Home » Policies: Vet to Vet Volunteers and Staff

Policies: Vet to Vet Volunteers and Staff

AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ORGANIZATION

We consider qualified applicants for employment, volunteer positions, and services without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, mental or physical disabilities, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. All decisions on employment and volunteer assignments shall be consistent with the principles of equal opportunity. Accommodations to enable all individuals to participate in the application process may be provided upon advance request.

VOLUNTEER AND STAFF POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

As a Vet to Vet Maine volunteer or staff member, you have a right to:

  • Assignments that suit you.
  • Clear and specific instructions about your assignment.
  • Continuing staff support.
  • Treatment as an equal coworker.
  • Opportunity to offer your ideas and suggestions.
  • Appreciation for your efforts and accomplishments.

As a Vet to Vet Maine volunteer or staff member, you have a responsibility to:

  • Make a serious commitment to the assignment and perform it to the best of your ability.
  • Abide by all policies and procedures.
  • Be willing to learn and ask questions.
  • Work with Vet to Vet Maine employees, volunteers, and participants and those of related agencies.
  • Keep track of and report your volunteer or staff time.
  • Keep confidential Vet to Vet Maine-related information.

Volunteer Expectations

Expect to:

Have a manager who is available to help you fulfill your volunteer experience.

Have a volunteer assignment that is designed to meet your stated goals to help others.

Criminal Background and Driving Records Checks

All staff and volunteers who work with vulnerable individuals through the Vet to Vet Maine program must pass a criminal background check. A driving record check is required for volunteers or staff members who transport veterans as part of the Vet to Vet Maine program.

Workplace Safety for Volunteers

Before the first home visit:

Notify program director—by phone or e-mail—of date and time of first visit.

After the first visit:

Contact program director by phone or e-mail with a report of visit.

Report any problems that concern you.

Workplace Safety for Volunteers and Staff

Do not do anything that makes you feel unsafe.

Notify the executive director or other Vet to Vet Maine official of any unsafe or undesirable working/volunteer condition or situation.

Report all incidents or concerns involving sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying, financial improprieties, or other prohibited activity to the executive director or other Vet to Vet Maine official.

Proof of Insurance

Volunteers who drive others are required to provide proof of automobile liability insurance and to notify the program director if their coverage lapses.

Confidentiality

All volunteers and staff members must sign a confidentiality agreement. Volunteers and staff may not divulge or disclose confidential information to anyone not designated by Vet to Vet Maine or by the person involved without proper release and approval.

Examples of information that must be kept confidential include but are not limited to:

  • Personal information about assigned veteran and/or veteran’s family;
  • Personal information about employees or other volunteers;
  • Social Security numbers, Medicare numbers, birthdates;
  • Organization mailing lists or business plans;
  • Proprietary materials.

Technology Policies

Vet to Vet Maine’s technology protocol requires that:

  • No confidential information be transmitted via unsecured e-mail.
  • Confidential and sensitive information be transmitted via secure sites only.

Relationships with Others

Volunteers and staff should:

  • Treat all with courtesy and respect.
  • Respect personal boundaries.

Volunteers and staff should not:

  • Engage in romantic attachments with participants to whom they have been assigned.
  • Promote a particular religious or political viewpoint.
  • Engage in sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying, or other disrespectful or demeaning behavior.

Financial Transactions with Assigned Veterans

Vet to Vet Maine volunteers are not permitted to enter into financial transactions with the veterans they visit, their family members, or caregivers.

If assigned veterans are in immediate financial need, notify the Vet to Vet Maine program director, who will make appropriate referrals.

Gifts

Volunteers are prohibited from accepting gifts of substantial value from the veterans they visit or from giving gifts of substantial value to the veterans they visit. They may exchange gifts of sentimental or minimal monetary value with each other. When expenses are incurred during activities they share together, each veteran is expected to pay his/her own way unless alternative arrangements have been approved by Vet to Vet Maine management. Contact Vet to Vet Maine staff or executive director if a question arises regarding the appropriateness of accepting or giving a gift of monetary value.

Conflict of Interest

Volunteers and staff are expected to act in a professional manner and not to engage in inappropriate conduct that would reflect poorly on Vet to Vet Maine or give the appearance of a conflict of interest. Volunteers are not permitted to enter into agreements to become a POA or make other such arrangements with the veteran they are visiting beyond their assigned duties as a Vet to Vet Maine visitor. Refer any such needs to the program director, who will make referrals to the appropriate agency.

Reporting Abuse/Scams

Volunteers and staff of Vet to Vet Maine must report all instances of abuse they witness or evidence of scams directed at the veteran to the program director.

Accidents and Injuries

Volunteers are required to report immediately to the program director any of the following events that occur during their visits to their assigned veterans:

  • Accidents and injuries to or caused by a volunteer;
  • Health issues;
  • Errors in judgment
  • Substandard performance
  • Lost possessions;
  • Boundary breaches;
  • Offensive remarks;
  • Sense of danger or risk while on duty.

Procedures for Emergency Situations

Call 911 immediately if:

  • Veteran has fallen and has a potentially serious injury.
  • Veteran exhibits severe illness, has a heart attack, loses consciousness, orexperiences a life-threatening condition.

Call for a home safety check (business number for your local rescue/police/fire department) if:

  • Veteran does not answer the door for a scheduled appointment, does not answer the phone, and the emergency contact (or nearby neighbor) can’t be reached or has not contacted him/her.

Contact Vet to Vet Maine by the next working day if:

  • You have taken any of the steps outlined above.
  • Veteran exhibits problems that are not an emergency, such as:
    • Unusual crying,
    • Noticeable loss or gain of weight,
    • Anything else that is unusual.
  • Veteran appears to be severely depressed.

Grievances and Concerns

All volunteers have the right to address concerns regarding their assignment and discipline. Vet to Vet Maine strives to provide a fair and impartial hearing for grievances.

Volunteers should report all grievances to the program director or to Vet to Vet Maine’s executive director.