COA is an international, independent, not-for-profit, child- and family-service and behavioral healthcare accrediting organization. It was founded in 1977 by the Child Welfare League of America and Family Service America (now the Alliance for Children and Families). Originally known as an accrediting body for family and children's agencies, COA currently accredits 38 different service areas and over 60 types of programs. Among the service areas are substance abuse treatment, adult day care, services for the homeless, foster care, and intercountry adoption In addition to standards for private social service and behavioral health care organizations, COA has developed separate business lines for public agencies, networks and lead management entities, opioid treatment programs, employee assistance programs, and financial management/debt counseling services. COA views accreditation as a catalyst for change that builds on an organization's strengths and helps it achieve better results in all areas. The accreditation process is designed to meet the needs of diverse organizations. An organization is evaluated against best-practice standards, which are developed using a consensus model with input from a wide range of service providers, funders, experts, policymakers and consumers.
Council on Accreditation