Clubhouse Philosophy and Practice

The following are excerpts from the International Standards for Clubhouse Programs. There are 36 Standards guiding Clubhouse philosophy and practice, published by the International Center for Clubhouse Development in New York. The Standards serve as a “bill of rights” for members and a “code of ethics” for staff. The Standards also insist that a Clubhouse is a place that offers respect and opportunity to its members.:

  • 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.
  • 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 the participation of members.
  • Clubhouse staff are sufficient to engage members, yet few enough to make carrying out their responsibilities impossible without member involvement.
  • 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.
  • 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.

See the full list of International Standards for Clubhouse Programs here.

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