.S. pediatric inpatient rehabilitation facilities to have CARF accreditation for both pediatric specialty and pediatric brain injury programs.  

What is CARF? 

When dealing with something as important as the health of your child, a trusted reviewer can help you make sure you’re in good hands. CARF International was founded as an independent, nonprofit accreditor in 1966 and has surveyed hundreds of thousands of programs around the world. 

CARF believes all people have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, have access to needed services that achieve the best possible outcomes, and are empowered to exercise informed choice. 

When a service or program is CARF-accredited, it means it has been through an in-depth review of its services. It must meet all of CARF’s set of leading-edge standards in business and service delivery practices, and it must remain committed to continuous quality improvement during an on-site survey.  

The service or program must have also demonstrated its commitment to delivering quality services that focus on the client’s specific strengths, abilities, needs and preferences. The service or program is also periodically evaluated with an on-site visit and an annual review of their quality report. By choosing a CARF-accredited program or service, you can be confident that it delivers person-centered services and has met international standards for service delivery. 

What is the CARF Accreditation Process? 

For first time applicants, the entire CARF accreditation process can take 9-12 months. Undergoing this delicate and difficult evaluation truly demonstrates the facility’s commitment to their community, working toward the well-deserved reward of achieving accreditation status. 

  • After a service provider commits to accreditation, the process begins with a thorough internal examination of its programs and business practices and how they compare to CARF standards.  
  • The organization will next seek to schedule an on-site survey with the CARF team of expert practitioners in order to evaluate their performance and organizational practices and whether they truly abide by the applicable standards. CARF is unique in its approach, as they consult instead of just inspect. That’s because their goal is to improve the provider’s operations and service delivery. Also included in this portion of the process are interviews of staff, people served and their families.  
  • In the time following the on-site survey, the CARF team will provide a written report of what they see, including identified strengths, as well as areas for improvement. Depending on the data collected, they’ll render a decision regarding accreditation, and may require updates to be put in place and written notice to be given once they have been.
  • While the accreditation period may last 1-3 years, an Annual Conformance to Quality Report is required each year to demonstrate ongoing compliance. 

CARF-Accredited Rehabilitation 

Rehabilitation medicine works to help restore movement and functional ability, and enhance the quality of life for people who have physical disabilities or injuries. Our rehabilitation medicine specialists — known as physiatrists — specialize in the rehabilitation care and medical management of children who have musculoskeletal conditions. Learn more about our CARF- accredited acute inpatient rehabilitation program here.