Grievance Policy: The Social Model

Creating a Grievance Policy for Recovery Housing > Grievance Policy: The Social Model

Under the social model, a recovery house creates a culture where residents get to know one another.  When residents know one another and care about one another, they are better able to handle small issues among themselves. Also, residents understand that it is their responsibility to look out for one another and care for one another. This means that residents understand their rights but also understand their responsibilities.  This buy-in helps residents communicate expectations to their peers and uphold the environment.  

Also, under the Social Model of Recovery, residents take ownership for their own environment, so small issues are readily addressed before they become big issues.

For example, if residents take ownership of the home, they complete chores and basic maintenance. It is their home, so when there are small issues, they want them addressed. They are not afraid to tell staff things. This means that when something happens like the washing machine starts leaking, they tell staff about so it can get it fixed instead of ignoring it and creating water damage in the laundry room. Residents are also more likely to bring up resident behavior and other issues right away, before things spiral out of control.  

Allowing people to have reasonable flexibility and choices also creates an environment where staff are not dealing with petty issues all the time.

For example, allowing residents to decide who does what chores, or letting residents choose their own roommates if bedrooms are to be shared can prevent issues and concerns.

Finally, allowing residents to use the common areas like the kitchen and dining room when they want can really help create an atmosphere where they feel it is their home, they are in charge and responsible for it and minor issues such as roommate disputes can be avoided.

These elements really do help create an environment that is homelike and where people interact as a family.

In the Social Model of Recovery, recovery is enhanced by a belief in a person’s sense of hope for a better future and an ability to assist in and control the recovery process. Recovery is supported by a community of peers willing to share their experiences and assist the individual on the journey to recovery, essentially becoming part of a functional family.


(LEARN MORE about The Social Model of Recovery from OhioMHAS.)

(LEARN MORE about Best Practices for Recovery Housing from SAMHSA.)