Policies & Procedures Manual
Table of Contents Section
Welcome Letter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 1. History of Arkansas People First (APF) and STEPS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 a. APF Mission Statement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 b. STEPS Articles of Incorporation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 c. STEPS By-Laws. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 d. APF Goals and Objectives by Year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 2. APF/STEPS Structure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 a. Flow Chart. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 b. Roles and Responsibilities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 3. Employment with APF/STEPS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 a. Hiring. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 b. Termination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 c. Equal Opportunity Employment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 d. Employment Status. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 e. Benefits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 f. Reviewing and Evaluating. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 g. Other Policies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 4. APF/STEPS Job Positions and Duties. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 a. State Coordinator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 b. Regional Coordinator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 c. Committee Coordinator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 d. State Advisor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 e. Future Positions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 5. State Board Officers and Elections. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 a. Running for State Office. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 b. Orientation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 c. Executive Committee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 6. State Board Members. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 a. STEPS Conflict of Interest Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 b. Roles and Responsibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 c. Public Relations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 d. Travel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 e. Value and Behavior; Termination Procedures; Grievance Policies. . 36 f. Evaluating Performance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 7. State Board Meetings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 a. Face to Face Meetings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 b. Conference Call Meetings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 8. APF/STEPS Revenue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 a. Financial Responsibilities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 b. Annual Budget. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 c. Grants and Contracts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 d. Income Account. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
9. State Committees. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 a. Executive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 b. Advocacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 c. By Laws. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 d. Finance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 e. Public Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 f. Conference Calls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 10. APF Chapters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 a. Current APF Chapters in Arkansas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 b. Chapter Dues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 c. Chapter of the Year Contest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 d. Statewide Fundraisers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 e. Member Behavior, Due Process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 11. Training. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 a. Training Contest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 b. RMOG Training. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 c. Master Training Clinic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 d. Division of Disabilities Services (DDS) Provider and Public Education Training. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 e. DDS Standards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 f. Project Vote Training. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 g. DD Provider Board Training. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 12. APF/STEPS State Conference. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 13. Awards and Recognition Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 a. Chapter of the Year Award. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 b. Advocate of the Year Award. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 c. Friends of APF of the Year Award. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 d. Board Member of the Year Award. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 e. Julie Petty Self Advocacy Award. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 14. Miscellaneous. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 a. Calling Cards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 b. Van Transportation Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 c. Volunteers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 d. APF/STEPS Property and Resources Solicitation. . . . . . . . . . . . .55 e. HIPAA Policies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 APPENDIX 1 (note – all forms are available electronically, contact the state office Form A – Leave Request Form. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Form B – Approval of Outside Employment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 Form C – STEPS Board Annual Statement of Conflict of Interest Policy. . . 58 Form D – Travel Reimbursement Sheet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Form E – Donated Services Timesheet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Form F – Chapter Questionnaire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 Form G – Volunteer Policy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Form H – Policy and Procedures Statement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Dear Arkansas People First/STEPS Chapter Member and/or Staff, On behalf of the Arkansas People First (APF)/STEPS organization, Executive Board, By Laws Committee, staff, and chapter members of APF/STEPS, we welcome you to our organization and wish you every success. As an APF/STEPS member, staff member, or volunteer, you are a valued part of this organization, and your efforts will help make us successful. The organization’s success will mean that our members will have greater opportunities to realize independence and success themselves. We maintain a team approach, and our belief is that we accomplish more when we all work together. You have joined our team, and you can take pride in the fact that your work will make a difference in someone’s life. Immediately after becoming employed by APF/STEPS or becoming an approved volunteer, you will be given a copy of this manual to read and sign a statement (see the Appendix section at the end), saying that you have completely read and understand the policies and procedures herein. If you need support or would like your supervisor to go over this manual with you, please let your supervisor know. This manual is provided to you as a guide about our organization, yet it is not intended to be a contract of any kind between you and the organization. Arkansas law establishes “at will” employment for staff and voluntary time members donate to APF/STEPS, which allows for termination of employment by the organization or by you at any time. The organization retains the right to change polices at any time; however, every effort will be made to notify you of any changes. The policies are changed only by a vote of the Board of Directors, sometimes by the recommendation of the APF/STEPS State Coordinator. Thanks goes to the APF/STEPS By Laws Committee members and APF/STEPS staff who worked tirelessly on getting this manual developed: David Long, Chair; Alan Plumlee, Vice Chair; Eric Treat, State President (since 2001); Joel Fuller; Burke Fanari; and Jeff Wages; Shannon Rivas, Committee Coordinator; Sherice Smith, Regional Coordinator; Julie Petty and Lavana Kindle, former State Coordinators. Best wishes on your involvement with APF/STEPS! Sincerely,
Arkansas People First/STEPS State Board
Section 1 - History of Arkansas People First (APF) 1997 In October, Lifestyles, Inc. in Fayetteville, AR received a grant from the Arkansas Governor’s Developmental Disabilities Council to start a selfadvocacy organization in this state. This organization became known as “People First of Arkansas”. Julie Munnerlyn (Petty) and Vickie Oxford were hired to coordinate chapters. 1998 Northwest Arkansas organized an active advisory board and a chapter of People First to meet monthly. By June and July, other chapters were coming together all around the state. In October, People First of Arkansas held their first state conference in Springdale. 150 people attended. 1999 2nd Annual PF Conference held in June, “Fitting the Pieces Together” in Springdale. There were at least 100 people attending. At least 5 chapters met monthly around the state. 2000 Changed name to Arkansas People First. 3rd Annual State Conference held in June, “Building a Better Community”. Attended National Conference in Rhode Island, “Ride the Wave.” Julie (Munnerlyn) Petty was elected to Self Advocates Becoming Empowered board of directors as an alternate, then moved into a representative position after Ronnie Meeker resigned. 2001 APF received new support from the U of A Rehabilitation Continuing Education Center. State board re-organized. Kim Worlow of Mountain Home became State Advisor. In May, Self-Determination Day was held in Little Rock. Over 100 people attended. Eric Treat was elected APF State President. 2002 June 21-23, held state conference in Little Rock “United We Stand” with over 120 attending. APF hosted letter writing campaign to Governor Huckabee to tell him to free our brothers and sisters from institutions. 10 chapters meeting around the state. 4 APF Members attended the National Conference in New York. Julie Petty lost her SABE Rep. position and Eric Treat elected alternate. 2003 June 13-15, held state conference in Little Rock “Stand Up for your Rights, and Fight for Freedom” with 80 people attending. Trained 10 people to be trainers in Reaching My Own Greatness. 10 chapters. 2004 12 chapters all together. Trained more trainers in Reaching My Own Greatness. Through a DAAS grant, Lavana Kindle of Camden hired to be part time RMOG Coordinator. 5 people attended the National Conference in California and Julie Petty was elected Vice-President of SABE. 2005 12 chapters meeting. Trained more trainers in Reaching My Own Greatness. Julie Petty went to part time. Lavana Kindle became part time Regional Coordinator. RMOG taught statewide, including institutions. State conference held in June “Reaching My Own Greatness and Beyond” with 95 attending.
2006 April – The STEPS organization was born. STEPS is an acronym that means “Standing Together, Empowering Persons with Support”. Articles of Incorporation and By Laws were written and signed on April 27, 2006 by the original STEPS trustees. On July 11, STEPS officially became incorporated with the State of Arkansas. STEPS applied for tax exempt status with the IRS, expecting to become its own 501(c)(3) organization. Plans are for APF to withdraw from the parent umbrella administration under the University of Arkansas CURRENTS (Rehab Region VI) by the end of the year 2008. At such time STEPS hopes to become known as APF again or the APF/STEPS organization. Julie Petty elected SABE National Chair. APF staff entered into a contract with the Disability Rights Center to train Project Vote trainers and to conduct Project Vote training and register self advocates to vote. 2007 April – Julie Petty resigned as APF State Coordinator to take a national position with HSRI. Lavana Kindle became APF’s second State Coordinator. July 1 – Sherice Smith of Pine Bluff hired part time as APF Regional Coordinator; Shannon Rivas of Hot Springs hired part time as APF Committee Coordinator. July 27, STEPS Articles of Incorporation amended by Initial Trustees, at the request of the IRS. On August 22, STEPS was determined a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization by the IRS. 2008 January – Lavana Kindle resigned as State Coordinator to make room for a person with an obvious disability as the lead APF/STEPS staff person. What is Arkansas People First (APF)/STEPS? APF/STEPS is a non profit organization and part of an international self-advocacy movement. What is SelfAdvocacy? •Standing up for yourself •Speaking for yourself •Deciding for yourself What are stereotypes or labels? •Freak •Stupid •Four-eyes •The “R” word LABEL JARS, NOT PEOPLE! WE ARE PEOPLE FIRST, OUR DISABILITIES ARE SECOND!
a. APF Mission Statement – “Working together for our rights as PEOPLE FIRST, speaking for ourselves as members of the community.” b. STEPS Articles of Incorporation AMENDED ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION OF STEPS (Standing Together, Empowering People with Support) The undersigned, who are citizens of the United States, desiring to form a non-profit corporation under the non-profit corporation laws of the State of Arkansas, do hereby certify: FIRST: The name of the corporation shall be called STEPS (Standing Together, Empowering People with Support). SECOND: The place in this state where the principle office of the corporation is to be located in the City of Camden, Ouachita County, Arkansas, is 2507 Hwy 278 West Camden, AR 71701. THIRD: This organization is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code. FOURTH: The agent of service for this corporation shall be Lavana Kindle of 2507 Hwy 278 West Camden, AR 71701. FIFTH: The names and addresses of the persons who are the initial trustees of the corporation are as follows: Julie Petty of 16 N. Cedar Ave. West Fork, AR 72774 Eric Treat of 1709 Hutto #A Conway, AR 72032 Sabrina Shaner of 231 Circle Drive Salem, AR 72576 Shannon Rivas of 420 Alcorn Hot Springs, AR 71901 Alan Plumlee of 719 E. Walters Harrison, AR 72601 SIXTH: No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article Third hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the corporation shall be for the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation,
and the corporation shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, this corporation shall not, except to an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of the purposes of this corporation. SEVENTH: Upon dissolution of this organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, or for a public purpose. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by a court of competent jurisdiction of the county in which the principle office of the corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organizations as said court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes. In witness whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our names amended this 26th day of July , 2007. ____________________________ Julie Petty ____________________________ Eric Treat ____________________________ Sabrina Shaner ____________________________ Shannon Rivas Alan Plumlee
c. By-Laws of STEPS (Standing Together, Empowering People with Support) ARTICLE l NAME The organization referred to in this document shall be known as “STEPS”, referred to as “Standing Together, Empowering People with Support”, “the association of Arkansas People First Chapters” or “the association”. ARTICLE ll AUTHORIZATION The members of the STEPS board will be persons with disabilities (known as self advocates), and all decisions will be made by those people. ARTICLE lll PURPOSE The purpose of the organization is to provide an association of the statewide self advocacy chapters of Arkansas People First for charitable purposes. ARTICLE IV BOARD OF DIRECTORS The STEPS board of directors will consist of at least 10 persons: 4 officers (a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer), and at least 6 representatives from various chapters of Arkansas People First. The board will be supported by one or more Advisors (either people with disabilities or without disabilities) experienced with advocating with and for people with disabilities. Representatives of chapters will be on a self volunteered basis. Qualifications for members of the board are as follows: 1. Must be an active member of a local Arkansas People First Chapter. 2. Must have ability and availability to communicate by e-mail, telephone, and network with others. 3. Must have ability to get support when needed to get things done. 4. Must have ability to work with others cooperatively. 5. Must have ability to get along with others. 6. Must have ability to travel. The primary duties of the board will be: 1. To oversee the operation of STEPS. 2. To ensure that the policies of STEPS are carried out. 3. To promote the goals and objectives of the association called STEPS and of Arkansas People First Chapters. 4. To assist self advocates in realizing and appreciating that we are people first, our disabilities are secondary, and we are equal citizens in our communities. 5. To research funding sources for special projects for individual and/or collective Arkansas People First Chapters.
