“Mirror, Mirror on the wall…”

Evil queen looking in the mirrorAn evil queen, standing in front of the mirror, utters that famous question, seeking affirmation of her outward appearance.  Sadly, she didn’t like the response. 

Mirrors are tools of physical reflection, yet there is often a need for a deeper level of self-reflection. In order to grow and become your best self, you need to be fully aware of your starting point. Maybe that’s the reason so many people don’t like mirrors.

Our organization is entering a season where we are being forced to take a look in the proverbial mirror.  This summer we will be working with a peer organization to review our trauma informed practices to make sure that we meet the standards set forth by new legislation.  We must ask ourselves the questions: “How safe is our organization?  How safe are our homes?  How safe do those that we serve feel?  Do our outcomes support that safety, indicating resiliency?”  As we have now been practicing trauma informed care for close to six years, my hope is that we will be willing to take a long hard look at ourselves and answer honestly; and that we like the answers that we get.

In early September, we will be hosting peer evaluators from the Council On Accreditation (COA) as we seek re-accreditation.  They will hold us accountable to over 100 national best practice standards for providing care.  They will look at every level of our organization to make sure that we meet or exceed those rigorous standards: Governance, Finance, Human Resources, Client Rights, PQI, Group Living Services (Residential), Family Foster Care and Adoption Services (Community Based Services).

Before either of these groups arrive on our campus to hold us accountable, months of prep work and gathering evidences has already begun.  The work is ongoing: it never really stops.  Every day we “Strive for Organizational Excellence”.  As we enter this season of reflection, let’s all take a look in the mirror and be willing to ask and answer the hard questions.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, are we doing our best to answer the call?”

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, is excellence the standard held by all?”

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, is there evidence that supports how we answer overall?”

Rev. John Cobb is the Continuous Quality Improvement Risk Manager and Sanctuary Coordinator for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

Learn more about the Sanctuary® Model of Care at B&GH.


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