Kinark’s Code of Conduct
Maintaining a Safe Environment for Serving Children, Youth and their Families.
Message from the Chief Executive Officer
Why A Code of Conduct matters.
Every individual at Kinark wants to work for an organization they feel proud to be part of.
The Code of Conduct complements Kinark’s Mission, Vision and Core Values by describing the behaviour we all expect of each other and that those we serve expect of us.
It places particular emphasis on expanding what we mean by our second Core Value:
“Every individual is entitled to be treated with respect and understanding.”
Kinark employees, volunteers and students come to work each day wanting to do their very best for our clients.
The Code of Conduct is organized around the following topics and in several cases examples have been included to help you interpret the application of the Code of Conduct to situations you might face in your position at Kinark:
- workplace safety;
- privacy and confidentiality;
- sound business practices and
- consultation and guidance.
It has been designed and intended to complement our existing policies and procedures, not replace nor supersede them. To assist you in locating specific policies/procedures we have embedded key links within the document as appropriate.
If you have any questions or ideas for improvement I ask you to please share them with your manager, your Director, or myself. I am confident that by working together, guided by our values and this Code of Conduct we can be an organization which is a model of integrity and excellence in serving our clients and communities.
Who This Code Applies To
This Code of Conduct applies to all of us working for Kinark – whether as an employee, student, volunteer or board director.
Supporting our core value that, “Every individual is entitled to be treated with respect and understanding”. Kinark through it’s policies and procedures helps to ensure that both clients receiving service and staff delivering service feel valued, safe, and that they are progressing towards personal goals.
Inherent in this are keys of Workplace Safety, Privacy and Confidentiality, Sound Business Practices and Consultation and Guidance
Our Obligations Under the Code
Before anyone is engaged by Kinark, they will be asked to read this Code of Conduct and to acknowledge in writing that they will abide by its contents. Thereafter, they will be expected to abide by the Code and, annually, to confirm in writing that they have done so.
We are also expected to assist our colleagues at Kinark by bringing to their attention instances where we feel their actions may contravene the Code of Conduct. In cases where these actions continue, we must bring the matter to the attention of our supervisor, or others as further described on page five. This is also the course of action we must follow if we are concerned that our own actions may have contravened the Code.
One of Kinark’s core values is that mental health is as important as physical health. Workplace safety extends beyond physical safety and security to include emotional and intellectual safety, for example freedom from workplace discrimination or harassment.
Providing a safe work environment is particularly important for Kinark’s clients and those working with them. Kinark’s clients are often in vulnerable circumstances and this can lead to staff and volunteers facing unique workplace safety issues. It is our mutual responsibility to create and maintain a safe working environment for both our clients and staff.
If you require a copy of Kinark’s Health and Safety Manual please contact Human Resources via email at HR@kinark.on.ca
Physical Safety and Health
Kinark is responsible for its employees’, volunteers’ and students’ health and safety and is committed to the prevention of occupational illness and injury by providing a safe and healthy workplace. This commitment to a safe and healthy workplace extends equally to Kinark’s clients.
We provide and maintain a safe and healthy work environment through the application of acceptable industry practices and compliance with legislative requirements. Every employee, regardless of position, and every volunteer, has a responsibility to work in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, prescribed regulations and agency policies and procedures.
Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying, Intimidation and Violence
Kinark deals respectfully with clients and colleagues of all cultures, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and faiths and religions, in a manner that recognizes, affirms and values the worth of individuals, families and communities, and protects and preserves the dignity of each.
Kinark will not tolerate workplace discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation or violence of any kind involving staff, clients, volunteers or students.
See Appendix A
Drugs and Alcohol
While engaged in any service activity related to Kinark or its clients, employees, students, and volunteers must not be in possession of, or under the influence of, or provide others with, alcohol or illegal drugs.
Additionally, even where medications are otherwise legal or have been prescribed to a Kinark employee, student, or volunteer they should monitor the impact of these medications and suspend any activities on behalf of Kinark should any impairment of judgment become apparent.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Client Information: Privacy and Confidentiality
Clients entrust us with highly sensitive and confidential personal information. Respecting clients’ rights to confidentiality is of utmost importance in all our work.
Confidential information will only be released with the informed consent of the young person, parent or other person vested with authority, in accordance with Kinark policy and all legal requirements.
These confidentiality requirements are not limited by the employment relationship and thus must be respected even after the employment relationship has ended.
If there is any doubt regarding confidentiality and disclosure of information, Staff should consult their supervisor or Kinark’s Privacy Officer.
Media enquiries should be directed to the Senior Director, Policy and Planning. Kinark employees, students and volunteers should not provide any information or commentary to the media without the specific authorization of the Senior Director, Policy and Planning or the Chief Executive Officer.
Requests from the media for information regarding a client must be referred to the Chief Executive Officer or designate.
Sound Business Practices
We value quality in service delivery to our clients and this standard of high quality is reflected in all our administrative and business practices.
Only Kinark staff (and clients where computers have been assigned) are allowed to operate Kinark’s equipment. Authorization for anyone else to use Kinark’s equipment must be arranged in advance.
Only software authorized and licensed to Kinark may be stored on a hard disk or used on a Kinark computer.
See Appendix D
Personal Use of Kinark’s Technology
For those employees who have been given access to the Internet from their company assigned notebook computer, or from within Kinark’s internal systems, occasional use of the internet and email for personal business outside of working hours is acceptable if it does not interfere with individual productivity or the company’s business. Frivolous use of email facilities, such as the transmission of chain-letters, will not be tolerated. Solicitation of non-company business or any use of the company Internet and email resources for personal commercial gain, is prohibited.
Employees must not use their business email address to register on-line for any personal business including personal newsletters, membership to any personal group or forum or chat room.
See Appendix E
Be careful what you do and say. Remember that you are a representative of your agency, in all of your dealings with clients, families, other professionals and peers.
Client Complaint Procedure
There may be situations in which a young person or member of his or her family is dissatisfied with the service provided by Kinark.
As part of Kinark’s commitment to advocacy on behalf of young people and their families, complaint procedures are available to all clients.
The client should be encouraged to discuss his/her concern or complaint with the staff most directly involved with him or her and every effort should be made to resolve the concern at this level. If resolution cannot be reached, or the client is not comfortable with discussing the issue directly, the matter may be directed to the next supervisory level, or the Kinark Ombudsman.
See Appendix F
Conflicts of Interest – Other Employment
Kinark understands that some employees may wish to consider private practice, or employment or volunteer opportunities in the social service, education, or health service sectors while employed at Kinark.
It is the responsibility of all employees to declare to Kinark any potential conflict of interest.
Kinark, through the Vice-President, HR in consultation with the Chief Executive Officer will consider each conflict or potential conflict on a case-by-case basis. This will be done while taking into consideration the best interests of Kinark and its clients. Efforts will be made to co-operate with employees in dealing with any problems that may arise. All disclosures will be treated as confidential between the employees involved and the supervisor, Vice-President, HR Services, Chief Executive Officer, and the Board of Directors.
All applications for consideration of a conflict of interest situation must be submitted before proceeding with either employment or volunteer opportunities outside of the current Kinark employment relationship.
Conflicts of Interest – Relationships with Clients
Kinark employees may use Kinark services, as long as no preferential treatment is given or perceived to be given to children of employees.
Kinark will not employ relatives of current clients or relatives of clients who have received service less than five years prior to applying for work with Kinark.
Kinark will not hire current clients.
Kinark employees do not take Kinark clients to their homes.
Kinark employees do not socialize with Kinark clients.
Conflict of Interest and Professional Ethics
See Appendix G
Kinark employees, volunteers and students must immediately report to the Chief Executive Officer any questionable conduct including, but not limited to professional misconduct, fraud or dishonesty.
See Appendix H
Driving and Criminal Records
Kinark employees, volunteers and students must immediately report to their supervisor if they have received a driver’s license suspension or may lose their driver’s privileges due to the accumulation of demerit points. The Chief Executive Officer must be informed immediately by the supervisor.
Any other allegations or charges pending regarding criminal convictions must be disclosed immediately to your supervisor.
See Appendix I
Gifts and entertainment (either provided or received) are collectively termed “perquisites” (or “perks”) and refer to a privilege that is provided to an individual or to a group of individuals, provides a personal benefit, and is not generally available to others.
As a publicly funded organization, Kinark does not allow perquisites by any means for any non-business-related requirement (employees are not permitted to accept gifts from clients or vendors). In the event that there is a demonstrated business-related requirement for the effective performance of an individual’s job, perquisites will be allowed in limited and exceptional circumstances approved by the Chief Executive Officer.
To ensure that business costs incurred by employees, Board members, and other volunteers are recorded and reimbursed in an equitable and timely manner.
