EFTC – AN OVERVIEW
History On 6th February 1981, the constitution of the European Federation of Therapeutic Communities (E.F.T.C.) were formally signed in Dusseldorf, Germany by: Lars Bremberg (Sweden); Eric Broekaert (Belgium); James Comberton (Ireland); Juan Corelli (Italy); Walfried Hauser (Austria); Martien Kooyman (the Netherlands); Martin Lutterjohan (Germany); Mario Picchi (Italy); and David Tomlinson (United Kingdom).
This meeting marked the culmination of four years of intensive discussion and negotiation in Rome, Den Haag, New York, Dusseldorf, and Vienna; most often under the watchful eye of the late Donald Ottenburg, whose wisdom and support were invaluable in the establishment of our Federation. This formal meeting in Dusseldorf was, in many ways, the first stage of an odyssey to secure our dream of a network of drug treatment communities across Europe, learning from each other and delivering recovery-oriented services through peer support and mentoring, challenging negative behaviour and role modelling: what we call “community as method”.
Today Despite many difficulties and continuing reluctance within much of Europe’s mainstream treatment culture to accept the reality of self-governed recovery, that dream has, in many ways come to fruition. The European Federation of Therapeutic Communities (E.F.T.C.) has become one of Europe’s largest and longest-lived recovery network with members from over 70 organisations in 27 European countries and associate members from Israel, Lebanon, Iran, Colombia, USA and Japan.
Members provide in-prison therapeutic communities; community based therapeutic communities; structured day programmes; peer-led after-care services and street-based advice services. Members receive – and are active contributors to – the peer-reviewed journal, International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, the Federation manages an online discussion forum (the only such forum available anywhere in the world) and has strong links at national and international level with a number of organisations including: the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities (W.F.T.C.); the Australasian Therapeutic Communities (A.T.C.A.); the Vienna NGO Committee on Narcotic Drugs (V.N.G.O.C.); the Consortium for Therapeutic Communities; Narcotics Anonymous; the European Working Group on Drugs Oriented Research (E.W.O.D.O.R.); and the Recovered Users’ Network (R.U.N.).
The current President of the Federation is Rowdy Yates (Scotland), facilitator of the academic network, Scottish Addiction Studies. Previous Presidents have been: Eric Broekaert (founding President), Martin Lutterjohan, James Comberton, David Tomlinson and Anthony Slater.
Conferences, Institutes and Research From its inception the Federation recognised that a radical approach involving self-help communities of addicts delivering individual recovery would be met with some scepticism and resolved to encourage self-evaluation amongst its members and an active participation in research studies. As a result, the Federation has organised 15 biennial international conferences to present and evaluate research into all aspects of the therapeutic community and the wider issue of long-term recovery. It enjoys a close reciprocal relationship with E.W.O.D.O.R. and has consistently been an active participant in that organisation’s annual symposia.
In addition, the Federation – in conjunction with E.W.O.D.O.R., The University of Ghent and The Scottish Addiction Studies – has organised training institutes for therapeutic community staff and university students (within the Socrates & Erasmus teaching framework) in collaboration with a range of other recovery organisations and more than 15 European universities.
And For the Future The Federation continues encourage its membership to refine and evaluate community as method approaches to addiction and recovery in a world increasingly concerned by the damage wreaked by ongoing drug misuse and the failure of national and international drug policy to do more than contain the problem. For the future, the Federation will pursue its dream to provide a bridge between the self-help recovery community and mainstream treatment and to explore the application of therapeutic community principles to other areas of concern and social dislocation.
To join the E.F.T.C. discussion list go to the following link and click on subscribe.
Art. 1: Name
- The name of the Association shall be the “European Federation of Therapeutic Communities”.
- The Federation shall be an international, non-profit organization governed in accordance with the law of the seat of the EFTC.
Art. 2: Objectives
The objectives of the Federation are:
- To advance the cause of rehabilitation for problem drug takers and those others, who would benefit from the therapeutic community approach.
- To initiate a wider understanding of drug use in society.
- To encourage the development of effective programmes.
- To provide a channel for communication and co-ordination of member organisations.
- To commission, publish or disseminate research.
- To maintain a dialogue with national governments and European bodies.
