CODE OF ETHICS Family Health & Support Network, Inc. Foster Parent Ethics
RESPONSIBILITY TO CONSUMERS (The Child) NETWORK foster parents advance the welfare of foster children and their families, respect the rights of all parties, and make reasonable efforts to ensure that their volunteer services are used appropriately. STATEMENT
Discrimination <ul><li>NETWORK foster parents do not discriminate against or refuse care to any child on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, or disability. </li></ul>
Dual Relationships <ul><li>A dual relationship occurs when a NETWORK foster parent and an NETWORK staff and/or foster child engage in a separate and distinct relationship either simultaneously with the treatment/ support relationship, or during a reasonable period of time following the treatment/support relationship. </li></ul>
<ul><li>FHSN staff is aware of their influential position with respect to foster children and foster parents, and they avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of such persons. FHSN staff, therefore, avoids dual relationships with foster children and/or foster parents that are reasonably likely to impair professional judgment or lead to exploitation. </li></ul>
Sexual Contact <ul><li>Sexual intercourse, sexual contact or sexual intimacy with a foster child at any time, or his/her family member, or with a NETWORK staff during the treatment/support relationship, or during two years following the termination of the treatment/support relationship is unethical. </li></ul>
Other acts, which would result in an unethical dual relationship includes, but are not limited to the following: <ul><li>borrowing money from a foster child or a NETWORK staff. </li></ul><ul><li>engaging in a business venture with a foster child or NETWORK staff. </li></ul><ul><li>Going to a NETWORK staff’s home or obtaining their home phone number. </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging a foster child or NETWORK staff in a close personal relationship. </li></ul>
CONFIDENTIALITY NETWORK foster parents respects the confidences of all foster children. STATEMENT
You are under the same regulations as ASW’s when it comes to talking about the children. This means, you are not permitted to share confidential information regarding the children in your care. You must avoid identifying children as being in foster care whenever possible. Instead, foster parents are encouraged to discuss the foster children with their NETWORK social worker.
You can share foster child information with an agency designated foster parent support group as long as you don’t identify the child by name. Support groups provide a place for you to ask questions and seek guidance. Otherwise, sharing this information is considered to be on a need to know basis. Information about children is only discussed with the ASW or CSW. Violation of this policy will constitute a reason for a corrective action notice.
FHSN foster parents do not disclose the confidences of foster children, including the names, identities or whereabouts of foster children, to anyone except: <ul><li>other NETWORK Treatment Team members </li></ul><ul><li>an appropriate representative of the Department of Children and Family Services, </li></ul><ul><li>an appropriate representative of the Juvenile Court, d) as mandated by law, or </li></ul>
<ul><li>If there is an authorization previously obtained in writing from the appropriate representative of the Department of Children and Family Services or a representative of the Juvenile Court, and then such information may only be revealed in accordance with the terms of the authorization. </li></ul>
NETWORK staff obtains written informed consent from the Department of Children and Family Services and the Juvenile Court prior to making public (i.e. available to non-treatment team members) any photographs, videotapes, audio tapes, etc. that reveal the identity of foster children. FHSN foster parents shall honor this policy by not making public any photographs, videotapes, audio tapes, etc. without having consulted with the NETWORK.
FHSN staff ensures that all treatment records and data are maintained or disposed in the office in such a way to safeguard confidentiality of foster children. All files and documents pertaining to foster children are appropriately locked when not in immediate use. The agency conforms to state and DCFS requirements regarding the disposal of documents and case records. This includes storage of terminated cases. The NETWORK expects that our foster parents will also safeguard the confidentiality of foster children by appropriately safeguarding their documents in the home.
NETWORK foster parents do not discuss confidential information related to foster children and/or their families unless it is for the purpose of achieving professional objectives with a NETWORK staff or a county social worker.
COMPETENCE AND INTEGRITY NETWORK foster parents maintains high standards of competence and integrity. STATEMENT
<ul><li>NETWORK foster parents are in violation of this Code and subject to de-certification from FHSN if they are convicted of a crime substantially related to their qualifications or functions as a caregiver. </li></ul><ul><li>NETWORK foster parents seeks appropriate professional assistance for their personal problems or conflicts that may impair their ability to care for the children in their care or affect their judgment </li></ul>
<ul><li>FHSN foster parents do not engage in sexual or other harassment or exploitation of foster children. </li></ul><ul><li>FHSN foster parents do not diagnose, treat, or advise on problems beyond the level of their competence as determined by their education, and training. </li></ul>
What Do You Know? The following are samples of ethical violations that are not allowed at Family Health & Support Network, Inc. or in this profession. These may appear obvious, but all of these have been reported to have occurred either here, in the professional journals, or at some other agency.
