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Area nonprofit Positive Alternatives achieves national accreditation

Area nonprofit Positive Alternatives achieves national accreditation

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COA plaque

Positive Alternatives representatives present the plaque for COA accreditation. From left to right, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jeremy Hernandez, President and CEO Kelli Kamholz and Board Chair Chris King.

Positive Alternatives, a local nonprofit organization, has achieved national accreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA).

Positive Alternatives provides services to youth and families including adolescent groups homes in Menomonie, River Falls, Amery, Wisconsin Rapids, and Wausau, as well as Community-Based Services in Western Wisconsin. It took Positive Alternatives two years to achieve accreditation.

Organizations pursue accreditation to demonstrate the implementation of best-practice standards in the field of human services. COA evaluated all aspects of Positive Alternatives’ programs, services, management, and administration.

COA accreditation is an objective, independent, and reliable validation of an agency’s performance. The COA accreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of an organization’s administration, management, and service delivery functions against international standards of best practice. The standards driving accreditation ensure that services are well-coordinated, culturally competent, evidence-based, outcomes-oriented, and provided by a skilled and supported workforce. COA accreditation demonstrates accountability in the management of resources, sets standardized best practice thresholds for service and administration, and increases organizational capacity and accountability by creating a framework for ongoing quality improvement.

To achieve COA accreditation, Positive Alternatives first provided written evidence of compliance with the COA standards. Thereafter, a group of specially trained volunteer Peer Reviewers confirmed adherence to these standards during a series of on-site interviews with trustees, staff and clients.

Based on their findings, COA’s volunteer-based Accreditation Commission voted that Positive Alternatives had successfully met the criteria for accreditation. To learn more about COA, please visit

Positive Alternatives offers group homes and community-based services to youth and families in five Wisconsin communities and has been providing services to youth and families since 1974.


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