Clubhouse Standards

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The International Standards for Clubhouse Programs (TM), consensually agreed upon by the worldwide Clubhouse community, define the Clubhouse Model of rehabilitation. The principles expressed in these Standards are at the heart of the Clubhouse community’s success in helping people with mental illness to stay out of hospitals while achieving social, financial, educational and vocational goals. The Standards also serve as a “bill of rights” for members and a code of ethics for staff, board and administrators.

The Standards insist that a Clubhouse is a place that offers respect and opportunity to its members. The Standards provide the basis for assessing Clubhouse quality, through the Clubhouse International Accreditation process. Every two years the worldwide Clubhouse community reviews these Standards, and amends them as deemed necessary. The process is coordinated by the Clubhouse International Standards Review Committee, made up of members and staff of Accredited Clubhouses from around the world.

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1. Membership is voluntary and without time limits.

2. The Clubhouse has control over its acceptance of new members. Membership
is open to anyone with a history of mental illness, unless that person poses a
significant and current threat to the general safety of the Clubhouse community.

3. Members choose the way they utilize the Clubhouse, and the staff with whom
they work. There are no agreements, contracts, schedules, or rules intended to
enforce participation of members.

4. All members have equal access to every Clubhouse opportunity with no
differentiation based on diagnosis or level of functioning.

5. Members at their choice are involved in the writing of all records reflecting their
participation in the Clubhouse. All such records are to be signed by both
member and staff.

6. Members have a right to immediate re-entry into the Clubhouse community
after any length of absence, unless their return poses a threat to the Clubhouse

7. The Clubhouse provides an effective reach out system to members who are not
attending, becoming isolated in the community or hospitalized.

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8. All Clubhouse meetings are open to both members and staff. There are no
formal member only meetings or formal staff only meetings where program
decisions and member issues are discussed.

9. Clubhouse staff are sufficient to engage the membership, yet few enough to
make carrying out their responsibilities impossible without member involvement.

10. Clubhouse staff have generalist roles. All staff share employment, housing,
evening and weekend, holiday and unit responsibilities. Clubhouse staff do not
divide their time between Clubhouse and other major work responsibilities that
conflict with the unique nature of member/staff relationships.

11. Responsibility for the operation of the Clubhouse lies with the members and
staff and ultimately with the Clubhouse director. Central to this responsibility is
the engagement of members and staff in all aspects of Clubhouse operation.

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12. The Clubhouse has its own identity, including its own name, mailing address
and telephone number.

13. The Clubhouse is located in its own physical space. It is separate from any
mental health center or institutional settings, and is impermeable to other
programs. The Clubhouse is designed to facilitate the work-ordered day and at
the same time be attractive, adequate in size, and convey a sense of respect and

14. All Clubhouse space is member and staff accessible. There are no staff only
or member only spaces.

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15. The work-ordered day engages members and staff together, side-by-side, in
the running of the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse focuses on strengths, talents and
abilities; therefore, the work-ordered day must not include medication clinics, day
treatment or therapy programs within the Clubhouse.

16. The work done in the Clubhouse is exclusively the work generated by the
Clubhouse in the operation and enhancement of the Clubhouse community. No
work for outside individuals or agencies, whether for pay or not, is acceptable
work in the Clubhouse. Members are not paid for any Clubhouse work, nor are
there any artificial reward systems.

17. The Clubhouse is open at least five days a week. The work-ordered day
parallels typical working hours.

18. The Clubhouse is organized into one or more work units, each of which has
sufficient staff, members and meaningful work to sustain a full and engaging
work-ordered day. Unit meetings are held to foster relationships as well as to
organize and plan the work of the day.

19. All work in the Clubhouse is designed to help members regain self worth,
purpose and confidence; it is not intended to be job specific training.

20. Members have the opportunity to participate in all the work of the Clubhouse,
including administration, research, enrollment and orientation, reach out, hiring, training and evaluation of staff, public relations, advocacy and evaluation of
Clubhouse effectiveness.

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21. The Clubhouse enables its members to return to paid work through
Transitional Employment, Supported Employment and Independent Employment;
therefore, the Clubhouse does not provide employment to members through inhouse
businesses, segregated Clubhouse enterprises or sheltered workshops.