Dual Relationships <ul><li>You shall not visit the home of a NETWORK social worker or obtain their home phone number. </li></ul><ul><li>You shall not allow a foster child placed in your care to visit the home of a NETWORK social worker or to call their home phone. </li></ul>NETWORK foster parents shall avoid any semblance of dual relationships with foster children or NETWORK staff.
<ul><li>A NETWORK social worker shall not call foster parents after 10 PM in order to take foster children out to a movie or event. </li></ul><ul><li>A NETWORK social worker shall have a good professional reason for any calls or visits made to a foster home any time after 9 p.m. </li></ul><ul><li>If this occurs, you shall report this to agency administration immediately. </li></ul><ul><li>A NETWORK social worker shall never visit or call foster parents or children while under the influence of any controlled substance or alcohol. </li></ul>
<ul><li>NETWORK social workers shall not transport teenagers of the opposite sex without another person, preferably an adult, present, unless authorized by administration and documented. </li></ul><ul><li>NETWORK social workers shall not take teenage foster children into their bedrooms and close the door. </li></ul><ul><li>NETWORK social workers shall show restraint in physical contact with foster parents and foster children. All such contact shall be for therapeutic reasons. </li></ul>
<ul><li>NETWORK foster parents shall not date NEWTORK staff or foster children or any of their relatives. </li></ul><ul><li>NETWORK foster parents shall not go to their health club with or work out with NETWORK staff. </li></ul>
<ul><li>NETWORK foster parents shall not go to the club with NETWORK social workers. </li></ul><ul><li>NETWORK foster parents shall not borrow money from NETWORK staff, nor loan money to the NETWORK staff. </li></ul><ul><li>NETWORK foster parents shall not allow NETWORK staff to sleep in the foster parent’s home at any time under any circumstances. </li></ul>
<ul><li>You shall not borrow personal possessions of the foster child or NETWORK staff, including but not limited to vehicles, boats, clothing, jewelry or any other personal possession. Nor shall you loan such possessions to NETWORK staff or foster children. </li></ul><ul><li>NETWORK staff shall not threaten, harass or intimidate the foster parent with threats of de-certification. </li></ul><ul><li>NETWORK foster parents shall not threaten, harass or intimidate the foster child with threats of removal. </li></ul>
Confidentiality <ul><li>You do not use the names of foster children nor discuss a case with someone who does not need to know. This includes, but is not limited to other foster parents , foster children, FHSN staff, county social workers, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>You do not release information , especially written reports, to anyone not with the agency other than the foster child without written permission from the CSW or the court. </li></ul>
<ul><li>You DO share all relevant information regarding the foster child with the ASW and CSW. This includes attempting to contact the CSW at least once each month and recording this in the child’s notes. </li></ul><ul><li>Please DO remind other foster parents of their responsibilities towards the foster child’s confidentiality when their confidentiality is threatened or breached in your presence. </li></ul>
<ul><li>You do not take or use pictures of foster children for any publication without the court’s permission. </li></ul><ul><li>You do not disclose personal and confidential information about a foster parent to another foster parent or to foster children. </li></ul><ul><li>You do not disclose personal and confidential information about staff to foster parents, foster children or other staff. </li></ul>
<ul><li>You do not allow journalists to take pictures of foster children nor allow foster children’s names to be used in any publication without the written permission of the court. </li></ul>
<ul><li>You always inform your NETWORK social worker of any outings you take a foster child on prior to the outing. Especially if respite is required. </li></ul>
<ul><li>NETWORK foster parents are highly encouraged to attend training and gain the knowledge and experience to allow them to work more successfully with our diverse populations. </li></ul><ul><li>NETWORK foster parents are highly encouraged to work with other foster parents as a team in a respectful, educated and tactful manner. You are further encouraged to work in support of and to assist each other in accomplishing the goals and objectives of this organization and the children and families we serve. </li></ul>
Family Health & Support Network, Inc. is comprised of team members who possess very diverse styles. And while our goal is to create a NETWORK with an environment that is comfortable for each of us, we also intend to provide the highest quality of care possible in the most competent and professional manner achievable. Therefore, we encourage our team members to continuously conduct themselves in the most ethical manner possible so as not to compromise our children, the families who work with us, our valued team members or the agency as a whole.