CAO fights local ills

By Nikki Blankenship - [email protected]

The Community Action Organization (CAO) of Scioto County has announced that they are expanding services and have earned a three-year accreditation.

The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International has granted CAO a three-year accreditation for their role in aiding with some of the area’s challenging issues, which include integrated substance abuse and behavioral health outpatient treatment services for adults, children and adolescents and integrated substance abuse and behavioral health case management and service coordination for adults, children and adolescents, a press release from Scioto County CAO stated.

“The Board and I take pride in the outcome of this rigorous external review. Our area’s residents can now have confidence that our behavioral health and substance abuse services are of the same high quality as other services that have been provided by CAO for some time.” Steve Sturgill, Executive Director of CAO of Scioto County, stated.

CARF has granted CAO of Scioto County the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization, showing the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards.

“An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality,” the release explained.

CAO of Scioto County is a private, nonprofit organization with administrative offices at 433 Third Street in Portsmouth. It has been providing a myriad of services to residents of Scioto County and the surrounding area since 1965, when the entity was established to wage the war on poverty on a personal level in Scioto County by promoting self-sufficiency for those of limited income and ensuring that all residents were able to live in dignity by implementing innovative and cost effective programs to improve the lives and living conditions of the impoverished.

CAO of Scioto County worked to provide support and instruction for everyone in need of assistance and be a voice of reason in establishing welfare system reforms. The agency now offers a variety of programs including Individual Development Accounts, financial education and job training, affordable housing, economic development, natural disaster relief and recovery, health care, and energy assistance.

CAO’s workforce development department, Workforce Solutions, received its second three-year accreditation for its employment and community services in the fall of 2016. This most recent accreditation encompasses an expansion of service offerings that CAO/Workforce Solutions is making available to adults and youth in the community.

CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of the persons served. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.

For more information about the accreditation process or the CARF organization, visit the CARF website at

In addition to above mentioned services, CAO of Scioto County also works to combat local issues by investing in education. During the July 31 CAO of Scioto County Board of Directors meeting, three Scioto County high school gradates were awarded college scholarships as part of this effort.

Scholarship awardees include Taylor Mershon, from Portsmouth High School, who was awarded the COAD/CAO Stivison Scholarship; and Ethan Boerger, from Notre Dame High School and Airielanda Kingery, from Minford High School, were both awarded the Robert Walton Sr. Memorial Scholarship named in honor of Robert Walton Sr., former Executive Director of the CAO of Scioto County.

All three students will be attending Shawnee State University.

Scholarships are supported through the Annual Robert Walton Memorial Golf Tournament. This year’s tournament will be Saturday, Sept. 16 at Shawnee State Park Golf course.

For more information about the tournament, contact Angela Davis at (740) 354-7541. For additional information regarding this new accreditation or about any of the services made available through CAO’s Workforce Solutions, contact Steve Sturgill, Executive Director, at 740-354-7541, [email protected] or Luanne Valentine, Workforce Director, at 740-351-1188, [email protected]

By Nikki Blankenship

[email protected]

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.