Code of Ethics

FACETS operates under an agency-wide Code of Ethics, which outlines standards for the work of the staff and board, including adherence to the agency mission, vision and values, confidentiality, informed consent, competency, dignity and respect, cultural sensitivity, honesty, dual relationships, teamwork, safety and ethical use of resources.

AGENCY MISSION AND VALUES
-I will continually be aware of the agency’s mission and values and will do my job in a manner consistent with them.
-I will conduct myself in a manner that is representative of the agency values when I’m in the community.
-I will support changes within the agency that are implemented to improve the quality of our programs.

CONFIDENTIALITY
-I will not share confidential information without client consent or without sound legal or ethical justification.
-I understand that the general requirement of keeping information confidential does not apply when the client is threatening harm to themselves or others or when legal requirements demand that confidential information must be revealed.
-I will not discuss a client’s case with another client without the appropriate consent.
-I will ensure that records are kept in a secure location and that only authorized persons have access to records.
-I will take precautions to ensure the confidentiality of information transmitted through the use of computers, e-mail, fax machines, telephones, voice mail systems, and other electronic/computer technology is protected.
-I will ensure that all program logs for emergency shelter programs are kept with staff during program operation and kept in a locked location when the program is not operating.
-I will dispose of client records and other sensitive materials in a manner that protects client confidentiality.

INFORMED CONSENT
-I will provide services to clients only in the context of a professional relationship based, when appropriate, on valid informed consent.
-I will use clear and understandable language to inform clients of the purpose of the services, risks related to the services, limits to services because of requirements of a third party payer, relevant costs, reasonable alternatives, clients’ right to refuse or withdraw consent, and the time frame covered by the consent. I will provide clients with an opportunity to ask questions.
-I will take steps to ensure clients’ comprehension in instances when clients are not literate or have difficulty understanding the primary language used in the practice   setting. This may include providing clients with a detailed verbal explanation or  arranging for a qualified interpreter or translator  whenever possible.
-I will protect clients’ interests by seeking permission from an appropriate third party and informing clients consistent with the clients’ level of understanding in instances when clients lack the capacity to provide informed consent. In such instances I will seek to ensure that the third party acts in a manner consistent with clients’ wishes and interests. I will take reasonable steps to  enhance such clients’ ability to give informed consent.
-I will provide information about the nature and extent of services and about the extent of clients’ right to refuse service in instances when clients are receiving services involuntarily.
-I will inform recipients of electronic media (such as computer, telephone, radio, and television) of the limitations and risks associated with such services.
-I will obtain clients’ informed consent before photographing, audio taping or videotaping clients or permitting observation of services to clients by a third party.

COMPETENCY
-I will perform my job within my boundaries of competence, based on my education, training, and supervised experience.
-I will perform new job functions when reasonable training and supervision are provided.
-I will complete annual continuing education hours to acquire and maintain a reasonable level of awareness of current professional information in my field of practice.
-I will take steps to maintain competence in the skills I use, I will be open to new procedures, and I will keep current with the diverse populations and specific populations with whom I work.
-I will be alert to the signs of impairment from my own physical, mental, and emotional problems and will refrain from offering services when such impairment is likely to harm a client or others.
-I will assist colleagues in recognizing their own professional impairment and provide consultation and assistance when warranted with colleagues showing signs of impairment and intervene as appropriate to prevent imminent harm to clients.
-I will claim only licenses or certifications that are current and in good standing.
-I will document and provide supervisees with ongoing performance appraisal and evaluation feedback and schedule periodic formal evaluative sessions throughout the supervisory relationship.
-I will assist supervisees in securing remedial assistance when needed.
-I will delegate to staff only those responsibilities for which they have been provided adequate instructions and can reasonably be expected to perform competently on the basis of their education, training, or expertise.

DIGNITY AND RESPECT
-I will use appropriate language and tone of voice when interacting with clients, colleagues, volunteers, and other community partners.
-I will use appropriate de-escalation skills when providing crisis intervention to clients or colleagues.
-I will maintain a professional demeanor when clients become verbally aggressive or verbally challenge me.
-I will maintain and encourage courteous verbal and written communication when interacting with colleagues as well as the public.
-I will dress in a respectful manner, following all agency guidelines on dress code.

CULTURAL SENSITIVITY
-I will recognize that culture affects the manner in which clients’ problems are defined.
-I will communicate information in ways that are both developmentally and culturally appropriate.
-I will be sensitive to clients’ cultures when providing services.
-I will proactively seek to prevent and eliminate discrimination both within the organization and in the community.
-I will understand the challenges of accepting gifts from clients and recognize that in some cultures, small gifts are a token of respect and showing gratitude.
-I will not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, political belief, religion, or mental or physical disability.

HONESTY
-I will honestly report my work hours whether they take place in the office or off-site.
-I will be honest in information sharing with all employees and the public.
-I will uphold the law and perform with the highest ideals and principles, and maintain honor and integrity in all actions.
-I will maintain honesty when questions about my personal behavior arise.
-I will not participate in, condone, or be associated with dishonesty, fraud, or deception.

DUAL RELATIONSHIPS
-I will not engage in sexual or romantic relationships with current or former clients.
-I will maintain a professional relationship with co-workers and volunteers.
-I will not create a conflict of interest by making efforts to secure the agency’s services for family and friends.
-I will follow agency guidelines when transporting clients in my car including being properly insured.
-I will not hire clients to provide a personal  service for me.
-I will follow agency guidelines regarding hiring former clients.
-I will not have clients on my caseload with whom I have had a social, sexual, or business relationship.

TEAMWORK
-I will strive to seek mutually beneficial relationships and positively contribute to the work environment.
-I will make an effort to obtain an accurate understanding of all of the positions at the agency.
-I will contribute time and expertise to activities that promote respect for the mission, values, integrity, and competence of the agency.
-I will honestly acknowledge the work of and the contributions made by my colleagues.
-I will make an effort to communicate across agency departments on a routine basis.
-I will use supervision appropriately to discuss goals, program issues/concerns, employee strengths and areas of improvement, and teamwork.
-I will use team meetings appropriately to seek advice of colleagues whenever such consultation   is in the best interest of clients.
-I will respect and follow the chain of command.

SAFETY
-I will promote office safety by working in close proximity and checking in with colleagues during early morning or evening hours when there are few people working in the office.
-I will inform colleagues when I become aware of angry or disgruntled behavior of clients prior to my colleague meeting or having contact with that client.
-I will maintain an awareness that colleagues are attending potentially risky client meetings, both on-site and off-site, and I will check on my colleagues if a concern arises.
-I will make myself available to accompany my colleagues during meetings with clients if there is a presenting or potential safety issue.

ETHICAL USE OF RESOURCES
-I will use the agency vehicles only when authorized and will follow all applicable laws when operating agency vehicles.
-I will inform donors of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
-I will make ethical use of donations with the knowledge that these resources are public funds and gifts from the community to the agency.
-I will honor the restrictions on donations and ensure that they are only utilized for the purpose or program specifically stated by the donor.
-I will ensure that donors receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition.
-I will assure donors that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
-I will exercise financial discipline with assets and resources.

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