- To sponsor European conferences of Therapeutic Communities.
- To encourage a high standard of staff training.
- To develop prevention programs on T.C.-know-how.
- To develop new methods for social reintegration and relapse prevention.
Art. 3: Original language/Seat
- The original text of the constitution is in English and the language of the seat of EFTC.
- The organisation will be located: Moortselestraat 61, 9860 Oosterzele, Belgium. The non-profit organisation will fall under the county court of Ghent.
- The seat of the organisation can only be moved by a decision made within the General Assembly.
Art. 3 bis: Time and dissolution
The organisation will last for unlimited time. Dissolution of the Federation is a decision of the General assembly.
Art. 4: Bye-Laws
The Board of Directors shall have competence to draw up byelaws governing the affairs of the Federation and shall have the competence to draw up guidelines concerning international meetings. The byelaws are subject to the approval of the General assembly.
Art. 5: Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Federation shall begin on January 1st and end on December 31st of each year.
Art.6: Legal disputes
Any legal dispute, which might occur between the Federation and its members, will be dealt with within the competence of the countries law, in which the EFTC-Secretariat is seated.
Art. 7: Membership
Admission of members: Membership shall be open to all organizations, institutions and individuals whose aims and activities coincide, or are directly connected with the Federation’s objectives. Every member should subscribe the standards and the declaration of the E.F.T.C. Application for full membership has to be made in writing to the Board through the Secretariat. The Board appoints two persons from different organizations to report on the candidates for membership. The Board will decide on the application on the recommendations by these two members. For one year this will be a preliminary membership with the rights of an associate member. The General Assembly will decide on final membership after one year, among others based upon the due payment of the registration fee.
The number of members is unlimited but shall be not less than three. Every member has to pay a yearly membership fee. This fee will yearly be determined by the General Assembly, and can be under no condition higher than €300,00.
Art. 8: Refusal of membership
The Board shall have power to refuse membership without giving any explanation for its decision. Candidates may appeal against the refusal of admission to the General Assembly. The notice of appeal is to be received in writing 60 days following the written notification of refusal.
Art. 9: Suspension of membership
- Membership can be suspended by the Board with a vote of absolute majority with the power to propose termination of membership.
Such members have the right to appeal to the General Assembly within 60 days on receipt of written notification and to be present at the discussion of their appeal in the General Assembly.
- The member whose membership is suspended is, on receipt of the decision to recommend termination of membership taken by the Board deprived of his rights and freed of his obligations, with the exception of his membership dues until the end of the current fiscal year. If it allows the appeal, the General Assembly pronounces the reinstatement of the suspended member with all his rights and obligations.
Art. 10: Resignation
Members who wish to resign their membership with the Federation must give written notice to that effect six months before the end of the fiscal year covered by the subscription. Failing reception of such notice the member shall be obligated for the following year’s dues.
Art. 11: Membership-categories
The Federation shall have the following membership categories:
a) Full members,
b) Associate members (organisation/individual),
c) Honorary members.
Art. 12: Full members
Full members are organizations, normally Therapeutic Communities and other therapeutic facilities, which pay the full annual subscription fee as decided by the General Assembly. They participate in the General Assembly and have voting rights. The representative of an organizational full member is eligible for election to the Board or to any other office. They shall receive all documents issued by the Organization.
Art. 13: Associate members
- Associate members are organizations, federations and individuals who pay the annual membership fee as decided by the General.
- Assembly. The may refer to themselves as “Member of the EFTC”.
- They may attend the meetings of the General Assembly, but are not entitled to vote, neither are they eligible for election to any office.
- The General Assembly can exceptionally accept full-membership-applications of applicants who normally are associate-members.
- Associate members shall receive selected documents issued by the Organization.
Art. 14: Honorary members
On the recommendation of the Board honorary members may be designated by the General Assembly, taking into consideration their outstanding achievements. The outgoing president or former presidents who have resigned can be designated as honorary presidents (past presidents). They are not required to pay membership fees. They may attend the meeting of the General Assembly, but are not entitled to vote, neither are they eligible for election to any office. Honorary members shall receive selected documents issued by the organization.
Art. 15: Termination
Those members whose membership is terminated, or who resign, will lose all membership rights.