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22. The Clubhouse offers its own Transitional Employment program, which
provides as a right of membership opportunities for members to work on job
placements in the labor market. As a defining characteristic of a Clubhouse
Transitional Employment program, the Clubhouse guarantees coverage on all
placements during member absences. In addition the Transitional Employment
program meets the following basic criteria.

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a. The desire to work is the single most important factor determining
placement opportunity.
b. Placement opportunities will continue to be available regardless of the
level of success in previous placements.
c. Members work at the employer’s place of business.
d. Members are paid the prevailing wage rate, but at least minimum wage,
directly by the employer.
e. Transitional Employment placements are drawn from a wide variety of
job opportunities.
f. Transitional Employment placements are part-time and time-limited,
generally 15 to 20 hours per week and from six to nine months in duration.
g. Selection and training of members on Transitional Employment is the
responsibility of the Clubhouse, not the employer.
h. Clubhouse members and staff prepare reports on TE placements for all
appropriate agencies dealing with members’ benefits.
i. Transitional Employment placements are managed by Clubhouse staff
and members and not by TE specialists.
j. There are no TE placements within the Clubhouse. Transitional
Employment placements at an auspice agency must be off site from the
Clubhouse and meet all of the above criteria

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23. The Clubhouse offers its own Supported and Independent Employment
Programs to assist members to secure, sustain, and better their employment.
As a defining characteristic of Clubhouse Supported Employment, the Clubhouse
maintains a relationship with the working member and the employer. Members
and staff in partnership determine the type, frequency and location of desired

24. Members who are working independently continue to have available all
Clubhouse supports and opportunities including advocacy for entitlements, and
assistance with housing, clinical, legal, financial and personal issues, as well as
participation in evening and weekend programs.

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25. The Clubhouse assists members to reach their vocational and educational
goals by helping them take advantage of educational opportunities in the
community. When the Clubhouse also provides an in-house education program,
it significantly utilizes the teaching and tutoring skills of members.
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FUNCTIONS OF THE HOUSE[/ult_cornerbox]

26. The Clubhouse is located in an area where access to local transportation can
be assured, both in terms of getting to and from the program and accessing TE
opportunities. The Clubhouse provides or arranges for effective alternatives
whenever access to public transportation is limited.

27. Community support services are provided by members and staff of the
Clubhouse. Community support activities are centered in the work unit structure
of the Clubhouse. They include helping with entitlements, housing and advocacy,
promoting healthy lifestyles, as well as assistance in finding quality medical,
psychological, pharmacological and substance abuse services in the community.

28. The Clubhouse is committed to securing a range of choices of safe, decent
and affordable housing including independent living opportunities for all
members. The Clubhouse has access to opportunities that meet these criteria, or
if unavailable, the Clubhouse develops its own housing program. Clubhouse
housing programs meet the following basic criteria.
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a. Members and staff manage the program together.
b. Members who live there do so by choice.
c. Members choose the location of their housing and their roommates.
d. Policies and procedures are developed in a manner consistent with the
rest of the Clubhouse culture.
e. The level of support increases or decreases in response to the changing
needs of the member.
f. Members and staff actively reach out to help members keep their housing,
especially during periods of hospitalization.
29. The Clubhouse conducts an objective evaluation of its effectiveness, including
Clubhouse International Accreditation.

30. The Clubhouse director, members, staff and other appropriate persons
participate in a comprehensive two or three week training program in the

31. The Clubhouse has recreational and social programs during evenings and on
weekends. Holidays are celebrated on the actual day they are observed.

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32. The Clubhouse has an independent board of directors, or if it is affiliated with
a sponsoring agency, has a separate advisory board comprised of individuals
uniquely positioned to provide financial, legal, legislative, employment
development, consumer and community support and advocacy for the

33. The Clubhouse develops and maintains its own budget, approved by the board or supported by an advisory board which provides input and
recommendations prior to the beginning of the fiscal year and monitored routinely during the fiscal year.

34. Staff salaries are competitive with comparable positions in the mental health

35.The Clubhouse has the support of appropriate mental health authorities and all
necessary licenses and accreditations. The Clubhouse collaborates with people
and organizations that can increase its effectiveness in the broader community.

36. The Clubhouse holds open forums and has procedures which enable
members and staff to actively participate in decision making, generally by
consensus, regarding governance, policy making, and the future direction and
development of the Clubhouse.