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Services provided by residential addiction recovery facility (12HDC01582)
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Counsellor ~ Addiction recovery programme ~ Residential
facility ~ Treatment plan ~ Documentation ~ Professional boundaries
~ Exploitation ~ Rights 2, 4(1), 4(2), 4(3)
A man who was suffering from alcohol addiction issues and
depression entered an addiction recovery programme at a residential
facility (the facility) for treatment. A counsellor is the
programme director of the facility.
The man was resident in the facility for 16 weeks. During this
time, he had no written individual recovery plan and received only
three one-to-one counselling sessions with the counsellor. The
counsellor retained no clinical records of the counselling he
provided to the man. The counselling sessions stopped because the
counsellor was double booked, but the man continued paying for
counselling. The man was taking prescribed antidepressants, and the
counsellor encouraged him to stop taking his medication.
Following payment for the programme from his WINZ benefit, the
man was left with only $7.00 per week. The counsellor arranged work
for the man doing jobs for people from the counsellor's church, and
charged the man out at $21.00 per hour but gave the man only $15.00
per hour. The counsellor also assisted the man to incorporate a
company to avoid ramifications with regard to his benefit from
being paid. The facility paid for the incorporation of the company,
which resulted in the man owing a debt to the facility in excess of
$300. He was expected to repay or work off the debt. In addition,
the counsellor provided residents with knives, and they had access
to air rifles.
It was held that the facility failed to provide criteria for
entry to or exclusion from the facility, and did not provide a
treatment programme or a plan that was generally adhered to.
Accordingly, the facility breached Right 4(3).
It was held that the counsellor failed to provide the agreed
individual counselling services to the man that he required to
assist with his recovery, breaching Right 4(1). The counsellor also
kept no records of any treatment or counselling sessions with the
man during the time he was a resident, breaching Right 4(2).
The counsellor abused his position of trust and exploited the
man's vulnerabilities for the financial gain of the facility and
himself and, accordingly, breached Right 2. He failed to maintain
appropriate professional boundaries and breached Right 4(2). By
providing access to knives and air rifles, the counsellor failed to
provide addiction treatment services to the man with reasonable
care and skill and, accordingly, breached Right 4(1).
The counsellor was referred to the Director of
The Director filed a claim at the Human Rights Review Tribunal
which proceeded by agreement. The Human Rights Review Tribunal made
a declaration that the providers had breached Rights 4(1) and (2)
of the Code.