III. GOVERNING ORGANS
Art. 16: Titles
The organs of the association shall be:
A. The General Assembly
B. The Board
C. The Executive Committee
D. The Secretariat
Art. 17: Composition of the General Assembly
A. The General Assembly
- The General Assembly shall consist of all members of the association.
- All full members may be represented by one delegate of their choice. A delegate may not represent more than three full voting members at the General Assembly.
- The General Assembly shall be chaired by the President; in his absence by the one of the Vice-Presidents, in his/her absence by the oldest attending member of the Board .
Art. 18: Notice and minutes
- The General Assembly shall meet at least once every year and according to the time, place and agenda to be determined by the Board.
- Written notice (registered mail, mail, e-mail or fax) to this effect shall be given by the president.
- In case of changing of the constitution it shall be mentioned explicit in the agenda.
- The General Assembly shall be convened each time when at least one-fifth of the full members so requests by means of a registered letter to the president of the board with mentioning the themes to deal with. In this case the president will send an invitation for a meeting within a period of 30 days, with mentioning the points of discussion asked for.
- In all case, the invitation for the meeting will be send eight days before the meeting.
- The decisions will be minute down and afterwards send to all the members.
- During the next meeting they will be submitted for approval.
- They will be registered and signed by the president and the Secretary. The register will be kept on the seat of the federation and can be consulted by the members. The president and the secretary legally sign for abstracts.
Art. 19: Power of the General Assembly
The General Assembly shall be the governing body of the Federation and shall have the following powers:
- Changing of the constitution.
- To ratify membership admissions and to take note of resignations; it shall arbitrate in matters concerning notices of appeal against termination of membership and rejection of admissions.
- To appoint or dismiss the members of the Board.
- To elect the President, The Vice-President(s), The Secretary and treasurer, the Honorary Vice Presidents, the Auditors.
- To receive and adopt the budget and audited accounts presented, and the report of activities.
- To appoint or dismiss the Auditors and to fix the fee of the Auditors if agreed on payment.
- Discharge of the members of the board and the auditors.
- The changing of the Federation into a company with social objective.
- The dissolution of the Federation.
- To determine the annual membership fee and other possible contributions.
- To deal with all matters required by this constitution or by the law.
Art. 20: Agenda, Quorum, etc.
- When at least half of the attending or represented members agrees with a changing of the agenda, it is possible to decide legally on this changed agenda. Every item, signed by at least one twentieth of the members, will be put on the agenda.
- In the General Assembly, every member has equal voting wrights and decision shall be taken by a majority vote of the attending or represented members.
- In case of equality of votes the vote of the president or of the person presiding the meeting will decide.
- Voting is by show of hands; it can be by secret ballot if a fifth of the members present requests it. In case of a voting tie, the vote of the president is decisive.
- Secret ballots can be mailed prior to a General Assembly for election based on the majority of votes.
- Alterations in the constitution and a dismission of a member require that the item be mentioned explicit in the invitation for the meeting and a two-third majority of two-thirds of the registered full members.
- When the alterations concern the objectives of the federation, it can only be accepted legally with a majority of four fifth of the attending or represented members.
- A decision concerning the dissolution of the federation also needs a four fifth majority of the attending or represented members.
- When during the first meeting less than two third of the members are present or represented, a second meeting can be convened that can discuss and decide legally and adapt changing with the requested majorities in spite of the number of attending or represented members. The second meeting cannot be organised within fifteen days following the first meeting.
Art. 21: Board, executive committee and secretariat
B. The Board
- Candidates for the board are proposed by full members. The General Assembly elect a board consisting of minimum 3 persons of different organizations that do not have organizational links.
- The election of the President, the Vice-presidents, the Secretary, Honorary Vice Presidents, the auditors and every function necessary for a good practice of the Federation will be appointed by the General Assembly.
- The number of board members is at anytime less than the total amount of full members in the General Assembly.
- Each board member can represent another board member. A member may represent only one other board member.
C. The Executive Committee
- The elected board can form an Executive Committee, which shall consist of the President, a secretary/treasurer and several vice-presidents. If possible, the executive committee should contain equal amounts of each gender.
