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Volunteer Guide


All staff, interns, and regular volunteers (henceforth referred to as “staff”) must agree to abide by the NASW Code of Ethics. A copy of the Code of Ethics is available.

The mission of the social work profession is rooted in the core values of:
service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence.


Personal client information is strictly confidential. Client information is only available to staff or board members who have signed a confidentiality agreement.

Client information may not be shared with others outside of the organization unless a release of information is signed by the client. In the event information must be shared, care should be taken to only share necessary details. Information may be shared between staff and board members.

Client confidentiality has limits. If clients express that they are planning on harming themselves or another person, we have an obligation to report it to the authorities.

Access to client files, records, or logs is only permitted for the purposes of service or non-identifying data collection, unless permission is given by the Director or Board President.

In the event client records are subpoenaed, only the information that is absolutely necessary should be provided.

If a staff member sees a client in public, they should take care to protect the confidentiality of that client. It is preferred to let a client initiate public greetings.

Boundaries and Social Media

In the interest of protecting the client relationship, staff may not seek or accept “friend” requests from clients on social media.

Staff may not share information about clients on social media unless permission is given from the Board or Director to share non-identifying information.

Staff may not pursue a personal friendship outside of the professional context for one year after a client has stopped receiving services at the HC of FA.

If a staff member has a previously established friendship with a new client, the staff member should alert their supervisor and allow another staff member to work with that client.

Professionalism and Safety

All staff are required to have a background check on file.

Staff are expected to act in a professional manner when representing HCFA.

It is preferred to have at least two people, HCFA or church staff, in the offices/churches at all times. If a staff member must meet with a client alone, the staff member should inform someone of their whereabouts. Staff should keep the doors locked when in the building alone.

Staff should remain calm and utilize conflict resolution and de-escalation skills when working with difficult clients or during staff disagreements. Yelling, swearing, and fighting are not considered professional behavior.

If a client or other individual becomes violent, or threatens a staff member with violence, staff should call 9-1-1 and notify staff in the building. Staff should follow the guidelines from the police.

Supervision and Board of Directors

Staff members are supervised directly by the Director. The Director must report to the Board of Directors. The Director may consult with the Executive Board (President, Vice-president, Treasurer, Secretary) if the entire board is not available. Staff and the Director must abide by the bylaws of the organization.

Interns who require weekly supervision will be given a set time to meet, dependent on availability of schedules.

Eligibility Requirements of Programs

The eligibility requirements of the Transitional Housing and Emergency Assistance programs are as follows: (see specific sheets pertaining to Transitional and Emergency Assistance).

In general:

  • Families must have children under 18 in their care.
  • Families must have a connection to Fort Atkinson or the School District of Fort Atkinson.
  • Families are at risk of homelessness or in a severe financial crisis.
  • Special circumstances should be discussed with the Director or the Board.
  • The public is welcome to attend classes and workshops.

Providing Resources to Clients

Check the Resource Guide for other resources for clients. The office also has many fliers for local and government programs.

2-1-1 is always a good resource if you are not sure. You can call 2-1-1 yourself to ask about resources and you can direct clients there.