December 8, 2016

Code of Ethics


All counselors must abide by the relevant Code of Ethics for their own profession, i.e. Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Substance Abuse Counselor etc. to include but not be limited to the NAADAC Code of Ethics.

Site/ GARR Ethics Code


  1. GARR members should ensure that all employees of each site shall receive an orientation to the GARR and, as applicable, their own site’s Code of Ethics and document their willingness to abide by these principles
    as a condition of employment.
  2. Where applicable, the professional staff at each site shall review their own Code of Ethics annually, if different than that stated herein, for continued relevancy.
  3. GARR members should ensure that admitted clients will receive an orientation to their rights and responsibilities including their right to receive ethical care. This shall be documented in the client record.
  4. If a site has a website, either their and/ or GARR’s Ethical Code shall be posted thereon.
  5. GARR members should ensure that all clients are provided information during their orientation session of the process and steps the client may take to report any ethical or standards violations.
  6. GARR members should ensure that no retribution, intimidation, or any negative consequences shall occur if a grievance or complaint has been

Confidential Information

While employed at any site and even thereafter such employment ends, the use of confidential information must never be disclosed to outsiders except with the client’s written authorization or as allowed under Federal and/or state law. No site employee or any GARR member may use, or permit others to use, confidential information for the purpose of furthering a private interest or as a means of making a profit.

Responsibility to Clients

  1. A GARR and/or site member/ employee’s primary obligation is to respect the integrity and promote the welfare of the client, whether the client is assisted individually or in a group relationship. In a group setting, the member/ employee is also responsible for taking reasonable precautions to protect individuals from physical and/or sychological trauma resulting from interaction within the group.
  2. GARR members shall ensure that in any group counseling setting, the counselor must set a norm of confidentiality regarding all group participant’s disclosures.
  3. GARR members should ensure that if a client is already or has been in a counseling relationship with another professional person or entity, staff must attempt contact with them after obtaining proper releases for the exchange of relevant information. The contacts or attempts to contact must be documented in the clinical record.
  4. GARR members should ensure that if a client’s condition indicates that there is a clear and imminent danger to the client or others, all site employees must inform responsible authorities after consultation with his/her manager, Director, or supervisor.
  5. GARR members should ensure that no site employee will solicit or accept any commission, fee, or anything of monetary value from clients, other related persons, or referral sources.
  6. GARR members should ensure that all site employees act to prevent discrimination of any kind.
  7. GARR members shall ensure that any former client will not be hired as an employee at any site unless a significant period of time has elapsed. A minimal 1 (one) year period should be clearly stated in the site’s policy and procedures regarding employment of former clients.
  8. GARR members shall ensure that all program associates refrain from engaging in any dual relationships for a minimum of 2 (two) years. If a more restrictive time frame is listed in an employee’s professional ethics code, then that time frame shall apply.

Ethical Conflicts

  1. GARR members and their employees shall excuse themselves from taking an active part in treatment plans of relatives, close friends, and/or business acquaintances.
  2. GARR members and their employees may participate in political activities on their own time and in accordance with their individual desires and preferences, but it must be clear at all times that they are doing so as individuals and not as representatives of GARR or their organization unless specifically agreed to by GARR or their site director.

Responsibility to Colleagues

  1. GARR members and site employees having knowledge of unethical practices on the part of another colleague shall report such practices to the site Director and/or, as needed, to the colleague’s professional ethics board.
  2. GARR members and site employees should not use the workplace for proselytizing religious, political, or economic issues.

Marketing Ethics

  1. No GARR member/ site shall not knowingly make marketing claims or
    create any advertising that contains:
  • False or misleading statements or exaggerations
  • Testimonials that do not really reflect the real opinion of the involved individual
  • Price claims that are misleading
  • Therapeutic strategies for which licensure and/or counseling certifications are required but not applicable at the site