We are delighted to report that Chapel Haven Schleifer Center has received a three-year accreditation from CARF International, confirming that our programs and services are of the highest quality.

“This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards,” CARF wrote in a letter of award. “An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit that its programs and services are of the highest quality, measurable, and accountable.”

CHSC President Michael Storz said he is proud that CHSC continues to demonstrate a commitment to excellence.

“This designation confirms that we are committed to continual improvement. Every three years, we seek CARF accreditation as an opportunity to be independently reviewed by experts in our field. Going through such a rigorous peer review process helps us confirm that we are on the right track in offering programs and services of the highest quality. Thank you to Sherry Robitaille for heading up this effort and our entire team for achieving this milestone.”

This is the 7th three-year accreditation Chapel Haven Schleifer Center has earned.

View the CARF award letter here


A team of three trained CARF surveyors reviewed CHSC over a period of three days. They reviewed curriculum, facilities, stakeholder satisfaction and more. They listed a number of areas as strengths for CHSC, including:

  • Excellent community employment, housing, integration and supported living services to persons served, including adults on the autism spectrum
  • An outstanding reputation. “Chapel Haven is well respected by the parents and guardians. One parent stated, “We never thought when she was born that she would ever have such a full and happy life.’ Another parent said, ‘For the first time, I feel like I can breathe. I know she is somewhere safe and I don’t have to worry.’ “
  • Longevity within the leadership team – the team “demonstrates utmost dedication and commitment to the mission” and is truly accessible to both staff and persons served
  • A strong ethical work culture, evidence by staff members who display pride in their work. “Chapel Haven is complimented for the positive attitude to staff members, who appear to promote teamwork and dedication.”
  • An active Board of Directors, who strongly support CHSC through strategic planning and development
  • Campus buildings and a courtyard described as “very appealing” with a Welcome Center that displays the artwork of CHSC adults. The surveyors described the SAIL building as “modern, thoughtfully designed” and built to allow persons served to age in place
  • The fact that CHSC stayed open and continued providing services during Covid-19. “Programs quickly switched to a virtual model and the organization focused extensively on the health and safety of persons served. Parents commented on the measures taken to prevent an outbreak within the facilities.:
  • A strong partnership with Yale University and a new program to train medical students at Yale School of Medicine, “heightening the awareness of individuals to communicate and make informed consent as well as the overall care of individuals on the autism spectrum”

Areas for quality improvement

CARF accreditations always include recommendations for areas of focus. The surveyors noted areas for improvement, which are already being addressed by staff and leadership:

Leadership and strategic planning, including succession planning – CHSC’s Board of Directors is working actively on this area and has approved a new organizational chart that now includes succession planning. More details will be announced.

More training for staff in the area of dementia care and age-related decline. This area is especially important as CHSC’s adult population ages and the SAIL program continues to grow

A broader focus on campus security, another area where CHSC is focusing currently. Chapel Haven’s Board of Directors also has approved the hiring of a Director of Operations, IT and Security.

Sharing the CHSC strategic plan more broadly with persons served, via employee trainings, on the website and through social media. CHSC’s Human Resources Department shares the strategic plan in staff orientation training. The strategic plan has been shared in various formats such as year-end eblasts, etc. but we are exploring ways to communicate the plan to a broader audience.


CARF is an international, nonprofit accreditor founded in 1966 that set standards of excellence for human service organizations whose programs and services cover the spectrum from youth to older adults in a variety of settings. For more information about the accreditation process, please visit the CARF website at www.carf.org.