As a volunteer at Immigrant Settlement Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), I may be entrusted with knowledge of the personal and private affairs of clients, I hereby undertake not to divulge any of this knowledge nor to discuss it at any time, or any place or with any unauthorized person, either during the term of my assignment with ISANS or thereafter; except in the course of my duties as ISANS volunteer. I also acknowledge that a breach of this undertaking may subject me to disciplinary action or may result in my ineligibility for future involvement with ISANS.
Please note the following exceptions:
Section 23 of the Children and Family Services Act states that “Every person who has information, whether or not it is confidential or privileged, indicating that a child is in need of protective services shall forewith report that information to an agency.”
Section 5 of the Adult Protection Services Act provides that “anyone who has information, confidential or privileged, indicating that an adult is in need of protection must report that information to the Minister of Community Services through designated officials. No action lies against the person who gives this information, unless the giving of information is done maliciously or without reasonable and probable cause.”
ISANS developed the following code for your benefit, as well as the benefit of ISANS clients and managers, in order to clarify expectations around boundaries between clients and volunteers, in the context of your volunteer role. It also serves as a set of guiding principles for you in your volunteer work with ISANS.
· Do not engage in any decision-making on behalf of a clients, and will not have unlimited and/or unsupervised access to a client’s property.
· You may learn about clients’ personal and private affairs during the course of your volunteer work. If you do, you agree to neither divulge any of this information, nor to discuss it at any time or any place or with an unauthorized person, during the term of your volunteer work with ISANS, or thereafter. A breach of this undertaking may result in ineligibility for future involvement with ISANS.
· You take the time to clarify boundaries in your volunteer role. This is in order to avoid any parties perceiving a personal and social interaction between you and a client as emotional, financial or sexual exploitation. Dealing appropriately with client/volunteer relationships is important to ISANS due to the power differential implicit in those relationships.
· Act to ensure that you and the client explicitly understand and respect the difference between professional and social relationships in all interactions, and your behavior reflects this. It is your responsibility along with the coordinators to establish, clarify and monitor the nature of your volunteer relationship with the client. If you have questions or concerns, please direct them to your volunteer coordinator.
· Under no circumstance pursue an intimate relationship with a person who is an ISANS client in your capacity as an ISANS volunteer.
· Under no circumstance lend money to a client or borrow money from a client, in the context of your role as an ISANS volunteer.
· Share your own cultural beliefs and values and encourage new immigrants to do the same
· Recognize accountabilities you have towards clients, ISANS as an organization, ISANS staff, and toward other volunteers. ISANS staff provides you with accurate information around your specific role(s), and tasks for which you are accountable.
· Act as an ISANS representative during the time of your official affiliation with the volunteer program.
· Follow through on your commitments.
· Do not personally benefit, or appear to benefit, from any personal transactions, situations or relationships involving ISANS clients. If you have doubts about whether personal interests/activities may give rise to conflict, we advise you to discuss your concern with the volunteer coordinator. A conflict of interest exists when you, a family member or a friend stands to gain personally from an activity or transaction involving ISANS or its clients.
· Respect ISANS scent-free and smoke-free policies, created to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all.
· Freely access and make use of all ISANS resources during your work on site with ISANS clients. Do not remove these resources from ISANS.
You are encouraged to fulfill your role(s) in accordance with the ISANS Values and standards outlined above.
We encourage you to actively participate in ISANS organized events and activities, and to openly share your experiences as a volunteer within the organization. You are also encouraged to offer any feedback you have on the volunteer roles at ISANS, the volunteer experience in general and any suggestions for specific volunteer programs including:
· Volunteer development issues, needs, and opportunities.
· Volunteer recognition opportunities (i.e. ideas for development workshops, recognition ideas).
· Feedback and insights on proposed activities and strategies.
· Program improvement ideas and strategies.