Rules & Responsibilities



Your daily behavior is a reflection of your ability to succeed in treatment and in developing a sober lifestyle. House and individual consequences are tied directly to your behaviors and the behaviors of your peers. The following is a list of rules for all clients in Next Step.

* Anytime you step outside of Next Step; your behavior must be respectful and appropriate. Anytime we have a house visitor of 

  any kind; your behavior in the house must be respectful and appropriate. This is our home and we are family. Treat people well.

  1. General House Rules and expectations:
    1. Basic Respect: We promote basic respect for yourself, for your peers and for the staff. You may not always agree with everything or everyone, and you have a right to disagree. Basic respect would include asking instead of “telling”, not swearing, not talking down to someone, etc.
    2. Be respectful of Next Step property. This would include not writing on walls, floors, not punching holes in walls, and keeping the house clean.
    3. Complete jobs as assigned. If you do not know how to do a job, ask a staff or your peers. Completing jobs keeps the house clean and livable, but also teaches us how to take care of a home. If you are going to be gone (home visit, outside visit, court) while you should be doing a job, ask for a peer to do the job for you. Let the tech know who will be doing your job.
    4. You are expected to get up on time and to take a shower when you are scheduled. Doing this allows us to keep a schedule and allows for everyone to have time to get ready. You must sign in at the tech desk in the morning before you shower.
    5. No personal contact, horseplay or “shadow boxing”. This prevents injuries and unintended problems with peers.
    6. Refrain from glorifying past drug use. Though some stories can be funny, telling these stories rarely will help someone stay sober. In addition, when we only look at the fun of our substance use, we tend to overlook the consequence, such as people we have hurt, accidents, missing school, losing a job, losing a friendship, etc.
    7. Caffeine is restricted to 12 step meetings, when clients are eating out or on an activity where personal drinks would be expected. Too much caffeine can cause stimulant cravings and disrupt sleep.
    8. Outside food is only allowed when approved by the director or technician on duty. Next Step provides snacks and meals for clients. However, on special occasions, family members can bring clients homemade food, such as a birthday cake, cookies, etc. In addition, Next Step will purchase a cake for a client’s birthday if the family is not bringing one.
    9. Do not go upstairs without permission. This allows staff to know where clients are and to help to protect client property.
    10. You must have permission to be in your room during the day, after you have showered and are dressed.
    11. You must ask permission to “pass” through the technician office.
    12. You must ask permission to be in the basement or go outside.
  2. General Group Rules
    1. Be prepared for group. You can present assignments, ask to discuss a topic of interest or address a peer issue during group. Counseling staff are open to discussing what you feel is important.
    2. You are expected to participate in group and activities.
    3. Be respectful during group. Wait your turn to give feedback or to address a peer. You have a right to your opinion, just do it respectfully.
    4. If you feel a peer is not being truthful, you can address that during group. Again, do it respectfully. If you need help with this, talk with staff before group or ask staff to bring up the issue.
  3. General Community Rules
    1. When you are in the community, you represent Next Step and young adults in recovery. Be respectful of common rules while in the community, such as, taking your turn at a buffet, not wearing a hat in a building, saying “please and thank you”, using socially appropriate language, and be respectful of others in the community.
    2. If you are in the van going on an activity or to school, you must wear a seat belt. This is a safety issue. Also, respect the van or other transportation by disposing of garbage appropriately.
    3. Remain in your seat until the van is stopped and the driver is ready to exit the vehicle.
    4. Make sure to keep the van clean. Remove all trash from the van when exiting the van/vehicle.
  4. General outside visiting rules
    1. On your first home visit, you are expected to spend time with your family only. Refrain from calling friends on the phone, or seeking them out on social media, as this becomes a distraction from your family time. If your first visit goes well, friends can be introduced dependent upon permission from your family and also probation, social services or any other professionals in your life.
    2. You are expected to say away from substances of abuse when on a home visit.
Basic house policies:
  1. TV can be on after morning jobs are completed and before morning meditation.
  2. X Box can be played on the weekends. However, clients are expected to share the time on the X box and also allow for the group to watch a movie if they choose.
  3. Clients can request personal money from their account to use at a 12 step meeting or while out on a visit with their family. You must write down your request for money and give it to a tech before 3:30 pm on weekdays. Techs cannot access client money on weekends.
  4. Be respectful of families when they come to visit.
  1. Personal conduct
    Appropriate Behavior
    Be honest, responsible, considerate of others, and respectful towards staff and peers. Help your peers and all staff to accomplish group/individual goals for each day. Participation is required in all therapy, leisure activities, community service and all group activities unless there is a medical reason.