6. To approve budgets for such projects. 7. Board members will conduct themselves as adults and show respect for others. If a board memberâ€™s conduct is questioned, the board will discuss and decide upon consequences. . ARTICLE V OFFICERS, TERMS, AND DUTIES OF OFFICERS 1. The term of officers shall be for a period of four years, beginning with the first scheduled board meeting after the annual meeting. 2. No officer may serve more than one consecutive term in the same office. 3. No person may run for more than one office. 4. If a state officer does not fulfill his or her duties, he or she may be removed by a two-thirds majority vote of the board. 5. In the event of an unscheduled vacancy, the Board will elect a replacement officer from the current board to serve until the next annual meeting unless reelected at that time. 6. No officer of the Board shall sign any letters or make a commitment on behalf of STEPS without getting the approval of the Board. In an emergency situation, a specially called meeting may be conducted via conference call. 7. All nominees must be present to be elected to office.
Section 1. The president shall be the head officer of the STEPS Board. The duties of the president shall include the following: 1. To call and preside over the board meetings. 2. To be a voting member. 3. To make recommendations to the Advisors of STEPS and submit such reports as are necessary to the association. 4. To function as the official contact person. 5. To ensure that the functions of STEPS are fulfilled. 6. To sign necessary documents on behalf of STEPS. 7. To fulfill other duties as deemed necessary by the Board. Section 2. The duties of the vice-president shall include the following: 1. To carry out the duties of the president in his or her absence. 2. To assume the duties of the president, if the office is vacated, until the STEPS Board can elect a new president. 3. To fulfill other duties in the interest of STEPS as delegated by the president or the Board. Section 3. The duties of the secretary shall be the following: 1. To keep a record of board member attendance. 2. To record the minutes of each board meeting. 3. To notify members of their attendance and its affect on continued participation on the board. 4. To notify board members of upcoming meetings and conference calls. Section 4. The duties of the treasurer include the following: 1. To report to the board the financial status of the association for approval. 2. To act as fundraiser coordinator for the association.
Section 5. If neither the president nor vice-president is present to preside at a board meeting, the secretary will chair the meeting. Section 6. If necessary, due to time limits or other unforeseen circumstances, the executive committee and/or board may have voting on pertinent items by phone and/or internet. ARTICLE VI MEMBERSHIP Membership of the state-wide Arkansas People First (APF) organization shall be open to all people who demonstrate interest in APF through monetary contribution or through the performance of any services or activities that promote the goals of the organization. Types of membership: There shall be two categories of members: 1. Voting members shall be any person who has a physical, sensory, or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activity, has a record of such a disability, or is regarded as having such a disability. 2. Non-voting members include all other interested individuals or organizations that wish to support the goals and purposes of APF. ARTICLE VII MEETING AND ATTENDANCE The membership of the STEPS Board shall have several categories of meetings: Section 1. Annual meetings: The annual meeting shall be held at the bi-annual state-wide conference of Arkansas People First. Notice of the annual meeting shall be mailed to all board members at least four (4) weeks prior to the scheduled meeting date. Section 2. Monthly scheduled meetings: A quarterly calendar prepared in advance will be given to all board members, alerting them of the monthly board meetings. Section 3. Unscheduled meetings: Unscheduled meetings may be called by the President or an Advisor of the board. Meeting notices must be sent at least two (2) days prior to the telephone conference meeting. Section 4. Board meetings will be open to the public in accordance with state law. A quorum shall be considered to be three-fourths (3/4) board members in attendance. Section 5. The members present at an annual or unscheduled meeting of the membership shall be considered a quorum. Section 6. Any board member who has three consecutive absences without just cause (illness, hospitalization, etc.) may be removed from the board. Section 7. It is the duty of each officer and Advisor attending the meeting to remain in attendance throughout the entire meeting, unless an emergency arises. ARTICLE VIII CONFLICT OF INTEREST 1. No member shall cast a vote that is a conflict of interest under state law. 2. No member shall cast aspersions on the character of another member.
ARTICLE IX RENUMERATION The board members are eligible for reimbursement of allowable expenses when funds are available. Board Members must contact the Treasurer (supported by a Board Advisor) for reimbursement prior to expense. ARTICLE X OPERATIONAL YEAR The operational year of STEPS shall be from January 1 to December 31. ARTICLE XI BOARD STRUCTURE The STEPS Board shall have a standing committee called the Executive Committee consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. They shall act on behalf of the STEPS Board between regular monthly meetings when necessary. The actions will be reported at the next board meeting. ARTICLE XII FUNDING CONTROLS All expenditures by the STEPS Board shall be in compliance with state and federal guidelines. ARTICLE XIII DISTRIBUTION OF BY-LAWS Each board member shall be given a copy of the association by-laws. ARTICLE XIV INDEMNIFICATION STEPS shall indemnify any and all persons who may serve or who have served at any time as board members, officers, or Advisors, or who at the request of the STEPS Board (also of Arkansas People First â€“ APF) may serve or at any time have served as an agent of STEPS (also APF) and their respective heirs, administrators, successors and assigns, against any an all expenses, including amounts paid upon judgments, counsel fees, and amounts paid in settlements (before or after suit is commenced), actually or necessarily incurred by such persons in connection with the defense or settlement of any claim, action, suit or proceeding in which they, or any of them, are made parties, or a party, or which may be asserted against them or any of them, by reason of being or having been directors or agents of STEPS (also APF). ARTICLE XV ADMENDMENTS OF BY-LAWS These by-laws may be amended or repealed and new by-laws adopted by the STEPS Board at any regularly scheduled meeting by a majority vote of the members present. All by-laws and amendments must be dated and signed by
the current Executive Board. Any controversy not covered by the association bylaws will be settled in accord with Roberts Rules of Parliamentary Procedure. ARTICLE XVI DISSOLUTION, DISTRIBUTION OF ASSETS Upon dissolution of this organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, or for a public purpose. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by a court of competent jurisdiction of the county in which the principle office of the corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organizations as said court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes. This Article (XVI) in the STEPS Articles of Incorporation (Seventh) was amended and recorded with the Arkansas Secretary of Stateâ€™s office in accordance to new IRS rules by the original STEPS Trustees on the 26th day of July , 2007. By Laws originally adopted for STEPS on April 27, 2006. By Laws amended by the STEPS board on January 25, 2008.
d. APF Goals and Objectives by Year 2008
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Provide support for chapter growth and development. Implement a sound financial plan for the future. Conduct training and develop new training curricula. Educate people with disabilities and the general public about self determination. Publicize and advertise APF’s mission, purpose, goals, and activities.
Work with other organizations to expand resources and knowledge. Affect social and legislative change. 2007
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Provide support for chapter growth and development. Implement a sound financial plan for the future. Support people to find alternative living options of their choice. Educate people with disabilities and the general public about self determination. Work with local and state government to affect change. 2006 and 2005
• • • • • • • • • •
• • • • • •
Influence systems change. Educate people on self-determination. Support people to find alternative living options of their choice. Provide chapter support. Implement financial support. 2004 and 2003 Provide monthly support for chapter growth and development. Implement a sound financial plan for the future. Support people with disabilities who live in institutions, nursing homes, and group homes to become independent and find alternative living options of their choice. Educate people with disabilities and the general public about self determination for everyone. Bridge organizations and government for legislative support. 2002 and 2001 Build a strong foundation through a united Board of Directors that represents the state. Construct a funding plan that will take us into the future. Develop chapters across the state. Do self-advocate training. Advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. Get the word out about what we do.
Section 2 â€“ APF/STEPS Structure a. Flow Chart By nature, APF/STEPS is a changing and growing organization. As needs arise and finances are available, more self advocates are desired to be hired as employees, whether full or part time. Following is a flow chart that is expected to be in place as of January 2008.
AR. People First/STEPS APF/STEPS will follow guidelines by all grantors. Board of Directors State Coordinator
Committee Coord . supports Adv., By Laws, Ex., Finance, & Public Ed Committees
daily administration, supervises Coord. â€™s, supports By Laws, Ex. & Finance Committees & chapters, grant writing
Regional Coord .
to be voted on (would be a volunteer )
supports Adv. & Public Ed. Committees, sets up trainings
b. Roles and Responsibilities - The policies and procedures stated in this APF/STEPS manual are abbreviated at best and not intended to give a complete reporting in each subject area. They are subject to change upon vote by the full APF/STEPS state board.
Section 3 - Employment with APF/STEPS - The Executive Committee of APF/STEPS will assist with interviews and make recommendations, but the final decision for hiring is left up to the APF State Coordinator/STEPS Advisor (not to be confused with the State Advisor). The Executive Committee will be responsible for hiring the APF State Coordinator/STEPS Advisor (hereinafter also referred to as the APF/STEPS State Coordinator). Other APF/STEPS positions which presently exist are the APF/STEPS Regional Coordinator and the APF/STEPS Committee Coordinator. Various part time and/or intern positions such as APF Chapter, Training, and Grant Coordinators, bookkeeper or accountant, webmaster/ technical support person(s) are desired in the future, as funding allows. a. Hiring - Positions will be advertised in the usual way job openings are available to the general public, organizations who support people with disabilities, friends of APF/STEPS, etc. APF/STEPS members will also promote and advertise new job positions. Personnel files are the property of APF/STEPS, and access to them is based upon the authority delegated by the State Coordinator. An employee may review his or her own file at the convenience of and in the presence of the State Coordinator. Each time the file is entered, an access sheet must be signed by the person entering the file. Personnel files must not leave the State Coordinatorâ€™s office area. All documents within an employeeâ€™s personnel file are considered confidential in nature and as such, employees should follow confidentiality polices when reviewing or discussing these items. b. Termination of Employment - Arkansas is an employment-at-will state. All staff employees of APF/STEPS, whether full-time, part-time, hourly, extra-help, or other, may have their employment terminated by APF/STEPS at any time, with 2 weeks written notice, or be dismissed for cause in accordance with APF/STEPS procedures. Students and hourly employees are hired to work at the pleasure of APF/STEPS and may be terminated at any time without notice. If the termination is related to unsatisfactory work performance, the procedures described in Section 3g, Reviewing and Evaluating, should be followed. APF/STEPS does not need to give advance notice if employment is terminated for cause, such as dishonesty, insubordination, other incidents of misconduct, or unlawful behavior. c. Equal Opportunity Employment - It is the policy of APF/STEPS to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified persons, to prohibit discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, national origin, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, veteran's status, or disability, or HIV or Hepatitis status, and to promote the full realization of equal employment opportunity through a positive, continuing program of affirmative action.
