Each Center affiliated with the Samaritan Ministry must be accredited by the Samaritan Institute. The goal of the process is to help ensure that affiliated Centers maintain sound organizational structures, efficient management and administration, high-quality clinical processes, careful financial and personnel practices, and professional accountability. On a four year cycle, Centers prepare extensive documentation, undergo a two day on-site review by an Institute staff member or appointed Site Visitor, and receive a written report on the findings. The careful review and accountability process of accreditation is identified by Center leaders as one of the most helpful aspects of Samaritan Institute affiliation.
The leaders of affiliated Samaritan Centers rely on the Samaritan Institute staff as a trusted resource for consultation on Center operations. From nearly forty years of research and experience in developing Samaritan Centers, the Samaritan Institute has amassed a rich storehouse of knowledge about the specialized world of Samaritan Counseling Centers. One Center director identified it as “one-stop shopping”. A Center leader can, with one phone call, draw on the knowledge and experience of the Institute staff members or identify other Centers they can contact that have effectively addressed similar concerns. Professional staff members from the Institute also visit affiliated Centers on a regular basis to provide consultation, lead workshops and retreats, and support Center development in other ways.
Samaritan Annual Conference
The Samaritan Annual Conference is held during the first full weekend in August at an announced location in Colorado. Registration requirements include completion of the conference registration form and payment of all conference fees. The conference agenda begins on Friday and concludes Saturday afternoon. The scheduled activities are located in a facility at which reduced rate lodging is available; most meals are included in the registration fee. The theme of each year’s conference is informed by suggestions made on the previous year’s conference evaluation forms, trends identified by the Samaritan Institute, and ideas from the Samaritan Network. The activities include plenary presentations, gatherings for worship, workshops, forums, question and answer sessions, and panels. Free time is built into the schedule for networking with other attendees, rest, and relaxation.
The Samaritan Institute sponsors a New Director Orientation program. The orientation program is designed to help new Samaritan Center directors and leaders in centers considering affiliation get better acquainted with the Samaritan ministry. It is conducted using telephone bridge calls – currently offered in three 90 minute sessions. During the calls participants meet the Institute staff, learn about the resources available to their Centers through the Institute, and focus on how Samaritan affiliation can most effectively support the further development of their Center.
Leadership Consultation Groups
Presently 50 Samaritan Center executives participate in a Leadership Consultation Group, coordinated by Samaritan Institute staff members. The aim is to develop a working group culture that focuses on the leadership, management, and organizational development activities of executive directors of Samaritan Centers. Members learn enough about each other, the Centers they lead, and their leadership styles to provide a context for specific case consultation. The groups meet twice a year for 2-3 days to present case management studies, review readings on leadership and management issues, and explore the common issues of Center leadership.
Clergy & Congregation Care
The Clergy & Congregation Care (CCC) program is a research, development, and training effort to help Samaritan Centers nationwide serve clergy, congregations, and judicatories.
One of the primary benefits of affiliation with the Samaritan Institute is the access it provides Samaritan Center leaders to information from the Institute and from other affiliated Centers. This information includes: the Samaritan Center Resource Library, with sections on Management, Clinical Services, Personnel, Marketing, and Ethics in Business Awards Program; CCC E-Files; regular publications including an annual statistical report, a periodic Samaritan Exchange blog highlighting Center programs and best practices, as well as Samaritan Updates on current topics. The Institute also provides resources to help Centers with important organizational challenges such as board development, fund raising, and managed care relations. The Samaritan Institute Annual Report, continues to be published, mailed to contributors, Samaritan Centers, and interested persons, and is available on the Samaritan Institute website.
Samaritan Centers in 30 states and Japan often look to the Samaritan Institute for assistance when they are seeking new directors or clinical staff members. A position openings list is maintained to identify Centers needing new staff and identifying how to contact them.
The Institute also works especially closely with Centers involved in an executive director transition process. A packet of resources is provided to Center leaders as a guide to managing these transitions.
Making operational decisions based on accurate, timely, and meaningful information is a sound business practice and forms the basis of the Institute’s recommended clinical and financial recordkeeping systems. Samaritan Centers keep accurate and comparable records on their clinical, financial, intake, and personnel activity. This information is reported to the Institute on an annual basis for compilation and report. The annual Statistical Report provides:
1. General information about the Samaritan network
2. A means of assessment, comparison, and planning for Samaritan Centers, and
3. Research data for marketing.