NARR Quality Standards for Recovery Residences


Administrative and Operational Domain
Core Principle: Operate with integrity
As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 A written mission statement that corresponds with NARR’s core principles



.02 A vision statement that corresponds with NARR’s core principles as stated in this document



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 An affidavit that attests to complying with non-discriminatory state and federal requirements.



.02 Marketing materials, claims and advertising that are honest and substantiated as opposed to:     a. False or misleading statements or unfounded claims or exaggerations;     a. False or misleading statements or unfounded claims or exaggerations;    b. Testimonials that do not really reflect the real opinion of the involved individual;    c. Price claims that are misleading;    d. Therapeutic strategies for which licensure and/or counseling certifications are required but not applicable at the site.    e. Misleading representation of outcomes



.03 Prior to the initial acceptance of any funds, the operator must inform applicants of all fees and charges for which they will be, or could potentially be, responsible. This information needs to be in writing and signed by the applicant.



.04 The operator must maintain accurate and complete records of all resident charges, payments and deposits. A resident must be provided with a statement of his/her personal charge and payment history upon request.



.05 The operator must disclose refund policies to applicants in advance of acceptance into the home, and before accepting any applicant fees.



.06 Staff must never become involved in residents’ personal financial affairs, including lending or borrowing money, or other transactions involving property or services, except that the operator may make agreements with residents with respect to payment of fees.



.07 Policy and procedure that ensures refunds consistent with the terms of a resident agreement are provided within 10 business days, and preferably upon departure from the home.



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Identifying the type of accounting system used and its capability to fully document all resident financial transaction, such as fees, payments and deposits



.02 Policy and procedure for disclosing to potential residents their financial obligations, including costs for which they might become liable, such as forfeiture of any deposits and fees as a result of prematurely leaving the home



.03 Policies about the timing of and requirements for the return of deposits, if financial deposits are required



.04 The ability to produce clear statements of a resident’s financial dealings with the operator (although it’s not a requirement that statements be automatically produced)



.05 Policies and procedures that ensure the follow conditions are met, if the residence provider or a staff member employs, contractors or enters into a paid work agreement with residents:      a. Paid work arrangements are completely voluntary. Residents do not suffer consequences for declining work. Residents who accept paid work are not treated more favorably than residents who do not.      b. Paid work for the operator or staff does not impair participating residents’ progress towards their recovery goals.      c. The paid work is treated the same as any other employment situation.      d. Wages are commensurate with marketplace value, and at least minimum wage. The arrangements are viewed by the majority of the residents as fair.      e. Paid work does not confer special privileges on residents doing the work. Work relationships do not negatively affect the recovery environment or morale of the home. Unsatisfactory work relationships are terminated without recriminations that can impair recovery.



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Procedures that collect resident’s demographic information



.02 Procedures that collect, evaluate and report accurate process and outcomes data for continuous quality improvement    

As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Legal business entity documentation e.g. incorporation, LLC documents or business license    

.02 Documentation that the owner/operator has current liability coverage and other insurance appropriate to their level of support



.03 Written permission from the owner of record to operate a recovery residence on the property    

.04 Policies and procedures that ensure that background checks are conducted on all staff, including volunteers that have direct and regular interaction with residents  


Core Principle: Uphold resident rights
As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 A process that ensures residents receive an orientation on agreements, policies and procedures prior to committing to terms.



.02 Written resident’s rights and requirements (e.g. House Rules and grievance process) posted in common areas



.03 Written resident agreement that includes:      a. Services provided      b. Recovery plan including a move-in (i.e. goals and objectives) and move-out (i.e. contingency) plan      c. Financial terms



.04 Resident documents that fully disclose policies regarding possessions (personal property) left in a home.



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Grievance policy and procedures, including the right to take unresolved grievances to the operator’s oversight organization



.02 Policy and procedure for identifying the responsible person(s) in charge to all residents



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Applicant screening policies and procedures provide current residents a voice in the acceptance of new members.



