Patrick Freeland Visits OST Programs in Germany

This past February, Patrick visited Stuttgart Germany to evaluate three out-of-school time programs that were going through a child and youth development accreditation process through the Council on Accreditation (COA).  COA is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization, founded in 1977 by the Child Welfare League of America and Family Service America (now the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities).  Its mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards and championing quality.  COA utilizes more than 1,000 volunteers to assist more than 2,200 agencies impacting approximately seven million children and families.


Patrick has been serving as a volunteer Lead Endorser for out-of-school time (OST) programs since 2014 when Prime Time invited COA here to conduct an overview of the accreditation process and its benefits to QIS participants. It was clear through the presentation that QIS programs are well positioned to be successful with the accreditation under COA's child and youth development OST standards (CYD-OST). Originally developed by the National Afterschool Association (NAA), these standards (see links on right) have since gone through revision and have been updated to highlight important advances in youth development research (i.e., focus on social emotional learning and equity).  Additionally, there are supplemental OST standards specific to arts and education, homework help, health and wellness, and much more.



With Prime Time’s support, Patrick serves as a COA volunteer, and is able to gain experience, grow professionally, and use these hands-on learning experiences to better support local QIS programs in their quality improvement efforts. He is very appreciative to have these opportunities to serve, share his knowledge, and give back to others across the country and world. In the next few weeks Patrick plans to share some of the innovative work and best practices that he has seen over the past five years with practitioners in Palm Beach County, while serving as a COA endorser. Stay tuned!