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Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa, Inc. is routinely surveyed for accreditation through CARF — the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. CARF Accreditation represents a strict adherence to the highest standards of operations, procedures, and delivery of services.

The CARF International family of organizations, including CARF, CARF Canada, and CARF-CCAC, is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services.

Through accreditation, CARF assists service providers in improving the quality of their services, demonstrating value, and meeting internationally recognized organizational and program standards.

The accreditation process applies sets of standards to service areas and business practices during an on-site survey. Accreditation, however, is an ongoing process, signaling to the public that a service provider is committed to continuously improving services, encouraging feedback, and serving the community. Accreditation also demonstrates a provider's commitment to enhance its performance, manage its risk, and distinguish its service delivery.

When you donate, hire, or make a referral to Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa, Inc., you can do so with confidence.


Three-Year Accreditation Expiration June 2014

Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa, Inc. has strengths in many areas.

  • Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa is applauded for the tenure of its staff, several with over 30 years of service to the organization. Staff is clearly committed to the mission of the organization and demonstrates both professionalism and enthusiasm in service delivery.
  • In addition, Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa is complimented for encouraging staff development and providing opportunities for staff to assume new employment opportunities.
  • The commitment and caring of staff were evident from staff members’ sharing of enjoying their jobs and the support received both professionally and socially by their colleagues.
  • The organization’s board of directors provides critical leadership to the organization, and board minutes reflect the key responsibilities it handles. Board minutes are thorough, reflect due diligence to critical elements of operational integrity, and demonstrate effective use of board committees.
  • The board and staff leadership relationship is positive, demonstrates effective communication, and reflects a shared commitment to the organization’s mission.
  • The organization’s policies and procedures are thorough, comprehensive, and updated at prescribed intervals.
  • Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa makes effective use of monthly internal audits, which include review/audit of bank statements, sampling of store deposits to verify a match, review of cancelled checks with monthly statements, and payroll review sampling. Financial policies and procedures are thorough, and it is clear high priority is given to maintenance of strong financial systems.
  • The organization has developed a comprehensive risk management plan that covers a number of operational and departmental priorities to minimize risk to the organization.
  • Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa implemented the balanced scorecard in 2008. It is a performance management system with scorecards of the corporate, unit, and team levels. It focuses on four areas: people, performance excellence, customer satisfaction, and financial. Each area includes strategic goals for performance management. It is clear it is a tool of excellent value to the organization, with important information documented for review and analysis.
  • Prior to a client’s annual meeting and plan development, an “Input, Health, and Safety Assessment Plan” is completed that is quite comprehensive in addressing client input/satisfaction, future goals, risk management, and vocational skills assessment. It provides a thorough framework by which the client and other stakeholders can analyze, develop, and implement a client-directed/client-centered individual program plan (IPP). The organization’s IPP is also recognized for its relevancy and comprehensiveness.
  • The organization makes effective use of data collected from its plans and information systems, as well as staff/board retreats in the development of its strategic plan. The strategic plan incorporates key objectives under the categories of People, Performance Excellence, Customer Satisfaction, and Financial Performance, with quarterly updates on performance success.
  • In December 2009, Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa began an e-commerce business selling books online. This business enterprise also sells DVDs, CDs, and VHS tapes. Goodwillbound is one of the top online booksellers on eBay, and this enterprise affords the organization important revenue to its operations.
  • It its social histories, the organization not only identifies the legal status of the individual, but also the guardian’s preferred method of contact and other relevant information regarding the guardian’s interest in the person served. In general, the social histories are highly detailed and functional documents.
  • The organization is complimented for respecting choices of the individuals served as evident in the well-maintained homes and rooms decorated to the personal choices of the persons served. Also, the shared common spaces are comfortably furnished.
  • Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa is complimented for well-planned and supportive efforts provided to address specific requirements of the various work tasks done by those served. Respect and interactions between work team members are fostered.
  • The organization is respected by those served and families for respecting the choice of the individuals served and for the involvement of the persons served in establishing their goals of service. Those interviewed shared knowledge of their goals and appreciation that they were able to self-choose activities.
  • The individualized service plans are well organized and logically developed. Coupled with a wealth of supporting documentation, it is easy to track the progress of each person served throughout his or her tenure at Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa. One noteworthy example of this is the “Medication Attachment to IPP,” which clearly identified the medications a consumer is taking as well as the side effects and interactions of those medications.
  • The organization is applauded for the consistency and comprehensiveness of the records of each person served. Records are complete, well organized into sections, and include background detail on each person served that is considered in setting service goals and offering choices to the individual served. Assessment of risk and awareness of health and social needs are consistently recorded. Narrative notes are consistently written using objective language, and these are regularly reviewed to monitor changes. Goals are set with measureable outcomes to be achieved, and all consumers interviewed were aware of their service goals.
  • Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa is commended for its practice of modifying goals based upon the needs and wishes of the consumer. These modifications are made as issues present themselves and do not wait until a scheduled annual date.
  • More than simply identifying the strengths and weaknesses of those served in the planning process, the organization seeks to understand each person served as an individual. There is an obvious attempt to know the dreams and aspirations of everyone receiving services, as well as an ongoing attempt to assist those served in realizing those goals.
  • Staff members interviewed were aware of the goals of the consumers they worked with and the progress being made toward those goals.
  • Persons served expressed satisfaction with the services they received. Statements such as “they saved my life,” “they are closer to me than my family,” “I know they are doing their best,” and “this is the happiest I have been in my life” were common. The consumers knew their rights and how to raise a concern or complaint if they did not like something. Many identified who they would go to if they were not happy. The focus in planning and provision of services on respecting and knowing the individual was highly evident.
  • Those served had clear input into the staff members with whom they were working. Although the organization does attempt to address conflicts as they arise, there is a mechanism in place to provide for a change in the staff/consumer relationship should the need arise.
  • Persons served who were interviewed expressed a clear understanding of their income and benefits from the employment site. To the degree that can be reasonably expected, they also expressed an understanding of the impact of their income and benefits upon their housing and disability income.
  • Work was carried out in a manner reflecting industrial standards. This enables those served to both maximize their income and be prepared for employment in other locales.
  • Work training was done both to train consumers in their present job as well as to develop skills to open additional employment opportunities.
  • In the homes and workplaces, persons served were able to share either verbally or by demonstration awareness of health and safety practices.
  • The personal areas in the homes were decorated according to the tastes of those served. The homes showed a great deal of individualism and fit well into the neighborhoods.
  • The consumers in the homes were afforded a great deal of independence appropriate to their levels of functioning. Consumers functioned both in their homes and in the communities independent of direct supervision, as appropriate.
  • Staff members demonstrated a commitment to quality improvement and the use of CARF standards to guide their practices.
  • The encouragement of those served to be responsible for the self-maintenance of their medications is commendable.

Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa received no recommendations from this accreditation survey. Consultation given does not indicate nonconformance to standards but is offered as a suggested for further qualify improvement.

On balance, Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa has been providing services to individuals with disabilities or who are disadvantaged in a six-county area for over 50 years. The organization demonstrates a strong commitment to its mission and is clearly focused on the delivery of quality services. The board and leadership team are focused on maintenance of organizational integrity, and roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and respected. The organization is also recognized for the tenure of many staff and its commitment to staff promotion opportunities. Policies and procedures are thorough, are reviewed at prescribed intervals, and provide a clear focus on operational efficiency and direction. The organization uses its information systems, plans, and staff input to design a strategic plan focusing on growth and enhancement of its operations. The thrift stores are clean, are safe, and provide an attractive environment for shoppers. The organization maintains strong financial systems with ongoing monitoring of the budget. Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa is commended for profits from their thrift stores being directed to service/program costs. It is truly giving back to the communities it serves. The organization has and continues to network quite effectively in service areas, and stakeholder input is quite positive. Overall, Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa has established a strong foundation of administrative and service monitoring systems, detailed casework protocols, and an environment conducive to staff teamwork.

Goodwill Industries of Northeast Inc., has earned a Three-Year Accreditation. The board, CEO, and staff members are congratulated for this achievement. Without question, the organization demonstrates a commitment to operational integrity and service quality.