    Daily Requirements:
    Weekday Mornings: Be out of bed by 6:30 a.m., showered, bed made, hygiene completed, rooms cleaned and picked up by 7:45 a.m. Meditation is scheduled at 7:45 a.m. On weekends, you must be up by 8:00 a.m., showered, bed made, rooms cleaned and picked up by 9:15 a.m. Clothing and personal items that you may need for the day must also be retrieved before you come downstairs.

    Weekday Bedtimes: Reflections are scheduled at 9:30 p.m. You must be upstairs getting ready for bed by 10:00 p.m. with lights out at 10:30 p.m. On weekends lights out at 12:00 a.m.

  2. Personal and program safety:
    Appropriate Behavior:
    1. Use appropriate language.
    2. Do not touch other clients
    3. Do not trade, sell or borrow each other’s clothing. If you need clothing, ask a technician or counselor.
    4. If you feel threatened by someone, talk to staff immediately.
    5. If you feel you are going to harm yourself or others, tell staff immediately. If you feel you are losing control over your anger, you may ask to take some personal time away from the group or situation to compose yourself. However, do not go outside or upstairs unless you have permission from the staff.
  3. Clothing/Personal Appearance:

    Appropriate clothing is required at all times. No hats on in the house. When caps are worn they must be worn so the brim points fully forward. Bedclothes must be worn. No hair dyes, no body or facial piercing, (piercing may be worn during sleep-time to keep piercing intact but not at any other time). You must shower daily.

    • Pants: Must be worn at the waist. No undergarments should show.
    • Shirts: Must be free of sexual, gang or drug related references.
    • Shoes: Must be worn outside at all times. Laces must be tied for safety reasons at all times.
    • Dirty Clothes: Keep dirty clothes in your laundry bag/container and in your closet until you do your laundry on your assigned laundry day.
  4. Individual Consequences:

    Certain Behaviors, aggressive actions, verbal comments, disrespectful actions could result in your peers feeling threatened by you. Your inappropriate actions may also disrupt the milieu of the house and negatively affect the treatment of other clients.

    • Be prepared to discuss with your counselor/tech what consequence and actions you believe are appropriate for you. If a behavioral contract is indicated, you will be asked to assist in developing the behavioral contract.
    • In the event of rule infractions you will meet with a counselor/tech to determine the most appropriate course of action. More serious infractions may result in a behavioral contract to assist you in developing more appropriate behaviors
    • Repeated infractions may result in discharge or transfer to a more appropriate facility. Or you may lose your passes, be placed on shut down status, be a staff trailer or lose a step level. Infractions may also involve additional treatment assignments.

    Consequences for clothing violations: You will be asked to change your offensive clothing. Clothing that does not fit the Next Step policy will be pulled and stored in the tech office until a parent can bring the clothing home or the client can take it home on a home visit. Clothing confiscated due to rule violations, such as wearing a hat in the building, sagging pants, etc, may be confiscated for three days. Clients will get their items returned, but are required to use them appropriately. If a client continues to violate a policy with the same article of clothing, it may be pulled and stored until a parent can take it home or a client can take it home on a home visit. Other consequences for repeated offenses may include additional treatment assignments, loss of Step levels, passes, detour status and discharge for repeated offenses.

    Consequences for peer group wide problems: If one or more clients become negative, are disrespectful to staff, are purposefully not following rules or directives, Next Step staff may pull activities for that client or group of clients for the day. Clients that continue to be negative toward staff or peers, refuse to participate in treatment or follow rules or expectations may be placed on a detour status, where the treatment focus may shift to more behavioral interventions and development of prosocial skills so that the client can return to normal activities.

