Code of Ethics

The Community Access Unlimited (“CAU”) Code of Ethics (“Code”) is intended to guide staff member conduct. The Code applies to all staff members and volunteers, regardless of their functions or duties, the Agency settings in which they work, and/or the members they serve. The Code addresses relationships with members, other staff members, other organizations, the Agency, and the community. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list of appropriate behaviors, but rather as a guide for ethical workplace conduct.

Relationship to CAU Members
As a CAU staff member or volunteer, I affirm that:

  • I will not participate in practices that are disrespectful, degrading, dangerous, exploitive, intimidating, psychologically damaging, or physically harmful to any member.
  • I will develop and maintain therapeutic relationships with all members based on respect and dignity.
  • I will respect and protect the civil and legal rights of all members.
  • I will be sensitive to and nondiscriminatory of members’ individual, cultural, and/or other differences and will strive to provide culturally competent services.
  • I will demonstrate sensitivity to and consideration for others’ beliefs and preferences.
  • Every member has the right to enjoy freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.
  • I will recognize that there are differences in the needs of members, and therefore I will plan for and provide individualized services to meet member needs.
  • I will serve each member with concern for that member’s welfare and not for personal gain or benefit.
  • I will be committed to and implement the approved program, including all Agency and program policies and procedures consistently, uniformly, and without favoritism.
  • I will recognize the member’s membership within a family and community and facilitate the participation of significant others in service planning and delivery.
  • I will respectfully confront, correct, or redirect members when necessary. I will clearly communicate to the members the purpose for the correction and suggest and explore with the members how such behavior can be avoided in the future.
  • I will follow through on any and all commitments made to members and their families. Any and all commitments to members and families must be made within the context of the overall treatment program and/or in conjunction with the member’s Individualized Service Plan, Behavior Plan, or Adaptive Behavior Summary.
  • I will respect member privacy and keep all information about members confidential, except as authorized or required by law. I will read and fully understand the Agency policy on Confidentiality found in the Employee Handbook.
  • I will maintain professional, appropriate boundaries with members, assure that these boundaries are explained clearly to members, and refrain from any activities which have a potential for harming members’ trust and/or willingness to participate in services or therapeutic progress.
  • I will never influence members in the direction of any particular religion, religious belief, or practice.

The following are examples of behavior that is not compatible with this Code of Ethics and therefore must be avoided:

  • Inappropriate behavior, such as sexual advances, flirting with members, or engaging in sexually explicit conversations with or in the presence of members (Staff behavior of this kind may result in immediate dismissal),
  • Possession or use of mood-altering substances, illegal drugs, or alcohol while on the job (will result in immediate dismissal),
  • Discussion of illegal drugs or alcohol use by staff (regardless of whether it is past or present use) in the presence of members is prohibited unless the self-disclosure is appropriate in providing therapeutic services,
  • Discussing personal information or problems with members or with another staff member in the presence of a member,
  • Arguing with members,
  • Venting to or confiding in members in any way,
  • Gossiping or talking to members in a critical manner about the characteristics of another member, staff member, or Agency program,
  • Promising to keep or actually keeping members’ secrets from other staff members, treatment team, etc.,
  • Smoking or using other tobacco products in the presence of under-age members,
  • Seeking contact with former members or members’ family members,
  • Humiliating a member in any way,
  • Lending, borrowing, or giving personal property, personal gifts, or money to members,
  • Borrowing money or use of personal property items from members,
  • Accepting money from members,
  • Accepting anything other than an occasional token gift from members (Gifts should be discouraged),
  • Dressing or positioning one’s self in a way that could be considered sexually provocative, and
  • Claiming to have provided a service to a member when the service was not actually provided, including misrepresenting the amount of time for which a service was provided.

Relationship to Other Staff Members
As a CAU staff member or volunteer, I affirm that:

  • I will always treat co-workers with consideration, respect, courtesy, fairness, and good faith.
  • I will refrain from dating other staff members in the same program. I will disclose any such dating to Human Resources.
  • I will not participate in sexual conversations/activity with other staff members (Sexual harassment will not be tolerated; a staff member should never engage in sexually explicit jokes or conversations in the workplace).
  • I will respect other staff members’ opinions without regard to seniority.
  • I will refrain from engaging in personal conflicts with other staff members, especially in the presence of members.
  • I will confront inappropriate behavior of other staff members in a positive and supportive way.
  • I will avoid engaging in accusing, blaming, or gossiping about other staff members.
  • I will not triangulate, clique, or otherwise practice exclusionary tactics.
  • I will not permit personal friendships with other staff members to interfere with job performance and/or teamwork.
  • I will be friendly, professional, and accommodating to other staff members in the Agency.
  • If I am a staff person in a supervisory position, I will not have a romantic and/or sexual relationship with any staff member whom I supervise in the program. I will disclose any such personal relationship to Human Resources.

