Community Counseling Center

Code of Ethics/Conduct

POLICY:

It shall be the policy of Community Counseling Center to maintain a Code of Ethics for its staff to ensure that clients are treated with respect for their person and their care, and that staff functions in a manner consistent with the ethics of their professions. To accomplish this task the Corporation will specifically outline the conduct which is appropriate or inappropriate for staff members.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Definitions:

    Employee/Staff – Employees or Staff are defined as individuals who are paid by CCC to provide services on a full-time or part-time basis. Volunteers, Temporary Corporation workers and interns who are not paid by the Corporation are subject to the same Code of Ethics/Conduct.

    Treatment - is considered to be any one-time or on-going, individual or group, interaction between a person seeking behavioral health or AoD assistance and a member of the staff, where definite therapeutic goals have been established. This includes all services for which CCC is accredited to provide.

    Client - Any person in treatment or receiving evaluation and/or referral services from CCC is considered a client. A person receiving treatment services is designated as a client for two (2) years following their date of termination or discharge for the purposes of this policy.

  2. Standards of Behavior for Staff:
    1. All staff shall adhere to the rules of confidentiality of all records, material and knowledge concerning the client, in accordance with current federal regulations and Corporation standards for confidentiality.
    2. Any information regarding child abuse or neglect must be reported to Children Services Board, as per amended Substitute House Bill #85.
    3. Personal involvement between a client and a staff member such as, but not limited to, dating, attending social events together, sexual involvement, cohabitation, or business relationships established during treatment, are considered unethical and are prohibited.
    4. Treatment-related interventions off the premises of the Corporation (such as but not limited to home visits, visits to community sites, and transportation) are permissible and encouraged provided they occur within the context of a defined treatment plan. Supervisors are to be informed of all necessary appointments scheduled after normal office hours.
    5. Client behaviors (such as but not limited to persistent expressions of interest in a personal relationship with a staff member, suicidal tendencies, threatening acts of a homicidal or criminal nature, and/or other violent acts) are to be clinically addressed and reported to a supervisor immediately.
    6. Any knowledge of the disclosure by staff, of client information to non-treatment staff, or to non-Corporation persons, must be reported to the appropriate clinical supervisor. This includes, but is not limited to comments about a client’s enrollment for service, services provided, or unusual behaviors exhibited by a client.
    7. It is the responsibility of the treatment staff to transfer a client when he/she feels he/she cannot effectively provide services to a client for any reason. In addition, if the provision of client care is beyond the capability of the Corporation, the client may be transferred to another facility when clinically permissible. The transfer of a client for this reason will include a discussion with the client regarding the reason for transfer and a discussion with the family if warranted.
    8. No staff member is permitted to accept personal gifts or favors from clients, or to request personal favors from a client. Donations made to the Corporation are acceptable.
    9. Any business transactions between staff and clients must take place within client's regular business hours and at the regular rates.
    10. It is not considered a breach of ethics if a family member of an employee establishes a relationship with a client, unless the employee initiates the relationship. In all such instances, confidentiality of client information must be maintained.
    11. If a staff member is concerned about services provided by another staff member, that concern should be referred to the direct supervisor and/or CEO.
    12. No staff member shall make negative comments regarding another staff member's professional competency to clients. When more than one staff person is working on the same case, one staff member shall not interfere with a client's on-going treatment with another staff member. Both staff members have an obligation to the client to coordinate services.
    13. If a staff member is concerned about services provided by an outside entity, the client should be asked for a release of information and the matter should be 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.
    14. If a staff member does not wish to 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 stating the existing conflict. The supervisor will meet with the CEO within three (3) working days and the final recommendations regarding the employee’s request will be made. If an employee's request is granted, CCC will ensure that the client will continue to receive services as not to negatively affect the client's treatment. If an employee’s request is granted, and it is not possible to provide services to the client, a comparable referral will be made to another entity.
    15. These standards of behavior are not to be considered all-inclusive, but shall serve as a minimum guideline.
    16. The Codes of Ethics of the professions of psychology, nursing, social work, and medicine are by intent appended to this Code of Ethics and are equally applicable. Further, each unlicensed staff member will be expected to adhere to the code of ethics of their licensed supervisor.
  3. Personal Property:

    See #530 MISC Personnel Policies - Compensation for Damage of Personal Property.

