1 ESPERANZA COMMUNITY SERVICES VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK Esperanza Community Services 520 North Marshfield Ave, Chicago, IL EsperanzaCommunity.org
2 Esperanza Community Services 1 TABLE OF CONTENTS Letter from the Executive Director... 2 About Esperanza Community Services... 3 The Population We Serve... 4 Volunteer Program Policies... 5 Recruitment and Selection Policies... 5 Supervision, Feedback, and other Policies... 6 Safety and Security... 7 Conduct Policies... 8 In Case of Emergency...12 About this Handbook...12
3 Esperanza Community Services 2 Dear Friend, Thank you for your interest in Esperanza! We are a nonprofit organization that helps children and adults with developmental disabilities become as independent as possible. To do this, we offer a variety of programs, including a school, a day program for adults, 24-hour residential housing and more. Volunteers make a big difference in the lives of our students and participants. And as an Esperanza volunteer, so can you! By helping our participants create art, stay fit, explore the community and build social skills, you will be enriching lives. And it is very likely that your experience will enrich your own life as well. We want you to have a positive experience volunteering with us, so we ask that you familiarize yourself with the information in this handbook. In it, you will find an overview of what you can expect from your volunteer experience with Esperanza, as well as what we ask of you. Just like you, Esperanza participants have a wide variety of interests and abilities, and enjoy meeting new people. Because of the unique needs of the population we serve, we ask that those interested in volunteering with Esperanza be friendly, flexible, patient, and compassionate. I think you will find volunteering at Esperanza to be very rewarding. Ready to take the next step? Please read through this handbook and complete the volunteer application form located at EsperanzaCommunity.org/get-involved. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Stephanie Ong at x 18. Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Esperanza, and I hope we hear from you soon! Sincerely, David Stupay, Executive Director
4 Esperanza Community Services 3 ABOUT ESPERANZA COMMUNITY SERVICES Located in Chicago s West Town community, Esperanza Community Services is an inclusive place where children and adults with developmental disabilities are supported to reach their full potential so that they can live as independently as possible. Students and adult participants are learning, developing skills, and increasing self-esteem. Everyone, no matter his or her ability, has strengths, talents, and aspirations. And at Esperanza, we see achievements every day! Esperanza Community Services provides the following programs at its West Town campus and throughout the community: Esperanza School is a private, therapeutic day school that addresses the educational and developmental needs of students age Esperanza School creates a nurturing, inclusive environment in which each student is supported to reach his or her full potential. The Coleridge Adult Day Program helps adults (including seniors) increase their level of independence and integration in the community. Participants are supported to develop independent living skills like meal preparation, grocery shopping, navigating the community, and increasing communication, academic and socialization skills. The Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) is a supervised, 24-hour residential program through which adults 18 and over are supported to be as autonomous as possible. Residents build independent living skills like using public transportation, navigating the community, grocery shopping, using and managing money, plus self-care and community integration skills. The Client and Family Support Program provides families who care for an adult with a developmental disability with in-home case management and help accessing benefits and assistance for which they are eligible. The Behavior Program uses research-based techniques to help participants reduce behaviors that are interfering with their ability to achieve goals and promotes skills that will help them become more independent. Together, these programs provide a comprehensive array of support designed to empower each individual to reach his or her full potential.
5 Esperanza Community Services 4 About the Population We Serve: Interacting with People with Developmental Disabilities People with developmental disabilities have a wide variety of interests and abilities, and enjoy meeting and socializing with new people. They are, in many ways, no different from anyone else. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when interacting with someone who has a developmental disability. Sometimes an individual will behave in a way that is challenging (e.g., acting out or not focusing on the project at hand). However, by remaining patient, friendly, and responding calmly, you just might be rewarded with a new friend. In addition to the specific responsibilities associated with each volunteer opportunity, there are a few general volunteer responsibilities. These include: Guiding participants to stay focused on the task at hand. Engaging them in conversation to help them practice communication and social skills. Treating participants with respect and kindness at all times. Staff members are also a great resource. They will tell you about behaviors that are to be expected from the specific individual or group that you are working with. Feel free to ask questions! An important component of volunteering is being a role model for our program participants. The way you interact with them will set the tone for the way they will interact with you. Form relationships with our participants by engaging in conversations about their different interests and talents. In the event that a program participant becomes agitated or begins behaving inappropriately, please remember the following: - Do not attempt to intervene when a program participant is displaying aggressive behavior under any circumstance. - All program staff are trained in methods of managing aggressive behavior. This training ranges from reducing the first signs of behavior that may become aggressive to physically intervening to stop aggressive behavior that threatens the safety of the program participant or others.