Relationship to Self
As a CAU staff member or volunteer, I affirm that:

  • I will work to increase my awareness of my values and the impact of those values on my work activities.
  • I will be competent in all tasks associated with my position.
  • I will provide culturally competent services to our diverse members through self-awareness, sensitivity, and training.
  • I will increase my competence by seeking out training opportunities.
  • I will take the steps necessary to deal effectively with job-related stress.
  • I will maintain a practice of separating work and personal problems – leaving work at work and home at home.

Relationship to Other Organizations
As a CAU staff member or volunteer, I affirm that:

  • I will encourage collaborative participation by other professionals and organizations and the family in the provision of services to members.
  • I will cooperate, to the extent appropriate, with other providers and referral and service organizations on behalf of members.
  • I will provide cooperating organizations and agencies with accurate, thorough, and timely reports to the extent allowed by law.
  • I will fulfill my responsibility to uphold the integrity of all cooperating organizations and agencies, including those with whom CAU has a contractual relationship.

Relationship to the Agency
As a CAU staff member or volunteer, I affirm that:

  • I will report, without reservation, any corrupt or unethical behavior of staff persons that could affect either a member or the integrity of the program or Agency.
  • I will respect and honor commitments made to the program and Agency.
  • I will not make or spread false statements about the Agency.
  • I will use Agency property and materials (vehicles, phones, computers, equipment, etc.) only when I am on duty and for Agency business.
  • I will not waste, misuse, or abuse Agency property or resources, including financial resources, and if I witness or become aware of the waste, fraudulent use, or abuse of any such resources, I will bring this to the attention of the appropriate individuals.
  • I will not solicit donations of any kind for personal use or benefit while I am on duty.
  • In any effort to fundraise on behalf of CAU, I will ensure that all fundraising efforts are pre-approved by the Agency and that any funds raised are disbursed to appropriate Agency personnel.
  • If I have a complaint or issue regarding the program or Agency, I will bring it to the attention of my supervisor, Program Director, Department Head, or Assistant Executive Director (i.e., up the chain of command), or Human Resources.
  • If I have any concerns that affect program or Agency integrity, I have a responsibility to the Agency to make those concerns known to the appropriate individuals.
  • I will uphold the integrity and competency of the program and Agency and present myself as a responsible part of the organization, If in the scope of my position, I will ensure the integrity of legal documents by serving as a witness to their execution as needed.
  • I recognize that I must maintain the highest standards of conduct when representing the Agency and realize that such representation occurs in professional settings, in the community, and via social media.
  • I will not hesitate to question the norms and expectations of the program in good faith; however, I will do so in a respectful manner and through the appropriate channels, following the chain of command. Once the program or team has decided upon an appropriate course of action, I realize that I am required to carry out the policy or procedure.
  • I will abide by the letter and spirit of Agency policies or procedures.

Relationship to the Community
As a CAU staff member or volunteer, I affirm that:

  • I will be mindful of my responsibility to help our members be responsible, good citizens and members of their communities.
  • I will participate in Agency-directed activities and events that encourage community involvement in the program and Agency.
  • I will be friendly, accommodating, and respectful to neighbors and other residents of the local community.
  • For staff members only: I will support Agency volunteers by being helpful and courteous to them. I will respect volunteer efforts, give them meaningful work, and include them in all appropriate aspects of the program.
  • I will carry out any and all marketing for or on behalf of the Agency in an honest and factual manner, with the sole intent that such marketing will further the mission and values of the Agency while contributing to the good of the community.
  • I acknowledge that it is not possible to list all forms of workplace behavior considered to be appropriate for continued employment. I further acknowledge that failure to follow these Codes of Ethics (including failure to report known or suspected violations of these ethical codes) may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment in accordance with the Remedial and Disciplinary Action policy. In the event of an allegation of violation of this Code, CAU prohibits retaliation against any individual who, in good faith, reports any such violation. The Agency assures that investigations and determination of outcomes of such a violation will be conducted and delivered as soon as practicable based on the severity and scope of the alleged infraction, as well as in adherence to applicable DHS/DCF/Medicaid regulations.