In November 2015, DASO underwent a thorough three-day investigation by a team of validators from FOCUS Accreditation, a respected Canadian accreditation granting organization. The investigation, which was preceded by three years of preparation by DASO staff, involved a thorough review of all DASO’s programs and services as well as its policies, procedures and protocols to assess how well we meet rigorous standards in 14 key domains incorporating 184 standards. For more information about the process including a list of the domains, click to open our 2015/2016 Annual Report.
The standards are based on comprehensive research and best practices for non-profits working in the human services field. FOCUS Accreditation examines all aspects of how an organization provides services – from how Service Users are helped, to the effectiveness of the operations. When the final report was issued, DASO had scored an incredible 97% and we are currently one of just a few Violence Against Women (VAW) shelter-based agencies in Ontario to achieve this significant designation! Our FOCUS Accreditation status is effective for a four-year period from 2015 to 2019.
We’re proud and grateful to everyone on the DASO team who contributed to this achievement. But does that mean we can now relax? Certainly not! As stated on the FOCUS website: “When an organization earns accreditation, all involved can be assured that the organization is transparent, accountable and committed to ongoing learning and improvement.”
For us that means that all 184 standards are reviewed annually, updated and improved using current research and best practices. DASO is committed to ensuring its programs and services meet the needs of women, children and families in Oxford County impacted by domestic abuse and/or homelessness. We will also continue to act with integrity, professionalism and compassion and to be a valued resource in the community as we work with our partners and supporters to end domestic abuse and violence and promote violence-free living for all.