30 Sep

INS Employee Code of Conduct

A new code of conduct for our front line agency support staff has been implemented by our Management Team in a bid to support the delivery of safe and effective support for all persons who are supported within our agency.

The purpose of this code is to set out the conduct that is expected of all employees of Independence Networking Services and to inform service users and the public about the standards of conduct they can expect from our support staff. It forms part of the wider package of government practice standards and employers’ policies and procedures that all support staff must meet.

Employees of Independence Networking Services are responsible for making sure that their conduct does not fall below the standards set out in this code and that no action or omission on their part harms the wellbeing of individuals accessing our services.

The code is designed to support all sectors of our staff to behave correctly and do the right thing at all times. Support Staff should use the code to assure themselves that they are working to standard and to identify any areas for professional development and continuous improvement.

Any variances to this code should be discussed with your Program Support and Director immediately for a solution based discussion that will ensure the compliance with the standard in the area of health and safety of supported individuals and fellow staff is not compromised in any manner.

This code applies to all employees of Independence Networking Services.

We must:

  1. Protect the rights and promote the interests of individuals, key people and others.
  2. Strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of individuals, key people and others.
  3. Promote the independence of individuals while protecting them as far as possible from danger or harm.
  4. Respect the rights of individuals while seeking to safeguard that their behaviour does not harm themselves, key people or others.
  5. Uphold public trust and confidence in health and social services by protecting individuals from abuse, neglect and harm.
  6. Be accountable for the quality of our work and take responsibility for maintaining and improving our knowledge and skills.
  7. Take responsibility for how we communicate with and on behalf of individuals.
  8. Model appropriate behaviour while at work and in the community. It is our responsibility to be a model of respectful social norms to maintain respect and integrity in our work.

PROTECT RIGHTS

As an employee of Independence Networking Services, you must protect the rights and promote the interests of individuals, key people and others.

We will:

  • Treat each person as an individual.
  • Respect and, where appropriate, promote the views and wishes of individuals and key people.
  • Support individual’s rights to control their lives and make informed choices about the services they receive.
  • Respect and maintain the dignity and privacy of individuals.
  • Promote equal opportunities for individuals, key people and others.
  • Respect diversity.

BUILD TRUST

As an employee of Independence Networking Services, you must strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of individuals, key people and others.

We will:

  1. Be honest and trustworthy.
  2. Respect confidential information and clearly explain agency policies about confidentiality.
  3. Be reliable and dependable. “Say what you mean…… Mean what you say”.
  4. Honor work commitments, agreements and arrangements and when it is not possible to do so, you will explain why to individuals, key people and others.
  5. Follow through with goals and supports for individuals as agreed and inform the key people if for some reason you are not able to keep commitments (this includes hours of work, supporting individuals to work on identified goals, etc.). Honesty on time sheets should reflect follow through of scheduled work.
  6. Declare issues that might create conflicts of interest and make sure that they do not influence your judgment or practice.
  7. Adhere to policies and procedures about accepting gifts and money from individuals and key people.
  8. Ensure your judgment is always in the best interest of the supported individual.
  9. Inform your employer immediately if you are cautioned, charged or found guilty of a criminal offence or if your fitness to practice is called into question.

PROMOTE INDEPENDENCE

As an employee of Independence Networking Services, we must promote the independence of individuals while protecting them as far as possible from danger or harm.

We will:

  • Promote the independence of individuals and assist them to understand and exercise their rights “Right to Risk”.
  • Use established processes and procedures to challenge and report dangerous, abusive, discriminatory or exploitative behaviour and practice.
  • Follow practice and procedures designed to keep you and other people safe from violent and abusive behaviour at work.
  • Bring to the attention of your Program Support, or Director of any resource or operational difficulties that might get in the way of the delivery of safe care.
  • Inform your Program Support, or Director, where the practice of colleagues may be unsafe or adversely affecting standards of support.
  • Comply with health and safety policies and procedures related to your role.
  • Help individuals and key people to make complaints (following steps identified in Conflict Resolution and Complaint Policy).
  • Take any complaints seriously and respond to them or pass them to the appropriate person.
  • Recognize and use responsibly the power that comes from your work with individuals and key people.
  • Be alert to any changes that could affect the well-being of individuals or key people and report your observations.

MANAGE RISK

As an employee of Independence Networking Services, you must respect the rights of individuals while seeking to ensure that their behaviour does not harm themselves, key people or others.

We will:

  • Use common sense in all situations where risk may be involved….. think “safety first”. Follow the decision making model: identify pros and cons to your choice…… ask “what’s the worst possible thing that can happen if I do this”……… if it happens can you live with it……. Can others live with it…… if the answer to either of the last two questions is “NO” then……. DON’T DO IT!
  • Recognize that individuals have the right to take risks and help them to identify and manage potential and actual risks to themselves, key people or others.
  • Follow risk assessment policies and procedures to assess whether the behaviour of individuals presents a risk of harm to themselves, key people or others.
  • Take necessary steps to minimize the risks of individuals from doing actual or potential harm to themselves, key people or others.
  • Ensure that relevant colleagues and agencies are informed about the outcomes and implications of risk assessments.
  • Consider the policies of MCFD; CLBC; Worksafe BC; Human Rights when considering risk.

KEEP PEOPLE SAFE

As an employee of Independence Networking Services, you must uphold public trust and confidence in health and social services by protecting individuals from abuse, neglect and harm (including freedom from retaliation and humiliation).

