VARR Standards

NARR was founded in 2011 by a group of organizations and individuals with vast experience in recovery housing from across the country. From the beginning, NARR has been committed to developing and maintaining a national standard for all levels of recovery housing. The term “recovery residence” denotes safe and healthy residential environments in which skills vital for sustaining recovery are learned and practiced in a home-like setting, based on Social Model principles. The Social Model is fundamental to all levels of recovery residences. Social Model philosophy promotes norms that reinforce healthy living skills and associated values, attitudes, and connection with self and community for sustaining recovery. NARR Standard 3.0 operationalizes the Social Model across four Domains, 10 Principles, 31 Standards and their individual rules. The Standard is tailored to each of NARR’s four levels. Version 3 of the NARR Standard does not introduce any operational rules that are not already included in Version 2. Rather, it restates them in a more logical way that improves clarity and eliminates some redundant language.

Woman with child

VARR Code of ethics

All persons working in a VARR Accredited Recovery Residence are expected to comply and adhere to the following Code of Ethics: It is the obligation of all recovery residence owners, operators, and staff to value and respect each resident and to put each individual’s recovery and needs at the forefront of all decision making. To uphold this obligation, we adhere to the following principles:

  • Assess each potential resident’s strengths and needs, and determine whether the level of support available within the residence is appropriate. Provide assistance to the residents with appropriate referrals.
  • Value diversity and non-discrimination.
  • Provide a safe, homelike environment that meets NARR Standards.
  • Maintain an alcohol- and illicit-drug-free environment.
  • Honor individuals’ rights to choose their recovery paths within the parameters defined by the residence organization.
  • Protect the privacy, confidentiality and personal rights of each resident.
  • Provide consistent and uniformly applied rules.
  • Provide for the health, safety and welfare of each resident.
  • Address each resident fairly in all situations.
  • Encourage residents to sustain relationships with professionals, recovery support service providers and allies.
  • Take appropriate action to stop intimidation, bullying, sexual harassment, and/or otherwise threatening behavior of residents, staff and visitors within the residence.
  • Take appropriate action to stop retribution, intimidation, or any negative consequences that could occur as the result of a grievance or complaint.
  • Provide consistent, fair practices for drug testing that promote the residents recovery and the health and safety of the recovery environment.
  • Provide an environment in which each resident’s recovery needs are the primary factors in all decision making.
  • Promote the residence with marketing or advertising that is supported by accurate, open and honest claims.
  • Decline taking a primary role in the recovery plans of relatives, close friends, and/or business acquaintances.
  • Sustain transparency in operational and financial decisions.
  • Maintain clear personal and professional boundaries.
  • Operate within the residence’s scope of service and within professional training
    and credentials.
  • Maintain an environment that promotes the peace and safety of the surrounding neighborhood and the community at large.

Recovery Residence Levels of Support

​ ​ ​
Narr Logo Level I
Peer-Run
Level II
Monitored
Level III
Supervised
Level IV
Service Provider
Adiminstrattion
  • Democratically run
  • Manual or P& P
  • House manager or senior resident
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Organizational hierarchy
  • Administrative oversight for service providers
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Licensing varies from state to state
  • Overseen organizational hierarchy
  • Clinical and administrative supervision
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Clinical and administrative supervision
  • Licensing varies from state to state
Services
  • Democratically run
  • Manual or P& P
  • House manager or senior resident
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Organizational hierarchy
  • Administrative oversight for service providers
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Licensing varies from state to state
  • Overseen organizational hierarchy
  • Clinical and administrative supervision
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Clinical and administrative supervision
  • Licensing varies from state to state
Residence
  • Democratically run
  • Manual or P& P
  • House manager or senior resident
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Organizational hierarchy
  • Administrative oversight for service providers
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Licensing varies from state to state
  • Overseen organizational hierarchy
  • Clinical and administrative supervision
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Clinical and administrative supervision
  • Licensing varies from state to state
Staff
  • Democratically run
  • Manual or P& P
  • House manager or senior resident
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Organizational hierarchy
  • Administrative oversight for service providers
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Licensing varies from state to state
  • Overseen organizational hierarchy
  • Clinical and administrative supervision
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Clinical and administrative supervision
  • Licensing varies from state to state

Grievance Policy and Procedures

  • It is the policy of the Virginia Association of Recovery Residences (VARR) to ensure that Certified Residences and stakeholder’s grievances are handled respectfully, appropriately, and professionally.
  • The formal grievance procedure should be used to resolve interpersonal conflict between individuals and to report issues with existing VARR policy that a certified residence believes should be examined prior to the next scheduled VARR Meeting.
  • The Formal Grievance Procedure should not be used for retribution or personal/agency gain.
  • The Formal Grievance Procedure includes but is not limited to the investigation, validation, and recommendation of the Ethics Committee and or VARR Board, as to the standing of the Certified Residence and sanctions and or disqualifications of  their certification to the VARR Board when necessary.