Reasonable business expenses incurred by an employee, Board member or volunteer on behalf of the Agency will be reimbursed to the claimant by the Agency on a monthly basis.
Reasonable personal expenses incurred by the Agency on behalf of an employee, Board member or volunteer will be reimbursed to the Agency in a timely manner.
The Agency will establish the terms and conditions of employee and volunteer expense incurrence and will disburse and collect payments utilizing a fully documented system of verification, proof of payment, and proper approval.
See Appendix J
Any Kinark employee whose job description includes purchasing activities must ensure that they are familiar with the detailed policies and requirements in this area.
See Appendix K
Travel, Meal, Accommodation, and Hospitality
- To establish principles, rules, and the process for the reimbursement of travel, meal, accommodation and hospitality expenses for all Kinark Personnel, including volunteers, consultants, contractors, and Board of Directors
- To provide a framework of accountability which guides the effective oversight of Kinark’s resources in the reimbursement of expenses
- To ensure fair, reasonable and transparent practices
Kinark Personnel and Board Members will comply with the Broader Public Sector (BPS) Expenses Directive and the Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive in the submission of expenses undertaken to fulfill the duties and objectives of the Agency. This policy is based on four key principles:
Accountability – Kinark is accountable for the use of public funds used to reimburse travel, meal, accommodation, and hospitality expenses. All expenses must be work-related and support the objectives of the Agency.
Transparency – Kinark is transparent to all stakeholders. The rules for incurring and reimbursing travel, meal, accommodation, and hospitality expenses are clear and easily understood. These rules will be posted on Kinark’s public website.
Value for Money – Kinark uses tax payers’ dollars prudently and responsibly. Plans for travel, meal, accommodation, and hospitality are necessary and economical with due regard for health and safety.
Fairness – Kinark reimburses eligible, authorized expenses that are incurred during the course of business and are supported by legitimate third-party documentation.
These procedures meet the requirements of the Broader Public Sector Expenses Directive as issued by the Ontario Management Board of Cabinet for establishing expense rules where expenses are reimbursed from public funds.
The expense rules in this policy apply to the following individuals making an expense claim, including the following:
- Kinark Board of Directors
- Kinark Personnel: Kinark part-time, full-time, contracted staff, students, volunteers and third-party contracted personnel
- Consultants and Contractors engaged by Kinark, providing consulting or other services
Eligible Items for Reimbursement
As a guideline, the following expenses are considered business expenses, and are therefore reimbursable when incurred over the course of undertaking Kinark business:
- Repairs and Maintenance of Agency owned vehicles
- Taxi, Rail, Bus, and Air Travel
- Toll Roads
- Training/Education (pre-approval required)
- Communications (e.g., courier, fax, postage, telephone charges to conduct Agency business)
Any reasonable expenses incurred by the employee for other items required to conduct Agency business, not included in the above categories, will be reimbursed following verification and approval by the employee’s supervisor.
The Business Expense Claim Form must be completed, signed with itemized receipts attached and submitted to your immediate supervisor/manager for approval. Upon approval, the business expense claim form is submitted to the program administrative assistants or the Finance Department. Expense claims without the required supporting documentation may be denied. The Missing Receipt Declaration Form should be completed in situations where the receipt has been lost or not available. Principles to guide managerial discretion are trust, flexibility, and stewardship. The rationale for an exception must be documented and submitted with the claim.
Board Members and Kinark Personnel will be reimbursed for the most direct and economical mode of travel available, considering all the circumstances. Employees and volunteers will not be reimbursed for any additional costs incurred by taking indirect routes of making stopovers for personal reasons. Trip cancellation insurance is eligible for reimbursement.
Driving Personal Vehicle & Mileage Reimbursement
Use of a personal vehicle by Board member, employee or volunteer for Kinark-related travel will be reimbursed by way of an all-inclusive mileage allowance. Travel between the employee’s permanent residence and home office as part of the employee’s regular commute will be excluded from reimbursement, however, if additional travel to other sites or meetings is required, that mileage is eligible for reimbursement.
Each Kinark Personnel has a designated ‘primary office’ upon hire. When travelling directly from home to an alternate destination for agency business, mileage should be calculated from the primary office to the alternate destination(s), unless the distance from home to the alternate destination is shorter.
Expense claims must be submitted with mileage rates calculated in kilometers. The current reimbursement rate is 45 cents per kilometer ($0.45/km) when using a personal vehicle for Agency business. The rates will be revised from time to time, based on inflation and fuel costs. Board members and volunteers should calculate kilometers from their home to the destination attended for Kinark-related involvement/events.
The Agency assumes no fiscal or legal responsibility for personal vehicles. Refer to the Human Resources policy and procedures regarding expectations about required insurance coverage by Kinark Personnel.
Traffic violations and parking fines are the responsibility of the Kinark Personnel who was in charge of the vehicle at the time the fine was incurred.
Parking and Tolls
Reimbursement is provided for necessary and reasonable expenditures on parking, tolls for bridges, ferries, and highways, and when driving for Agency business. Reasonable expenses incurred by the employee for parking during travel for Agency business will be reimbursed. Parking costs incurred in the office area as part of a regular commute to work will not be reimbursed.
Reasonable business expenses for toll roads (e.g. 407, 412 ETR) use will be reimbursed. The 412 is another toll highway, though costs related to the use of the 412 are included in the 407 ETR bill. Only applicable toll fees (including the 407 ETR trip toll charge of $1.00 per 407 trip) will be reimbursed. Transponder costs and video charges are not eligible for reimbursement.
Taxis and Public Transit Use
Taxis may be justified in cases where group travel by taxi is more economical than the total cost of having individuals travel separately by public transit, or, if taking a taxi allows you to meet an unusually tight schedule for meetings. Kinark will not reimburse for their commuting to work by own vehicle, taxi or by public transportation. Taxis used to commute to work or home are only reimbursable under exceptional circumstances; for instance, if weather, health, or safety conditions indicated it is the most appropriate option, or if transport of work-related baggage or parcels is required. Local public transportation should be used whenever possible.
Train and Airplane Transportation
Air travel is permitted if it is the most practical and economical way to travel. Economy (coach) class is the standard option for ticket purchase. Out of country travel must have prior approval by the President and CEO. Kinark Personnel will not be reimbursed for seat upgrades in train and airplane travel.
Travel by train is permitted when it is the most practical and economical way to travel. A coach class economy fare is the standard.
In the normal conduct of business, reimbursement for overnight accommodation within your office area will be neither authorized nor approved. However, in emergency or highly unusual situations, exceptions will be considered. Examples of this may include: if you are required to remain close to your office for periods long more than your standard working hours, or if your services are deemed necessary and approved accordingly for the purposes of emergency or crisis management.
Board members, employees and volunteers will be reimbursed for moderate accommodation expenses, considering all the circumstances.
There will be no reimbursement for hotel suites, executive floors, or concierge levels when travelling; reimbursement will be made for a standard room only. Board members, employees and volunteers will not be reimbursed for items of a personal nature charged to a hotel account (see Non-Allowable Expenses section). Penalties incurred for non-cancelation of guaranteed hotel reservations are the claimant’s responsibility and may be reimbursed only in an exceptional circumstance.
You may incur a meal expense when you are on Kinark business and you are away from the office area (i.e., at least 24 km) over a normal meal period, or, you must have prior approval for the expense (e.g., a business meeting within the office area that must occur over lunch). No alcoholic beverages will be reimbursed.
Meal expenses will be reimbursed at the established meal reimbursement rates. Taxes and gratuities (up to a reasonable amount – a maximum of 20%) are included in the meal reimbursement rates. Meals must be purchased to be able to submit a claim for reimbursement to a maximum amount as identified in the chart below (subject to your supervisor’s/ manger’s approval, with original itemized receipts provided). When Kinark employees and/or volunteers dine together while on Kinark business, it is appropriate for the most senior person to arrange payment and submit the claim for reimbursement. When there are groups of people are part of the request for reimbursement, then a list of attendees covered by the claim, must be identified.
In limited and exceptional circumstances (e.g., health considerations, limited options available) where a meal expense is higher than the meal reimbursement rate, the actual cost of the meal may be reimbursed. In these situations, the claim for meal reimbursement must be accompanied by an original itemized receipt and a written rationale for exceeding the rate. A credit card slip is not sufficient. Approval is subject to managerial discretion.
Reimbursement will not be provided for meals consumed at home or included in the cost of transportation, accommodation, seminars, or conferences. If you travel as a regular part of your job, your meals will not be normally reimbursed unless you have obtained prior approval. The maximum rate per meal to be reimbursed is identified in the following chart (individual meal rates cannot be combined for a daily meal allowance):
|Meal Type||Reimbursement Rate|
Training, Education, and Conferences
Reasonable expenses incurred by the employee for conferences and seminars that are business-related will be reimbursed.