    • Specific interventions may include:
      1. writing a paper that identifies the poor behavioral choices, why they are wrong, what the client can do to improve their behavior and different ways to handle the situation in the future. Staff assigning the paper will determine when it is due.
      2. Meeting one to one with a CD technician or counseling staff to determine the roots of the behavioral issues to assist the client in improving behaviors.
      3. A behavioral contract where the client is made aware of the specific target behaviors and what they need to do to improve their behaviors.
      4. A group intervention where all peers and staff on duty discuss the impact of specific behaviors on the client’s peer group and Next Step staff, and also strategies to improve behaviors.
      5. Additional treatment assignments that help the client with any root issues that are associated with misbehavior, lack of respect, anger, poor coping skills or other identified issues.
      6. Splitting of the group so those with behavioral concerns stay back and do an activity at the house and those not involved go on the activity.
      7. Staff trailer where one or two clients that are being disruptive will need to sit and stay by the staff during the activity. Staff trailer will be used at staff decision and also if it is determined that even though the client’s behaviors are not positive, the impact of the activity could be very beneficial (such as an AA or NA roundup).

    Clients may lose home passes, outside passes, lose levels, lose activities or outward bound activities due to behavioral infractions. Each client is assessed individually as to appropriateness of the intervention.

    Individuals that have continued behavioral issues without improvement will be evaluated for appropriateness for the Next Step program. If needed, Next Step staff will work with parents, social services, probation officers or other referrals to identify appropriate programming for the client.

    Appeal of consequences:
    • You have the right to appeal behavioral consequences. To appeal a consequence, you must submit to the executive director or program manager the following information:
      1. The behavior that resulted in a consequence
      2. The consequence that was given and reasons you disagree
      3. An alternative consequence or remedy to the rule violation.
      The executive director or program director will meet with you about this decision within 24 hours during the regular work week. If the executive director and program director are not in the facility, you may give your appeal to the assistant director or the lead technician that is working at the time you write the appeal. You will be given a written response to your appeal.
    Phone Calls, Visiting and Mail:
    • Clients are allowed to have visitors from their approved visiting list. The clients parent, guardian, probation officer, social worker or guardian ad litem will need to approve the visitor list. The list can be revised during treatment.
    • Visiting is scheduled on Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00. Clients on 5 hour passes are able to return at 6 as long as they eat supper while on the visit. There may be times that the visiting day is scheduled for Mondays, due to outward bound activities. For example, if we are camping through Sunday, visiting will be moved to Monday evening.
    • If your family can not visit on Sunday, alternative visiting times will be arranged.
    • Visitors are to visit with clients only in designated areas. Those areas are the front lobby, group room and kitchen; and the back deck and back yard. You must have staff permission to visit outside.
    • Visiting is not allowed in the client’s room, front yard or in cars. Visitors are not permitted in the facility if they are suspected of being under the influences of alcohol or drugs, or if they are disruptive towards others. If your family is unable to be here please be considerate of another peer’s family and visit with other peers or catch up on work during visiting times. Family is here to visit with their family member.
    • Clients can make phone calls on a daily basis during non-structured times. Monthly letters are sent to parents by Next Step outlining activity schedule, the phone day or visiting day changes. Phone times are from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 pm and 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. You are allowed 1 ten-minute phone call to people on your approved phone call list. If this phone time doesn’t work for your parent or significant adult in your life, you can make arrangements with staff for a different day.
    • Clients can receive phone calls from parents during non-structured times. If there is an emergency or your parent/guardian needs to contact you, they can call and ask to speak to staff. Staff will determine how to set up contact between you and your parents outside your normal phone day.
      You can contact your social worker, probation officer, or guardian ad litem during the work day, but must be work with your counselor to make these calls.
    • Mail is distributed at 4:00 p.m. daily and must be opened in front of staff. Clients are encouraged not to write using friends or friends in other treatment centers/facilities.
    • Clients are not allowed to have personal cell phones, pagers or other modes of communication.
    Hygiene Needs, Laundry and Linens:

    Clients are given sheets, towels, wash clothes, and blankets upon admission. Sheets are to be washed weekly, or more often if needed. Clients are provided with blankets, one pillow and will be provided with hypoallergenic protectors if indicated. If the linens are ripped or unusable, new linens will be given to the client.

    Clients are assigned shower times based on the room they are assigned to sleep in. Showers are in the morning and are limited to 10 minutes.