6 Esperanza Community Services 5 Service at the Discretion of the Organization VOLUNTEER PROGRAM POLICIES Esperanza Community Services accepts the unpaid service of volunteers with the understanding that such service is at the sole discretion of Esperanza Community Services. Volunteers agree that the organization may at any time, for whatever reason, decide to terminate the volunteer s relationship with Esperanza or to make changes in the nature of their assignment. Recruitment RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION POLICIES Volunteers are recruited without regard to gender, disability, age, race or other condition. They are recruited based on their skills, abilities and suitability to perform volunteer responsibilities. Theses are the steps in the volunteer intake process: 1. Complete a volunteer application 2. Complete background check form (if necessary) 3. Participate in a screening interview 4. Complete confidentiality, media release, skills, and emergency contact information forms. 5. Complete training, if required for the position. Volunteer Records and Your Privacy Esperanza Community Services maintains records for each volunteer which are the property of the organization and are confidential. Volunteers must notify the volunteer coordinator of any changes in contact information and report any education and skill training acquired after joining Esperanza. Placement The interests and skills of the volunteer, as well as the requirements of the assignment, are all considered when someone is placed in a new position. Volunteers are assigned only if the requirements of both the volunteer and the supervising staff can be met. Minors Volunteers who are not eighteen years old must have their parent or guardian co-sign the volunteer application.
7 Esperanza Community Services 6 Background Checks Esperanza Community Services strives to maintain a safe and productive environment. Esperanza performs background checks during the recruitment process, and reserves the right to do so after volunteering has commenced. All background checks are performed in accordance with applicable federal and/or state law, and all potential volunteers are screened through a national sex offender registry. Results are maintained in confidential files by the Volunteer Coordinator. Accepting Volunteers Service as an Esperanza volunteer begins with official acceptance to a volunteer position. Official notice may only be given by the volunteer coordinator. Candidates may not begin volunteering until they have been officially accepted for that position and have completed all necessary screening and paperwork. Emergency Contact Information Each volunteer is responsible for updating their contact information and emergency contact information. This update can be made by contacting the volunteer coordinator. Supervisor s Responsibilities SUPERVISION, FEEDBACK, AND OTHER POLICIES All volunteer positions at Esperanza Community Services are supervised by a staff member. Supervisors provide daily management to their assigned volunteers. Each volunteer is assigned to a designated supervisor, who is available for consultation and assistance. Performance Feedback All volunteers receive regular informal feedback from their supervisors and volunteer coordinator. Volunteer Discharge A volunteer may decide to end their service with Esperanza at any time and for any reason. Notice of this decision should be communicated as soon as possible to the supervisor or volunteer coordinator. Voluntary discharge for Esperanza occurs when a volunteer resigns. Volunteers are encouraged to give Esperanza notice in a written letter stating the reason for leaving and the intended last date of work. A volunteer who does not report to their assignment without contacting his or her supervisor may be considered to have abandoned the position and voluntarily resigned. Involuntary discharge occurs when the organization terminates a relationship with a volunteer.