In advance of any registration or enrollment, employees are required to obtain approval from immediate supervisor/manager and/or senior leadership to attend a conference or seminar. The Education Request Form for conferences, training, seminars etc. must be completed and signed. The
Tuition Reimbursement Pre-Approval Form needs to be completed for educational requests. If the request is approved, the signed form, with accompanying documentation is then submitted along with the Cheque Requisition for Educational Events Form to the Administrative Assistant or Finance Department who will complete the request. The transcript of completed credit(s) must be submitted to Human Resources for approval before reimbursement by the Administrative Assistant or Finance department begins to process the payment. Alternatively, Kinark Personnel can directly pay for the training, education/seminar and be reimbursed as per this policy.
In accordance with the BPS Expense Directive, hospitality is the provision of food, beverage, accommodation, transportation, and other amenities paid out of public funds to people who are not engaged to work for Kinark, designated BPS organizations (i.e. those covered by this directive), and the Ontario government.
Occasionally, Kinark may offer hospitality to external parties to further its business objectives. They should be work related, extended in an economical, consistent and appropriate manner that is balanced against the type and number of guests attending, the business purpose to be achieved, efficiency of operations and health and safety.
Board members and Kinark Personnel will be reimbursed for hospitality expenses incurred while conducting Kinark business, as appropriate. Appropriate hospitality charges include events hosted or sponsored for promoting Kinark’s work or enhancing its image, and include meals that are related to the transaction of Kinark business.
The conditions under which hospitality will be extended on behalf of the Kinark include, but are not limited to:
- Meetings with external business associates/contacts to further the Kinark’s goals and mission
- Public openings or ceremonies
- Hosting visitors to Ontario, Canada, and members of national or international organizations with child and youth mental health, forensic mental health/youth justice and/or autism interests/affiliations
- Recognition events for clients, parents/guardians and volunteers
- Public relations events
Expenses that do not fit the definition of government hospitality will not be reimbursed. Internal activities involving solely Kinark Personnel are not considered reimbursable hospitality expenses.
Some examples of such expenses include: office social events, retirement parties and holiday lunches.
A cash advance for major purchases may be made to an employee whenever the facility for payment on account is not available to either the employee or the Agency. Prior approval of the supervisor/ manager, identification of the cost centre and completion of the Employee Advance Declaration Form are required before a cash advance will be made. Cash advances will be deducted from the gross expense claim form submitted by Kinark Personnel.
The Business Manager/Finance Department staff will maintain a record of all cash advances and review outstanding cash advances prior to each month-end. The cash advance will be recovered within five working days from the date of purchase transaction or return of employee from travel. Cash Advances are not only for travel, but used for purchases for clients where the employee does not readily know the expense amount and cannot afford a later reimbursement.
Non-Eligible Items for Reimbursement
The following expenses are considered personal, and therefore are not reimbursable:
- Use of a private sedan or limousine service
- Entertainment, including but not limited to, pay TV, movies, mini-bar expenses, cigarettes, airline headsets, magazines, newspapers
- Charges for changes made to flight arrangements, unless prior approval has been received by Kinark
- Costs associated with family/spousal travel
- Sports facilities and recreational expenses
- Parking or traffic violations and other expenses related to unlawful conduct
- Interest charges and late fees on credit cards
- Expenses claimed by an employee as a tax deduction
- Expenses normally recoverable from a Third-Party
- Claims for purchases that are required to be made under an Agency purchase order
- Unauthorized expenses
- Other types of expenses that are deemed unnecessary or unreasonable and do not contribute nor relate to business operations
Expenses for Consultants and Other Contractors
Consultants should seek reimbursement only for expenses explicitly agreed by the consultant and Kinark, as detailed in the consultant’s contract. In no circumstances, can hospitality, incidental, or food expenses be considered allowable expenses for consultants and contractors under the policy or in any contract between Kinark and a consultant contractor. Examples of non-allowable expenses include:
- Meals, snacks, or beverages
- Laundry/Dry Cleaning
- Valet services
- Transportation-related expenses
No consultant lobbyist may work for Kinark and be paid from public funds.
Accountability Framework Responsibilities
- Use of the most cost effective, operationally efficient and safe method of manner of travel unless the Supervisor/Manager grants an exception; where a number of Kinark Personnel are attending the same function, shared travel should be considered
- Consideration of alternatives to travel such as teleconferencing, video conferencing, WebEx etc.
- Submit original, itemized receipts detailing the expenses incurred with all claims (credit card or debit card only slips are not sufficient) using the Business Expense Claim Form. If there is not an itemized receipt, a written explanation must be submitted to explain why the receipt was unavailable and a description itemizing and confirming the expenses.
- Once the Business Expense Claim form is completed, obtain all appropriate approvals by a manager/supervisor at least one level higher before incurring expenses
- For hospitality, related expenses prior approval should be obtained; if this did not occur then a written explanation must be submitted with the claim (expenses for a group can only be claimed by the most senior person present)
- Expense claims are to be remitted in a timely manner (ideally monthly)
- In situations where a cash advance is required, the Employee Advance Declaration Form must be completed
- Review of expense forms and approval to determine and authorize that business travel is necessary (in accordance with the Travel, Meals, Accommodations and Hospitality policy)
- Ensure all appropriate documentation and original itemized receipts are included and that the Business Expense Claim form is completed
- Approvers are prohibited from approving their own expense reimbursements
- Written approval is required from the President and CEO for hospitality events
- Events are considered hospitality when people outside Kinark attend
- Any breaches of this policy and procedures coming to the attention of management are dealt with appropriately
- Kinark Personnel cannot approve their own expenses, but rather must have their immediate Supervisor/Manager approve the claim
Finance Department Responsibilities
- Following record keeping practices for verification and auditing
- Monitoring compliance with the Travel, Meals, Accommodation and Hospitality policy and procedures, taking appropriate action when necessary
Chief Administrative Officer Responsibilities
- Ensure the Travel Meals Accommodations and Hospitality policy and procedures are posted on Kinark’s website so they are available to the public in accessible formats
- Monitor adherence to the Broader Public Sector Expenses Directive
Note: Where over-payment is made to a claimant, it is considered a debt owing to the Agency and must be repaid.
|Definitions:||Approver – person with the authority to make approvals under the BPS Expense Directive; for Kinark it is the Manager/Supervisor
Consultants and Contractors – Individuals or entities under contract to Kinark providing consulting or other services.
Itemized Receipt – Original document identifying the vendor with the date and amount of each expense item paid by the claimant.
Kinark Personnel: Kinark staff, students, volunteers and third-party contracted personnel
|References Kinark Policies & Procedures/ Documents:||Broader Public Sector (BPS) Expenses Directive|
Consultation and Guidance
Interpreting the Code of Conduct
If in doubt about what is the right thing to do in a particular situation, speak to your supervisor. If they are not available, or you feel that you need to seek advice elsewhere, speak to your Director or to Kinark’s Vice-President, Human Resources.
Dispute Resolution Procedure
An employee who has a grievance, dispute or concern can seek resolution through Kinark’s Grievance Policy without fear of reprisal. At any time an employee may contact the Vice-President, Human Resources to discuss work place issues. The Vice-President, Human Resources will respond in a timely manner.
No attempt can be made to deny or frustrate the attempts of an employee to seek counsel or outside assistance. Kinark will protect any complainants, witnesses, advisors, representatives of complainants and witnesses, investigators and decision makers/management from reprisal. However, discussion through the media will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
If you require a copy of Kinark’s Human Resource Policy Manual please contact Human Resources via email at HR@kinark.on.ca
Reporting Violations and Third Party Reporting
In cases where we feel that our own actions or the actions of others may have contravened this Code of Conduct, we should follow a similar course of action to that described above: speak to your supervisor. If they are not available, or you feel that you need to seek advice elsewhere, speak to your Director or to Kinark’s Vice-President, Human Resources.
Kinark guarantees the freedom for employees to report unlawful, legally questionable, ethical concerns, or misconduct and provides a safe, confidential, and anonymous process for reporting corporate or professional wrongdoing. Concerns within this policy may be communicated, in confidence, to an external firm retained for this purpose: Whistleblower Security at 1-866-921-6714 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Communication will be strictly confidential and all initial responses to the staff member making the complaint will be made by a Board Member or the Chief Executive Officer. Anyone bringing forward a concern in this manner is protected against reprisal.
Access to the Board of Directors
In exceptional circumstances – for example, a complaint regarding a member of the Kinark Executive Team – Kinark provides direct, confidential access to the Board of Directors for all employees, students and volunteers. This is done by sending an e-mail to the board secretary at:
Indicating a desire to access the Chair of the Board. The e-mail will be forwarded by the Board Secretary to the Chair.
