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I.    Code of Ethics for Programs

  1. Programs recognize that human dignity and civil rights of all clients regardless of race, religion, creed, ethnic background, age, disability, gender, sexual preference, health status, criminal background or prior treatment episodes.
  2. Programs will adopt and circulate statements of mission, purpose, philosophy and services, including structure, rules, fees and client obligations.
  3. Programs will adopt policies pertaining to client rights and client grievance procedures.
  4. Programs will provide services and operate within the boundaries of all federal, state and local laws, including regulations pertaining to health and safety codes, licensing and credentialing standards and policies required by funding sources.
  5. Programs will recruit, train and supervise staff and ensure that services are provided in accordance with policies, rules, regulations and philosophy.
  6. Programs will prohibit sexual, business, or other relationships with clients.  Inappropriate staff/client relationships are prohibited. Socialization and romantic relationships shall be discouraged for minimum of one year after the date of the last service contract (this includes current and former clients and graduates).  Actual time frames and standards shall be determined by individual programs based on the Agency’s policies, structure and philosophy as long as it is consistent with TCA’s Code of Ethics.

II.    Code of Ethics for Staff

  1. Members of the Board of Directors, staff and volunteers are committed to placing the welfare of clients and their families in matters affecting them above all other concerns.
  2. Kind, humane and appropriate treatment shall be provided to all clients regardless of race, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual preferences, ethnic background, or health status.
  3. Staff will ensure freedom from actions, which might harm a client, either physically, or psychologically including derogatory verbal statements, ridicule, and attempts at subjugation or endangerment, which may harm the client.
  4. Staff will remain aware of their own skills and limitations and refrain from offering counseling and advice on matters outside their area of expertise.  Staff will also recognize occasions when the interest of the client is best served by referral to another individual/program.
  5. Staff will not engage in any activity that could be viewed as exploitation of clients for personal gain, be it sexual, financial or social.
  6. All client related information will be collected, maintained and protected in accordance with Federal Regulations Governing Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patients (42 CFR Part 2), and applicable state/local laws.
  7. Staff will support and defend the programs’ policies regarding client’s bill of rights.
  8. Staff will ensure that sexual contact with clients is prohibited.  Socializing, sexual/romantic contact with former clients and/or graduates shall be prohibited for a minimum of one year.  Therapeutic relationships between staff and clients (including former clients) will be within appropriate professional boundaries.  When appropriate, graduate staff may be exempt from the one-year period of socialization with their peer group if approved by the Chief Executive Officer.
  9. Staff will serve as responsible role models for clients, and the community, including the duty of reporting unethical or unprofessional conduct of other staff.
  10. Staff will not engage in public intoxication, use of illicit drugs; abuse of illicit drugs and involvement in illegal activities.
  11. Staff will pursue continuing education and professional developments as a part of the commitment to providing the highest quality of services.

 III.    Complaints of Violation

The complaint procedure is as follows:

  1. Complaints should first be discussed directly with the Agency alleged to be in violation and hopefully satisfactory addressed.
  2. If unresolved, the Chair of the Standards and Ethics Committee shall be notified in writing.  The Chair will in turn notify, in writing, the Agency referenced in the complaint and request a verbal/written response, once the Agency’s Board of Directors has had an opportunity to intervene and take appropriate action.
  3. The Ethics Committee will discuss and evaluate the complaint and response and recommend appropriate action.  Deliberations may include a meeting of all parties (complainant, complainee, Standards Committee).  This could also include a notification to the Program’s state agency of alcohol and drug programs.
  4. The Standards Committee will forward action/recommendation to one or more of the following: the Executive Committee, Officers, President of TCA for discussion and action.
  5. If violations remain unaddressed, TCA will take action to expel the Agency in accordance with Article IV of the By- Laws.

 IV.       Members’ Obligations

  1. TCA will require adoption of this code of ethics by all member agencies as a requisite for membership in the association.
  2. Member agencies are required to incorporate the relevant staff code of ethics within personnel policies and records, and to post the code at the facility.
  3. Chief Executive Officer (or designee) of each member agency will forward a notification of intent to comply with the Code of Ethics to the Standards Committee.