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The Joint Commission announces 86 new and revised requirements for accredited child welfare agencies

Wednesday, June 03 2020

Media Contact: 
Hannah Miller 
Corporate Communications  
(630) 792-5174 

(OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois, June 3, 2020) – The Joint Commission today announced new and revised requirements applicable to accredited child welfare agencies, effective Sept. 13, 2020. The 74 new and 12 revised elements of performance (EPs) are designed to improve the quality and safety of care provided by nearly 200 accredited organizations to individuals and their families in settings such as adoption, foster care, children’s residential centers and group homes.  

The Joint Commission evaluated expert literature to determine what areas of a child welfare program held the most potential to impact key quality and safety issues. The literature review revealed that intake, assessment, reunification, trauma-informed care and case closing were all areas that could improve quality and safety. The new and revised standards focus on these areas.  

To help health care organizations better understand the reasons for the new and revised EPs, The Joint Commission released a new R3 Report, explaining the requirements, rational and references for the new EPs.  

The updated standards were developed with support from a Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) of subject matter experts in the child welfare field, as well as a Standards Review Panel (SRP) comprised of clinicians and administrators who provided a “boots on the ground” point of view into the practical application of the proposed standards.  

The Joint Commission accredits child welfare agencies under its Behavioral Health Care Program. The prepublication version of the new child welfare standards is available online until Sept. 12, 2020. After Sept. 12, the new requirements may be accessed in the E-dition® or standards manual.  


About The Joint Commission 
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 22,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at



  • Behavioral Health Care