A dispute resolution process exists for all employees of Kinark Child and Family Services.
To establish a framework and process for staff who feel that they may have been aggrieved at the workplace.
An employee who has a grievance or a concern can seek resolution through the Agency’s Grievance Policy without fear of reprisal.
The Director, HR Services must be contacted by managers at all stages of the grievanceprocess. Representations to all levels of local management, without fear of reprisal, must be exhausted before proceeding to the next step. No attempt can be made to deny or frustrate the attempts of an employee to seek counsel or outside assistance. Kinark will protect any complainants, witnesses, advisors, representatives of complainants and witnesses, investigators and decision makers/management from reprisal. However, discussion through the media will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. At any time an employee may contact the Director, HR Services to discuss work place issues. S/he must respond in a timely manner. The appeal stops at the President & Chief Executive Officer and the President & Chief Executive Officer’s decision is final.
Roles and Responsibilities
Employees are Responsible for:
Discussing the matter with his/her supervisor within three (3) working days of the incident which gave rise to the grievance or concern. Referring, in the event that the employee is dissatisfied with the supervisor’s disposition of the grievance or concern, the matter, in writing, to the next-level supervisor, within five (5) working days of receiving the original supervisory response.
Privacy and Confidentiality: Security of Client Information and Records
To ensure the security and confidentiality of client information at all times.
Kinark will take all necessary steps to protect personal health information within its custody or control against theft, loss and unauthorized use or disclosure. Methods of protecting client information will include physical safeguards, administrative procedures and technical security mechanisms.
1. Within agency offices and facilities, confidential client information will be maintained in locked cabinets and/or file rooms designated for the specific purpose, and will be accessible only by authorized personnel. Agency offices and facilities will be secured by lock and alarm.
2. Appropriate measures will be established to safeguard the security of file rooms, observation rooms, computer/electronic devices, printers, fax machines, audiovisual equipment and tapes, and all other means of storage.
3. Authorized personnel will follow specific sign-out and tracking procedures prior to removing any client file or information from the designated storage area, to ensure the whereabouts of client records is known at all times.
4. Client files or information will be returned promptly to secure storage when no longer required and not later than the close of the workday.
5. Client records will only be removed from an agency office or facility with prior approval of the Chief Executive Officer, Program Director, or the Kinark Privacy Officer. Prior approval will include confirmation of the purpose for removal, the means of securely transporting the record, and the intended destination and return date.
6. Upon termination of active service, a closed file will remain in secure storage in the local office or facility for a period not to exceed six months, when it will be transferred by secure means and established procedures to the corporate office to be archived. Contracted offsite archive storage will be administered according to agency standards and applicable legislation.
7. Unless otherwise authorized by the Chief Executive Officer or designate, all client records will be retained indefinitely.
Community-based, home-based or mobile staff
Generally, all agency privacy policies and requirements apply to all staff regardless of location. Additionally, for staff providing community-based or mobile service, or service in any location other than a Kinark office, the following procedures will apply:
8. The official client record/file will be maintained in a Kinark office. Staff will deliver original hard copy client documents and information to the main file in a secure manner and as promptly as possible. Electronic information will be entered into the Kinark client information system (KIDS) from remote locations in an approved manner and according to established guidelines. Any working copies of client records kept in offsite or non-office locations (e.g., school-based programs, community-based residential facilities) will be maintained in a secure manner, as outlined in general procedures above.
9. Community-based, home-based and mobile staff will transport and maintain client information in a secure manner at all times (e.g., locked briefcase or records case; locked vehicle trunk,) and will prevent unauthorized access to client information at all times.
10. Wherever possible, client-related documents prepared in the community should omit identifying information such as the client’s name. Client initials may be replaced with the full name once the documents are transferred to the main file.
11. Staff may complete rough written notes in the course of providing client service (e.g., during a family session, during assessment procedures). If the purpose of these notes is to provide material for another form of client documentation (e.g., contact notes in KIDS; clinical reports on approved agency format or template), the rough notes are not considered part of the client record and should be destroyed upon transfer of the information to the client record. If the information is not intended for transfer to the client record in another format, then the rough notes become part of the client record and should be maintained, filed and managed in the same manner as all client information.
In addition to specific policies and procedures regarding Kinark’s information system and information technology, the following procedures apply to management of client information:
12. Staff may communicate client information to authorized personnel within the agency by means of the agency’s secure password-protected e-mail system. Wherever possible, such internal communication should contain client initials as opposed to full names.
13. With a client’s consent, and only after a client has initiated such contact, staff may communicate with clients electronically (e.g., e-mail, texting) for the purpose of coordinating or confirming service, and not for the communication of personal health information. Staff will not use electronic methods to share or communicate clinical information or the agency’s reports. At the client’s discretion, Kinark may receive but not send personal health information, whether between Kinark and the client or Kinark and another organization or individual.
14. In exceptional time-sensitive circumstances, electronic transmission of client information may occur with the prior approval of the Chief Executive Officer or designate (Privacy Officer).
15. Agency voice mail will be password protected to ensure messages left by clients are retrieved only by authorized personnel.
16. To protect client information during extended staff absence, voice mail greetings will inform callers of the expected duration of the absence.
Use of home or personal phones to contact clients
17. The use of staff home or personal telephones for client contact is discouraged and should only occur in exceptional circumstances. If such contact is required, staff are expected to ensure client privacy during the call and with respect to any documentation made in relation to the call. Staff should also take reasonable steps to ensure their own privacy and to maintain professional boundaries for themselves and clients (e.g., use of call blocking).
18. Staff will not leave messages on a client’s answering machine that identifies Kinark or the client’s status with Kinark. Staff may indicate for whom the message is intended, the staff’s name, a return number, and basic non-detailed information regarding the purpose of the call (e.g., concerns an appointment).
19. Unless otherwise required or approved by the Chief Executive Officer or designate (Privacy Officer), identifying personal health information will not be sent from Kinark to other parties by fax. Exceptions include Ministry Serious Occurrence reporting or in situations where information sharing is required with Youth Justice personnel or courts in a time sensitive manner.
20. Kinark’s office procedures will ensure that fax messages containing client-related information include:
a. Incoming faxes are received in a confidential manner (e.g., location of machines, machines checked and cleared regularly, password-protected access, no messages left at close of business).
b. Outgoing faxes are sent in a confidential manner (material marked confidential, follow-up call to ensure material was received securely).
c. Tracking system to record the receipt and sending of faxes (i.e., cover sheets filed in the client file).
21. Electronic client information will be entered and stored in the secure Kinark Information Database System (KIDS). Authorized access to KIDS is approved by the appropriate Supervisor and facilitated by Kinark’s Information Technology (IT) support staff. Specific IT policies and procedures ensure the safety of electronic client information and establish rules related to password protection, encryption, server security, and all matters related to data storage and security.
22. Staff with approved access to KIDS are expected to manage their work, workspace and computer terminals to ensure confidentiality (e.g., logging off upon completion of work or when the monitor will be unattended) in accordance with the Electronic Communications policy.
23. The preferred and most secure form of telephone communication with clients is by means of an agency landline, established for business purposes. When an agency-provided cellular phone is used for client contact, or for staff–to–staff communication regarding specific clients, staff will take reasonable precautions to protect client information (e.g., minimize length of call, avoid use of client names).
Laptop and Personal Computers
24. Agency laptops are used primarily to connect with the secure agency information system and are not to be used for saving and storing confidential client information. All laptop computers will be password-protected and will be checked regularly upon being signed out and returned to ensure they are free of client information.
25. Staff may use personal computers, including personal laptops, at home or away from the office to prepare or access client information and data, but only by accessing Kinark’s secure information system. At no time will staff be permitted to prepare or store client-related information on personal computers independent of the secure Kinark information and technology system.
Portable Electronic Storage Devices
26. Portable electronic storage devices, including diskettes, disks and USB “memory sticks” will not be used to store confidential client information. Staff will use remote access to the secure Kinark information system to prepare, save or store confidential client information.
Videotapes, Audiotapes and Digital recording
27. Upon admission to voluntary Kinark services, clients have the option of providing or withholding consent regarding the use of audiovisual technology during the course of assessment and service provision. Typically, when such technology is employed, tapes will be permanently erased once the intended purpose has been met (e.g., staff supervision and training, clinical consultation). During the period of active use, and for any tapes retained as part of the client record, the taped information will be stored and maintained securely according to existing client records management practices.
28. Where audiovisual technology is employed for general program or facility security purposes (e.g., secure custody and treatment settings), posted notices will inform all occupants, including clients, of the presence and use of such technology. The technology and tapes will be maintained in a secure manner consistent with established client records management practices, and will be accessible only by authorized personnel.
