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Your UCP: National October 13, 2003

Employment Supports

CARF Standards to Bring Quality and Recognition for One-Stop Career Centers

Board of Trustees approves standards, welcomes The Arc as an associate member

Tucson, Ariz. - May 31, 2001 - New CARF accreditation standards for One-Stop Career Centers promise to bring blueprints for quality and recognition to this new type of workforce development service. The standards, recently approved by the CARF Board of Trustees, will be published on July 2, and CARF surveys that lead to accreditation of One-Stop Centers will begin January 2, 2002.

One-Stop Career Centers provide job placement, employer support, and referrals and funding to individual service providers under provisions set by the Workforce Investment Act. The legislation, passed by Congress in 1998 and implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor, aims to provide employment opportunities for all Americans and to break cycles of underemployment, unemployment, and public assistance. The act identifies employment services to be coordinated through local One-Stop Centers for four groups of workers: youth, dislocated (out-of-work) workers, individuals eligible for vocational rehabilitation, and older workers.

"The CARF standards for One-Stop Career Centers are results-oriented and focus on the employment and career development goals of each person receiving services," explained Paul Andrew, CARF National Director in the Employment and Community Services Division. "The standards provide guidance to the partners of One-Stop Centers to consider the personnel needs of employers in the local job market, the community resources available, and considerations in the employment sector. Partners in One-Stop Centers are brought together by the rules and regulations of the Workforce Investment Act and the local workforce development needs."

One-Stop Career Centers are designed to provide easy access to creative and individualized services, including career development, for consumers and quality services to employers in the private sector. A One-Stop Center typically coordinates diverse services with a number of state and federally mandated partners from a central location or through electronic connections throughout a region for which the local One-Stop Center is responsible.

The new CARF standards for One-Stop Career Centers provide guidelines to establish effective and efficient governance and administrative practices. Because One-Stop Centers are the source for funding and referrals of persons with intensive service needs, the standards also assist the One-Stop Centers in establishing service agreements with providers, including the terms of the relationships, expected performance indicators, and reporting methods.

"This opportunity for community-based providers has created the need for quality expectations and recognition of potential service providers by the One-Stop Career Centers. One-Stop Centers will find the standards for contracting with affiliates useful in referring job seekers with individual training vouchers to intensive services," Andrew added. "The standards are flexible and will provide a stable foundation for any organization to examine its accessibility, customer responsiveness, and the quality of its outcomes and services."

Accreditation of One-Stop Career Centers complements accreditation of Workforce Development Services, which CARF will begin in July this year. A service provider wishing to contract with a One-Stop Center can seek CARF accreditation in Workforce Development Services in conjunction with the provider’s CARF-accredited Employment, Community, or Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services. The combined accreditation enhances opportunities for contracting with One-Stop Centers; state vocational rehabilitation agencies; private referrals; and other local, county, or state mental health and social service agencies.

The CARF standards for One-Stop Centers will be available in early July in Blueprint for Quality Workforce Development Services: Customer-Driven Standards for Setting Up and Managing One-Stop Career Centers. The cost of the publication, which may be ordered directly from CARF as item no. 5110.47, is $120 plus shipping and handling.

The standards for Workforce Development Services are available now in the 2001 Employment and Community Services Standards Manual, item no. 5110.44, for $120 plus shipping and handling.

For additional information about the standards or accreditation process, please contact either of these directors in CARF’s Employment and Community Services Division:

Paul Andrew, National Director, (520) 325-1044, ext. 112
Dale Dutton, National Director, (520) 325-1044, ext. 133
Margaret McHenry, Director of Operations, (520) 325-1044, ext. 106

The standards for One-Stop Centers were reviewed and approved by the CARF Board of Trustees at its April 27–28 business meeting in Tucson, following an extensive development and review process that involved consumers and professionals in the workforce development and employment services fields.

During its two-day meeting, the trustees also approved the application of The Arc of the United States for associate membership in CARF. The Arc is a national advocacy organization that focuses on improving the lives of people with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities and their families through information dissemination, chapter and member support, public policy, and public awareness. Although associate members do not hold voting seats on the CARF Board of Trustees, they may send observers to board meetings for information sharing.

CARF’s associate members are listed on the CARF Web site.

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