8 Esperanza Community Services 7 The volunteer coordinator and project supervisor are responsible for monitoring and enforcing Esperanza policies and procedures. If a volunteer found in violation, the volunteer coordinator will hold a private discussion with the volunteer regarding the offense. If multiple infractions occur, the volunteer may be permanently dismissed. Grounds for dismissal may include, but are not limited to: Violation of program policies and procedures Gross misconduct or insubordination Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while performing volunteer duties Theft of property or misuse of program equipment or materials Mistreatment or inappropriate conduct toward clients, families, co-volunteers, or staff Breach of confidentiality Falsification of application materials or misrepresentation of facts during the screening process Criminal activities In the event of an involuntary discharge, the volunteer will be verbally informed by the volunteer coordinator, followed by a letter. A copy of the dismissal letter will be kept in the volunteer s file. Attendance and Punctuality All volunteers are responsible for their attendance and promptness. Volunteers who are unable to come in at their scheduled time or who will be late should notify their supervisors prior to their scheduled start time. Safety and Security Esperanza volunteer is expected to obey safety rules and to exercise caution in all work activities. Volunteers must immediately report any unsafe condition to their supervisor. In the case of accidents that result in injury, regardless of how insignificant the injury may appear, volunteers should immediately notify their supervisor and see the School Nurse if available. It is Esperanza policy that the organization is not liable for any injuries sustained while traveling to and/or from activities or meetings or while on site at the activities. Property Policy Esperanza works to prevent property loss of any kind. Esperanza assumes no liability for personal property brought into any of its locations as is agreed upon in the volunteer application.
9 Esperanza Community Services 8 Appearance and Conduct Conduct Policies Volunteers are discouraged from wearing clothing or jewelry or shoes that compromise safety, inhibit the ability to perform duties, or can be damaged by program participants. Courtesy, consideration, good manners, and hygiene are essential for all assignments. Esperanza Information and Property The protection of Esperanza business information, property, and all other Esperanza assets are vital to the interests and success of the organization. No Esperanza related information or property, including without limitation, documents, files, records, computer files, equipment, office supplies or similar materials (except in the ordinary course of performing duties on behalf of Esperanza) may, therefore, be removed from the agency premises. In addition, when a volunteer leaves Esperanza, the volunteer must return to the agency all Esperanza related information and property that the volunteer has in his/her possession, including without limitation, documents, files, records, manuals, information stored on a personal computer or on a computer disc, supplies, and equipment or office supplies. All volunteers are required to sign a Confidentiality of Information Agreement as a condition of volunteer involvement. HIPAA Policy It is the policy of Esperanza to comply with HIPAA and State confidentiality regulations. HIPAA governs the confidentiality of protected health information, both written and verbal, therefore client and employee health information will be kept confidential. Volunteers are expected to sign a confidentiality agreement with the agency. Harassment Free Workplace It is our policy that all employees and volunteers should be able to enjoy a work environment that is free from all forms of unlawful discrimination or harassment, including discrimination and/or harassment based upon gender, race, national origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, physical or marital status, or any other basis protected by federal, state, local law or ordinance. Esperanza will take appropriate measures in response to any harassment or discrimination incident. This policy does not provide a complete list of what may be deemed unlawful sexual harassment.
10 Esperanza Community Services 9 Definitions of Harassment a. Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state and local laws. For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined, as in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example: (i) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment; ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or (iii) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment. Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include, but are not limited to: unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual's body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, catcalls or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display or circulation in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures (including ); and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature. Gender-based harassment not involving sexual activity or language (e.g., male manager yells only at female employees and not males) may also constitute discrimination if it is severe or pervasive and directed at employees or volunteers because of their gender. b. Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her race, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law, and that: (i) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance; or (iii) otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment opportunities. Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and display or circulation in the workplace of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group (including through ).
11 Esperanza Community Services 10 Reporting Procedures If you encounter conduct which you believe is inconsistent with this policy, you are encouraged to communicate directly and immediately with the individual whose behavior is offensive. If you are uncomfortable doing so or the offensive behavior does not stop immediately, you have an obligation to promptly report such conduct to your supervisor or the volunteer coordinator. If the issue is not resolved at this level, it will be forwarded to the development director and ultimately to the executive director for resolution. Investigation and Prohibition of Retaliation A prompt, thorough, and objective investigation will be conducted, and, if evidence of wrongdoing is uncovered during the investigation, the offending employee or volunteer will be subject to prompt remedial action, up to and including termination of employment/service. Your report will be held in confidence to the maximum extent possible and communication will be limited to those individuals required to resolve the matter. Retaliation against an employee or volunteer who submits a good faith complaint, reports an incident witnessed, or participates in an investigation of a harassment claim violates this policy and will not be tolerated. Compliance in this area is obviously a very serious and important obligation for all of us. It will also help us preserve the feeling of mutual respect that is essential to a comfortable working environment. If you have any questions about this policy or reporting procedures, please contact the HR Department. Americans with Disabilities Act Policy Esperanza is committed to complying with all applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). It is the agency s policy not to discriminate against any qualified volunteer or applicant with regard to any terms or conditions of volunteering because of such individual's disability or perceived disability so long as the volunteer can perform the essential functions of the job. Consistent with this policy of nondiscrimination, the agency will provide reasonable accommodations to a qualified individual with a disability, as defined by the ADA, who has made the agency aware of his or her disability, provided that such accommodation does not constitute an undue hardship on the agency. Volunteers with a disability who believe they need a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions of their assignment should contact the volunteer coordinator. Violence Free Work Environment The agency strongly believes that all volunteers should be treated with dignity and respect. Acts of violence will not be tolerated. Any instances of violence must be reported to the volunteer's supervisor and/or the HR Department. All complaints will be fully investigated.
