Code of Ethics

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In order that the Lake Area Recovery Center acts in an effective counseling service provider capacity and ensures that quality services are provided to clients, it is a necessary measure to specifically outline conduct which is appropriate or inappropriate for staff members of the Lake Area Recovery Center in conjunction with services which may be provided. To this end, the following Code of Ethics has been established. In the case of counselors bound by ethical codes tied to counseling/prevention licenses and certifications that they may hold, this Code is to support and augment those codes. Violations of those codes will also be reported to those bodies as required.


For the purposes of interpreting this Code, the following definitions are held: Any paid employee (full time/part-time), any unpaid employee, any volunteer, any contracted employee, and any intern of Lake Area Recovery Center (LARC) must adhere to the same code of ethics.


Treatment is considered to be any on-going individual or group counseling where definite therapeutic goals have been established, or one-time individual counseling.


  1. Any person in treatment or receiving education or evaluation and/or referral services of the Lake Area Recovery Center has client status.
  2. A person receiving treatment services is designated client status for one (1) year following the date of termination.
  3. A person receiving education services, evaluation and/or referral services is designated client status for one (1) year after disposition of the services.

Code of Ethics

A. All staff and appropriate stakeholders shall be educated on the Code of Ethics at hire or at time of interface with the organization.

B. All staff shall adhere to the rules of confidentiality of all records, material and knowledge concerning the client, in accordance with current Federal Regulation (42 CFR, Part 2).

C. Any information regarding child abuse or neglect must be reported to Ohio Children Services Board.

D. Staff/client non-treatment related involvement such as, but not limited to: dating, sexual involvement, and/or cohabitation are considered unethical and therefore prohibited.

E. Necessary off - premises treatment - related actions, such as but not limited to: home visits, transportation, meeting at pre-arranged locations are permissible with the consent of his/her appropriate supervisor and Executive Director. Any unexpected meetings and subsequent discussions are to be reported to their appropriate supervisor. The appropriate supervisor must also be made aware of all necessary appointments scheduled outside of normal working hours.

F. Information such as, but not limited to, the following must be reported to his/her supervisor: a client persistently expressing any interest in developing a personal relationship with a staff member, a client indicating suicidal tendencies, or a client threatening acts of a homicidal or criminal nature, and/or other violent acts to the staff and others.

G. Information or any complaints pertinent to therapy disclosed to non-treatment staff must be reported to appropriate treatment personnel. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: client's substance use, substance use in family, comments about services provided, or unusual behavior.

H. It is the responsibility of the counselor to transfer a client when he/she feels he/she cannot effectively provide services to a client for whatever reason.

I. No staff member is permitted to accept personal gifts, money, gratuities, favors, or request personal favors from a client. Donations made to the agency are acceptable if approved by the Executive Director.

J. Services provided by Peer Support Specialists may differ from those provided by other services. Peer Support specialists will adhere to ethical guidelines as indicated by the Ohio Peer Supporter Recovery Guidelines. Differences may include platforms of engagement (i.e. social media platforms), and participation in social activities. Peer Support Specialists are advised to work with their supervisor to determine appropriateness of interactions.

K. Any business transactions between staff and clients must take place within client's regular business hours and at the regular rates.

L. A staff member may not have access to the client record(s) of an immediate family member(s) or personal friend. (This includes verbal transmission of information by staff.), regardless of signed releases.

M. Staff members shall avoid multiple relationships and conflicts of interest with any client, family members of client or former client, or other persons encountered in professional or non-professional settings, which are not in the best interest of the client and might impair professional judgment or which increases the risk of client exploitation.

N. If a staff member is concerned about services provided by another staff member, that concern should be referred to the Executive Director.

O. No staff member shall make negative comments regarding another staff
member's professional competency to clients.

P. When more than one counselor is working on the same case one staff member shall not interfere with a client's on-going treatment with another staff member.

Q. If a staff member is concerned about services provided by an outside agency, the client should be asked for a release of information and the matter discussed with the professional providing those services. Feedback regarding that discussion may be provided to the client, if requested. If the other Professional is unwilling to coordinate services, our services may be discontinued only with the approval of the Executive Director.

R. If a staff member wishes to not participate in any aspect of care to be delivered to a given client because there is a perceived conflict with the staff member's cultural values or religious beliefs, the staff member should make the request in writing and submit it to their direct supervisor and the Executive Director stating the existing conflict. The Executive Director will respond within three (3) working days.