.02 Policies and procedures that promote resident-driven length of stay



.03 Policies and procedures that defend residents’ fair housing rights



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Policies and procedures that keep resident’s records secure, with access limited to authorized staff only



.02 Policies and procedures that comply with applicable confidentiality laws



Core Principle: Are recovery-oriented
As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Documenting that residents participate in the development of their recovery plan including an exit plan and/or lifelong plan



.02 Documenting that the operator cultivates alumni participation



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Policies and procedures that identify the priority population, which at a minimum includes persons in recovery from substance use but may also include other demographic criterion.



.02 A staffing or leadership plan that reflects the priority population’s needs



.03 Documented cultural responsiveness and competence trainings that are relevant to the priority population.  


Core Principle: Are peer staffed and governed
As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Some rules made by the residents that the residents (not the staff) enforce?



.02 A resident council or process is in place that ensures resident’s voices can be heard



.03 The resident council has a voice in the governance of the home



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Residents’ responsibilities increase with their length of stay or progress in their recovery.



02 Staffing or leadership plan that formally includes a peer component



.03 Written job description and/or contracts for peer staff and leaders    

As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 A home staffing or leadership plan that includes current residents and where possible, former residents that model recovery principles



.02 Leader and/or staff job descriptions and selections are based in part on modeling recovery principles



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Integrated recovery support in the daily activity schedule



.02 The schedule includes formal and informal opportunities for staff and resident interaction in support of recovery



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Written staffing or workforce development plan  


.02 Certification and verification policies and procedures    

As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Policies and procedures for supervision of staff



.02 Ongoing skills development, oversight and support policies and NARR procedures appropriate to staff roles and level of support



Required Recommended
Recovery Support Domain
Core Principle: Promote health
As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Policies and procedures that encourage each resident to develop and participate in their own personalized recovery plan (Person-driven recovery)



.02 Policies and procedures that encourage residents to make their own outside appointments  >      

As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Staff that are knowledgeable about local community-based resources



.02 Resource directories or similar resources are readily available to residents



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Staffing plan that corresponds to the delivery of this service



.02 Traditions, policies or procedures that foster mutually supportive and recovery-oriented relationships between residents and/or staff through peer-based interactions



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Weekly schedule of recovery support services recognized by the respective NARR Affiliate organization    

.02 Weekly schedule of recovery-oriented presentations, group exercises, and activities    

.03 Staffing plan that corresponds to the delivery of this service    

As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Weekly schedule of formal life skills development services or classes    

.02 Staffing plan that corresponds to the delivery of this service    

As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Weekly schedule of clinical services available to residents across all phases, if multiple phases are used      
.02 Staffing plan that corresponds to the delivery of this service      

Core Principle: Provide a home
As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Policies and procedures, such as applicant screenings, that establish the home’s priority population and cultivate physically and emotionally safe environments for discussing the needs, feelings and sustaining recovery-supportive connections.



.02 Policies that promote resident determined lengths of stay that support health and safety of the household/community



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Written and enforced policies and procedures that address:     a. Alcohol and/or other prohibited drug-seeking or use;     b. Possession of hazardous and other prohibited items and associated searches;     c. Drug-screening and or toxicology protocols; and      d. Prescription and non-prescription medication usage and storage consistent with the Level of Support and relevant state law



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Written resident rights, requirements, agreements, social covenants and/or “House Rules”



.02 Requirements and protocols for peer leadership and/or mentoring policies that foster individual and community accountability



Core Principle: Inspire purpose
As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 A weekly schedule of the typical resident’s activities



.02 Are residents encouraged to (at least one of the following):     a. Work, going to school, or volunteer outside of the residence community (Level 1, 2 and some 3s)     b. Participate in mutual aid or caregiving (All Levels)     c. Participate in social, physical or creative activities (All Levels)     d. Attend daily or weekly programming (All Levels)



.03 Person-driven recovery planning & peer governance



Core Principle: Cultivate community
As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Are residents involved in food preparation?