Responding to a Privacy Breach
29. Upon becoming aware that client personal health information has been lost, stolen or disclosed to unauthorized individuals, staff will notify their immediate Supervisor, who will ensure that Kinark’s Privacy Officer is also notified. At the first opportunity, Kinark will notify the client or a person authorized to act on his or her behalf, and will take steps required to locate and retrieve the personal health information, and to minimize the likelihood of a similar breach in the future. Should clients wish to make a compliant regarding a breach, they should be directed to the agency’s Complaints Policy.
Disposal of Client Information
30. Kinark retains original client records indefinitely. Some client information may be destroyed promptly upon completion of its intended use (e.g., draft reports, rough notes, recording media, working or additional copies of reports). For paper hard copy records, such information will be shredded using agency-provided and approved shredders or contracted records destruction services. For electronic records, information will be deleted according to established agency information technology systems and procedures.
Electronic Communication devices include smart phones, PDA’s, instant messaging devices, and cell phones.
Privacy and Confidentiality: Client Information
To respect and protect the privacy of the agency’s clients and their personal health information.
To establish a framework for the collection, use and disclosure of clients’ personal health information.
Kinark recognizes the importance of, and the legal right of clients to, privacy regarding personal health information. As a health information custodian, Kinark requires that all staff, volunteers and agents maintain the highest standard of confidentiality and perform their duties in compliance with applicable legislation.
Unless specified otherwise in law, Kinark will only collect, use or disclose a client’s personal health information with knowledgeable consent of the individual client or other person authorized to consent on the client’s behalf. Exceptions to consent and limitations to confidentiality will be explained to clients upon admission to service.
1. Relevant material regarding the agency’s information policies and practices will be made available to individual clients upon admission to service, and to all clients and the community at large on an ongoing basis (e.g., Kinark’s website).
2. Staff, volunteers and other agents (e.g., consultants, accreditors) will be made aware of the agency’s information policies and practices upon commencing employment or involvement with Kinark, and will sign an oath of confidentiality (Agreement Regarding Confidentiality, Conflict of Interest and Protecting Information Resources). This oath will continue indefinitely, including upon completion of an individual’s employment or involvement with Kinark.
3. Unless stated otherwise, the terms “client information”, “personal Information”, and “information practices” refer to personal health information, defined in PHIPA as follows:
Identifying information about an individual in oral or recorded form, if the information:
- relates to the physical or mental health of an individual, including information that consists of the health history of the individual’s family;
- relates to the providing of health care to an individual, including the identification of a person as a provider of health care to an individual;
- identifies an individual’s substitute decision maker or
- identifies an individual’s health card number.
4. Kinark will maintain a client record for each identified client. “Client record” refers to all client information in the agency’s custody and control, in any form or medium, whether written, printed, photographic, electronic or otherwise.
5. Non-identifying aggregate client information may be used to support the agency’s and community’s commitment to effective analysis, planning, management, research and accountability. Client consent will be obtained if identifying case-specific information is to be used for these purposes or for the purpose of public education or public relations.
6. Agency staff will make every effort to collect and use only personal information considered reasonably necessary for the provision of assessment, counseling, treatment or other services requested by, or recommended for, a particular client.
7. If there is any doubt with respect to confidentiality, consent or other matters regarding client information, staff, volunteers and agents will consult with agency management, including the Privacy Officer as required.
8. From time to time, Kinark may revise or establish specific operational procedures to support its privacy policies and information practices. If such revisions or additions significantly alter how the agency uses, maintains or discloses previously collected personal information, affected individuals will be notified and consent will be obtained where required.
9. Kinark will provide relevant privacy education and training to ensure the staff is knowledgeable regarding its obligations in this area.
Passwords are an important component of information and network security. The use of a user ID (identification) and password combination serves to identify and authenticate a user to system resources and information assets. It is only through authenticated access that the agency can be assured that systems and data are being accessed and used appropriately.
Kinark will provide the standards necessary for all employees, consultants, partners and any other persons accessing the agency domains (hereafter referred to as “user”) to create appropriate passwords and to use them and protect them in an appropriate manner. Users are required to ensure passwords are constructed, used and protected appropriately to ensure that the level of security they imply is actually met. Passwords or user IDs are not to be shared.
This policy applies to all users who have any form of computer or application account that requires password access. Examples of accounts include:
• workstation (desktop/laptop);
• email system;
• accounting application and
• client information system.
Effect of Policy
Violations of the foregoing policy will be considered a serious offence and may result in the imposition of discipline up to and including termination.
Procedures and Standards
The following procedures and standards are to be followed to ensure the password policy and the level of security it implies is actually met.
1. All passwords must conform to the standards set by the agency, except where approval has been given by the Director, IT and Telecommunications.
2. Passwords are to be treated as confidential information. Under no circumstances is an employee to give, tell, or hint at their password to another person, including superiors, other co-workers, friends, and family members except in circumstances outlined in this document.
3. IT staff will only request a user’s password for troubleshooting and under exceptional circumstances; the user may, in this instance, provide the password. However, under these circumstances the user must change their password once the issue is resolved.
4. Where available, users will attempt to reset their own password via a self-serve system before contacting the IT department to force a password change. IT staff will reset a user’s password upon request of the user and after some form of user validation has taken place.
5. Password construction, lifecycle and re-use parameters will be variable according to the classification of the system or data that they are intended to protect.
6. Passwords should not be based on well-known or easily accessible information, including personal information, nor should they be words commonly found within a standard dictionary.
7. Kinark may use technical measures to ensure that users conform to the policy.
8. Passwords are not to be transmitted electronically over the unprotected Internet, such as via e-mail. However, passwords may be used to gain remote access to company resources via the company’s Virtual Private Network (ie. Citrix) or SSL-protected Web site or FTP Site.
9. No employee is to keep an unsecured written record of his or her passwords, either on paper or in an electronic file. If it proves necessary to keep a record of a password, then it must be kept in a controlled access safe if in hardcopy form or in an encrypted file if in electronic form.
10. Do not use the “Remember Password” feature of applications.
11. Passwords used to gain access to company systems are not to be used as passwords to access non-company accounts or information. Similarly, passwords used to access personal, non-work related accounts are not to be used to access company accounts.
12. Each application, system and data point should be protected by a different password where possible. The use of the same password to protect all access is strongly discouraged.
13. If an employee knows or suspects that his/her password has been compromised, it must be reported to the IT Department and the password changed immediately.
14. The IT Department may attempt to crack or guess users’ passwords as part of its ongoing security vulnerability auditing process. If a password is cracked or guessed during one of these audits, the user will be required to change his or her password immediately.
15. IT staff, under exceptional circumstances, may reset a user’s password without the user’s consent to gain access only if there is a sound business reason for doing so and only on approval of the local Area Program Director, or Senior Manager where applicable, or for any of the Directors approval of the Executive Director is required or in the case of the Executive Director, only on approval of the Board President or Vice-President.
Internet Acceptable Use Policy
The purpose of this policy is to outline the acceptable use of internet systems at Kinark Child and Family Services. This policy is in place to protect the employee and the agency and to safeguard the agency from being exposed to risks including virus attacks, compromise of network systems and services, and legal issues. Every staff member has a responsibility to maintain and enhance the agency’s public image and to use agency access to the Internet in a productive manner, using good judgment and common sense.
The agency will provide and maintain effective and efficient systems to access the internet and the World Wide Web with the intent to promote and support program delivery, clinical services, and related administrative support. The Internet, being a publicly available resource, will be used by staff in a professional manner. To aid in maintaining the integrity of Kinark’s image over the Internet, tools and systems will be put in place to monitor and secure these connections.
This policy applies to employees, contractors, consultants, temporaries, and other workers at Kinark, including all personnel affiliated with third parties. This policy applies to all equipment that is owned or leased by Kinark or on Kinark property and used to access the Internet, including but not limited to: servers, desktops, laptops, smart phones, and PDAs.
Effect of Policy
Violations of the foregoing policy will be considered a serious offence and may result in the imposition of discipline up to and including termination.
Procedures and Standards
Individuals at Kinark are encouraged to use the Internet to further the goals and objectives of Kinark Child and Family Services. The types of activities that are encouraged include:
• communicating with fellow employees, business partners of Kinark Child and Family Services, and clients1 within the context of an individual’s assigned responsibilities;
• acquiring or sharing information necessary or related to the performance of an individual’s assigned responsibilities;
• participating in educational or professional development activities and
• every staff member has a responsibility to maintain and enhance the company’s public image and to access to the Internet in a productive manner, using good judgment and common sense.
Individuals should limit their personal use of the Internet (ie. at break times and lunch) in accordance with management direction and in such a way that it does not interfere with individual productivity or the agency’s business. All personal use must comply with existing agency policy and procedures.