1. If an employee's request is granted, LARC will ensure that the client will continue to receive services so as not to negatively affect the client's treatment.

2. If due to staff size it is not possible to provide services to the client a comparable referral will be made to another agency.

Conflict of Interest

A. Employees are prohibited from witnessing legal documents for clients.

B. LARC employees will not engage in secondary employment that competes with LARC’s programs and services. This includes any county in the State of Ohio or any other state in the United States. Exemptions can be made by permission of the Executive Director.

C. Confidential information will not be used for an employee’s personal gain.

D. Employees will not engage in activities where they may profit from the use of LARC’s equipment or resources.

Personal Fundraising

A. LARC Employees are prohibited from personal fundraising activities during business hours and personal fundraising involving persons served.

Prohibition of Fraud, Waste, Abuse, & Other Wrongdoing

A. LARC actively audits for instances of fraud, waste and abuse. The Executive Director investigates all incidents of suspected Fraud, Waste, and Abuse and complies with all reporting and legal requirements for confirmed instances of fraud.

Use of Social Media

A. LARC views social media as a powerful tool for sharing information and resources for substance abuse and recovery. LARC employees are encouraged to share general posts about programs and services. LARC employees are prohibited from communicating with clients through social media venues and are prohibited from having active clients and clients that have not been active clients for at least a year, on their “friends” list to ensure boundaries are kept and confidentiality is not breached. Employees are prohibited from sharing information about clients via social media.

B. No staff member shall engage in or participate in social media in a way that negatively reflects or impacts LARC. Staff using social media shall present LARC in a manner that is both accurate and consistent with LARC’s mission. Therefore, it is LARC’s responsibility to provide accurate and consistent information to avoid misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or confusion. No staff may post or speak on behalf of LARC without the express consent of the Executive Director. Staff may not ‘friend’ past or present clients on social networks.

C. If the staff member mentions Lake Area Recovery Center while engaging in social networking and also expresses a political opinion or an opinion regarding LARC’s actions or the actions of LARC’s business partners or relationships, the person must specifically note that the opinion expressed is his/her personal opinion and not the opinion of LARC. This is necessary to preserve LARC’s goodwill among stakeholders such as funding and regulatory bodies, referral sources, families and others.

Contractual Relationships

A. LARC reviews all contracts for consistency with the organization’s mission and values. Contracts are also reviewed for conformance with LARC’s service delivery and business standards. LARC will not enter into any contract that poses a conflict of interest for the organization or individuals associated with provisions of goods or services.


A. All marketing activities will include professional standards for communications including accuracy, truthfulness and accountability. Marketing using identifiable client information or images will not occur without express written consent of the person served.

The above Code of Ethics is not to be considered all inclusive, but shall serve as a minimum guideline.


A. Any client who feels that a staff member has engaged in alleged unethical behavior or shows any level of incompetence the incident will be referred to the Executive Director and will be subject to disciplinary action as described in the Personnel Policies Handbook.

B. Any employee breaching Lake Area Recovery Center's Code of Ethics will be subject to disciplinary action as described in the Personnel Policies Handbook. However, possible offenses subject to disciplinary action regarding Ethics violations shall not be limited to this Code. All employees have the duty to disclose any instance of wrongdoing that they are aware of immediately to the Compliance Officer or Executive Director.

C. It is the responsibility of the Clinical Director and/or the appropriate immediate supervisor to assure adherence by Direct Treatment Staff to this, as well as other applicable Professional Ethics Codes.

D. The Executive Director shall review ethical violations of all other staff.

E. It is in the best interest of the staff and agency to avoid any breach of ethics. If a staff member believes another staff member may be violating the ethical code, he/she should report it immediately to his/her supervisor, who is required to report those concerns immediately to the Clinical Director or Executive Director, whichever is applicable.

F. All ethics violations as well as the recommendation for disciplinary action shall be referred to the Executive Director, who shall make proper disposition within ten (10) working days.

G. All personnel files shall include an ethical pledge signed by the employee.

H. Adherence to ethical standards shall be considered during annual performance reviews.

I. LARC has a no-reprisal system for personnel reporting instances of fraud, waste and abuse, or any violation of this Code of Ethics.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns about our Code of Ethics.