.02 Do residents have control over who they live with?



.03 Do residents help maintain and clean the home e.g. chores?



.04 Do residents share in household expenses?



.05 Family or house meetings at least once a week?



.06 Do residents have access to the common areas of the home?



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Policies and procedures that encourage residents to engage one another in informal activities and conversation?



.02 Policies and procedures that encourage staff to engage residents in informal activities and conversations?



.03 Policies and procedures that coordinate community gatherings, recreational events and/or other social activities amongst residents and/or staff?



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Residents are informed of or linked to mutual aid, recovery community centers, recovery ministries recovery-focused leisure activities and recovery advocacy opportunities;



.02 Mutual aid meetings are hosted on site and there are typically attendees from the greater recovery community



.03 The recovery residence helps participants find a recovery mentor or mutual aid sponsor if they are having difficulty finding one  


.04 Participants are encouraged to find a recovery mentor or mutual aid sponsor before leaving the recovery residence



.05 Residents are formally linked with the community such as job search, education, family services, health and/or housing programs  


.06 Residents engage in community relations and interactions to promote kinship with other recovery communities and goodwill for recovery services  


.07 Sober social events are regularly scheduled (each participant can attend at least one).  


Required Recommended
Property and Architecture Domain
Core Principle: Promote recovery
As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Furnishing are typical of those found in single family homes or apartments as opposed to institutional settings



.02 Entrances and exits that are home-like (vs institutional or clinical)



.03 50+ sq ft per bed per sleeping room



.04 One sink, toilet and shower per six residents



.05 Each resident has personal item storage



.06 Each resident has food storage space



.07 Laundry services are accessible to all residents



.08 Working appliances



.09 A staffing plan that provides for addressing repairs and maintenance in a timely fashion



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Community room (space) large enough to reasonably accommodate community living and meetings.



.02 A comfortable group area, a living room or sofas, for participants to informally socialize



.03 A kitchen and dining area(s) that encourages residents to share meals together



.04 Entertainment or recreational areas and/or furnishings that promote social engagement



.05 Furniture that is in good condition



Core Principle: Promote safety
As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Affidavit from the owner or operator attesting that the residence meets nondiscriminatory local health and safety codes OR document from government agency or credentialed inspector attesting to the property meeting health and safety standards



.02 Signed and dated safety self assessment checklist which includes     a. Functioning smoke detectors in the sleeping rooms     b. Functioning carbon monoxide detectors, if there are gas appliances     c. Functioning fire extinguishers in plain sight and/or clearly marked locations     d. Interior and exterior of the property is in a functional, safe and clean condition and free of fire hazards



.03 Smoke-free living environment policy and/or designated smoking area outside of the residence.



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Post emergency numbers, procedures and evacuation maps in conspicuous locations



.02 Collect emergency contact information from residents and orient them to emergency procedures



Required Recommended
Good Neighbor Domains
Core Principle: Are good neighbors
As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 If recovery residence is in a residential neighbINARRood, there are no external indications that the property is anything other than a single family household typical of its neighbINARRood The property and its structures are consistently maintained

As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Policies and procedures that provide neighbors with the responsible person(s) contact information upon request



.02 Policies and procedures that require the responsible person(s) to respond to neighbor’s concerns even if it is not possible to resolve the issue



.03 New resident orientation includes how residents and staff are to greet and interact with neighbors and/or concerned parties



As evidenced by: Level I Level II Level III Level IV
.01 Policies that are responsive or preemptive to neighbor’s reasonable complaints regarding:

  1. a. Smoking
  2. b. Loitering
  3. c. Parking
  4. d. Noise
  5. e. Lewd or offensive language
  6. f. Cleanliness of public space around the property




.02 Parking courtesy rules where street parking is scarce