Schweinfurt ACS receives recommendation for accreditation
July 24, 2009
SCHWEINFURT, Germany - The Army Family Covenant that was signed in 2007 represents a $1.4 billion commitment to improve the quality of life for Army Families, according to the AFC document. The U. S. Army Garrison Schweinfurt Army Community Service Center exudes that program expansion to help care for Soldiers and family members.
On July 16, the Installation Management Command-Europe ACS accreditation team announced it recommendation for accreditation of Schweinfurt's ACS for not only meeting the standards but for also exceeding them.
"Not every ACS center passes, and not every ACS center passes like we did, which was without a return visit needed," said Hal Snyder, ACS director.
The accreditation team combed over what would seem even the minutest detail during their visit from July 13-16.
"It's an extremely close look at every process and every procedure," Snyder said. "It was an intense experience for us."
Preparation for the visit began nearly a year ago. Staff and even volunteers came in Saturdays, Sundays, and stayed late in the evenings "so that it would never impact our service delivery to the customers during the week," Snyder said. The hope was that preparations would be invisible to the customers who come in seeking regular services and programs.
"Our high level of program delivery was maintained and actually expanded," Snyder said.
Accreditation team visits occur every three years and are designed to ensure that ACS centers throughout the military are providing a specific level of quality service.
"For anyone that's been part of any successful team, you kinda feel it when you step in," said Travis Reynolds, ACS outreach program coordinator. "When I got here, that's one of the things that I realized."
The evaluation extended beyond the walls of ACS to include other agencies and services that ACS taps into: social work services; Child, Youth, and School Services; military police; Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; and more.
Schweinfurt's ACS and partnering agencies passed the test and also received commendations for several benchmark programs that will serve as models worth emulating for other centers across Europe.
"We succeeded at all levels," said Darryl Jones, program manager for financial readiness which was named as a benchmark program. "It didn't matter if my program passed and they rest of the agency didn't- the whole team had to pass. That's what it's all about."
Furthermore, the accreditation team also identified the best practices of Schweinfurt's ACS. Of them was the high adventure booklet, a compilation which offers a variety of resources for community members seeking nearby thrills.
"In addition to providing best service to Soldiers and family members, the systems are also in place to care for them," said Michael Rundell, ACS mobilization and deployment program manager who pursued the creation of the booklet.
Community members can find almost any resource needed inside and out of the military installation at ACS. This is one of the commitments of the Army Family Covenant - to facilitate the highest quality of life.
"I know the exceptional work that the (ACS) staff does. I know that we have always put Soldiers and families first. For everyone to have pulled together and done as well as they did, it's extremely gratifying," Snyder said about the review of the agency.
"We were successful all along anyway ... We've been doing that and well above that," Reynolds said.