    Clients are assigned days to wash laundry and linens (sheets) based on the room they are assigned to sleep in. If a client needs to do laundry at a different time, technician staff will assist the client in scheduling a time to wash clothes.

    Next Step will provide you with basic hygiene needs. If you are in need of hygiene items, please contact your counselor or technician on duty. Next Step will provide the following*:

    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Shampoo/Conditioner combination
    • Bar soap
    • Body wash
    • Laundry Soap
    • Laundry Dryer sheets
    • Razors
    • Toothbrushes
    • *Clients in need of culturally appropriate hygiene products will need to discuss this with their counselor or CD technician upon admission or shortly after. Clients that have specific allergies to hair products, laundry soaps or other hygiene products will also need to discuss this with a counselor or CD technician.

    Clients will be instructed on how to use the laundry facilities upon admission.

    Clients can use their own products if they chose. However, any products that have alcohol in the first or second ingredients will be given out by technician staff. These items will be stored in the technician office.

    Next Step will make attempts to provide culturally appropriate hygiene products. Please let your counselor or technician know if you need products that are not in supply.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner:

    Meals are prepared by the clients under the supervision of the technician staff. Many of the items are precooked by the overnight staff to save time and also to protect against food borne illness. Clients are assigned to meal prep or meal clean on various days. Clients learn how to prepare a meal based on a recipe developed by the food manager. Clients are taught table manners and appropriate meal conversations by the technical staff. Clients are supervised by technician staff during meal clean procedures, and sanitation equipment is used to protect client health.

    Grievance Procedure:

    It is the policy of Next Step to have an established grievance procedure for the mediation of complaints by the clients, parents, former clients, guardians, relatives, or other concerned persons whom are concerned about the care of the client , want to make a formal complaint about the clients care or the program, or make suggestions to improve the program.

    Next Step will not influence or try to change any grievance that is filed by the resident. This includes facts reported by the view of the client or anything related to the grievance.

    Clients, family members or other concerned persons are assured that the clients care or treatment will not be affected by filing a grievance.

    Clients, family members or other concerned persons are encouraged to discuss the concern with the staff involved if possible.

    The following steps are to be used to file a grievance:

    1. The client, family member or other concern person may request a grievance form and envelope from any staff at any time. Next Step staff will assist the client, family member or concerned person with the grievance procedure.
    2. The client, family member or other concerned person will fill out the grievance form, place it in an envelope.
    3. The client, family member or other concerned person will place the clients counselor’s name on the envelope and either give it to the counselor, or give it to a staff member to give to the counselor.
    4. The counselor will read the grievance and respond in writing as to any investigation findings, and resulting action to be taken within five working days.
    5. If the client, family member or concerned person does not agree with the resolution proposed by the counselor, they may appeal to the Assistant Director.
    6. The Assistant Director will read the grievance and respond in writing as to any investigation findings, and resulting action to be taken within five working days.
    7. If the client, family member or concerned person does not agree with the resolution proposed by the Assistant Director, they may appeal to the Program Director.
    8. The Program Director will read the grievance and respond in writing as to any investigation findings, and resulting action to be taken within five working days.
    9. If the client, family member or concerned person does not agree with the resolution proposed by the Program Director, they may appeal to the Executive Director.
    10. The Executive Director will read the grievance and respond in writing as to any investigation findings, and resulting action to be taken within five working days.
    11. The original grievance will be kept in the clients’ chart, if appropriate.
    12. Copies of all grievances will be stored in a binder in the client chart cabinet for two licensing periods or two years, whichever is longer. Grievances will be reviewed annually by the Executive Director, Program Director and Assistant Director to identify if any policy changes are necessary to reduce grievances. Any grievance that violates the health, safety, or mental stability of a client may result in an immediate change to policy.
    If the above measures do not resolve the grievance, the client, family member or concerned person may send the grievance to any of the agencies listed at the end of this form.

    Complaints and grievances may be directed to:

    Licensing Division
    PO Box 64242
    St. Paul, MN 55164-0242
    Phone: 651-431-6500
    Fax: 651-431-7673

    Office of the Ombudsman for Mental Health and
    Developmental Disabilities
    121 7th Place E, Ste 420
    Metro Square Bldg
    St. Paul, MN 55101

    © MMVIII Next Step

    Site Updated: June 08, 2010