The Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) awarded eight of Henrico County’s MH/DS services another three-year international accreditation — through November 2025. In October 2022, a team of three surveyors conducted a three-day site visit to assess programs seeking reaccreditation. The mission of CARF is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of persons served.
Please feel free to contact Anna Jones at (804) 727-8434 for additional MH/DS’s CARF information or questions.
Areas of Strength
CARF determined Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services demonstrated the following strengths:
Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services (HAMHDS) has services that are highly valued by stakeholders and the community. It is obvious that the organization is designed and operated to benefit the individuals and families served. Among its many strengths is a strong, effective, and vision-focused leadership team and skilled, hardworking staff members who are dedicated to the delivery of quality person-centered services. At all levels, the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is excellent. HAMHDS has comprehensive policies and procedure in addition to very good strategic plans. There is evidence to suggest that the organization uses the CARF standards in the development of its plans and procedures and continually maintains conformance to the standards. The leadership and staff members have a high level of commitment and enthusiasm for continuous quality improvement by using the CARF standards and proven practices in the organization.
- The management and staff members of HAMHDS are committed to the organizations mission. The management team employs good business practices and balances that ensure the provision of quality services.
- HAMHDS has a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) plan and practices. The organization has put great effort into this area for 30 years. External stakeholder shared that the organization is a leader in DEI and a “go-to” for many entities to find best practices. The staff members are very passionate about the organization’s efforts around DEI. They are surveyed, trained and given opportunities to serve on a wide variety of initiatives to provide equitable service delivery for individuals from diverse communities. HAMHDS receives support and guidance from the County of Henrico’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Division on a number of projects.
- The board members shared the history of the organization with great pride. They share a passions for the services provided to the community. Some identified themselves as being primary or secondary persons served and shared many examples of the good work provided by the organization.
- HAMHDS appears to be financially solvent. The organization has many revenue streams and a lot of success securing grants. The financial department goes through multiple audits each year and, because of its hard work, diligence, and precision, receives satisfactory reports from auditors.
- The organization maintains excellent health and safety practices. All facilities are notably clean, safe, and updated. Many are well decorated with the artwork of individuals served. The sites are physically accessible to meet the needs of all individuals served, and the sites are located in areas of need.
- Technology is a strength of the organization and used to improve the work environment. The organization moved into a new electronic health record in 2022 and has purchased a software program with additional reporting capabilities that will improve its already robust data collection efforts. The organization’s use of technology has ultimately led to improvements in business practices and program services.
- The organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was quick, responsive, and proactive. Activities included setting up tents in the parking lot for the administration of injections, vaccines, and medication management. The staff assessed the individuals needs of each individual served and provided commendable care in creative ways to ensure ongoing stability, safety, and positive connection. The staff members recounted with pride the many unique and inventive actions and interventions they took to ensure that the individuals served were cared for during that time.
- HAMHDS is notable for providing same-day access to services. The same-day access provides a critical support service that enables individuals the ability to access immediate care.
- The community integration program at Lakeside offers services that give the individuals served a sense of connection, purpose, and an opportunity to build skills and help them move forward with integration into the larger community. Ther clerical and culinary units provide purposeful activities that are aligned with the vocational skills needed to help individuals prepare to work or volunteer in the community.
- The organization is complimented for its integration of certified peer support specialists. The peer support specialists are fully integrated into the organization’s workforce, and the organization works to ensure inclusion without barriers through all levels of the employment experience. The peer support specialists are equal members of the program teams. They are respected, valued, and considered to be important contributors to the recovery process of the individuals served.
- The willingness of the peer support specialists to share their individual journeys with individuals served and the larger community help to break down barriers to accessing services, decrease stigma and bias related to mental health and substance use issues, and personify the mission of the organization.
- The organization recognizes the importance of partnering medical health with mental health and making medical care accessible at its service sites. The partnership with Daily Planet Health Services, a provider of medical services, ensures easy access and coordination for the physical health needs of the individuals served. The organization collaborates with local pharmacy services to provide convenient access to medications and medical services at several sites. The collaboration also provides another opportunity to decrease stigma and bias that may exist for local business providers.