12 Esperanza Community Services 11 Dispute Resolution Open door policy Volunteers are encouraged to openly discuss any problems with their supervisor or the volunteer coordinator so appropriate action may be taken. If they cannot be of assistance, the development director and the executive director are available for consultation and guidance. Complaint Procedure To foster sound relations with volunteers through communication and reconciliation of work-related problems, Esperanza provides volunteers with an established procedure for expressing assignment related concerns. In situations where volunteers feel a complaint is in order, the following steps should be taken: 1. The volunteer should first attempt to resolve the issue(s) through discussions with the staff member and/or supervisor involved. 2. Report the matter to your supervisor or the volunteer coordinator either verbally or in writing. 3. If the supervisor does not resolve the complaint, the volunteer may then submit the grievance to the development director. The development director will forward the grievance to the executive director. 4. The development director and the executive director will meet with the volunteer and/or the supervisor to attempt to resolve the conflict. To the extent feasible, the agency will attempt to resolve the complaint within a reasonable period of time while preserving the confidentiality and privacy of those involved. Drug and alcohol policy The use, sale or possession of illegal narcotics, drugs or controlled substances by Esperanza volunteers while on ESPERANZA premises (including parking lots), or while performing Company business away from ESPERANZA premises, is prohibited. Volunteers also are prohibited from reporting to assignments while under the influence of illegal narcotics, drugs or controlled substances. Violations of this rule will result in immediate discharge, and any such substances will be turned over to the appropriate law enforcement authorities for possible prosecution. The use, sale or possession of alcoholic beverages by ESPERANZA volunteers while performing ESPERANZA business on or off ESPERANZA premises, as defined in the paragraph above, is prohibited. Violation of this rule also will result in immediate termination. Volunteers will be subject to immediate termination for working under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In compliance with Illinois State Law, smoking is not permitted anywhere on Esperanza property. Volunteers who smoke must smoke on public property where they are not visible to the students or participants.
13 Esperanza Community Services 12 In case of behavior emergencies In Case of Emergency In the event of a behavioral crisis, please remain calm and alert staff. Esperanza staff has been trained to respond to a behavioral crisis, and it is the agency s expectation that they will respond to such situation. In case of first-aid emergencies It is Esperanza s intention to ensure the safety of program participants and volunteers by never leaving volunteers alone with program participants. To that effect, you are not expected to respond to first-aid emergencies in the same manner as staff that is trained and certified in firstaid and CPR. Even if you are certified in providing first-aid, your primary responsibility is to inform staff of the emergency situation. About this Handbook This handbook provides you information about the policies and expectations of Esperanza Community Services. Please talk to your supervisor and/or the volunteer coordinator if you have any questions. Esperanza reserves the right to modify the policies in this handbook without prior notice. The policies described in this handbook replace all prior policies, handbooks or policy guidance provided.
14 Esperanza Community Services 13 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND RECEIPT Signature on this receipt acknowledges that you have reviewed the Esperanza Community Services volunteer handbook. Please sign and date the receipt. Statement of Certification I,, certify that I have received and reviewed the Esperanza Community Services volunteer handbook. I further understand that, by signing this statement as required I am indicating that I have read the volunteer handbook and understand its contents, or have discussed questions I have with the Volunteer Coordinator. I also realize that this statement will become a permanent part of my volunteer file. Volunteer s Name (Please Print) Signature Date Please return this form to the Volunteer Coordinator
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