Philosophical and Ethical Standards

The OBH Council members believe outdoor treatment is a highly effective form of treatment for most adolescent and young adult behavioral healthcare problems.

We commit ourselves to making it effective, safe, and more widely available. We are members of OBH Council not because we are perfect, but because we want to improve our programs through collegial interaction. We commit ourselves individually and collectively to work continuously and sincerely to improve outdoor treatment in our own programs and to share information with our colleagues and to help them with their improvement efforts.

Both in order to ensure the high quality and good reputation of our industry, and to make possible a trusting and open dialogue among ourselves, we commit ourselves to these standards:

  • Members serve children and families with understanding, patience and integrity, promoting personal dignity and self-worth.
  • Members offer a journey of self-discovery that models sound values and principles.
  • Members do not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation or cultural background and shall acknowledge these individual differences as important in the treatment process.
  • Members provide quality experiences that are guided by competent and professional staff. Members will be adequately staffed to provide the level of service they offer. They ensure that staff are adequately trained.
  • Members promote the protection and beneficial uses of our natural resources, with respect and attention to our impact upon them.
  • Members acknowledge and practice the effective use of outdoor programming as part of the existing continuum of behavioral health care and therapeutic approaches.
  • Members acknowledge the risk associated with outdoor programming and take reasonable and responsible steps to manage that risk.
  • Members provide services after a process of appropriate screening and informed consent.
  • Members have appropriate licensure and permits when required by regulating agencies or bodies.
  • Members provide educational and program curricula in accordance with state standards.
  • Members will accurately represent their programs, including ownership, competence, experience, and scope of activities.
  • Members will manage their finances to ensure that there are adequate resources to accomplish their mission.
  • Members will fully disclose to prospective candidates the nature of services, benefits, risks and costs.
  • Members will provide an appropriate professional referral if they are unable to continue services.
  • Members do not actively solicit or recruit fellow members’ employees (e.g. jobs can be posted and advertised, but we do not call or aggressively target individuals from other programs).
  • Members do their best to maintain objectivity in our recommendations and counsel to the families.
  • Members avoid dual relationships with professional referral sources. This includes:
    • Paying for referrals (directly or indirectly),
    • Referring a family to a single specific professional referral source, or
    • Requiring that a family have a professional referral source before admission to the program.
  • Referrals to external referral sources will be based upon that which will best serve the needs of the child and family, not the needs of the program or referral source.


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