The Arc of Delaware County is an organization whose mission is to Advocate for inclusive community practices and influence public policy for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
The Arc of Delaware County is a chapter of the Arc of Pennsylvania and an Affiliate Member of The Arc of The United States. The Arc is a nonprofit organization founded in 1956 whose role is to advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). It is the Mission of The Arc of Delaware County to advocate for inclusive community practices and influence public policy for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We remain deeply committed to serving our membership through our advocacy and social recreation programs. We encompass all ages and all spectrums from Intellectual Disabilities, Mental Health Illnesses, Autism, Down Syndrome, Fragile X and various other developmental disabilities. The Arc of Delaware County promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetime.
Volunteers are the critical to the success of this organization and are essential to the implementation of our programs. All volunteers agree to abide by the policies and principals of the Arc of Delaware County, Arc of Pennsylvania and Arc of United States. Volunteers and paid staff are considered partners in implementing the mission and programs of the organization, each with complementary roles to play. Designated staff can be expected to provide orientation, training, supervision, and feedback to volunteers. A volunteer is anyone who, without compensation or the expectation of compensation, performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of the organization.
Equal Opportunity/Nondiscrimination Policy
The Arc of Delaware County is committed in providing an equal volunteer opportunity to all volunteers. Accordingly, all terms and conditions of volunteering will be carried out without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veterans’ status, marital status, genetic information or any other factor protected by federal, state or local law. The Arc of Delaware County will not tolerate acts deemed to constitute discrimination or harassment based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veterans’ status, marital status, genetic information or any other factor protected by federal, state or local law.
We recruit, accept, train, promote and dismiss volunteers on the basis of personal competence and position performance, without regard to race creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status or handicap.
The Arc of Delaware County's procedure for responding to individual discrimination complaints is guided by the regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These procedures are posted in areas throughout the organization. Any volunteer or applicant for a volunteer position who believes that unlawful discrimination has occurred must consult with the Executive Director or the Director's designee within a reasonable period of time following the alleged discriminatory action. The Executive Director will then conduct an investigation and advise the volunteer or applicant and the Board of Directors of the findings or of any remaining steps that may be taken. Volunteers can raise concerns without fear of reprisal. Volunteers found to be engaging in any type of discrimination will be asked to leave and will no longer be permitted to volunteer at any Arc of Delaware County events.
Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities
Volunteers are viewed as a valuable resource to this organization, its staff, its members and their families. Volunteers shall be extended
a. The right to be given meaningful assignments
b. The right to be treated fairly
c. The right to effective supervision
d. The right to full involvement and participation
e. The right to recognition for work done.
In return, volunteers shall agree to actively perform their duties to the best of their abilities and to remain loyal to the goals and procedures of the Arc of Delaware while treating all members and their families with kindness, dignity and respect. Every volunteer is responsible for their behavior and should not behave in a manner which gives the appearance as illegal, improper or contrary to the Arc of Delaware County's mission.
Volunteer Program Procedures
I. Recruitment - The Arc of Delaware County uses a variety of methods to attract qualified volunteers who will be matched with appropriate volunteering opportunities. Each volunteer will be required to complete an application, provide references and sign an agreement. The Arc of Delaware County reserves the right to perform a background check on any volunteer.
II. Job Description - A position description will be specifically defined for each volunteer or group of volunteers. Volunteer positions are posted on our website www.thearcofdelco.org. Each volunteer will review his/her position description during orientation program.
III. Application Form - Prospective volunteers are required to complete an application form for consideration in the volunteer program.
IV. Interviewing/Screening - Prior to being assigned or appointed to a position, all volunteers will be interviewed to ascertain their suitability for, and interest in, a position. The interview will offer the opportunity to learn more about the prospective volunteer, and give the prospective volunteer the opportunity to learn more about the Arc. All volunteers are given the opportunity to ask any questions about the position. Background and reference checks are required for volunteer positions.
V. Orientation and Training - All volunteers will receive a general orientation on the nature and purpose of the Arc including all pertinent policies and procedures, and the work they will be assigned. Specific training will be provided to the volunteer so they have the skills necessary to perform their volunteer assignment. All volunteers will have a position description for the work they perform on behalf of the Arc of Delaware County.
VI. Supervision - Every volunteer at the Arc of Delaware County will have a clearly identified supervisor who will be responsible for support and direction. The supervisor will be responsible for the management and guidance of the work of the volunteer and shall be available to the volunteer for consultation and assistance.
VII. Feedback and Evaluation - Volunteers shall receive periodic evaluations to review their work and progress. Evaluations will include an examination of the volunteer’s performance of position responsibilities and a discussion of any suggestions the volunteer may have concerning the position or volunteer program.
Volunteer Record Keeping System
The Arc of Delaware County will maintain a volunteer sign-in form to be present at each program or event and volunteers will sign in and out each time they volunteer. In addition, a set of records for each volunteer will be maintained by The Arc of Delaware County. This record will include volunteer’s application, the signed volunteer agreement, emergency information, dates of services, position held, duties performed and evaluation of work. Volunteers must be accountable to uphold their commitments to volunteer at established times and places.
The volunteers have a lasting impression on those we serve, their families and the community. The volunteer’s behavior reflects directly on the staff, board members, members and families of, The Arc of Delaware County, The Arc of Pennsylvania and The Arc of the United States. All words and actions should help build our volunteer program and its reputation for quality.
