At Emerge, our main expectation is the practice of respectful communication. We expect group members to communicate with us not only about what is going on in their relationships, but also to let us know about absences and payment of fees. Specific group rules are listed below.
We expect every group member to attend every group session. We understand that may not always be possible due to illness, transportation issues, work and other things that might come up during the 40 sessions.
If group members have to miss a group session, we expect them to call us (or e-mail us) before the group and let us know that they cannot attend. We allow ONE absence every eight weeks for which we consider not charging the group member. A second absence within an eight week period is charged at the regular group rate.
A THIRD absence within an eight week period could result in an attendance contract or the case being closed at Emerge. This decision is based on whether the group member has been communicating with us on a regular basis, and we take life circumstances into consideration.
As the Boston area is known for having particularly difficult transportation issues, Emerge allows a 15-minute grace period for group attendance. What this means is that as long as group members are in the group no more than 15 minutes late, there is no penalty. However, if group members are more than 15 minutes late (but less than 30 minutes), they receive a “no-credit,” which means that they can attend the session, but will not receive credit towards the 40-session requirement. Group members are charged for “no-show” sessions whether or not they decide to stay. Group participants more than 30-minutes late are not allowed to attend.
We expect group members to pay their balance weekly. Group members may not fall behind more than TWO group payments. If group members fall behind more than two group payments, they may not be allowed to attend group sessions until the balance is paid.
Group fees are based on a sliding-fee scale, which is determined after program orientation by a group supervisor. We expect group members to notify us if income changes occur (such as obtaining employment, losing employment, job raises or demotions), so that the fee can be adjusted accordingly.
Clients may pay for the Abuser Education program with cash, money orders, or credit card. We do not accept personal checks.
Emerge is not a substance abuse counseling agency. As such, we do not expect absolute abstinence from alcohol or other drugs during the time in the program. However, we expect group members to not use alcohol or drugs 24 hours before their group session, during the two hours of the session, and 24 hours after the session. If it is determined that a group member has substance abuse issues, we may require absolute abstinence or an evaluation and treatment at a substance abuse clinic.
We expect group members to be respectful towards each other and group leaders. Group members who are not respectful are asked to leave the group and may risk termination from the program.
We also expect group members to respect each other’s confidentiality by not to describing other group members outside of the group. Group members can speak to their friends and family about what they are learning and how they are working to change.