This policy will be followed in recruiting, hiring, determination of pay, promotions, APF/STEPS-sponsored training programs, transfers, layoffs, returns from layoff, demotions, terminations, social and recreational programs, use of any APF/STEPS facilities or equipment acquired in the future, fringe benefits, and treatment as individuals. It is to be implemented throughout the organization and is the responsibility of all personnel, supervisory, non-supervisory, and volunteers. Compliance with this policy shall be monitored by APF/STEPS administrative staff. d. Employment Status Full Time Employment– A full time position is considered an appointed position, eligible for employee benefits, if available. Part Time Employment– A person working at least 50% of the time in a part time position is considered working in an appointed position, eligible for employee benefits, if available. Hourly Employment – This is not an appointed position. Neither is a person working as an hourly employee eligible for employee benefits. Age Requirements - The minimum age for employment in most APF/STEPS positions is sixteen years. However, applicants younger than sixteen with a valid work permit may be employed. Employees who hold hazardous jobs must be eighteen years of age or older and trained for appropriate positions. There is no maximum age for employment and no mandatory retirement age. e. Benefits (if available) - If an employee is employed in an appointed position (50% appointment or greater and not in a student title), he or she is eligible for employee benefits, if available. Certain benefits as the organization is able to fund them such as Basic Life Insurance, Basic Long Term Disability Insurance, and employer contributions to retirement, are possible benefits for all benefits-eligible employees. All necessary benefits paperwork must be completed within 31 days of the benefits eligible appointment date. Health and Dental Coverage (if available) Enrollment Deadline – If an employee opts not to enroll in health and/or dental coverage within 31 days of the benefits eligible appointment date, he or she will not be eligible to participate in health or dental coverage at any future date unless a HIPAA qualifying event occurs. Retirement Participation (if available) – If the employee is employed by APF/STEPS in a position which is not considered a benefits eligible position, he or she could be eligible to participate in employee contributions to retirement through a Supplemental Retirement Annuity (SRA) or similar retirement plan, as the organization is able to fund such. By participating in a retirement plan,
money can be set aside, possibly tax-deferred, for retirement. To participate in a retirement plan, all necessary paperwork must be completed no later than the last working day of the month prior to the month in which the employee wishes to start making contributions. Leave Policy â€“ Straight hourly employees are not eligible for paid vacation or sick leave. Employees in appointed positions earn sick leave at the rate of 8 hours per month for full time, 6 hours per month for 3/4 time, and 4 hours per month for 1/2 time. AFP/STEPS full time staff earns 8 hours per month sick leave and up to 22.5 days vacation per year. All APF/STEPS employees are required to fax, mail, or email a Leave Request Form to the APF State Coordinator/STEPS Advisorâ€™s office by the last day of the month, even if no leave of any kind of leave has been taken. (See Appendix 1, Form A.) Full and parttime employees begin to accrue sick leave and annual leave after one month of employment. Full-time employees earn 8 hours per month, 75% part time employees earn 6 hours per month, and 50% part-time employees earn 4 hours per month vacation (annual) leave. Annual leave accumulation is 240 hours (the maximum allowed without loosing hours) carry over. All leave, including holiday, will be submitted on a Leave Request Form and sent to the state office. You may request annual leave at any time, but your request must be made 2 weeks in advance and be approved by your supervisor. For full-time employees, Annual Leave is accrued as stated below: From the beginning of
Through the end of
If you are not full-time and not an hourly employee, but work 1,000 hours or more per year, you earn annual leave in proportion to the time you work. If you end your employment APF/STEPS for any reason, including termination, retirement, resignation, or death, your final pay will include a lump sum payment for any accrued but unused annual leave, up to, but not exceeding 30 days (240 hours) or 60 days (480 hours) in the case of death. Sick Leave - If an employee works at least 1,000 hours per year in an appointed position and is not employed in a student position, the employee earns sick leave. Sick leave is earned at the rate of eight hours, or one day, for each full month of employment if an employee works full-time. If working less than full-time and not in an hourly position, but 1,000 hours or more per year, the employee 18
earns sick leave at a rate proportional to the time worked. If working less than 1,000 hours per year, sick leave is not earned. Sick leave can only be accrued when an employee is in a paid status, including when the employee is on leave with pay. Accrued sick leave cannot exceed 120 days (960 hours) on January 1 of each year. If the employee wishes to use sick leave for a medical, dental, or optical appointment, for a scheduled hospital stay, for a funeral, or for any other use that you are aware of in advance, he or she should make a request to the supervisor, as early as possible. If the employee is absent because of illness or injury for five or more consecutive days, he or she may be asked to furnish written proof of illness or injury from a doctor. Job Related Accidents – Any employee who is injured in the performance of his or her job duties or injured while on the premises of the organization’s property must report the incident to their supervisor and fill out a first report within 24 hours of the occurrence. Bereavement Leave – An employee may use sick leave when absent from work because of the death of a member of the immediate family. Immediate family means the employee’s mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife, child, grandchild, grandparents, in-laws, or any individual who has acted as a parent or guardian. Maternity Leave - Maternity leave is treated as any other leave for sickness or disability, except that an employee who is unable to work because of pregnancy may elect to take maternity leave without pay without exhausting her accumulated annual leave and sick leave. If an employee takes maternity leave, she should discuss with her supervisor how she wants to use leave balances. She should give her supervisor as much notice as possible before beginning maternity leave, and two weeks notice before returning to work from maternity leave. Both notices should be in writing. Upon her return from maternity leave, the employee will be given the same position or one which is comparable in pay, benefits, and working conditions to the one held before she went on leave. Any time that maternity leave is used, it will be counted as FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) leave. Military Leave – Leave of absence for military duty is granted to full-time appointed employees. Leave with pay is granted for full-time employees up to 15 days per year plus travel time. Copies of military orders must be submitted with leave request. If on active duty of more than 15 days, a leave of absence without pay is granted in accordance with state and federal laws. Jury Duty – Any employee serving as a witness, juror, or party litigant shall be entitled to regular compensation in addition to any fees paid by the Court for such services. Such absences shall not be counted as annual leave.
Where service on a jury would cause a hardship to the operation of your work unit, the lead APF/STEPS administrator may petition the judge in writing for you to be excused from such service. However, if the request is denied or no response is received prior to the date jury duty is to begin, you must report for jury duty. In cases where service as a witness can be handled by the taking of a deposition rather than court appearance, the deposition is preferred. Depositions or statements, which involve the organization, may be taken during working hours. All others should be handled on personal time. If you are accepted by the court as an expert witness and are paid a fee in excess of the normal witness fee, you will be required to take annual leave for the time required for such testimony. Catastrophic Leave Bank (if available) – APF/STEPS may develop a catastrophic leave bank program to which an employee can donate accrued sick leave and annual leave for use by employees who have a catastrophic illness or who have an immediate family member with a catastrophic illness, and whose own leave has been exhausted. An employee may also apply for catastrophic leave if needed and if the eligibility criteria is met. Employees who wish to donate to the leave bank program should discuss details with their supervisor. Holidays – There are ordinarily 12 official paid holidays which are charged to annual leave, according to how many hours an appointed employee works: Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and the Friday following Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr.’s (MLK) Birthday, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, and your birthday. For APF/STEPS staff, employees are expected to work on MLK’s Birthday, Presidents’ Day, and Memorial Day in order to take these days off during Christmas Break. If an employee chooses to take these particular holidays off on the actual holidays instead of during Christmas Break, this must be indicated on the employee’s Leave Request Form. In addition, if the employee decides to observe his or her birthday on the date it occurs, instead of using it in lieu of an annual leave day between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, inform your department leave representative as far in advance of the birthday as possible. f. Reviewing and Evaluating - APF/STEPS uses the Arkansas Performance Evaluation Plan, a standards-based system. Performance standards describe how a job is to be performed and are developed to represent fully satisfactory job performance. A supervisor may ask for the employee’s assistance in developing job standards and should review standards with the employee at least annually, in addition to revising them each time job duties change. The supervisor is responsible for establishing and up-dating performance standards and has the authority to determine the standards for the employee’s job. Annual evaluations must be completed between January 15 and
March 15. If interim evaluations are done, the interim evaluations must be considered in the annual evaluation. New employees, whether in appointed or hourly positions, will be given an evaluation after 3 months of employment. The same guidelines as above will be used. g. Other Policies Direct Deposit – It is the practice of APF/STEPS to deposit employee pay directly to a financial institution that receives electronic transfers. The APF/STEPS pay period is a once per month pay system for appointed positions and twice per month for hourly employees. Hourly employees turn in timesheets to their supervisor on the 1st and the 16th days of every month. Employees should complete a direct deposit form, specifying the financial institution(s) and the account(s) to which they want their paychecks deposited. Employees can receive their Earning Statements by e-mail which also gives notification of pay date, amount of check and benefits, leave taken, etc. Payroll Deductions – APF/STEPS is required by law to withhold part of the employee’s pay each pay period for federal and state income taxes and for social security and Medicare taxes. Early in the calendar year, the employee will receive a W-2 form which will show earnings for the previous calendar year and the amounts withheld for income and social security taxes. The employee may request that amounts be withheld from his or her check for other purposes, including retirement contributions; group life, medical, dental, vision care, and long-term disability insurance premiums; flexible spending account payments; United Way, APF/STEPS Income Account, etc. Garnishments and Salary Liens - If the employee has wages or other amounts due from APF/STEPS seized by a court order of garnishment, APF/STEPS is required by law to comply with the court order. Governmental liens resulting from claims for unpaid taxes, bankruptcy claims, and child support orders must also be honored. When APF/STEPS receives a court order for garnishment or a salary lien, it must pay the required amount directly to the clerk of the court or the governmental agency. Any defenses the employee may wish to make must be made to the court or governmental agency. As allowed by law, an administrative charge of $2.50 per paycheck will be assessed on child support garnishments. Overtime – Cash payment for any overtime worked is the least desirable method of compensation for overtime. If an employee works overtime, he or she will be compensated for this overtime work with the accrual of compensatory time unless that department chooses to provide cash payment. All overtime worked requires prior approval by the employee’s immediate supervisor.
Maximum Hours for Hourly Employees – By Arkansas state law, the maximum an employee can work in an hourly position is 1,500 hours in a calendar year. Outside Employment – Outside employment (for appointed positions) is allowed if the following conditions are met. See Form B to complete in the Appendix section. • • • •
The employment does not constitute a conflict of interest and does not interfere with the performance of the APF/STEPS job. The work is completed off the premises of any AFP/STEPS acquired facility in the future. The work is completed during non-APF/STEPS work time. The work does not involve the use of materials, supplies, equipment, etc. belonging to APF/STEPS.
A “Disclosure of Potential Conflict of Interest and Commitment” form (see Appendix 1, Form B) must be submitted for review by the employee’s supervisor. A copy of the form, with an approval or outlining steps to manage the potential conflict, will be returned to the employee, and the original will be kept by the supervisor. Drug-free Workplace Policy – As an employee of APF/STEPS, it is unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, or use a controlled substance and is prohibited. Violation of this policy can subject the employee to discipline up to and including termination. As a condition of employment by a federal contractor, employees must abide by the terms of this policy and shall notify the employer of any criminal drug conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five (5) days after such a conviction. Federal law mandates that the employer communicate this conviction to the federal agency. The employee will waive any and all claims that may arise for conveying this information to the federal agency. Alcohol Policy – APF/STEPS will use the same policy for employees as well as board members and volunteers: dispensing, possessing, and consuming alcoholic beverages while representing the organization is strictly prohibited. For employees and board members, the consumption of alcoholic beverages on any property acquired in the future by APF/STEPS or during hours spent representing the organization, reporting under the influence of alcohol, and intoxication while representing the organization are prohibited, and will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. For employees, under the Governor's policy directive, use of alcoholic beverages during office hours is strictly prohibited and shall be grounds for immediate dismissal. This policy also applies to APF/STEPS board members during hours when APF/STEPS conducts business and/or state board meetings (including conference calls). Information about the health consequences of alcohol use and about available sources of alcohol-abuse counseling is available from APF/STEPS administrative staff members. 22
Sexual Harrassment – Simple procedures: • • • •
The victim should communicate to the perpetrator in some way that the contact or conduct is unwanted and they do not want it to continue. The victim should communicate the incident to his or her Chapter Advisor, support person, APF/STEPS State Coordinator, APF/STEPS State President, supervisor, authorities, police, etc. The victim should keep a written or tape recorded record, no matter how small an incident may seem. This is for documentation purposes. If the perpetrator continues even once more after the request was made by the victim to discontinue, the perpetrator will be given a warning by the APF State Coordinator and/or APF State President. The perpetrator will have explained the possible consequences of another unsolicited act. After one warning, another advance will warrant the perpetrator in the following actions: o banned from attending an up-coming APF event or o suspended from a committee or the APF State Board for a certain length of time or o referred for counseling or mediation for a resolution of the situation; if the latter is suggested, a signed contract will be the result
Sexual harassment as defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and adapted to the academic environment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or written communication of a sexual nature, regardless of where such conduct might occur. Any staff member, chapter member, volunteer, or visitor who has experienced or witnessed sexual harassment is strongly urged to report it. APF/STEPS must know about incidents of sexual harassment in order to stop them, protect victims, and prevent future incidents. It is the responsibility of APF/STEPS staff to report complaints of sexual harassment which they receive and of possible sexual harassment of which they become aware. When there is a relationship that involves legally recognized professional confidentiality between the complainant and the person to whom the harassment is reported, the report may be withheld at the request of the complainant. Sexual harassment should be reported immediately and must be reported within 180 days of its occurrence. Upon receiving a complaint, a complaint officer will interview the complainant (and the alleged victim if it is a third party report) to compile as much specific information as possible, including the nature of each incident, the time, place, actual or potential witnesses, any actions or other responses to the alleged harassment already taken by the complainant, identification of the alleged harasser, and other pertinent facts or allegations. Individuals who make complaints of sexual harassment and individuals who are accused of sexual harassment are entitled to due process and to a fair and prompt resolution of the complaint. Resolution may be attempted through direct informal action, through an informal resolution process, or through a formal grievance process. Employment of Relatives (Nepotism) - Employment of relatives in the same department or division of APF/STEPS is allowed only when one will not 23
supervise or have control over personnel decisions affecting the other. To avoid possible conflict of interest, relatives must not participate, either formally or informally, in decisions to hire, retain, promote, or determine the salaries of each other. Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) - The Arkansas General Assembly may, from time to time, authorize pay increases that represent cost of living adjustments for all appointed employees. These increases are not performancebased, but are awarded to all appointed employees. Travel Expense Advances and Reimbursement – Each APF/STEPS staff person, whether full or part time, appointed or hourly, is responsible for payment of their own hotel, meals, and transportation expenses at the time of travel. When possible, staff may room with self advocates in order for their hotel room to be direct billed and paid by the budget rather than paying up front themselves and getting reimbursed later. When staff room together, a 48 hour cancellation notice must be given to the roommate so that another person can be found as a replacement. Travel advances are made only to APF/STEPS employees who are authorized to travel on official APF/STEPS business. (Hourly employees are not eligible for travel advances.) The employee is responsible for repaying any of the unspent travel advance within five days after the scheduled return from the trip for which it was issued. If the employee does not repay any unspent travel advance when it is due, the amount owed may be deducted from his or her paycheck. If APF/STEPS has to deduct the repayment for travel advances more that once in any twenty-four month period, the employee will be ineligible for further travel advances for the next twenty-four month period. If the trip is canceled, the employee must return or repay the travel advance immediately. Employee Grievance Procedures Step 1
Within 15 days of knowledge of a possible grievance, the employee will bring the grievance to the attention of his/her supervisor. The supervisor will attempt to bring resolution to the grievance within 10 days. A grievance should first be discussed and resolution made at that level if possible. If unsuccessful, the employee may then proceed to the next step in the grievance procedure. Grievance must be in writing for referral to the next level in the process, step 2.