- The General Assembly can designate a certain number of honorary vice-presidents who are not members of the Committee but can take part in its meetings in a consultative capacity.
D. The Secretariat
- The Secretariat maintains the contacts with other international organizations and sends information to members on meetings, conferences, institutes, training programmes and so on. It will collect information material on therapy development, rehabilitation, prevention, research and training. A newsletter will be sent to all members.
Art. 22: Terms of office
- The mandate of the members of the Board expires after a period of four year or at the next election following. Members are eligible for re-election.
- The secretariat is elected for five years.
Art. 23: Resignation
Any member representing a full member organization, which has resigned, is considered as having himself resigned.
Art. 24: Termination
Suspension from membership of the Board or Executive Committee has immediate effect pending ratification by the General Assembly, which can pronounce reinstatement; the same applies with respect to the members of the Board or Executive Committee who represent a full member whose suspension of membership has been pronounced.
Art. 25: Organization
- The Board shall organize its own procedures.
- The President shall chair the meetings of the General Assembly, the Board and the Executive Committee . He/she shall also be responsible for convening these organs.
- The Vice-President replaces the President. He/she may be entrusted with special responsibilities by the board.
- The Honorary Vice President(s) may be called upon to represent the Federation in an honorary capacity.
- The President and the Secretary-treasurer will represent the board. They can stand for the Federation in all judicial and extra judicial matters.
- The board can take all decisions necessary to realise the objectives of the Federation.
Art. 26: Meetings
The Board shall meet if possible at least once a year at the call of the President, or upon request of half of its members.
Art. 27: Powers
The Board shall have the authority:
- To determine guidelines and general policy of the Federation,
- To approve the report of activities,
- To draw up the accounts and the budgets.
These decisions are to be approved by the General Assembly.
b) To pronounce membership applications and suspensions from membership.
c) To designate persons who shall have the authorization to sign on behalf of the Federation.
d) To appoint permanent sections or ad hoc committees.
e) To rule on requests to set up committees, sections or study groups and to determine the rights and obligations of such bodies.
Art. 28: Deliberations
The Board cannot deliberate and take decisions unless at least half of its members are present. Simple majority shall take decision.
Art. 29: Committees
- The Board may invite any member of the Federation to participate in a committee, standing or ad hoc.
- Committees will report on their activities to the Board to which they shall submit written reports when so requested.
- They shall also be responsible for keeping minutes.
- The quorum for meetings shall be half of the members. Decisions shall be taken by simple majority.
Revised July 2004
The mission of the EFTC includes supporting and developing the psychopedagogical approach to help problem drug abusers, and their families reclaim a life free of drugs, where possible. The members are pledged to assist and enable each community or project participant to become contributing members of society and role models for the local communities in whatever social and political climate they reside within.
Our mission is to maximise the involvement and participation of each person in their recovery from substance abuse. This self help and community as method approach enhances the self respect and dignity of all clients.All Federation members provide equal opportunity treatment services which are non- political, non-racist, non-explotive and non-violent. The integrity of each programme member is valued within this extended European community.
The Goals of the EFTC
- to advance the cause of rehabilitation and habilitation of problem drug takers and those others, who would benefit from the therapeutic community;community as method approach.
- to encourage the development of effective programmes and models for treatment, throughout the European continent.
- to provide a channel and forum for communication and co-ordination between regional agencies , national government and European bodies.
- to encourage a high standard of staff training and ethics.
- to promote and co-ordinate exchanges between treatment centres working in the field of drug treatment care, rehabilitation, research, prevention and training.
- to continue to develop and evaluate new methods which empower social integration and relapse prevention for our service users.
- to facilitate the organisation of European conferences on Rehabilitation and Drug Treatment Policy.
STANDARD AND GOALS FOR THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITIES
Standards and Goals
Therapeutic communities represent a design of treatment which is directed primarily towards recovery from substance abuse through personal growth and which requires abstinence from mood-altering substances, including prescription drugs used illegally.
Standards and goals for therapeutic communities
The members of the European Federation of Therapeutic Communities are required to:
- Recognise the human and civil rights of all persons associated with their therapeutic community and clearly state the rights, privileges and responsibilities of clients and staff.
- Vest in each individual within the community the right to be free from the threat of the negative use of power by any individual or group.
