ARHE’s Ethical Considerations
The Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) is an organization whose members strive to champion, develop, and sustain excellence and inclusion within collegiate recovery. These efforts are supported by principles of equity, integrity, and responsibility. Collegiate recovery staff have a duty to ensure that a collegiate recovery community can form, can be sustained, and can be a healthy and supportive environment for the students involved. Endorsed by the ARHE Board Members and the ARHE Advisory Council, these ethical considerations are an agreed upon set of guidelines for ARHE Professional Affiliate Members. We hope that our members and all staff working within collegiate recovery programs will use these guidelines in their decision making as they continue their work.
As a growing field, we recognize that, like many fields before us, it is time to assemble and construct ethical considerations as our unique occupational identity grows. These ethics are not a set of standards for any program, but designed instead for staff serving each collegiate recovery program. Collegiate recovery programs (CRPs) are also not purely peer support programs or registered student organizations in a higher education institution. It is also important to note that staff and student makeup of these programs varies across institutions. Dedicated staff will provide the environment necessary to sustain and advocate for a CRP. In light of these differences, these guidelines strive to support developmental considerations and recovery processes that warrant guidance and scaffolding to ensure appropriate resources are given to each student and the community as needed support from CRP staff.
CRPs have experienced unprecedented growth across the country as people in recovery are increasingly recognized as a vital, but underserved population. Looking at the ethical considerations established by Recovery Community Organizations and recovery support services can inform the creation of a set of ethical considerations for CRP staff. The purpose of this document represents an initial effort to create ethical considerations specific to the unique needs of CRP staff.
An Ethical Instruction Manual: How To Use This Document
The principal purpose of this document is to prioritize the physical and emotional well being of students that utilize collegiate recovery programs associated with ARHE. It will do this by increasing the ability of staff to make ethical decisions that align with the values of our organization. The definition of staff used in this document includes clinical, non-clinical, and interns involved in coordinating and executing the functions of a collegiate recovery program. We recognize that some collegiate recovery staff may be bound to other ethical guidelines. In the circumstance that a staff member is bound by multiple ethical codes, the staff member should follow the most restrictive ethical considerations. Self-regulation is the preferred means of maintaining ethical considerations. If behavior contrary to the ethical considerations is observed in a colleague, there are options in the appendix B for further guidance in resolving conflict. We also understand that decisions around ethics are not always simple or direct. For that purpose, decision making model information is included in the appendix as well as guidance from other ARHE members. This code of ethics does not outline or govern the programming expectations of a collegiate recovery program. Collegiate recovery program recommendations can be found through the ARHE website.
Appendix A: Ethical Decision Making Models
Many ethical decision making models exist. They range in type from Rational, Virtue Ethics, Social Constructivism, Collaborative, and Integrative. When faced with an ethical dilemma, we encourage you to utilize a framework that will guide your decision making process and we encourage you to seek consultation throughout the process. At times, ethical dilemmas may occur due to cultural differences. We encourage you to view differences utilizing an intercultural perspective and taking various racial identities, ethnicities, gender identities, orientations and faith backgrounds into perspective. We all have biases and blind spots and this is an opportunity to grow professionally. We do not want to limit you to one decision making model. Seeking a framework around the different types of models will assist you in your decision making progress. For your consideration, we have included the basic outline below. All ethical decision
making models seem to include these 4 steps. More detailed models are available for reference.
Awareness that an ethical dilemma exists and outlining the specifics of the dilemma. Increase awareness of personal biases and worldviews that may be in opposition to the ethical considerations. Identify involvement of legal repercussions that may be present.
When faced with an ethical concern, look to the ethical considerations, legal standards, and institutional policies for guidance.
Seek consultation from external resources. This can include professional colleagues, supervisors, and/or professional organizations that you are a member of. This may include legal counsel at times.
Identify possible solutions to the ethical concern and evaluate repercussions (positive and negative) of all pathways. Select pathway based on information generated and document decision making progress as appropriate.
Appendix B: Suggestions for Resolving Conflict
Initiate a private conversation
Unethical conduct often is due to a lack of awareness or understanding of ethical considerations as described in the preceding document.
A private conversation with the individual being inappropriate is an important initial line of action because of this. This conference, if pursued in a spirit of collegiality and sincerity, often may resolve the ethical concern and promote future ethical conduct.
Pursue institutional resources
If a private conversation occurs and this does not resolve the problem, institutional resources may be pursued. It is recommended individuals work with mentors, supervisors, faculty, colleagues, or peers to research campus based resources.