Within 10 days of the supervisor’s decision, the employee may appeal the decision to the State Coordinator or the APF/STEPS Executive Committee (referred hereinafter as “the official”). If necessary, the full state board will be approached, especially if the State Coordinator has a grievance. The official will appoint
someone of supervisory level to investigate the grievance and report back to him/her with recommendations. After receiving the information and recommendations, the official will schedule a time to meet with the employee and provide counsel to the employee. Mediation by a disinterested third party is also encouraged. After discussion of the incident, if the official cannot bring immediate resolution to the grievance, he/she will provide a written decision to the employee within six days. If the employee is not satisfied with the decision, he or she may proceed to the next step in the process. Step 3
The employee has five days from the time of receipt of the written decision from the official to submit a written appeal and copies of all supporting documentation to members of the state board. The State President will make a report to all concerned parties, which will consider all appeals. After hearing all evidence, the state board will make a decision in writing to the employee within 14 days. The committee’s decision is final.
Computer and Internet Acceptable Use Policy – As a condition of employment and possible volunteering, APF/STEPS places certain restrictions on workplace use of the Internet. APF/STEPS encourages employee/volunteer use of the Internet: •
to communicate with fellow employees and members regarding matters within an employee or volunteer’s assigned duties;
to acquire information related to or designed to facilitate the performance of regular assigned duties; and
to facilitate performance of any task or project in a manner approved by an employee of volunteer’s supervisor
Compliance With Applicable Laws And Licenses Employees and volunteers must comply with all software licenses, copyrights, and all other laws governing intellectual property and online activity. Please be advised that your use of the Internet access during work or volunteer hours expressly prohibits the following: •
Distribution of destructive programs (i.e., viruses and/or self-replicating code)
Hateful, harassing, or other anti-social behavior
Intentional damage or interference with others (for example, hacking and distributing viruses)
Making and distributing publicly accessible obscene files
Commercial usage of non-company business
Dissemination or printing of copyrighted materials (including articles and software) in violation of copyright laws
Sending, receiving, printing, or otherwise disseminating proprietary data, trade secrets, or other confidential information of APF/STEPS in violation of company policy or proprietary agreements
Offensive or harassing statements or language including disparagement of others based on their race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, religious, or political beliefs
Sending or soliciting sexually oriented messages or images
Operating a business, usurping business opportunities, or soliciting money for personal gain, or searching for jobs outside APF/STEPS
Sending chain letters, gambling or engaging in any other activity in violation of the law
Violation of APF/STEPS Computer and Internet Acceptable Use Policy Violation of APF/STEPS Computer and Internet Acceptable Use Policy may include disciplinary action. The measure of discipline will correspond to the gravity of the offense as weighed by its potential effect on the organization and fellow employees, members, and volunteers. When you connect to the Internet using an APF/STEPS address designation, it should be for official APF/STEPS business related activities. Supervisor's Right to Access Information An electronic mail system may be installed by APF/STEPS in the future to facilitate business communications. (Currently, the system if through the U of A CURRENTS through December 2008). Although each employee has an individual password to access this system, all rights belong to the U of A CURRENTS and the contents of e-mail communications are accessible at all times to the U of A CURRENTS for any business purpose (and possibly to APF/STEPS in the future). These systems may be subject to periodic unannounced inspections, and should be treated like other shared filing systems. All system passwords and encryption keys are given out by the U of A CURRENTS. Your passwords or encryption keys are available to them. All e-mail messages are company records. The contents of e-mail, properly obtained for legitimate business purposes, may be disclosed within the offices of APF/STEPS or the U of A CURRENTS without your permission. Therefore, you should not assume that messages are confidential. Back-up copies of e-mail may be maintained and referenced for business and legal reasons. Personal Use of E-Mail
Because APF/STEPS pays its employees to conduct work and expects its volunteers to act in a professional manner while volunteering, you should use email for official APF/STEPS business only. APF/STEPS reserves the right to access and disclose as necessary all messages sent over its e-mail system, without regard to content. Since your personal messages can be accessed currently by the U of A CURRENTS without prior notice, you should not use email to transmit any messages you would not want read by a third party. Password and Encryption Key Security and Integrity Employees are prohibited from the unauthorized use of the passwords and encryption keys of other employees and volunteers to gain access to the other employee's e-mail messages. Virus Detection All material downloaded from the Internet or from computers or networks MUST be scanned for viruses and other destructive programs before being placed onto the APF/STEPS computer system. Waiver Of Privacy APF/STEPS and currently the U of A CURRENTS has the right, but not the duty, to monitor any and all aspects of its computer system, including, but not limited to, monitoring sites employees visit on the Internet, reviewing material downloaded or uploaded by employees, and reviewing e-mail sent and received by employees. Employees waive any right to privacy in anything they create, store, send, or receive on the computer or the Internet. Amendments This policy may be amended or revised from time-to-time. Employees and volunteers will be provided with notice of all amendments and revisions to this policy. Taping/Eavesdropping Policy – Open communication is encouraged between all employees, volunteers, and members of APF/STEPS. However, no taping devices of any kind may be used to record or video conversations of employees, volunteers, or members without permission. AFP/STEPS operates on the honor system whereby everyone is deemed an honest person who would not willingly engage in any illegal or harmful activities in the workplace unless proven otherwise. Any violation of this code may in all probability result in dismissal. Section 4 – APF/STEPS Job Positions and Duties – The APF/STEPS organization desires that its primary positions be filled by qualified self advocates (persons with disabilities). In the event of any vacancies, staff, board members, members, and volunteers will be asked to share the responsibilities until hiring takes place. Duty details will be worked out among those mentioned, according
to skill, interest, ability, time, etc., keeping in mind all goals and objectives that need to continue to be worked on during the vacancy of any position. a. State Coordinator – This is the head administrative position with APF/STEPS. The Executive Committee will be responsible for hiring the APF/STEPS State Coordinator, who will be supervised by the full state board. The job description is as follows: Arkansas People First State (APF)/STEPS Coordinator APF/STEPS is a statewide self-advocacy organization administered through 2008 by the University of Arkansas CURRENTS. The State Coordinator will assist in chapter and state development. The State Coordinator has the primary responsibility for program development and implementation and will assist with report writing, grant writing, marketing, and communications among the groups. The State Coordinator position is either a full-time or shared part time positions. In order to be considered for employment, the applicant must be an active member of a local APF/STEPS chapter or be willing to join one and become an active member. If no chapter exists where the State Coordinator lives and works for APF/STEPS, he or she must be willing to start a local chapter. The new employee will be given a 6 month grace period to get involved in a local chapter. •
Responsible for all goals of all APF/STEPS grants Responsible for accomplishing and implementing the 5 goals of DDCouncil (DDC) grant Submit quarterly grant reports to the DDC and the U of A Coordinate any other grants and/or contracts State Board Empower and support state officers and board members to be leaders of APF/STEPS Assist in coordinating board and committee meetings Reporting state board and committee development Chapter, Training, and Committee Support Responsible for reporting chapter, training, and committee development Advise Committee Coordinator on committee support Advise Regional Coordinator on training support Assist in officer and trainer training Support state officers to communicate with chapters, trainers, and committees via phone and/or email Assist in collecting chapter, training, and committee reports Support Public Education Committee on quarterly “e” newsletter and annual mailed newsletter Assist in updating APF/STEPS contact lists including a database and “e” newsletter email list Coordinate state board meetings and the annual Celebration Retreat APF Staff
Leader of APF Team Supervise the Regional and Committee Coordinators and other employees as hired Weekly staff calls to discuss and manage projects Maintain and develop APF/U of A CURRENTS partnership (through 2008) Report travel to U of A CURRENTS Event Coordinator (through 2008) Coordinate events with U of A CURRENTS Event Coordinator (thru 2008) State Partnerships and Grant Development Build partnerships with organizations/agencies around the state Look for funding opportunities and write grants
Other responsibilities include: • Travel to chapters monthly across the state to give support • Officer, Advisor, and Trainer Training • Support for trainers: “Reaching My Own Greatness (RMOG)”, Project Vote, DD Provider Board Training and other training as developed • Develop and distribute “Flavor of the Quarter” training packets • Conduct new chapter presentations in an effort to start new chapters • Attend State Board meetings • Support for State Committees • Support statewide training events, state and national conferences, etc. • Support groups to complete reporting requirements • Supervise and support APF/STEPS staff and volunteers • Network with other organizations • Grant writing • Other duties as assigned b. Regional Coordinator – This is presently a part time position at 25% (10 hours per week). The Executive Committee of APF/STEPS will assist with interviews and make recommendations, but the final decision for hiring this position is left up to the APF/STEPS State Coordinator. Following is the job description: Arkansas People First (APF)/STEPS Regional Coordinator Committee Support: • Participate in Executive, Advocacy, and Public Education Committees and the State Board Rep conference calls • Support APF/STEPS Committee Coordinator by proofing minutes for the Advocacy and Public Education Committees and the State Board Rep calls
Head the APF/STEPS training program and all that is involved (see separate detailed sheet) Assist in supporting APF/STEPS volunteers
State Office Support: • Support State Coordinator and assist where needed • Liaison with U of A CURRENTS Event Coordinator in following-up with APF/STEPS event planning; when under STEPS, conduct event planning • Attend board meetings/workshops/conferences as needed to represent APF/STEPS • Public Relations – assist in conflict resolutions with staff, board members, public, etc. • Turn in monthly reports • Other duties as needed Qualifications: • Must be an active member of a local APF/STEPS chapter or be willing to join one and become an active member; if no chapter exists where the Regional Coordinator lives and works for APF/STEPS, he or she must be willing to start a local chapter. The new employee will be given a 6 month grace period in which to get involved in a local chapter. • Must have good communication skills, whether written, oral, or in some form • Must be able to travel within the state and have access to good transportation support • Must be a good team player and work well as part of a team • Must be able to work independently, with support as needed c. Committee Coordinator - This is presently a part time position at 25% (10 hours per week). The Executive Committee of APF/STEPS will assist with interviews and make recommendations, but the final decision for hiring this position is left up to the APF/STEPS State Coordinator. Following is the job description: Arkansas People First (APF)/STEPS Committee Coordinator • Provide clerical support for the APF Advocacy, By Laws, Executive, Finance, and Public Education Committees by being on the conference calls and taking notes; type up the notes to send to the State Coordinator (Executive, By Laws, and Finance Committees’ notes) and the Regional Coordinator to proof (Advocacy and Public Education Committees’ notes); and send the notes to all committee members once approved • Assist APF staff with preparations for all state board meetings, state conferences, state newsletters, trainings, etc.; copy and organize handouts for each event; assist with APF mail-outs • Other duties as assigned Qualifications:
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Must be an active member of a local APF/STEPS chapter or be willing to join one and become an active member; if no chapter exists where the Commimttee Coordinator lives and works for APF/STEPS, he or she must be willing to start a local chapter. The new employee will be given a 6 month grace period in which to get involved in a local chapter. Must have excellent written communication skills Must be able to travel within the state and have access to good transportation support Must be a good team player and work well as part of a team Must be able to work independently, with support as needed
d. State Advisor – This position will be voted on at the next APF/STEPS board meeting in 2008. It is a proposed volunteer position, possibly held by a former State Coordinator, until funds become available to open the position for hire. The State Advisor may be a person with or without an obvious disability. The purpose is to assist in training new employees and for continuity and preservation of the organization’s business. In the early years of APF being under the U of A, a State Advisor was hired to serve in an advisory capacity. This position was done away with when the U of A CURRENTS hired an Events Coordinator to handle the financial tracking of APF funds. e. Future Positions – Positions desired in the future as funds are available are a Chapter Coordinator, Training Coordinator, Grants Coordinator, Webmaster/Technical Support Person, etc. When APF/STEPS is on its own, out from under the U of A CURRENTS, the organization will need to be under another fiscal agent. Section 5 - State Board Officers and Elections - For complete policies and procedures governing the state board, its officers, and elections, see the ByLaws section beginning on page 9. A Board Rep from the State Board must be present at a state board meeting in order to nominate someone present from the State Board to run for a State Office. a. Running for State Office – APF/STEPS staff may not assist members who would like to run for a state officer position unless they are willing to be on their own time to do so. In other words, if an APF/STEPS staff person is asked to assist a member in running for a state office, they must volunteer their time in order to help. b. Orientation – A list of duties and responsibilities will be given to all persons interested in running for a state board officer position. After an officer is elected, training will take place from the APF State Coordinator/STEPS Advisor and past officers as mentors. c. Executive Committee – The APF/STEPS board has a standing committee called the Executive Committee consisting of the President, Vice