- Develop a statement on the philosophy and the goals of the programme.
- Adopt regulations for their Therapeutic Community, which afford protection from apparent or actual abrogation of local and national laws.
- Function within environments, which provide maximum opportunity for physical, spiritual, emotional and aesthetic development and which will ensure the safety of everyone.
- Facilitate the structure of a society/community based on the optimal use of the integrity, good will and humanity of all its members in which the dignity of persons is a priority value.
- Train and provide adequate supervision for staff.
- Be accountable to an external Executive or Community Board that meets at predetermined, regular intervals during the year for the purpose of maintaining supervision and responsibility for the activities of the programme and each facility.
- Produce an annual audited financial report, authorised by the member’s Executive or Community Board.
These standards and goals have been adopted unchanged by the EFTC from the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities.
STAFF CODE OF ETHICS
The primary obligation of all staff members is to ensure the quality of services to clients in treatment. The relationship between the staff and the client is a special one and it is essential that staff has both the maturity and the ability to handle the responsibility entrusted to them.
All staff must be aware that they are part of a profession, which must carefully watch over its own activities, and those of its clients. This Code of Ethics relates to staff at all times both at and away from their work.
Staff code of ethics
Staff members must:
- Conduct themselves as mature and positive role models.
- Maintain all client information in the strictest confidence with regard to all-applicable laws and agency rules.
- Provide all clients with a copy of the ‘ Client Bill of Rights’ and ensure that all aspects are understood and implemented by both staff and clients.
- Respect all clients by maintaining a non-possessive, non-punitive and professional relationship with them.
- Provide service regardless of race, creed, religion, gender, national origin, sexual preference, age, disability, political affiliation, previous criminal record or financial status, respecting the position of the clients in the case of special circumstances.
- Recognise that the best interest of the client may be served by referring or releasing that person to another agency or professional.
- Prohibit any sexual relationship of any kind between staff and clients (and client’s family).
Compensate adequately a client for any work performed personally for a staff member.
- Prevent the exploitation of a client for personal gain.
These standards and goals have been adopted unchanged by the EFTC from the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities.
BILL OF RIGHTS FOR MEMBERS AND CLIËNTS
Bill of rights for members
Standards for residential treatment services.
Bill of Rights for Members and Clients
All members and clients of residential treatment programmes have the absolute right to the following:
- A supportive and drug-free environment.
- Treatment without regard to gender, race, national origin, colour, creed, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, ancestry, identity, age, military or veteran status, mental and physical disabilities, medical conditions , previous criminal record or public assistance status.
- Dignity, respect, health and safety at all time.
- Knowledge of the programme philosophy and methods.
- Information given accurately of all the current rules and regulations of the programme as well as sanctions, disciplinary measures and any modifications of rights.
- Access to a Board approved grievance procedure to register complaints about the administration of all rules and regulations, sanctions, disciplinary measures and modification of rights.
- Definition of all fees and costs to be charged, the method and schedules of payment and the availability of money and personal property during the programme and upon leaving.
- Confidentiality of information regarding participation in the programme and of all treatment records in accordance with the laws of the land.
- Examination of personal records with Board approved guidelines and the re-insertion of counter statement of clarification to rebut recorded information.
- Discharge themselves from the programme at any time without physical and psychological harassment.
- Personal communication with relatives or friends of whereabouts on admission and thereafter according to the rules of the programme except when prohibited as a documented part of the treatment plan.
- Protection from real or threatened corporal punishment, from physical, emotional and sexual abuse and from involuntary confinement.
- Provision of nutritious food, safe and adequate lodging, physical exercise and adequate personal hygiene needs.
- Medical care from qualified practitioners and the right to refuse the medical care offered.
- Access to legal advice or representation where required.
- Regular contact with any child accompanying the member into the programme.
- Clear definition of responsibilities when working in the position of staff member together with adequate training, adequate staff support and supervision (including evaluation and feedback), with no exploitation and the right to decline the position without any recrimination.
- Guidance and assistance when leaving the programme for any reason, about other health-care and assessment services, sources of financial aid and places of residence.
- Freedom from exploitation (including parents and family) for the benefit of the agency or its staff.