Volunteers play a vital role in our programs and our members look forward to seeing the volunteers at the events. Volunteers should do their best to be present and on time for each event or activity for which they are scheduled. If you know that you will be late or absent, please contact the Social/Recreational Coordinator, the person in charge of the event or the Executive Director at least 24 hours before you are expected to come or as soon as possible so that alternate plans can be made.
When participating in any of the Arc activities, volunteers are prohibited from purchasing, transferring, using or possessing illicit drugs, alcohol, or prescription drugs in any way that is illegal. Implementing this policy provides a drug and alcohol free work place in order to ensure a safe, healthy, and productive environment for all volunteers and employees. If suspected of breaking this policy, disciplinary actions up to and including termination will result.
When volunteers are working on behalf of the Arc of Delaware County, each individual serves
as a visible representative of our organization. Please be sure that your dress reflects a clean and neat appearance. When engaging in volunteer services for the Arc of Delaware County, please wear your name badge.
Please be careful not to represent yourself as a spokesperson or representative for The Arc of Delaware County, The Arc of Pennsylvania or The Arc of United States without prior approval. Only the Board President and Executive Director serve as spokes people for The Arc of Delaware County , The Arc of Pennsylvania or The Arc of United States .
We want your experience at The Arc of Delaware County to be an enjoyable experience. Harassment is not only illegal, but it also creates uncomfortable conditions and unpleasant experience for everyone involved and will not be tolerated. Any volunteer who feels harassed should speak to his/her volunteer supervisor, the Social/Recreational Coordinator or the Executive Director immediately to reach a solution.
Volunteer service is very valuable to The Arc of Delaware County and we appreciate and recognize our volunteers on both an informal and formal level. An “Annual Volunteer Recognition” event will be held to highlight and reward the contribution of volunteers to the organization.
Volunteers and staff are expected to act professionally and in accordance with their position descriptions at all times. Should a volunteer have a grievance concerning their work environment, they should report it promptly to the Social/Recreational Coordinator or the Executive Director. Every effort will be made to achieve a speedy and effective resolution, and all complaints will be treated confidentially however confidentially may not be guaranteed for complaints involving sexual harassment or abuse.
Discontinuation of Volunteer Service
If you wish to leave your volunteer service for any reason, please contact the Social/Recreational Coordinator or the Executive Director so that appropriate arrangements can be made. The Arc of Delaware County reserves the right to terminate the Volunteers’ service for any reason. The Volunteer also has the same right to terminate their volunteer service for any reason.
As a volunteer at The Arc of Delaware County, you may have access to confidential information regarding medical treatment or diagnosis, financial information regarding contractual arrangements or other transactions, information regarding homes or income of members and/or their families. Volunteers must ensure that the agency’s official board approved confidentiality policy is followed. Volunteers are required to sign the confidentiality policy receipt form prior to beginning their volunteer service.
Conflict of Interest
It is the policy of the Arc of Delaware County to avoid potential and actual conflicts of interest in all of our efforts. The Arc of Delaware County abides by a board approved Conflict of Interest policy. Volunteers will receive a copy of this policy at their initial orientation. Volunteers will be asked to complete and sign a Conflict of Interest statement at their orientation.
The Arc of Delaware County is a Membership organization. All Volunteers will need to become a Member prior to volunteering. Volunteering should not be perceived as a guaranteed Membership to The Arc of Delaware County. All potential volunteers should speak to the Membership Coordinator, who will assist in the membership application process.
While working on behalf of The Arc of Delaware County, volunteers are prohibited from supporting or endorsing political parties or candidates for office in accordance with our organization’s 501(c) (3) status.
The Arc of Delaware County’s members and their families, staff and volunteers hold a variety of political, social, religious, and personal beliefs. Volunteers must be respectful of the views and opinions held by others with whom they come in contact while volunteering with the organization. Unless instructed to do so as part of the organization’s mission and program, volunteers must refrain from advocating or proselytizing for the specific political, social, and/or religious beliefs in these situations.
Change of Placement:
If you wish to seek a change in your volunteer position or placement, please see the Social/Recreation Coordinator or their designee. Assignment to a new volunteer position may require additional screening, background checks, training, and application acceptance.
Volunteer Reimbursement of Expenses:
In certain situations, volunteers may be eligible for reimbursement of actual out of pocket expenses. Such expenses must be pre-approved by the Social/Recreational Coordinator and/or the Executive Director.
Safety and Liability
Although we do our best to provide safe conditions for our volunteers, we count on volunteers to be the best protector of their own personal safety. Volunteers should always be aware of where they are and what they are doing. Volunteers should pay particular attention to safety instructions and proper equipment use. Volunteers should speak up if they have a safety concern and report any injuries to the Social/Recreational Coordinator and/or the Executive Director immediately. As liability is based upon the personal acts of a person, if it is determined that the volunteer behaved in an unsafe manner then the volunteer may be liable for his or her actions.
All volunteers are required to sign a waiver releasing the Arc of Delaware County of liability before starting their volunteering assignment. By signing the waiver, volunteers agree to assume the risk of any accident or injury to person or property which may be sustained in connection with your participation with The Arc of Delaware County. In addition, volunteers agree to release and discharge The Arc of Delaware County and any of its directors, officers, employees, partners, affiliates and successors from any and all liability or responsibility for any such accident or injury.
Certificate of Ability
Any potential volunteer who indicates that they are under the care of a physician for any physical or psychological ailment which might impede their ability to work may be asked to present a certificate from the physician as to their ability to satisfactorily and safely perform their duties. Any volunteer who, after accepting an assignment with the organization, enters a course of treatment which might adversely impact upon the performance of their volunteer duties should consult with the Social/Recreational Coordinator and/or the Executive Director.