President, Secretary and Treasurer. They shall act on behalf of the APF/STEPS board between regular meetings. The actions will be reported at the next meeting. The APF/STEPS board shall have a standing committee called the Executive Committee. This committee shall meet between regular meetings to review the organization’s financial documents and to report to the board. They shall assist the state APF/STEPS staff and advise the board concerning operations. Section 6 - State Board Members a. STEPS Conflict of Interest Policy (see Form C in the Appendix) Purpose – The purpose of the conflict of interest policy is to protect this taxexempt organization’s (STEPS) interest when it is contemplating entering into a transaction or arrangement that might benefit the private interest of an officer or director of STEPS or might result in a possible excess benefit transaction. This policy is intended to supplement but not replace any applicable state and federal laws governing conflict of interest applicable to nonprofit and charitable organizations. Definitions: 1. Interested Person – Any director, principal officer, or member of a committee with governing board delegated powers, who has a direct or indirect financial interest, as defined below, is an interested person. 2. Financial Interest – A person has a financial interest if the person has, directly or indirectly, through business, investment, or family: a. An ownership or investment b. A compensation arrangement with STEPS or with any entity or individual with which the organization has a transaction or arrangement, or c. A potential ownership or investment interest in, or compensation arrangement with, any entity or individual with which STEPS is negotiating a transaction or arrangement. Compensation includes direct and indirect remuneration as well as gifts or favors that are not insubstantial. A financial interest is not necessarily a conflict of interest. A person who has a financial interest may have a conflict of interest only if the appropriate governing board or committee decides that a conflict of interest exists. Procedures: 1. Duty to disclose – In connection with any actual or possible conflict of interest, an interested person must disclose the existence of the financial interest and be given the opportunity to disclose all material facts to the directors and members of committees with governing board delegated powers considering the proposed transaction or arrangement. 2. Determining whether a conflict of interest exists – After disclosure of the financial interest and all material facts, and after any discussion with the interested person, he/she shall leave the governing board or committee meeting while the determination of a conflict of interest is discussed and voted upon. The
remaining board or committee members shall decide if a conflict of interest exists. 3. Procedures for addressing the conflict of interest: a. An interested person may make a presentation at the governing board or committee meeting, but after presentation, he/she shall leave the meeting during the discussion of, and the vote on, the transaction or arrangement involving the possible conflict of interest. b. The chairperson of the governing board or committee shall, if appropriate, appoint a disinterested person or committee to investigate alternatives to the proposed transaction or arrangement. c. After exercising due diligence, the governing board or committee shall determine whether STEPS can obtain with reasonable efforts a more advantageous transaction or arrangement from a person or entity that would not give rise to a conflict of interest. d. If a more advantageous transaction or arrangement is not reasonably possible under circumstances not producing a conflict of interest, the governing board or committee shall determine by a majority vote of the disinterested directors whether the transaction or arrangement is in STEPS’ best interest, for its own benefit, and whether it is fair and reasonable. In conformity with the above determination it shall make its decision as to whether to enter into the transaction or arrangement. Violations of the conflicts of interest policy: a. If the governing board or committee has reasonable cause to believe a member has failed to disclose actual or possible conflicts of interest, it shall inform the member of the basis for such belief and afford the member an opportunity to explain the alleged failure to disclose. b. If, after hearing the member’s response and after making further investigation as warranted by the circumstances, the governing board or committee determines the member has failed to disclose an actual or possible conflict of interest, it shall take appropriate disciplinary and corrective action. Records of Proceedings – The minutes of the governing board and all committees with board delegated powers shall contain: a. The names of the persons who disclosed or otherwise were found to have a financial interest in connection with an actual or possible conflict of interest, the nature of the financial interest, any action taken to determine whether a conflict of interest was present, and the governing board’s or committee’s decision as to whether a conflict of interest in fact existed. b. The names of the persons who were present for discussions and votes relating to the transaction or arrangement, the content of the discussion, including any alternatives to the proposed transaction or arrangement, and a record of any votes taken in connection with the proceedings.
Compensation: a. A voting member of the governing board who receives compensation, directly or indirectly, from STEPS for services is precluded from voting on matters pertaining to that member’s compensation. b. A voting member of any committee whose jurisdiction includes compensation matters and who receives compensation, directly or indirectly, from STEPS for services is precluded from voting on matters pertaining to that member’s compensation. c. No voting member of the governing board or any committee whose jurisdiction includes compensation matters and who receives compensation, directly or indirectly, from STEPS, either individually or collectively, is prohibited from providing information to any committee regarding compensation. Annual Statements – Each director, principal officer and member of a committee with governing board delegated powers shall annually sign a statement which affirms such person: a. Has received a copy of the conflicts of interest policy. b. Has read and understands the policy. c. Has agreed to comply with the policy, and d. Understands that STEPS is charitable and in order to maintain its federal tax exemption it must engage primarily in activities which accomplish one or more of its tax-exempt purposes. Periodic Reviews – To ensure that STEPS operates in a manner consistent with charitable purposes and does not engage in activities that could jeopardize its tax-exempt status, periodic reviews shall be conducted. The periodic reviews shall, at a minimum, include the following subjects: a. Whether compensation arrangements and benefits are reasonable, based on competent survey information, and the result of arm’s length bargaining. b. Whether partnerships, joint ventures, and arrangements with management organizations conform to STEPS’ written policies, are properly recorded, reflect reasonable investment or payments for goods and services, further charitable purposes and do not result in inurement, impermissible private benefit or in an excess benefit transaction. Use of Outside Experts – When conducting the periodic reviews as provided above, STEPS may, but need not, use outside advisors. If outside experts are used, their use shall not relieve the governing board of its responsibility for ensuring periodic reviews are conducted. b. Roles and Responsibilities –The APF/STEPS State Board only has authority if it acts as a board together, not as individuals or a member of the board acting on his or her own. The only exception is if an individual is granted permission to act as such by the board. The State Board should not communicate with staff other than the APF State Coordinator/STEPS Advisor or call other staff with requests. The proper procedure is to contact the APF State Coordinator/STEPS Advisor and discuss the request first.
“Nine Basic Responsibilities of Non-Profit Boards” by Richard Ingram, National Center for Non-Profit Boards Governance Series with additional material from Gina McDonald is simplified below for APF/STEPS use: 1. Know the organization’s Mission and Purposes Establishing the organization's values Adopting a mission statement that identifies who benefits from the organization's operation, defines the general business the organization is in, and defines the end result of the organization's efforts Making sure programs follow the organization’s mission 2. Select the Chief Executive (State Coordinator) Developing the executive job description Clarifying Board functions as different from those of the executive and staff Hiring and supervising the executive Support the Chief Executive and Assessing His or Her Performance Acknowledging the executive as the head of staff for the organization and the person who is responsible for hiring and supervising all employees Assisting executive when board members overstep bounds or misunderstand roles Reviewing and evaluating the performance of the executive 3. Ensure Effective Organizational Planning Ensuring a vision of the future Adopting short term and long term goals Monitoring the progress of the plan 4. Ensure Adequate Resources Contributing to the organization Creating a development plan Monitoring the plan 5. Manage Resources Effectively Approving the annual budget Understanding and approving financial reports Monitoring the budget for actual financial performance Overseeing the annual audit (if any) Overseeing the management of investments Complying with tax and corporate law Complying with funding sources’ regulations 6. Determine, Monitor, and Strengthen the Organization’s Programs and Services Board’s responsibility—ensure quality, cost-effective programs and services Staff’s responsibility—creatively start and conduct programs and services Approving all programs plans annually Evaluating programs Monitoring program accomplishments 7. Enhance the Organization’s Public Standing Knowing the organization's market (people we serve) Knowing how well these markets are being reached and served Linking your organization to external markets
8. Legal Standards and Ethical Norms Adhering to local, state and federal laws and regulations that apply Filing accurate, timely reports required by federal, state and local government agencies Setting personnel policies Protecting staff, clients and volunteers from harm or injury Complying with all employment laws Establishing an affirmative action plan Adhering to bylaws Monitoring the organization's compliance with laws and policies Registering with the appropriate state agency before beginning an organized fund-raising campaign 9. Recruit and Orient New Board members and Assess Board Performance Assuring a good flow through the nomination process Defining itself through the bylaws Evaluating board performance Taking action to improve itself c. Public Relations - Members of the APF State Board are responsible for promoting the goals of APF/STEPS while in public. All board members should promote APF/STEPS in a positive way. d. Travel â€“ Board members requesting mileage reimbursement should correspond with the designated APF/STEPS staff person no later than 2 weeks after travel has ended. The trip should be approved at least 2 weeks prior to the event by contacting the APF State Coordinator/STEPS Advisor for approval. For additional information, see Article IX of the By-Laws on page 12. The Travel Reimbursement Sheet is located in the Appendix section, Form D. e. Value and Behavior; Termination Procedures; Grievance Policies; other policies - Standards of Conduct for Boards of Directors - Directors and officers will conduct the duties of their positions in good faith and with a great amount of hard work, care and skill. In conducting supervisory activities, the board member must be able to trust the information and reports of others. These can include financial statements provided by accountants, information provided by legal counselors, and reports of board committees and outside experts. Dependence on any of these sources will not, however, relieve the board member of the need to use wisdom and good judgment. The following actions show good faith: 1. Attend all board and appropriate committee meetings for the entire meeting. If unable to attend, show a valid reason for your absence and send an alternate. Notice should be given to APF/STEPS staff if sending an alternate. 2. Have a complete knowledge of the duties of chapters and what is written in the organizationâ€™s by-laws.
3. Go by APF/STEPS rules and regulations and keep informed of the general activities and operation of programs. 4. If the board member has a complaint at a state board meeting, make sure it is recorded in the meeting minutes, and/or the board member should write a letter of complaint to the APF State Coordinator/STEPS Advisor to keep on file. 5. Avoid any act of self-dealing or enrichment or promoting oneself as a board member (even if such actions would not lead to financial benefit as a board member; mere name recognition or reward may be perceived as self-dealing). 6. Discourage any business (financial transactions) between board members and the organization unless conducted entirely openly and with strict safeguards. 7. Use established and appropriate systems of communications to present and resolve problems within the organization. Note: The degree of hard work, care and skill is usually measured by comparing board member actions by those of ordinarily wise men and women, under similar circumstances, and in like positions. The grievance policy used by APF/STEPS staff on page 24 will also be used by APF/STEPS board members. Alcohol Policy – APF/STEPS will use the same policy as the employee policy: dispensing, possessing, and consuming alcoholic beverages while representing the organization is strictly prohibited. For board members and employees, the consumption of alcoholic beverages on any property acquired in the future by APF/STEPS or during hours spent representing the organization, reporting under the influence of alcohol, and intoxication while representing the organization are prohibited, and will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. For employees, under the Governor's policy directive, use of alcoholic beverages during office hours is strictly prohibited and shall be grounds for immediate dismissal. This policy also applies to APF/STEPS board members during hours when APF/STEPS conducts business and/or state board meetings (including conference calls). Information about the health consequences of alcohol use and about available sources of alcohol-abuse counseling is available from APF/STEPS administrative staff members. Local Chapter Issues – As a general rule, the APF/STEPS State Board does not get involved with local chapter situations that may arise. APF/STEPS staff may be asked to mediate for a chapter if terms cannot agreeably be met locally. Only if APF/STEPS staff and local chapter members cannot come to terms will the APF/STEPS State Board be asked to get involved. f. Evaluating Performance – The administrative staff encourages the state board to evaluate its performance annually. This can be done at the January annual meeting or the annual Celebration Retreat. Evaluation tools are available through the state office. Results will be compiled by state staff and disseminated among board members.