Individual Internet use will not interfere with others’ productive use of Internet resources. Users will not violate the network policies of any network accessed through their account. Internet use at Kinark will comply with all federal, provincial and international laws, all Kinark policies, and all Kinark contracts. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
• The Internet may not be used for illegal or unlawful purposes, including, but not limited to, copyright infringement, pornography, obscenity, libel, slander, fraud, defamation, plagiarism, harassment, intimidation, forgery, impersonation, illegal gambling, soliciting for illegal pyramid schemes, and computer tampering (e.g. spreading computer viruses).
• The Internet may not be used in any way that violates agency’s policies, rules, or administrative orders including, but not limited to, any applicable code of conduct policies, ethics policy, etc. Use of the Internet in a manner that is not consistent with the mission of Kinark Child and Family Services, misrepresents Kinark, or violates any Kinark policy, is prohibited.
• Personal use of the internet on agency systems is not allowed outside of working hours.
• Staff may not establish agency computers as participants in any peer-to-peer network, unless approved by Director, IT and Telecommunications.
• In the interest of maintaining network performance, users should not upload or download unreasonably large files not needed for business purposes.
• Solicitation of non-company business or any use of the company Internet for personal commercial gain is prohibited.
• Employees must not use their business email address to register on-line for any personal business including personal newsletter, membership to any personal group or forum or chat room.
• To prevent computer viruses or worms from being transmitted through Kinark Child and Family Services network, and to avoid potential licensing issues, Kinark Child and Family Services prohibits the downloading and/or use of freeware, shareware, or any software from Internet facilities unless explicitly approved by the Director, IT and Telecommunications.
Unintentional access of inappropriate online content
Any staff member who inadvertently logs onto a site that may be viewed as obscene, pornographic, discriminatory, or of a harassing nature, must report the circumstances immediately to their supervisor and to the Director, IT and Telecommunications.
Mobile Internet Access
If approved, staff may be assigned or loaned a Kinark-approved device that allows mobile Internet access. Mobile Internet access, in this context, refers to devices connected to services such as 2G, 3G, GSM and GPRS. Such devices may include, but are not limited to:
• USB Internet modem
• Wi-Fi Hotspot modem
• Blackberry smartphone (“Tethered”)
Usage of these mobile devices should specifically adhere to the following guidelines as they relate to all existing policy and procedures:
• Conservative Use – monthly service levels for mobile Internet devices are limited
- Mobile Internet usage should be used only when needed (e.g. if no other existing, approved, wireless or wired networks are available).
- Mobile Internet usage should be as minimal as possible (e.g. connections should not be left active if not in use).
- Mobile Internet usage should be reserved in all but exceptional cases to Citrix connections (e.g. staff should not browse the Internet directly, but rather perform all work within a Citrix session).
- Previously approved file transfers to/from Citrix and a local machine is strongly discouraged over mobile Internet.
- User may be held responsible for paying for usage overages if overage is due to personal use.
- Security – mobile Internet devices should not be assumed secure.
- Mobile Internet usage should be reserved in all but exceptional cases to Citrix connections which are encrypted.
- Mobile Internet devices should only be used when joined with a Kinark-issued laptop.
Users of mobile Internet devices should understand the following:
• Mobile Internet does not perform at the same speeds as those found in traditional Wi-Fi or wired connections.
• Mobile Internet does not mean the signal coverage is always available, or is always at full strength. Like a cellular phone signal, it is impacted by many factors.
• Mobile Internet service plans are offered at a greatly reduced service usage level compared to traditional Internet plans.
• Usage in excess of monthly service levels are generally considered very expensive.
Monitoring and Filtering
Kinark Child and Family Services may monitor any Internet activity occurring on Kinark equipment or accounts. Kinark currently employs filtering software to limit access to sites on the Internet. If Kinark discovers activities which do not comply with applicable law or departmental policy, records retrieved may be used to document the wrongful content in accordance with due process.
Kinark Child and Family Services reserves the right to routinely monitor use of its Internet systems for purposes of benefit analysis, usage traffic, and managing the agency’s gateway to the Internet. This monitoring enables the company to identify the amount of time a particular user has spent on the Internet, the sites visited and the amount of time spent at each site.
Kinark Child and Family Services assumes no liability for any direct or indirect damages arising from the user’s connection to the Internet. Kinark Child and Family Services is not responsible for the accuracy of information found on the Internet and only facilitates the accessing and dissemination of information through its systems. Users are solely responsible for any material that they access and disseminate through the Internet.
All clients and their parents / legal guardians will be informed of the internal and external complaint procedures at admission to service and upon request.
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with Kinark’s policies, procedures, employees or quality of service, or a perceived violation of rights.
The complaint resolution process is used as a positive means of promoting client satisfaction and as a way of identifying opportunities to improve service delivery.
All clients will be given the internal complaint procedures upon signing the Authorization of Provision of Service. The complaint procedures will be reviewed every six months with clients in residential services.
Clients, families / guardians will be informed that they will not experience reprisals or duress as a result of raising an internal or external compliant.
Steps in the Complaint Process
1. The client should be directed to discuss his/her concern or complaint with the staff most directly involved with him/her. Every effort should be made to resolve the concern at this level. If resolution cannot be reached, the matter will be directed to the next supervisory level, up to and including the responsible Program Director.
2. If the complaint cannot be resolved within the program area, it will be forwarded to the Director, Program Services and/or Chief Executive Officer. A client does have the right to take a complaint directly to a more senior staff person within the agency, including the Ombudsman, Director, Program Services or the Chief Executive Officer.
3. A client has a right to take a complaint directly to the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth.
4. The appropriate staff will assist the young person, family member, or person advocating on the child’s behalf to forward the complaint.
5. Any staff interference in the complaint procedure will be cause for disciplinary action.
6. If a complaint investigation is warranted, this will be conducted by the Kinark Ombudsman and involve others as he/she determines. Details of the complaint and the results of the review will be documented in the agency complaint log and noted in the client file as appropriate.
7. For significant complaints that may significantly impact Kinark, the Chief Executive Officer will notify the Board immediately where required and no later than two weeks after learning of the complaint.
Community-Based Residential Treatment Services
8. Upon admission to residential care, each client will be given a sealed envelope with his or her name inside, addressed to the Program Director, to keep in his or her personal possession. If required, the client may contact the Program Director by depositing the envelope in a prearranged location in the residence. Staff will check daily and forward any envelopes to the Program Director. Staff will not tamper with the envelope or do anything to impede the Director’s receipt of it. Within 24 hours, the Director will contact the client to discuss the concern.
9. This procedure allows the resident to raise a concern outside of the residence without being dependent upon residential staff to convey an identifying message.
Conflict of Interest and Professional Ethics
It is the responsibility of all employees to declare to Kinark any potential conflict of interest. Kinark Child and Family Services will review all such declarations.
To avoid any activity or outside interest that might reflect unfavorably upon the integrity of individual staff members or that of Kinark Child and Family Services as a whole.
Kinark requires a detailed review of potential conflict interest situations which are guided by concern for the highest standards of client service and professional ethics. Kinark will take into consideration that some employees may wish to consider private practice, volunteer, and/or employment opportunities in the social service, education, or health service sectors while employed at Kinark. Kinark also recognizes the potential
for real or perceived conflict of interest, dual relationship or professional boundary issues when conducting its review. It shall be a breach of the employee’s duty to Kinark Child and Family Services to use Kinark’s resources in connection with an outside business or activity, whether or not it
is a competing business. Kinark?s premises shall be used for Kinark Child and Family Services business only. Kinark Child and Family Services, through the Director, HR in consultation with the President & Chief Executive Officer reserves the right to deal with each conflict or potential conflict on a case-by-case basis. This will be done while taking into consideration the best interests of the Agency and its clients. Efforts will be made to cooperate with employees in dealing with any problems that arise. All disclosures will be treated as confidential between the employees involved and the Supervisor, Director, HR Services, President & Chief Executive Officer, and the Board of Directors. All applications for consideration of a conflict of interest situation must be submitted before proceeding with either employment or volunteer opportunities outside of the current Kinark employment relationship.
Furthermore, employees must identify any contact with clients occurring outside of Kinark where those clients have subsequently entered service with Kinark. These contacts may be through either work or volunteer situations, but all will require the appropriate waivers and/or consents for the release of information acquired in that external setting. Similarly, the employee must respect the confidentiality of all information obtained as a result of his/her work at Kinark. It shall also be a breach of the employee?s duty to fail to disclose any interest or relationship, monetary or otherwise, with any individual, company or organization with which Kinark has any business dealings. The conflict of interest policy includes, but is not restricted to the following rules and guidelines covering conflict of interest, professional boundary, dual relationship and/or private practice situations.
Kinark employees will not become foster parents to Kinark clients (current or past).
