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When was CARF® International Founded?

Since it’s founding in 1966 by two national organizations, CARF® International has steadily grown to become a prominent fixture in the health and human services industry. As an accreditor for rehabilitation organizations, CARF® has created a set of standards that have been adopted worldwide to create one cohesive, patient-first approach to services. In this article, we will explore when CARF® International was founded and some of the key reasons it has become a popular accreditation option over time.

CARF® International was founded as a joint partnership between the Association of Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) and the National Association of Sheltered Workshops and Homebound Programs (NASWHP). Before the formation of CARF® International, these two organizations were actively developing standards for their members for nearly a decade. However, in September 1966, the ARC and NASWHP came together to create a set of international standards for accreditation that would be known as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF®).

One of the most important developments for CARF® International occurred in April 1970 when the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation passed a resolution to urge state agencies to push all rehabilitative organizations to be accredited by CARF®. However, it wasn’t until November 1973 that CARF® published a new section in the standards manual to include Rehabilitation Facilities and specifically identify evaluation standards. With these changes, the new standards served as a springboard for future growth in program evaluation.

In August of 1996, CARF® accredited its first program on the European continent. This was significant because all organizations that were currently accredited by the commission were in the United States and Canada. This new growth led to the development of accredited programs on many new continents over the next few decades including South America, Oceania, the Middle East and Asia. CARF® International was truly a worldwide commission at this point and worked to solidify service expectations among rehabilitation providers.

Through constant improvement of services and partnerships with well-known organizations like Goodwill Industries of America and the commendation of many figureheads including President Carter and President Reagan, CARF® International continued to solidify its reputation for over 50 years while also enhancing lives and services. For more information about the history of CARF® International, you are encouraged to review the official timeline provided by the organization.

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