Section 7 - State Board Meetings a. Face to Face Meetings – The APF/STEPS annual meeting is held in January each year. Each chapter is asked to have a representative called a Chapter Rep to take an active role on the board. The board meets two or three times per year in person in a central location of the state. The Chapter Rep and/or Advisor or Support Person will give at least a 2 week notice if they will not be able to attend and will supply an alternate in their place. If the person(s) designated to attend the state board meeting cannot attend, he or she MUST contact an APF/STEPS staff person 48 hours in advance so that cancellation of room and meals can be made. If the person does not contact an APF/STEPS staff person at least 48 hours in advance and does not show up for the state board meeting, charges incurred will be billed to that person for not canceling. The person will be charged for the hotel and meals, unless in the case of emergencies of life or death. NOTE: There will be an APF/STEPS food committee which will be in charge of selecting meals for state board meetings, trainings, state conferences, etc. When possible, persons attending the board meetings will select their own roommates. Consideration should be given APF/STEPS staff who need to room with self advocates, unless a staff member prefers to room alone or with another staff person. The smoking policy for hotel rooms is as follows: when 1 or more smokers staying in the same room with 1 or more non-smokers, a non-smoking room will be reserved for all. If a smoker is rooming alone, or if 2 or more smokers are rooming together, a smoking room (if available by the hotel) can be reserved. b. Conference Call Meetings – Telephone conference call meetings are scheduled six times per year over a free conference call line for chapter board reps, state officers, and staff to meet on a regular basis. Calling cards are available to state board members who need them. These cards may not be used for personal use but for APF/STEPS business only. Call schedules for the year are given out to board members at the January annual meeting or are available through the state office. Section 8 – APF/STEPS Revenue – It is the responsibility of the APF/STEPS Executive and Finance Committees to implement a sound financial plan for the future. a. Financial Responsibilities – APF/STEPS will maintain and support the Executive and Finance Committees to be responsible for decisions concerning the group’s financial future. b. Annual Budget – The APF/STEPS staff, Executive, and Finance Committee members will work together to develop the annual budget for the organization’s main grant from the DDCouncil. Planning will begin at the January annual meeting each year and will culminate when the grant application is due to
the DDCouncil in May. When APF/STEPS applies for other grants, staff and the same committee members will work together to determine the budget for such applications. c. Grants and Contracts – Since 1998 APF has received funding from the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (DDCouncil), considered APF’s primary source of operation. The amount has varied each year but averages around $100,000 annually. Currently, grant applications are due in May with announcements (called RFP’s) coming out in March or April. It is wise to begin the planning and grant writing process early in the year, preferably at the January state board meeting. When other RFP’s are a good fit with the goals and objectives that APF/STEPS has established, other grant applications may be written. At times AFP/STEPS staff or the organization itself may qualify for a contract with another organization. When staff contracts with other organizations (i.e. the Disability Rights Center to conduct Project Vote), staff are considered independent Contractors and are responsible for paying their own taxes on income received. d. Income Account – Presently, APF maintains an income account in a separate line item that is held by the U of A CURRENTS. This is the only line item that APF has any decision making ability as to how the money that is earned is spent. Income is earned through conducting trainings and donations that are not earmarked. Section 9 - State Committees There are five (5) active state committees known as working committees. The State President may appoint chairs of committees as needed. One person can chair no more than two committees at any given time. The chair of any committee may appoint a Vice Chair if s/he wishes, to take their place when unable to be on a call. If a Committee Chair is absent for 3 consecutive absences, without good reason, they will be asked to step down. Committee members are expected to use proper etiquette while on conference calls. Answering other phones while on the call, talking loudly to others in the room where they are calling from, dogs barking, TV’s blaring, etc. are not proper etiquette. a. Executive - The APF/STEPS Board maintains a standing committee called the Executive Committee which consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. These officers act on behalf of the APF/STEPS Board between regular meetings. The actions are reported at the next board meeting. b. Advocacy – APF/STEPS supports an Advocacy Committee which educates members and the public about laws affecting them. The Advocacy Committee networks with other organizations to affect social and legislative change. A forum is created for individuals to express concerns to legislators about policies that affect their ability to live independently, allow them to
participate on provider boards, and provide people first language. The committee helps set the stage for local members to get involved. c. By Laws – This manual was finalized by the By Laws Committee, first begun and developed by APF/STEPS staff. The By Laws Committee was reinstituted to complete the process of developing the policies and procedures of the daily operations of APF/STEPS. From time to time, committee members will recommend adjustments and new policies and procedures to reflect change and growth in the organization. Changes and additions will be voted on by the full state board at any of the face to face board meetings held throughout the year. d. Finance – APF/STEPS maintains and supports the Finance Committee which works in conjunction with the Executive Committee to be responsible for decisions concerning the group’s financial future. The purpose is to promote understanding and informed decision making among committee members by educating them on the financial status of the organization and to provide members with an avenue for practicing financial planning and decision making. The Finance Committee is also involved in grant writing. e. Public Education – APF/STEPS conducts training using previously developed curricula and develops new curricula on relevant topics. The organization hopes to increase opportunities for individuals with disabilities to be included as participating members in their communities, full citizens, leaders, teachers, and trainers. Current training curricula include Reaching My Own Greatness (RMOG), Project Vote, and DD Provider Board training; potential curricula to be developed in the future include “My Health – My Decision” and disability awareness for law enforcement personnel, etc. c. Conference Calls - Telephone conference call meetings are scheduled monthly or bi-weekly over a free conference call line for committee members to meet on a regular basis. Calling cards are available to committee chairpersons who need them. These cards may not be used for personal use but for APF/STEPS business only. Committee members are either asked to supply personal cell phone minutes (if available), buy their own calling cards, or ask their chapters to buy cards for them. When possible, APF/STEPS will purchase calling cards for all active committee members, depending on availability of funds. Call schedules for the year are given out to committee members at the annual board meeting in January and quarterly or are available through the state office.
Section 10 – APF/STEPS Chapters
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a. Current Chapters in Arkansas – Arkadelphia (meets quarterly) Ash Flat Camden Faulkner County (Conway) Harrison Hope Hot Springs Little Rock Northwest AR. (Fayetteville) Pine Bluff Searcy – an on-line “e” Chapter sponsored by the Searcy Chapter can be accessed at: http://groups.msn.com/ArkansasPeopleFirst/ Inactive chapters as of 1/08 – Batesville, Mountain Home, and Paragould
What do chapters do? They elect leaders, find an advisor, get a project or purpose, and set a day and time every month for meetings (example: the 3rd Saturday of every month). The APF/STEPS state office recommends that chapters meet monthly, but those that choose to meet more or less often are still considered APF/STEPS chapters as long as they send in the required documentation. Don’t change or cancel for any reason, if possible! Remember, two people make a meeting! Chapter Officers are the leaders of the group. Officers run the meetings and make sure everyone’s involved. Officers include: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Sergeant-at-Arms. A Reporter may be designated by APF/STEPS staff, as necessary, to send in monthly reports. Some examples of Chapter Projects or Purpose include self-advocacy training (such as “Reaching My Own Greatness”, Project Vote training, etc.), guest speakers on different topics, fundraisers, and attending conferences. An Advisor is a person, usually without a disability, who gives support to the chapter. The Advisor only does something when asked. The Advisor does not tell the chapter what to do. b. Credo of Support - The following is inserted to help Advisors and support persons understand the role that self advocates would like them to have: Throughout history people with physical and mental disabilities have been abandoned at birth, banished from society, used as court jesters, drowned and burned during the inquisition, gassed in Nazi Germany, and still continue to be
segregated, institutionalized, tortured in the name of behavior management, abused, raped, euthanized, and murdered. Now, for the first time, people with disabilities are taking their rightful place as fully contributing citizens. The danger is that we will respond with remediation and benevolence rather than equity and respect. And so, we offer you: A Credo for Support Do not see my disability as the problem. Recognize that my disability is an attribute. Do not see my disability as a deficit. It is you who see me as deviant and helpless. Do not try to fix me because I am not broken. Support me. I can make my contribution to the community in my own way. Do not see me as your client. I am your fellow citizen. See me as your neighbor. Remember, none of us can be self-sufficient. Do not try to modify my behavior. Be still and listen. What you define as inappropriate may be my attempt to communicate with you in the only way I can. Do not try to change me; you have no right. Help me learn what I want to know. Do not hide your uncertainty behind â€œprofessionalâ€? distance. Be a person who listens and does not take my struggle away from me by trying to make it all better. Do not use theories and strategies on me. Be with me. And when we struggle with each other, let that give rise to selfreflection. Do not try to control me. I have a right to my power as a person. What you call non-compliance or manipulation may actually be the only way I can exert some control over my life. Do not teach me to be obedient, submissive, and polite. I need to feel entitled to say no if I am to protect myself. Do not be charitable towards me. The last thing the world needs is another Jerry Lewis. Be my ally against those who exploit me for their own gratification. Do not try to be my friend. I deserve more than that. Get to know me. We may become friends. Do not help me, even if it does make you feel good. Ask me if I need your help. Let me show you how you can best assist me. Do not admire me. A desire to live a full life does not warrant adoration. Respect me, for respect presumes equity. Do not tell, correct, and lead. Listen, support, and follow. Do not work on me. Work with me. Dedicated to the memory of Tracy Latimer Written by Norman Kunc and Emma Van der Klift 1995
c. Chapter Dues – APF/STEPS Chapters pay $20.00 per chapter per year to the state office, due by the annual Celebration Retreat each year (usually held in the summer); persons who are not members of an APF/STEPS chapter pay $10.00 per person per year to join the organization; organizations pay $50.00 each per year to join. Advertising of dues and membership is done each year in the annual, mailed APF/STEPS newsletter. d. Chapter of the Year Contest - Each APF/STEPS chapter can earn 10 regular points per month. In addition, each chapter member who attends a chapter meeting for the month and who signs the attendance sheet (and the chapter sends it to the APF Regional Coordinator/ STEPS Advisor) will receive 1 point! Extra credit points are available also. Points are earned as follows: 3 points Chapter Secretaries/Chapter Reporters, Chapter Reps send your monthly report by the 5th of every month to the APF/STEPS state office. For example, January’s report is due February 5th. 1 point Chapter Reps, Advisors, and/or members, send your volunteer timesheets to the APF/STEPS state office. One point will be given to each chapter that sends in any amount of volunteer timesheets. 1 point getting APF/STEPS Staff to visit your meeting, having a training, turning in each your sign-in sheet, doing the Flavor of the Quarter suggestion, having a guest speaker, and having a fundraiser; each member who attends the chapter meeting who signs the attendance sheet, and the sign-in sheet is sent with the monthly report (Chapter Questionnaire) extra getting members to the Capitol when needed, doing a community presentation, points adopting and mentoring another chapter, going to conferences, having a special party, etc. e. Statewide Fundraisers - Beginning in 2008, each APF/STEPS chapter will be asked to plan and conduct (with support from APF/STEPS staff) one statewide fundraiser per year. The purpose of this practice is to gain additional revenue for general operations use (i.e. funding in part for APF/STEPS leased van transportation program). Half (50%) of the proceeds from each chapter’s statewide fundraiser is expected to be sent to the state office. The chapter may decide to use the remaining money any way they choose. A minimum of $50.00 is expected to be sent to the state office once per year for the fundraiser. Any chapters who would like to assist the chapter of the month that has signed up for the statewide fundraiser may do so. All other chapters helping in the statewide fundraiser will be asked to send in all of the money (100%) they make to the state office. APF/STEPS staff members, chapter members, chapter representatives, board members, or immediate family members of any of these are not eligible to win prizes in APF/STEPS statewide fundraisers.
