Our Stories

FOCUS Accreditation Announces Four Year Accreditation for Middlesex Community Living.

Strathroy, ON – Middlesex Community Living is pleased to announce that it has been successful in its bid to be accredited by FOCUS Accreditation for four years from November 2018 - November 2022. This is the agency’s second accreditation. Middlesex Community Living received its first four-year accreditation in 2013 with the 2010 FOCUS Accreditation Standards.

At an Accreditation celebration held at Middlesex Community Living, Sherri Kroll, Executive Director of Middlesex Community Living, was very excited when she addressed those in attendance.

“I and the rest of the staff here at Middlesex Community Living are thrilled to receive another four year certification of Accreditation from Focus!” “We are honoured to be recognized for providing quality supports and services that respond to individual needs and help people to live quality lives.”

In her message to the attendees, Ms. Kroll paid particular attention to acknowledge the staff at Middlesex Community Living. “The process of attaining accreditation is a lengthy and introspective path to better supports. It challenges everyone who works here to look at what we do, how we do it and how we can make it better.”

“The staff at Middlesex Community Living are a very dedicated and experienced group of people who continually look for ways to support people to achieve their goals and aspirations. They are constantly striving and challenging our community to fulfil our vision of Valued Citizens; Inclusive Communities.” She also thanked the Board of Directors for their commitment to Accreditation and for their ongoing support in quality initiatives.

Ms. Kroll described how FOCUS Accreditation reviews and critiques all aspects of how an organization provides services – from how people are supported to the effectiveness of the operations. Ms. Kroll spoke about the five person team FOCUS Accreditation sent to review Middlesex Community Living’s services onsite, for four days. She explained that the team observed how services were provided, reviewed data, and collected input from various people who have a stake in the services being provided.

Ms. Kroll mentioned many strengths that were identified by the FOCUS Validators:

• Middlesex Community Living was recently awarded a Modernization Fund grant, which will support the organization to engage with other community leaders to work to ensure that Strathroy-Caradoc is an inclusive and welcoming community for all citizens.

• Through document review, interviews and e-surveys, it was determined that Middlesex Community Living’s Vision, Mission and Values are clearly stated, were inclusively reviewed during the 2018-2021 Strategic Planning process and are referred to extensively in all decisions that are made at the board and management level.

• Staff were consistently observed communicating with people receiving support in a manner that was in line with their communication needs. Observations while on sight demonstrated that sufficient time was given to allow people supported to communicate, appropriate facilitation occurred, and language was used as appropriate to the person.

• Middlesex Community Living demonstrates a commitment to staying abreast of trends and best practices of the Developmental Services sector by actively participating in many networking opportunities and committees such as two different Professional Advisory Committees (Fanshawe and Lambton Colleges), DS Sector Human Resource Strategy Communications Network, and Thames Valley Service Providers Group as examples.

• Middlesex Community Living remains committed to supporting people to find meaningful employment and volunteer opportunities. This has included the transition from sheltered work and organization volunteer opportunities, to people having relationships directly with an employer or organization.

• Middlesex Community Living continues to provide volunteer and job readiness coaching and educational opportunities and support people as needed; while working with local employers and organizations to directly hire, screen, and/or equip people to fulfill their employment or volunteer role.

Unfortunately a representative from FOCUS Accreditation was not able to attend the accreditation celebration, however Cheryl Whiteman, FOCUS Executive Director sent along a congratulatory message to be shared.

“Middlesex Community Living has successfully achieved its second FOCUS Accreditation Award. Congratulations to the entire organization for its dedication to the principles and practices of Quality Improvement. Middlesex Community Living is described by stakeholders both internal and external to the organization as an ambassador for the sector with a goal in providing new and creative ways of offering supports. We applaud the organization for their philosophy of person-centered supports and services.“

For more information about Middlesex Community Living, or to find out more about the accreditation process, please contact Sionainn Pryce-Hynes at 519-245-1301 #291.

About FOCUS Accreditation
FOCUS is a non-profit accreditation agency for community service organizations. Created in Ontario, Canada, by the very people who use and work in these services, FOCUS reflects the culture and expectations of community service organizations in Ontario.

FOCUS accredits the whole organization, not just select programs within. The standards reflect best practice in the way services are provided as well as the effectiveness of how the organization operates. An organization that meets FOCUS’ standards can be viewed as an organization that focuses on the people it serves, and on high quality service delivery. FOCUS has accredited over 48 organizations and works with over 60 community-based groups.