Confidentiality of Proceedings:

All information, notes, reports, transcripts, and any other documentation of any kind that are generated or received during the course of an ethics investigation, including the ethics committee meetings, and appeal hearings, shall be kept confidential by VARR.

The respondent is entitled to a full and complete copy of the following:

  • Signed complaint; (Subject of complaint/grievance; Identity of complainant/ grievant will remain confidential). All complaints must be accompanied with contact information and signature by the complaintive in order for VARR to conduct any investigation or proceedings of the complaint.
  • Investigative Summary;
  • Ethics Committee’s/VARR Board Recommendations;
  • VARR Executive Board Recommendations.

The complainant is entitled to a full and complete copy of the following:

  • Ethics Committee’s/ VARR Board’s Recommendations;
  • VARR Executive Board Recommendations

Oversight and Conflict of Interest

In all cases, the VARR Ethics Committee and or the VARR Board will direct the ethics investigations under the supervision of the VARR president, Vice President, or Executive Director;

  • If a member of the Ethics Committee is a party in a grievance or involved in any way, he or she will be excused from the grievance proceedings.
  • If a member of the VARR Executive Board is a party in a grievance or involved in any way, he or she will be excused from the grievance proceedings.

Sanctions

  • Possible sanctions for the violation of the VARR code of Ethics or Standards include but are not limited to:
  • Written Reprimand: A written reprimand with request for the Corrective Action and a follow-up review;
  • Suspension: Suspension with request for Corrective Action and follow-up review;
  • Revocation;

Denial of Application for Certification with VARR

The Ethics Committee may consider the applicants or agencies past history in regards to ethical sanctions and disciplinary actions when determining the appropriate sanctions for the current ethics case.

A third offense, confirmed by the Ethics Committee, in a two-year period will automatically result in an immediate suspension and sanctions shall include a suspension or revocation of Certification.

The Formal Grievance Process

It’s important to follow the grievance or compliant procedures carefully and to document all pertinent facts, dates and information when filing a report or claim.

Step 1: Filing

A formal Grievance should be filed within 30 days of when the complainant became aware or suspected the violation of ethics or standards. The Formal Grievance should be documented on the VARR Formal Grievance Form, provide contact information and be signed; Verbal and non-signed grievances will not be acted upon.

Step 2: Submission

The VARR Formal Grievance Form should be submitted online via email or directly to the VARR Ethics investigator or if a perceived conflict exists to the VARR Executive Director.

Step 3: Notification of Receipt

Grievant should be notified by email or telephone within 5 business days of the Ethics Investigators receipt of the grievance. The Ethics Investigator forwards a copy of the Grievance to the Ethics Committee for review and discussion.

Step 4: Investigation

Within 30 days of receipt of the written complaint, the VARR Ethics Committee will complete an objective investigation of the matter and record the findings in writing; an extension of no more than 30 days may be granted for investigations that take longer than the initial 30-day timeframe. No member of the Ethics Committee, Executive Member, or VARR Board Member shall intentionally try to stall, prolong, or delay proceedings. The complainant/ grievant and or respondent may be requested to appear separately in front of the Ethics Committee. Written notice of the time and date will be sent to the grievant at least 10 days prior to the hearing.

Step 5: Presentation to the Board

VARR Ethics Committee presents to the VARR Board Members at the next scheduled board meeting. The presentation shall include the compliant/ grievance; investigation summary including an objective account of everything that transpired to result in the grievance and as well as anything that has occurred as a result of the grievance, and the recommended action to be taken.

Step 6: Board Decision / Recommendations

VARR Board of Directors will discuss and make a formal recommendation for the vote at the next board meeting. A report of the findings, voting results, and corrective actions to be taken will be provided to the grievant via email within 14 business days after the board meeting. The proceedings will be recorded in board meeting minutes to keep official record.

File a Grievance

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.