Chapters are encouraged to have their own fundraisers throughout the year whenever they would like and for whatever reason they choose. APF/STEPS is developing an annual fundraising event, such as a golf tournament, to be held in the fall around October 31. Support will be needed from all chapters around the state to conduct a successful annual fundraising event. f. Member Behavior, Due Process - Article IV (#7) on page 10 of the APF/STEPS By-Laws states, “Board members will conduct themselves as adults and show respect for others. If a board member’s conduct is questioned, the board will discuss and decide upon consequences.” Article VIII (#2) on page 11 of the APF/STEPS By-Laws states, “No member shall cast aspersions on the character of another member.” Under Local Chapter Issues (page 37 of this handbook), policy states, “As a general rule, the APF/STEPS State Board does not get involved with local chapter situations that may arise. APF/STEPS staff may be asked to mediate for a chapter if terms cannot agreeably be met locally. Only if APF/STEPS staff and local chapter members cannot come to terms will the APF/STEPS State Board be asked to get involved.” Proper procedures when someone has a complaint about another APF member, officer, board member, staff member, etc. If the problem exists within a local chapter, the person with a complaint should go to his/her Advisor or Support Person. Remedies include the APF/STEPS staff and/or state board helping out with situations or issues by setting up conference calls or face-to-face chapter visits. Section 11 – Training a. Training Contest Rules – 1. What is a team? A team is usually a group of at least 2 people (2 selfadvocates and 1 support person). Sometimes one person on the team may not be available to do training at the time scheduled. Two people doing the training together may count as a team. 2. We are encouraging teams to train together; however, individuals may enter the contest. If you have lost one or more of your training partners, please contact the state office if you’d like more options. (NOTE: there will be an Individual and a Team Division for the awards.) 3. Each team MUST report the training on the specified monthly report form to send to the appropriate APF/STEPS staff each month. In order to receive 1 credit for the contest, your monthly report form must be faxed or postmarked by the last day of the month. (Remember, only the trainings you report can be counted toward the contest.) 4. One credit will be given for each chapter trained. If you teach 3 chapters at one time, for example, you will receive 3 credits.
5. Doing training at special events (i.e. DDS training, workshops at conferences, any trainings set up by APF/STEPS for pay) count as DOUBLE CREDIT! For example, if your team does DDS or public education training, you will receive 2 credits for each chapter you do! 6. Only actual trainings can be counted toward the contest. Practices are great but do not count toward trainings for the contest. 7. One credit is earned for each person you or your team trains. 8. Each person on your team who calls in for the monthly training conference call held the first Thursday or the month at 6:00 p.m. will receive 1 credit. 9. Every sign sheet included with your monthly report will result in 1 credit each. 10. Every evaluation form turned in after completing chapter 7 will result in 1 credit each. b. “Reaching My Own Greatness” (RMOG) Training - On April 27, 2005, the AR. Department of Human Services Division of Developmental Disabilities (DHS DDS) Licensure and Standards approved AR. People First’s (APF) request for training hours for the RMOG curriculum as follows: 1. Sessions designated as one-half day will be approved at the rate of 3.5 hours. Topics will include the provider’s choice of: • What is Self Determination? AND Road Blocks OR • What is Self Determination? AND Responsibility and Community 2. Sessions designated as one day will be approved at the rate of 6.5 hours. Topics will include: • What is Self Determination? • Road Blocks • Responsibility and Community • (one more from the RMOG curriculum of the provider’s choice) 3. Sessions designated as two day will be approved at the rate of 13.5 hours. Topics will include: • What is Self Determination? • Who I Am • What Do I Want? • How Do I Get What I Want? • Communication • Road Blocks • Responsibility and Community APF’s approval letter from DDS is signed by the DDS Program Evaluator Supervisor. The original letter is on file in the APF office.
A Team (now the Public Education Committee) Policies and Procedures for paid DDS provider and public education trainings: 1. A training team will be defined as 3 persons (usually 2 persons with a disability and 1 support person), but a team may be a group of 3 self advocates. A team may choose to have more than 3 trainers, but only 3 will be paid for services. Having 3 trainers is the preferred number. (See #6 below, option 4 when only 2 trainers will be paid.) 2. Trainers conducting DDS provider trainings must be graduates of a half day of additional training called Master Training. 3. APF/STEPS staff will plan DDS provider and public education trainings in advance with the help of the Public Education Committee and trainers. 4. Registration will be handled by the APF/STEPS staff. A three week deadline will be given to providers in order for registrations to be made on time. 5. The provider or place hosting training will decide what length of training they want in the following options: Option 1 – full 2 day RMOG training, $150.00 per person, minimum 5 people Option 2 – one day RMOG training, $75.00 per person, minimum 10 people Option 3 – half day RMOG training, $40.00 per person, minimum 10 people Option 4 – two hour RMOG training, $20.00 per person, minimum 15 people In Options 1-4, a maximum of 20 persons trained at one time will be the limit. Option 5 – for any length of time speaking at a conference, workshop, or seminar to an undetermined amount of people, an honorarium may be given for APF/STEPS to deposit in its income account; trainers donate their time but may receive free registration, free meals, and/or free hotel stays if provided by the host of the conference 6. Trainer pay will be as follows for each option: Option 1 – $100.00 per trainer Option 2 – $50.00 per trainer Option 3 – $35.00 per trainer Option 4 - $25.00 per trainer (only 2 needed) Option 5 – N/A (up to 4 trainers may be needed, depending on crowd size) 7. The provider or place hosting training will also decide who they want the participants of the training to be (i.e. all staff or half self advocates and half staff, etc.). 8. Public Education Committee members will be asked to help APF/STEPS staff set up trainings in their area of the state. 9. It is the attempt of APF/STEPS to hold these trainings with little or no cost (i.e. for training rooms, food, etc.). When necessary, the provider will be approached to cover these expenses. Donations will also be accepted from outside sources and the community. 10. Trainers will be required to fill out a contract and mail to the APF/STEPS staff member by the date specified. 11. Trainers will be required to practice, study, and be prepared in advance for the training they have agreed to do.
12. Trainers will need to cooperate with DDS standards set for APF/STEPS to conduct training, or they will not be able to train. (See DDS standards on p. 48.) 13. Trainers will be notified that they will receive their pay when they show up for training that is scheduled. A current IRS W-9 form must be on file in the APF/STEPS office. 14. Each person of the training team will be considered as an individual. For example, husband and wife trainers will each receive separate pay for training. 15. A 24-hour advance notice is required when a trainer(s) cannot be present to conduct the training by contacting an APF/STEPS staff member so that a replacement (if required) can be found. It will be responsibility of an APF/STEPS staff member to find a replacement. 16. Local trainers will be sought to conduct training in the area where requested. If at all possible, one APF/STEPS staff member will be present. 17. When possible, a personal contact who knows a member on the training team who works for a provider will be asked to participate on a panel discussion before the end of training. The purpose of this is to gain an ally’s point of view of how providers and self advocates can work together to gain self determination. 18. When it is necessary for trainers to stay overnight, the provider will be approached to provide the expenses of travel, lodging, and meals (unless grant funds allow for these expenses). 19. Since People First of Washington has approved for APF/STEPS to use the RMOG training curriculum, it can only be modified in the way it is presented (i.e. for various age groups). The curriculum cannot be modified in written form. 20. Evaluations will be completed by both participants and trainers before certificates of completion will be handed out. 21. Certificates of completion will be printed by APF/STEPS and handed out at the conclusion of the training. 22. The Public Education Committee will be responsible for making recommendations to the Executive Board of how the revenue should be spent. Funds from the trainings will be deposited in APF/STEPS’s income account. c. Master Training Clinic – APF/STEPS attempts to hold a Master Training Clinic once each year. This additional training is intended to give certified trainers continuing education of any curriculum that the organization offers. This opportunity, as with most others in the organization, is dependent on funding for such events. d. Division of Disabilities Services (DDS) Provider and Public Education Training - When an organization, school district, agency, or institution, etc. desires Continuing Education Credits (CEC’s) for its employees
upon completion of RMOG training, APF/STEPS charges for such according to the fee scale on page 46. e. DDS STANDARDS FOR APF DDS PROVIDER AND PUBLIC TRAININGS FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT (CEC) 4-27-05 The AR. Department of Human Services Division of Developmental Disabilities Licensure and Standards approved AR. People First’s (APF) request for training hours for the “Reaching My Own Greatness” (RMOG) curriculum as follows: 1. Sessions designated as one-half day will be approved at the rate of 3.5 hours. Topics will include the provider’s choice of: • •
What is Self Determination? AND Road Blocks OR What is Self Determination? AND Responsibility and Community
2. Sessions designated as one day will be approved at the rate of 6.5 hours. Topics will include: • • • •
What is Self Determination? Road Blocks Responsibility and Community (one more from the RMOG curriculum of the provider’s choice)
3. Sessions designated as two day will be approved at the rate of 13.5 hours. Topics will include: • • • • • • •
What is Self Determination? Who I Am What Do I Want? How Do I Get What I Want? Communication Road Blocks Responsibility and Community
APF’s approval letter from DDS is signed by Christopher (Chris) Bliss, Program Evaluator Supervisor. The original letter is on file in the APF office. e. Project Vote Training - When possible, APF/STEPS will solicit conducting Project Vote training for pay. The same fee scale for RMOG will be used for Project Vote training. Project Vote Trainer pay is as follows: 1 whole day of training half day of training -
2 hours of training 1 hour of training -
Selection of topics include: • How Voting Fits into Life • Registering to Vote • Rights and Responsibilities • Ways to Learn about Candidates and Issues • How do You Vote/Cast a Ballot • Ways to Support Voting • Framing the Voting Process and Building Community Connections f. DD Provider Board Training - When possible, APF/STEPS will solicit conducting DD Provider Board Training for pay. The same fee scale for RMOG and Project Vote will be used for DD Provider Board Training. APF/STEPS staff and professional, volunteer guest speakers will conduct this training as part of their regular job duties. Topics for DD Provider Board Training include: • So You Want to be on a Provider Board? • Show Me the Money! • Whose Provider Board is it, Anyway? • Human Relations • Conflict Resolution • Effective Communications • The Art of Diplomacy • Accountability and more! Section 12 – APF/STEPS State Conference – The bi-annual APF/STEPS State Conference has been held every other year since 1998. State conferences held in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 have usually been held in central locations of the state. Future state conferences will continue to be held in even years in a centrally located city, making it easier for persons traveling statewide to attend. The state office encourages members to attend the National Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) Conference in off years (odd years). State conferences are planned at least one year in advance by a staff and volunteer State Conference Planning Committee. A topic is chosen for the conference, and workshops are developed around the theme for the conference. A keynote speaker is selected and asked to speak at the conference. Free lodging and meals are offered to the keynote speaker. Section 13 – Awards and Recognition Program – During even years when the state conference is held, awards are presented during the banquet. On off years, an Awards Banquet is held either at the annual meeting of the board in January or the annual Celebration Retreat. a. Chapter of the Year Award – The chapter that has earned the most points during the Chapter of the Year contest will be declared the winner of the
contest. APF/STEPS staff will try to creatively come up with a prize for the winning chapter, depending on funding. b. Advocate of the Year Award - Following are the considerations for a chapter to submit an Advocate of the Year nomination. An Advocate of the Year Nominee is a person who: 1. Attends monthly chapter meetings and is active in their local chapter. 2. Is active on APF committees (local and/or state). 3. Serves as a local or state officer or on APF state committees is valuable but not necessary. 4. Spreads the word about APF in the community. 5. Encourages, helps, and advocates for self. 6. Helps others help themselves. 7. Recruits and brings new members to the chapter. 8. Is involved in fundraising. 9. Sends in monthly reports (if applicable). 10. Uses creativity in chapter meetings (i.e. getting guest speakers involved in chapter meetings). 11. APF/STEPS staff may make a recommendation to the board for consideration. Advocate of the Year nominees are voted on privately by the State Board members at the state board meeting prior to the State Conference in conference years. On off years, this award is given at the APF annual meeting in January or the most convenient in-person state board meeting. APF/STEPS staff counts the votes, and the person receiving the award will be announced at the State Conference or annual meeting or state board meeting. A framed certificate is awarded the Advocate of the Year. c. Friend(s) of APF of the Year Award – The APF/STEPS state board votes on at least one recipient of the annual Friend of the Year award given to an outstanding organization, agency, school district, institution, etc. that has gone above and beyond in offering support. The times to present and type of presentation are the same as Advocate of the Year. d. Board Member of the Year Award – APF/STEPS staff votes on the board member who should receive this annual award. The times to present and type of presentation are the same as Advocate of the Year. e. Julie Petty Self Advocacy Award – Inspired by the first recipient of the award in 2007, Julie Petty for her outstanding leadership in the self advocacy movement, the APF/STEPS state board votes on a person in or outside of the organization. The award is presented in person to the recipient during Americans with Disabilities Act (ACA) Week during the third week of the month of July. A framed certificate honoring the recipient is presented.