Kinark employees may use Kinark services as long as no preferential treatment is given or perceived to be given to children of employees.
Kinark employees do not take Kinark clients to their homes.
Kinark employees do not socialize with Kinark clients.
Kinark employees working for another agency, including temporary/contract-service organizations, are not permitted to work for Kinark under the auspices of the other organization.
Unless otherwise noted, client is defined as a client currently receiving service and Kinark employee is defined as a current employee regardless of employment status.
Private practice treatment, counseling, assessments and other interventions with children, youth and families eligible for Kinark services (i.e. residing in Kinark catchment areas) will only be allowed if these services are not provided by Kinark, which are not planned by Kinark in the immediate future, and which fall outside the mandate of Kinark services. Because of the risk of breach of confidentiality, privacy concerns, dual relationships, and
perceptions which may inhibit staff from using needed services, no employment with Kinark’s EAP provider will be approved. There must be a full declaration to private practice clients and referral sources from the professional that states the professional is employed at Kinark. Referral sources should inform clients of the employment relationship before referring the client to the professional. In any case, the professional has the obligation for full disclosure to the client before service begins. No professional services should be given to Kinark clients or nuclear families whose service at Kinark ended less than two years ago. No professional services should be given to current Kinark staff members or their families. If former staff members or their families are seen, the former staff member should have terminated his/her employment relationship two or more years ago. Kinark employees? private practice clients are not referred to Kinark for service for similar service. Kinark clients are not referred to Kinark employees for service in their private practices. Because of the unique nature of many private practice arrangements, other considerations and information may be required to determine whether the work represents a conflict of interest. Kinark reserves the right to judge each situation on its own merit.
Kinark employees who intend to establish or become involved in related employment/consulting/ educating/ volunteer activities must inform their immediate Supervisor/Director and the Director, HR Services in writing to initiate a review and ensure there is no conflict of interest between the external business activity and Kinark Child and Family Services activities. The written request for review must be submitted at least one month prior to the commencement of the potential conflict of interest situation. Kinark employees must identify dual relationships and any professional boundary issues
that may arise in the course of their work with Kinark clients. Each such situation must be declared in the same way that a conflict of interest is declared. It will receive the same review and considerations.
Roles and Responsibilities
Employees are Responsible for:
Declaring, in writing, a conflict or potential conflict of interest and/or professional ethics, as defined above to the supervisor.
Supervisors are Responsible for:
Forwarding the declaration, as defined above, to the Director, who will then forward to the Director, HR Services with a recommendation for the request.
HR is Responsible for:
Reviewing the declaration and determining whether a conflict of interest and/or professional ethics, as defined above, does exist and responding appropriately.
Former clients who have received service more than five years ago, may, with the approval of the President & Chief Executive Officer, volunteer their services to the Agency.
Volunteers must familiarize themselves with policies specific to their role and program. These policies will be reviewed during orientation and training, and a copy will be included in the volunteer manual.
The Program Director, where applicable the Co-ordinator, Volunteer and Community Resources will conduct the Program Orientation and training at the Program office for all volunteers.
Co-ordinator, Volunteer and Community Resources will also complete orientation checklists for volunteers and forward the completed forms to HR.
Withdrawal from Program
Volunteers who breach confidentiality will be immediately dismissed from the Program. Volunteers are requested to give sufficient notice when withdrawing from their role (2 weeks).
Volunteers found to be in contravention of Agency policy will meet with the Coordinator, Volunteer and Community Resources and/or supervisor to discuss resolution of the issue and/or possible dismissal from the Program.
Exit interviews will be conducted either in person or by telephone with all volunteers who withdraw from their role. The Co-ordinator, Volunteer and Community Resources or the volunteer’s supervisor will conduct the exit interview. The Co-ordinator, Volunteer and Community Resources will send an exit questionnaire, explanatory letter and self-addressed stamped envelope to each terminating volunteer. The volunteer will be asked to return the questionnaire to the Director, HR Services who will review any significant concerns with the Co-ordinator, Volunteer and Community Resources, the supervisor and second-level supervisor. The questionnaire will be kept in a confidential file.
Kinark is covered by liability insurance for on-the-job-accidents and volunteers? vehicles when used to transport clients in conjunction with the volunteers? own insurance.
Criminal Record and Driving Checks
Kinark will include criminal and driving record checking as part of the recruitment process for all positions within the Agency for employees, students, volunteers and fee for service contractors.
The Ministry of Children and Youth Services? standards require “such checks … to ensure the safety and well-being of those for whom it has the responsibility to provide or ensure proper care.”
All potential employees, volunteers, students and fee for service contractors working for Kinark must have a “regular police” along with a “vulnerable persons screening”. (See also Recruitment Policy).
The check must be processed by the candidates through the individual?s local police service i.e. the area where the candidates reside.
Original results must be provided to the supervisors no later than on the first day of work. The criminal record check application will be processed by the candidate through the local police service for Kinark and the application must be made following the interview date. The Agency will accept a criminal record check processed prior to the interview date, that is dated no more than six months earlier which will allow the individual to
commence employment; however a current check must be processed for Kinark, following the job interview.
The agency will reimburse for the cost of the check which must be processed through employees? business expense. Where the results are negative (i.e., no criminal record) – the recruitment process continues.
Where the results are positive (i.e. a criminal record exists) – the recruitment process is suspended and request for approval to proceed is forwarded to the President & Chief Executive Officer. Employment will be considered within the limits of current legislation.
As a publicly funded organization, Kinark does not allow perquisites by any means for any non-business-related requirement. In the event that there is a demonstrated business-related requirement for the effective performance of an individual’s job – perquisites will be allowed in limited and exceptional circumstances approved by the Executive Director.
This policy applies to all staff, students, volunteers and consultants of Kinark
A perquisite (or “perk”) refers to a privilege that is provided to an individual or to a group of individuals, provides a personal benefit, and is not generally available to others – Broader Public Service Accountability Act (2010).
Kinark is committed to ensuring maximum value is received in the use of public funds. Publicly funded goods and services are acquired through a process that is open, fair and transparent. Through its procedures, Kinark complies with the 25 mandatory requirements set forth in the Broader Public Sector Procurement Directive. http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/bpssupplychain/documents/bps_procurement_directive.html
To maximize value for money in the acquisition of goods and services through a process that is open, fair and transparent.
Consulting services- The provision of expertise or strategic advice that is presented for consideration and decision-making.
Goods and services – All goods and services including construction, consulting services and information technology.
Procurement- Acquisition by any means, including by purchase, rental, lease or conditional sale, of goods, services or construction. See below for complete glossary of terms.
Supply Chain Code of Ethics
Kinark has formally adopted the Ontario Broader Public Sector Supply Chain Code of Ethics.
Ontario Broader Public Sector
Supply Chain Code of Ethics
To ensure an ethical, professional and accountable BPS supply chain.
1. Personal Integrity and Professionalism
All individuals involved with purchasing or other supply chain-related activities must act, and be seen to act, with integrity and professionalism. Honesty, care and due diligence must be integral to all supply chain activities within and between BPS organizations, suppliers and other stakeholders. Respect must be demonstrated for each other and for the environment. Confidential information must be safeguarded. All participants must not engage in any activity that may create, or appear to create, a conflict of interest, such as accepting gifts or favours, providing preferential treatment, or publicly endorsing suppliers or products.
2. Accountability and Transparency
Supply chain activities must be open and accountable. In particular, contracting and purchasing activities must be fair, transparent and conducted with a view to obtaining the best value for public money. All participants must ensure that public sector resources are used in a responsible, efficient and effective manner.
3. Compliance and Continuous Improvement
All individuals involved in purchasing or other supply chain-related activities must comply with this Code of Ethics and the laws of Canada and Ontario. All individuals should continuously work to improve supply chain policies and procedures, to improve their supply chain knowledge and skill levels, and to share leading practices.
Glossary of Terms
Accountability – The obligation of an employee, agent or other person to answer for or be accountable for, work, action or failure to act following delegated authority.
Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) – A national agreement that regulates trade between the provinces to ensure equal access to public sector procurement for all Canadian suppliers. The Agreement aims to reduce barriers to the movement of persons, goods, services and investments within Canada.
Approval Authority – The authority delegated by the organization to a person designated to occupy a position to approve on its behalf one or more procurement functions within the plan-to-pay cycle up to specified dollar limits subject to the applicable legislation, regulations and procedures in effect at such time.
Approval Level – Criteria, often dollar levels that define which approvals are needed for various business transactions. Limits are set on the size and nature of the business transactions and are assigned to the individual or job role authorized to execute based on the appropriate level of responsibility.
Award – The notification to a proponent of acceptance of a proposal, quotation or tender that brings a contract into existence.