- Prevention staff members stated that the intention of the program is to decrease risk factors and increase protective factors for vulnerable community members. The breadth of services provided is extensive, expansive, relevant to the community, compassionate, and life-changing for the individuals served, staff members, and the larger community. The prevention program is involved in all levels of federal, state, and local government, and engages with the communities, including educational providers, community businesses, law enforcement, libraries and local landlords. The prevention team offers important need-focused services to the community. The services are offered in a targeted manner to children as early as kindergarten age in their home community locations.
- The assertive community treatment and case management teams are composed of dedicated, energetic, creative persons who actively think of the best ways to meet the needs of the individuals served. The team members demonstrate sensitivity, compassion, and mindfulness for the struggles that the individuals served face every day. The team members actively demonstrate a pursuit for evidence-based and best care practices. There is engagement in the development of new protocols for care provision that includes involvement in a national collaboration.
- The community housing program goes above and beyond to ensure that the individuals served feel comfortable and at home. The homes are clean and well maintained. Bedrooms are decorated to reflect the personalities of the individuals served. One individual served like color and wanted pictures, but he would always tear them down. Staff and family members worked with him to choose a picture he liked and colors he wanted and created a wall mural around a window in his bedroom. It is beautiful, and the individuals served enjoys it on a regular basis. There is another individual served who is deaf, and the home features visual lights and a vibrating mattress when emergency alarms sound. The newest home is barrier-free to welcoming to the aging population.
- The community integration program believes in keeping the individuals involved in their community. Individuals served are involved in numerous volunteer projects within their communities. They volunteer at numerous sites, and one great example of the benefits of this time of community involvement involves the Meals on Wheels program. Several times per week, the individuals served and a staff member go on their regular route and deliver meals. There was one incident where the person was hurt, and an individual served was able to call 911 and provide support.
- The community integration and organizational employment programs are creative in dealing with problems presenting between individuals in a creative way. When they become aware of a problem with boundaries or inappropriate behaviors, the staff members immediately develop a class to address the issue. Some of these classes include what boundaries, harassment, and support looks like.
- HAMHDS provides training to transportation drivers on how to interact with the individuals served. This has resulted in mutual respect and appreciation for one another.
- Within Day Services for individuals with developmental disabilities, prior to having an annual planning meeting, staff members provide training on their role in the meetings and provide individuals an opportunity to determine their goals for the coming year. A worksheet is used that the individual can complete, with assistance if needed, showing their strengths, what they want for their future and any concerns. This process assists individuals in being an advocate for themselves.
- The team working with individuals with developmental disabilities are extensively trained on the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Dementia in persons with disabilities. Staff members have a screening tool from the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia practices that they use to establish a baseline. The complete assessments at recommended intervals to determine everyone’s status. If early onset is detected, the staff members work with families and support personnel to determine the best way to continue to support the individual Staff members expressed that they use the “make a wish” philosophy by helping individuals who are aging, do things they want to do now rather than putting them off. Individuals have chosen activities such as going to the local zoo or visiting specific museums or going to see Christmas lights. Staff find ways to make these happen.
- The employment program implements evidence-based practices to match individuals served with successful job placements. The individuals are very happy with their jobs and their job coaches. Employers stated that the organization is responsive, professional, and caring.
- Parents and guardians of individuals served are very satisfied with services. They stated that staff members keep them informed of any problems or issues. The parents and guardians are offered copies of treatment plans, understand their rights, and feel that their loved ones are safe and happy.
- It is evident that the organization believes in and adheres to a person-centered philosophy in business practices, clinical programming, and prevention service processes.
- HAMHDS makes very great efforts to ensure that the rights of the individuals served are presented to the individuals in the language of their choice. The organization has a printed rights handout with pictures to assist persons who struggle with reading.