Policies & Procedures
Policies & Procedures
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Privacy and Confidentiality
It is the policy of Hear For You to protect the confidentiality of its participants and their families. With the exception of the limitations listed below, the Program Directors will only share information about mentors, mentees, and their families with the Board of Directors on a need-to-know basis.
Further, all prospective mentors, mentees and parents/guardians should be informed of the scope and limitations of confidentiality by the Program Directors. Additionally, mentors are required to keep information about mentees and their family confidential.
In order for Hear For You to provide a responsible and professional service to participants, it is necessary to ask mentors, mentees, parents/guardians, and other appropriate sources to divulge extensive personal information about the prospective participants and their families, including:
Limits of Confidentiality
Information from mentor and mentee records may be shared with individuals or organisations as specified below under the following conditions:
Safekeeping of Confidential Records
Hear For You keeps all confidential records in a password protected computer or in a secure cabinet. It is the Program Directors' responsibility to supervise the management of confidential information in order to ensure safekeeping, accuracy, accountability, and compliance with Board policies.
Requesting Confidential Information from Other Organisations
A mentor's or mentee's right to privacy shall be respected by Hear For You. Requests for confidential information from other organisations or persons shall be accompanied by a signed release from the mentor, mentee, and/or parent/guardian.
Violations of Confidentiality
A known violation of the policy on confidentiality by a program participant may result in a written warning or disciplinary action such as suspension or termination from the program.
Mandatory Reporting Policy
It is the policy of Hear For You that the Program Directors, mentors, and other representatives of the program must report any suspected child abuse and/or neglect of program participants immediately. All such suspected reports must be made to appropriate state and/or local authorities. The Program Directors must follow the mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect procedure.
All mentors of Hear For You are required to undergo training in mentoring and how to properly report such cases.
Any mentors accused of child abuse will be investigated by Hear For You. Contact with program youth will be restricted or constrained and/or the person in question suspended from employment or program participation per the decision of the Board of Directors until such investigation is concluded.
Use of Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco, and Firearms Policy
It is the policy of Hear For You to prohibit and discourage the use of drugs, alcohol, and firearms. Mentees and mentors are prohibited from using drugs or alcohol or possessing firearms while engaged in mentoring activities. Any suspected violations should be reported to the Program Directors.
No participant in the Hear For You program will possess or consume beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages while actively engaged or prior to actively engaging in mentoring, nor shall any participant endorse the use of alcohol. Mentors and mentees may go to a location where minors are allowed and alcohol is served provided that the mentor and mentee do not consume any alcohol.
No participant in the Hear For You program will manufacture, possess, distribute, or use any illegal substance while engaged in mentoring or otherwise.
The intent of Hear For You is to create a smoke- and tobacco-free environment. To that end, smoking and the use of all tobacco products is prohibited on the premises of Hear For You and those involved with the program must refrain from the use of such products while engaged in mentoring. The use of tobacco products includes but is not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff, or other matters or substances that contain tobacco.
Weapons, Firearms, and Other Dangerous Materials
The possession or use of firearms, firecrackers, explosives, toxic or dangerous chemicals, or other lethal weapons, equipment, or material while participating in mentoring activities is strictly prohibited.
Any violation of this policy will result in the immediate suspension and/or termination of the mentoring relationship. In addition, violations of this policy may result in notification being given to legal authorities that may result in arrest or legal action, and may be punishable by fine and/or imprisonment.
Code of Conduct
It is the policy of Hear For You that unacceptable behaviours will not be tolerated on the part of mentors, mentees and/or mentees' parents/guardians while participating in the program. This policy is in addition to behavioural requirements stipulated in other policies or procedures within this manual. This policy in no way is intended to replace or take precedence over other policies or procedures including, but not limited to, the following:
A number of behaviours are regarded as incompatible with the Hear For You goals, values, and program standards and therefore are considered unacceptable and prohibited while participants are engaged in mentoring activities:
Parents/guardians must make sure adequate measures are taken to ensure the mentees are protected when online. It is the parent/guardian's responsibility to supervise their child's use of the Internet and enforce safety guidelines such as StaySmartOnline, an Australian Government initiative. There are many sources of information about how to keep children safe online.
For further information, visit www.staysmartonline.gov.au/kids_safe_online
Mentors will be asked to provide their resume and to include the following information:
Mentors will be asked to provide the name and contact details of two referees - a current or recent supervisor(s) and/or a current or recent colleague. Referees are asked to provide information on their work behaviour and performance and can be asked to verify or comment on claims made by them.
All mentors must undergo "Working With Children" background checks in the states in which they will be mentoring as well as specialist mentorship training. They should cover any relevant criminal records, apprehended violence orders or disciplinary proceedings.
Mentor / Mentee Agreement Form
At the first meeting, both mentors and mentees must sign the "Mentor/Mentee Agreement Form" and return it to the Program Directors. This contract outlines the responsibilities that each party agrees to undertake, and provides for a no-fault termination of the partnership at any time, for any reason.
Use of Workshop Manuals
Both mentees and mentors will receive a copy of the Workshop Manual. The Manual provides detailed information for activities/tasks for each of the four workshops, as well as providing space to keep a journal recording relevant information. Participants are not bound by these procedures, and can jointly negotiate alternative activities or tasks.
It is suggested however that any alternatives are designed in a way that provides a range and diversity of tasks and activities that will allow the mentees to gain a broad knowledge of the social environment and its requirements. The Workshop Manuals and any material distributed during the mentoring program remain the intellectual property of Hear For You.
General Publicity Consent
At all times, Hear For You will work within Child Protection Protocols. Parents/guardians are asked to grant permission for Hear For You to use appropriate photographs of their child and understand that these may be shown locally, nationally and internationally on the website or for publicity. Hear For You will not use the mentee's first name, surname or age to accompany the photograph and/or video. Parents/guardians reserve the right to withdraw permission in which case a Photo Non-Consent Form will be sent upon request.
To further develop and refine the Hear For You program, it is imperative that both mentors and mentees provide feedback on their views about the benefits of the program, or suggestions for its improvement.
Self-evaluation forms are to be filled out by the mentees before and after the program to measure the success of the program. They also provide a measure for individual mentors and mentees themselves to judge the benefits of the relationship for the mentees participating in the program. A Program Evaluation sheet should also be filled out by both parties to provide feedback to the Program Directors about the success of the program. All of these forms should be filled out in the Workshop Manual and returned to the Program Directors at the end of the program.
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