We will:

  1. Work in line with legislation, policy and procedures related to safe-guarding, protection and mental capacity (including emergency safeguard protocols, representation agreements, etc.).
  2. Challenge and report dangerous, abusive, discriminatory or exploitative behaviour and/or practice.
  3. Disclose information if you believe someone may be at risk of harm.
  4. Act without delay if you believe that you, a colleague or others may be putting someone at risk of abuse, neglect or harm, reporting in line with policies and procedures.
  5. Promote the rights of supported individuals in all aspects of our policy on Respect for Rights and Responsibilities (including freedom from retaliation and humiliation).

We will NOT:

  1. Abuse, neglect, harm, humiliate, or retaliate against supported individuals or key people (this includes derogatory language, body language, or coercion).
  2. Exploit individuals or key people in any way.
  3. Abuse the trust of individuals, key people and others or the access you have to personal information, their property, home or workplace.
  4. Discriminate unlawfully or unjustifiably against individuals, key people or others.
  5. Condone any unlawful or unjustifiable discrimination by individuals, key people or others.
  6. Put yourself, individuals, key people or others at unnecessary risk

BE ACCOUNTABLE

As an employee of Independence Networking Services, you must be accountable for the quality of your work and take responsibility for maintaining and improving your knowledge and skills.

We will:

  1. Work within the limits of your competence.
  2. Raise concerns with your Program Support where you are asked to undertake any tasks that fall outside your competence and to seek assistance from your Program Support or co-workers to ensure that you are practicing safely.
  3. Meet relevant standards of practice and work in a lawful, safe and effective way (following WorkSafe BC standards and Employment Standards).
  4. Be able to demonstrate you have acted in someone’s best interests if you have provided care in an emergency.
  5. Deliver care and advice informed by evidence based best practice (approved of by your Program Support).
  6. Refer individuals to colleagues in accordance with policy and procedures related to your role.
  7. Make sure your actions or omissions do not harm the individual’s health or wellbeing.
  8. Inform your Program Support, about any personal difficulties that might affect your ability to do your job competently and safely.
  9. Work openly and co-operatively with colleagues and treat them with respect.
  10. Recognize that you are accountable for any work that you have delegated to other workers. In doing so you must:
    1. Establish that anyone you delegate a task or responsibility to is competent to carry out the instructions.
    2. Confirm that the outcome of any delegated task meets required standards.
    3. Make sure that everyone you are responsible for is supervised/supported.
    4. Recognize and respect the roles and expertise of colleagues and or workers from other agencies, and work in partnership with them.
    5. Undertake relevant training to maintain and improve your knowledge and skills.
    6. Contribute to the learning and development of others.
    7. Monitor the quality of your work and that of any others you supervise.
  1. Follow policy on “marketing” of all agency activities (i.e. fundraising, advertising, public awareness, etc.).
  2. Follow all policy and procedures in place regarding giving/receiving gifts and recognition awards.

COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY

As an employee of Independence Networking Services, you must take responsibility for how you communicate with and on behalf of individuals.

We will:

  1. Communicate in an open, accurate and straightforward way.
  2. Practice respectful communication….. avoid and deter gossip….. discussion based on “need to know”.
  3. Demonstrate trustworthiness by having information presented in a factual manner; transparency is the key to effective problem solving.
  4. Make arrangements to meet the specific communication requirements or preferences of individuals and key people.
  5. Consult with and take advice from colleagues in a respectful and constructive manner.
  6. Confirm that the outcome of any delegated tasks meets the required standards.
  7. Gain valid consent before sharing any information regarding a supported individual or key people, supporting an individual’s right to accept or decline any sharing of information or program offered.
  8. Act in the best interests of the individual helping them to access relevant information and support.
  9. Maintain clear and accurate records as required by policy and/or procedures related to your role.
  10. Store records in line with policy and procedures related to your role.
  11. Minimize use of electronic devices while at work; engage with supported individuals
  12. throughout your shift; promoting work ethics of “partial participation” and “alongside” practice.

 

ROLE MODEL

As an employee of Independence Networking Services, you must model appropriate behaviour while at work and in the community. We often support families and individuals who struggle with social issues and it is our responsibility to be a model of respectful social norms to maintain respect and integrity in our work.

We will:

  1. Dress in a manner that is socially acceptable in semi-professional settings (clean, mended, and neat clothing; clean and groomed hair styles; great personal hygiene, nothing that would be considered provocative by the general public, etc.)
  2. In line with INS philosophies and Guiding Principles; use your professional discretion when frequenting bars (through work or for leisure) and night clubs where persons we support (or their family members) are engaging in activity that may be reportable (this will cause a conflict of interest in our integrity with funding agencies; it will also cause confusion for the supported individuals and key others if staff are seen in these facilities as for them it may pose a safety risk). “Practice what you preach”. Rule of thumb: if it feels uncomfortable for you or others; It will be viewed as unethical to others.
  3. Use respectful language when talking about supported individuals and families in any capacity with anyone.
  4. Smoke in designated areas at residences; the INS office; or in the general public.
  5. Obey all laws and social norms while supporting or accessing the community with supported individuals and families.
  6. Obey all distracted driving laws; seat belt laws; helmet laws, etc.
  7. Use great judgment when using any social media with supported individuals (this means movies; internet access; boundaries with facebook; etc.). If you have “friended” person’s we support on facebook you risk crossing a personal boundary and having your privacy exposed.
  8. Not come to work under the influence of any illegal substance (this includes smelling of an illegal substance)
  9. Not engage in the use of illegal substances or activity with any supported individual or key person at any time.