Bid – A proposal, quotation or tender submitted in response to a solicitation from a contracting authority. A bid covers the response to any of the three principal methods of soliciting bids, i.e., Request for Tender, Request for Proposal and Request for Quotation.
Bid Protest – A dispute raised against the methods employed or decisions made by a contracting authority in the administration of a process, leading to the award of a contract.
Bidders’ Conference – A meeting chaired by the soliciting organization to discuss with potential proponents, technical, operational and performance specifications, and/or the full extent of financial, security and other contractual obligations related to a bid solicitation.
Bid Repair- A term used to describe the improper alteration or modification of a bid either by the bidder or by the procuring entity after the deadline for the receipt of bids has passed.
Ceiling Price of VOR Arrangement – Dollar value of an individual procurement under the VOR arrangement above which organizations must conduct procurement using an open competitive process instead of utilizing the VOR arrangement.
Competitive Procurement- A set of procedures for developing a procurement contract through a bidding or proposal process. The intent is to solicit fair, impartial, competitive bids.
Conflict of Interest – A situation in which financial or other personal considerations have the potential to compromise or bias professional judgment and objectivity. An apparent conflict of interest is one in which a reasonable person would think that the professional’s judgment is likely to be compromised.
Construction- Construction, reconstruction, demolition, repair or renovation of a building, structure or other civil engineering or architectural work and includes site preparation, excavation, drilling, seismic investigation, the supply of products and materials, the supply of equipment and machinery if they are included in and incidental to the construction, and the installation and repair of fixtures of a building, structure or other civil engineering or architectural work, but does not include professional consulting services related to the construction contract unless they are included in the procurement.
Consultant – A person or entity that under an agreement, other than an employment agreement, provides expert or strategic advice and related services for consideration and decision-making.
Consulting Services- The provision of expertise or strategic advice that is presented for consideration and decision-making.
Contract – An obligation, such as an accepted offer, between competent parties upon a legal consideration, to do or abstain from doing some act. It is essential to the creation of a contract that the parties intend that their agreement shall have legal consequences and be legally enforceable. The essential elements of a contract are an offer and an acceptance of that offer; the capacity of the parties to contract; consideration to support the contract; a mutual identity of consent or consensus ad idem; legality of purpose; and sufficient certainty of terms.
Electronic Tendering – A computer-based system that provides suppliers with access to information related to open competitive procurements.
Equipment – All capital equipment, supplies, operational and service documents to be delivered including all parts provided during the warranty period, and further includes all work necessary to deliver and install the equipment.
Evaluation Criteria – A benchmark, standard or yardstick against which accomplishment, conformance, performance and suitability of an individual, alternative activity, produce or plan is measure to select the best supplier through a competitive process. Criteria may be qualitative or quantitative in nature.
Evaluation Matrix- A tool allowing the evaluation team to rate supplier proposals based on multiple pre-defined evaluation criteria.
Evaluation Team- A group of individuals designated/responsible to make an award recommendation. The evaluation team would typically include representatives from the purchasing organization and subject matter expert(s). Each member participates to provide business, legal, technical and financial input.
Evaluation Team Lead -The individual selected by the evaluation team to be responsible for coordinating the evaluation process. Fair Market Value The price that would be agreed to in an open and unrestricted market between knowledgeable and willing parties dealing at arm’s length who are fully informed and not under any compulsion to transact.
Goods – Moveable property (including the costs of installing, operating, maintaining or manufacturing such moveable property) including raw materials, products, equipment and other physical objects of every kind and description whether in solid, liquid, gaseous or electronic form, unless they are procured as part of a general construction contract.
Goods and services, Goods or Services- All goods and/or services including construction, consulting services and information technology.
Information Technology – The equipment, software, services and processes used to create, store, process, communicate and manage information.
Invitational Competitive Procurement – Any form of requesting a minimum of three (3) qualified supplies to submit a written proposal in response to the defined requirements outlined by an individual/organization.
Non-Discrimination- Fairness in treating suppliers and awarding contracts without prejudice, discrimination or preferred treatment.
Offer – A promise or a proposal made by one party to another, intending the same to create a legal relationship upon the acceptance of the offer by the other party.
Procurement – Acquisition by any means, including by purchase, rental, lease or conditional sale, of goods, services or construction.
Procurement Card (P-Card) – An organizational credit card program primarily used for low-cost, non-inventory, non-capital items, such as office supplies. The card allows procurement or field employees to obtain goods and services without going through the requisition and authorization procedure. P-cards may be set up to restrict use to specific purchases with pre-defined suppliers or stores, and offer central billings.
Procurement Lead – The individual assigned for each procurement to ensure it is conducted in an ethical, lawful, effective and accountable manner.
Procurement Policies and Procedures -A framework and mandatory requirements to govern how organizations conduct sourcing, contracting and purchasing activities, including approval segregation and limits, competitive and non-competitive procurement, conflict of interest, and contract awarding.
Procurement Value- The estimated total financial commitment resulting from a procurement, taking into account optional extensions.
Purchase Order – A written offer made by a purchaser to a supplier formally stating all terms and conditions of a proposed transaction.
Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) – A document used to gather information on supplier interest in an opportunity or information on supplier capabilities/qualifications. This mechanism may be used when an organization wishes to gain a better understanding of the capacity of the supplier community to provide the services or solutions needed. A response to a RFEI must not pre-qualify a potential supplier and must not influence their chances of being the successful proponent on any subsequent opportunity.
Request for Information (RFI) – A document issued to potential suppliers to gather general supplier, service or product information. It is a procurement procedure whereby suppliers are provided with a general or preliminary description of a problem or need and are requested to provide information or advice about how to better define the problem or need, or alternative solutions. A response to an RFI must not pre-qualify a potential supplier and must not influence their chances of being the successful proponent on any subsequent opportunity.
Request for Proposal (RFP) -A document used to request suppliers to supply solutions for the delivery of complex products or services or to provide alternative options or solutions. It is a process that uses predefined evaluation criteria in which price is not the only factor.
Request for Quotation (RFQ) – A document similar to an RFT where an organization describes exactly what needs to be purchased and the evaluation is based solely on price.
Request for Supplier Qualifications (RFSQ) – A document used to gather information on supplier capabilities and qualifications, with the intention of creating a list of pre-qualified suppliers. This mechanism may be used either to identify qualified candidates in advance of expected future competitions or to narrow the field for an immediate need. Organizations must ensure that the terms and conditions built into the RFSQ contain specific language that disclaims any obligation on the part of the organization to call on any supplier to provide goods or services as a result of the pre-qualification.
Request for Tender (RFT): A document used to request supplier responses to supply goods or services based on stated delivery requirements, performance specifications, terms and conditions. An RFT usually focuses the evaluation criteria predominantly on price and delivery requirements.
Requisition – formal request to obtain goods or services made within an organization, generally from the end-user to the procurement department.
Segregation of Duties – A method of process control to manage conflict of interest, the appearance of conflict of interest, and errors or fraud. It restricts the amount of power held by any one individual. It puts a barrier in place to prevent errors or fraud that may be perpetrated by one individual.
Service – An intangible product that does not have a physical presence. No transfer of possession or ownership takes place when services are sold and they (1) cannot be stored or transported, (2) are instantly perishable, and (3) come into existence at the time they are bought and consumed.
Single Sourcing – A non-competitive method of procurement of goods or services from a supplier in situations where there is or may be another supplier or suppliers capable of delivering these goods or services.
Sole Source – The use of a non-competitive procurement process to acquire goods or services where there is only one available supplier for the source of the goods or service.
Supplier/Vendor – Any person or organization that, based on an assessment of that person’s or organizations financial, technical and commercial capacity, is capable of fulfilling the requirements of procurement.
Supply Chain Management – The full range of processes that manage the flow of goods and services, information, and funds between suppliers and end-users, as well as the supporting infrastructure required to enable these processes.
Supply Chain-Related Activities – Any activities, whether directly or indirectly related to the organization’s plan, source, procure, move and pay processes.
Total Cost of Ownership- Total costs of ownership includes items such as the purchase prices, implementation fees, upgrades, maintenance contracts, support contracts, license fees and disposal costs.
Total life-cycle Cost – The total cost of using goods, equipment or services over the entire time of use or service including initial, operating and maintenance costs.
Trade Agreements – Any applicable trade agreement to which Ontario is a signatory (e.g. Agreement on Internal Trade and Ontario-Quebec Trade and Cooperation Agreement).
Value for Money/ Best Value – A value-for-money approach aims to deliver products and services with a lower total life-cycle cost while maintaining a high standard.
Vendors-of-Record (VOR) Arrangement – A procurement arrangement that authorizes organizations to select from pre-qualified supplier(s) through a formal second-stage process, for a defined period on terms and conditions set out in the VOR arrangement.