  4. Personal Fund Raising:

    See #526 Solicitation & Distribution Policy.

  5. Standards for Marketing:

    All marketing materials that are used by the Corporation will reflect only the services Available and state the level of licensure and or accreditation obtained by the Corporation. All marketing material must be approved by the CEO prior to distribution.

  6. Business Practices:
    1. CCC will utilize the Corporate Compliance Officer to ensure that it conducts business in an ethical manner and ensure that any business practices that are questionable are thoroughly investigated through the investigation procedures that follow in this policy.
    2. All financial, purchasing, personnel, facility development and information technology practices shall comply with local, state, and federal law and guidelines.
    3. All employees shall adhere to CCCs’ Human Resource Policies and procedures.
  7. Standards for Billing Practices:
    1. All initial billing submitted to a client or third party payer will be itemized and will include the date(s) of service, and individuals served will receive full information about our Corporation’s source of reimbursement for their care.
    2. Should limitations be placed on the duration of services due to a third party payer such information will be disclosed to the individual receiving services.
    3. When a payer or individual served has a question or dispute with regard to a charge such disputes or questions will be handled by the Chief Financial Officer. If the dispute regarding a bill cannot be handled by the Chief Financial Officer within seven (7) working days, the matter may be referred to the Chief Executive Officer. The client will also retain his/her rights to grieve the matter to the Client Rights Officer.
  8. Conflicts of Interest:
    1. The Corporation will avoid conflicts of interest, and possible perceptions of conflicts of interest, in its relationships with outside health care providers, education institutions, and payers.
    2. All contracts with service providers will be reviewed by the Board of Directors for possible conflicts of interest and possible adverse impacts on client care.
  9. Enforcement of the Code of Ethics:
    1. Any client who feels that a staff member has engaged in alleged unethical behavior, or that a staff member has shown a level of incompetence, may report the incident to the Corporation’s Corporate Compliance Officer. The incident will be subject to review by the Corporate Compliance Officer.
    2. It is in the best interest of the staff and Corporation to avoid all breach of ethics. Each staff member has an affirmative obligation to the clients and to the Corporation to report possible ethical violations to a supervisor. The supervisor is to report the matter to the CEO and the Compliance Officer.
    3. It is the responsibility of the Corporate Compliance Committee to assure adherence by Clinical Staff to this Code of Ethics.
    4. Any employee breaching this Code of Ethics/Conduct will be subject to disciplinary action as described in the applicable personnel policies.
    5. All ethics violations reviewed by the Corporate Compliance Committee, as well as any recommendation for disciplinary action shall be referred to the Chief Executive Officer, who shall make any necessary disposition in a timely manner.
    6. As a part of new employee orientation, staff will read the organization’s Code of Ethics/Conduct Policy and demonstrate knowledge of the guidelines.
    7. This Code of Ethics/Conduct Policy will be displayed on the Corporation website to allow clients and other stakeholders to view the material contained within this document.
    8. All personnel files shall include a copy of this Code of Ethics/Conduct signed by the employee.
  10. General Ethical Guidelines and Considerations:
    1. Community Counseling Center believes in the importance of ethical practices within the organization. Any employee who reports waste, fraud, abuse or any other questionable practices will not be subject to reprisal by management of the organization. To assure that reprisal is not used, the organization’s CCC Board of Directors will serve as advocates for any CCC staff who reports questionable practices. The Corporate Compliance Officer will provide assurance and oversight that there are no adverse actions toward the employee.