Section 14 â€“ Miscellaneous a. Calling Cards - Telephone conference call meetings are scheduled monthly or bi-weekly for committee members (and 6 times per year for state board members) to meet over a free conference call line on a regular basis. Calling cards are available to Executive Officers, committee chairpersons, and Chapter Reps who need them. These cards may not be used for personal use but for APF/STEPS business only. Other committee members are either asked to supply personal cell phone minutes (if available), buy their own calling cards, or ask their chapters to buy cards for them. When possible, APF/STEPS will purchase calling cards for all active committee members, depending on availability of funds. Call schedules for the year are given out to participants at the annual meeting in January and quarterly and are available through the state office. b. Van Transportation Program â€“ When funds are available, APF/STEPS would like to operate a statewide van transportation program. Who? APF/STEPS members, trainers, and staff being transported; a minimum of 8 persons is required to ride the van in order to use it. Volunteer drivers must have a Class C CDL license, be at least 21 years old, have a clean driving record, and provide 2 references to APF/STEPS before being approved to be a driver. What? APF/STEPS will operate a statewide van transportation program for members, trainers, and staff to attend state, regional, and national meetings and trainings. When? A 48 hour notice will be given to the APF/STEPS dispatcher before use can be approved. The van is required to be returned by 4:00 p.m. of the next business day, unless worked out in advance by the dispatcher. The van must be returned in the same or better condition as found (clean inside and out). A deposit of $50.00 will be required before use of van is granted. If the van is returned in acceptable condition, the deposit will be returned. Where? Travel will be statewide, regional, and national to attend meetings and trainings. A minimum range of 100 miles one way is required in order to use the van. A contract will be developed and signed by the borrowing group. Why? Transportation is one of the biggest barriers that people with disabilities face. The purpose of the program is to help APF/STEPS members, trainers, and staff where they need to go in order to live a more integrated and independent life in the community. How much? Beginning in January 2008, each APF/STEPS Chapter in Arkansas will be asked to plan and conduct (with support from APF/STEPS staff) one statewide fundraiser per year. The purpose of this practice is to gain additional
revenue for general operations use (i.e. funding in part APF/STEPS leased van transportation program). Half (50%) of the proceeds from each chapter’s statewide fundraiser is expected to be sent to the state office. The chapter may decide to use the remaining money any way they choose. A minimum of $50.00 is expected to be sent to the state office once per year for the fundraiser. Only participating chapters will be eligible to use the van. (APF/STEPS staff members, chapter members, chapter representatives, board members, or immediate family members of any of these are not eligible to participate in APF/STEPS statewide fundraisers.) Another idea being considered is charging each person a fee for riding. Each chapter using the van will be responsible for buying its own gas for the trip. APF/STEPS will be responsible for maintaining the insurance, maintenance, and repair with the help, in part, by the annual statewide fundraisers of each chapter. A maintenance schedule will need to be developed when the program is in place. c. Volunteers – The following form to be signed by a potential volunteer prior to performing volunteer activities is located in the Appendix section, Form E.
APF/STEPS VOLUNTEER POLICY Volunteer Participation Volunteers are welcome to help APF/STEPS provide strong chapters, assignments, projects, fundraisers, etc. and help accomplish our mission. Volunteers are valued, encouraged, and utilized to supplement the work of APF/STEPS. APF/STEPS accepts the service of all volunteers, with the understanding that such service is at the sole discretion of APF/STEPS and the appropriate staff member, executive officer, and/or committee chairperson. Volunteers agree that at any time with good reason APF/STEPS may decide to terminate the volunteer’s relationship with APF/STEPS.
Definition of a Volunteer A volunteer is anyone who, without compensation or expectation of compensation, performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of APF/STEPS or any organization. Volunteer individuals may be event related volunteers or assignment related volunteers. Event related volunteers participate in a specific event (i.e. chapter meetings, special projects, fundraisers, state or national conferences, etc.) or come infrequently for a designated period of time (some volunteers such as Advisors help at monthly chapter meetings).
Assignment related volunteers are all other individuals who on a regularly scheduled basis offer their time, services, and expertise to supplement the work and projects of APF/STEPS. Assignment related volunteers may be assigned to assist employees but will always perform their duties under the direct supervision of a designated APF/STEPS staff person and/or the State Coordinator. An example of a regularly scheduled volunteer would be the APF/STEPS webmaster who volunteers on a regular basis to keep the website updated throughout the year. A volunteer must be accepted by APF/STEPS prior to performance of a task. Unless specifically stated, volunteers shall not be considered agents of APF/STEPS.
Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities Volunteers are viewed as a valuable resource for APF/STEPS. Volunteers will be extended the right to be given meaningful assignments, the right to be treated as equal co-workers, the right to appropriate supervision, and the right to recognition for work done. In return, volunteers agree to actively perform their duties as defined within the job descriptions, as outlined by APF/STEPS to the best of their abilities; to ask for help when needed to understand or perform their duties; to maintain confidentiality in accordance with HIPAA standards; and to remain loyal to the mission and policies and procedures of APF/STEPS.
Donated Timesheets Each volunteer is responsible for the accurate completion and timely submission of volunteer timesheets of time donated to APF/STEPS. They are due to the APF/STEPS state office by the 5th of each month. Timesheet information is used in part for volunteer recognition. (See Form F in the Appendix section.)
Criminal Records Check Volunteers in certain assignments may be asked to submit to a background criminal records check. Volunteers who do not agree to the records check may not be accepted.
I Have Volunteered for the APF/STEPS Volunteer Program In consideration of my volunteer work, I understand that I am not entering into any employment relationship with APF/STEPS and that I am not entitled to receive a salary or any employee benefits including workersâ€™ compensation. I understand that either APF/STEPS or I may terminate this volunteer relationship at any time without notice. I also understand that I have an obligation to respect the confidentiality of any sensitive information or dealings, which may relate to my volunteering at APF/STEPS. I agree that I will not disclose any information
without the prior written authorization from APF/STEPS. I understand that my obligation of confidentiality continues into perpetuity (until the end of time).
Signature of Applicant
APF/STEPS Code of Behavior Conduct Volunteers and officers of APF/STEPS have certain rights and responsibilities as representatives of APF/STEPS. Responsibilities: • All assignments must be completed on time. If they can not be completed on time for any reason, the volunteer must contact the State Office. • All volunteers must behave appropriately when communicating with staff, fellow members, and the general public. This includes no threatening emails or phone calls. • It is the volunteer’s responsibility to collect all vital information for an assignment and ask for support, when needed. Rights: • A volunteer may take time off from responsibilities if s/he is unable to fill his/her duties. Another volunteer may be placed in the position in order to complete a task. Whenever the first volunteer is ready to return to responsibilities, APF/STEPS staff will help in the transitioning process. This may include having the second volunteer remain in helping with the task. • APF/STEPS staff, Executive Committee, and the Public Education Committee, will make all decisions that concern the Public Education Committee. A volunteer may request a meeting with any of these to appeal a decision. After one appeal all decisions are final. • Volunteers may file a grievance against committees with the State Office. • Volunteers may request a mediated meeting with staff and/or committee members to work out differences. Reprimand: All volunteers who display continual and excessive bad behavior and judgment will be reprimanded. Reprimands will be as followed: • A verbal warning by the State Office and Executive/ Public Education Committees will be given. • A written warning by the State Office and Executive/ Public Education Committees will be signed by all parties. A meeting can be requested from either side. • The volunteer will be relieved of duties. The volunteer may appeal the decision. After the appeal, all rulings are final.
Chain of Command This is the chain of command that all decisions regarding matters concerning the Public Education Committee go through: the Executive Committee, the Public Ed Committee, then APF/STEPS Staff. d. APF Property and Resource Solicitation - Any person is welcome to solicit monetary donations, equipment, or resources that the APF/STEPS state organization or chapters can benefit from. However, the following policies and procedures will need to be adhered to: 1. If a request of donation letter is needed, the person soliciting the donation must contact the APF/STEPS State Coordinator to obtain a letter signed by the APF/STEPS State Coordinator to be mailed by the state office to the potential donor. When sending mass mailings, other procedures for solicitation may be approved in advance. 2. When a donation is received, the person receiving the donation on behalf of APF/STEPS must contact the APF/STEPS State Coordinator. The donation must be reported to the APF/STEPS State Coordinator so that the donation may be accounted for and reported to grantors and the IRS. 3. When donors request acknowledgement of their gift, the APF/STEPS State Coordinator will mail a donation letter from the state office. The person initiating the donation will be responsible for having the donor sign a donated timesheet form. The original donated timesheet form must be mailed to the AFP/STEPS office. NOTE: Persons who donate gifts that benefit individuals exclusively in a personal way are not eligible for donation letters. 4. When equipment, resources, or gifts other than monetary are given to APF/STEPS, it will be determined where these items will be housed, unless requested by the donor. 5. All gifts given to APF/STEPS, no matter how large or small and no matter what kind, will remain the property of APF/STEPS. Chapters or individuals utilizing such gifts will return them to the APF/STEPS state office when use discontinues. e. HIPAA Policies - The organization prohibits disclosure of confidential information either about APF/STEPS or other organizations and agencies. No written material, knowledge by observation, or knowledge of personal information may be disclosed to any person outside of APF/STEPS without a signed release by the person to whom the information pertains. Such release requires supervisor approval. Any violation of this policy can result in immediate dismissal. APPENDIX (These forms on the next few pages are also available electronically. Contact the state office.)
Form A â€“
ARKANSAS PEOPLE FIRST/STEPS LEAVE REQUEST FORM LEAVE REPORT FORM FOR EXEMPT EMPLOYEES
Name: Month: # of Hours Requested
Employee ID: Year: Date(s) of Leave Supervisor Requested Approved Vacation Leave With Pay
Leave Actually Taken (By day & hour)
Sick Leave With Pay (A) Self
Leave Without Pay
__________________________________________________ Employee Signature __________________________________________________ Supervisor Signature
__________ Date _____ Date
To request leave to be used, complete and submit to your supervisor at least seven days prior to the date leave is to begin. To report leave used (EXEMPT EMPLOYEES ONLY), complete and submit to your supervisor by the first of the
month following the leave usage. Non-exempt employees report hours worked and leave on calendar-style form. Form B – Approval of Outside Employment
APF/STEPS Prior Approval of Outside Employment Full-time and part-time appointed and non-appointed staff members are required annually or as needed to obtain written approval from their supervisor prior to undertaking outside employment. I request to undertake outside employment as follows: Beginning Date: Ending Date: Estimate of average hours per week to be spent over the period: ______ hrs/wk The employee is required to state the nature and source of outside employment. In the space below or in an attached explanation include: name and address of employer; specific explanation of the nature of the employment, location, schedule; how assigned APF/STEPS responsibilities will be covered during your absence; whether or not the use of APF/STEPS facilities, property, or personnel are requested in the employment, and the expected benefit of the outside employment to faculty professional development and to the University. Approvals Supervisor: State Coordinator:
(Staff – send approved copy to employee; record maintained in supervisor and State Coordinator’s personnel files for employee) _____ I affirm that, to my knowledge, this outside employment will not create a conflict of interest or commitment in my duties, responsibilities, or obligations to the APF/STEPS. _____ A possible conflict of interest may exist. The Conflict of Interest and Commitment Form is attached. Signed: Name (print or type): Title or Position: Department or Unit:
Form C â€“ STEPS Board Annual Statement of Conflict of Interest Policy (This policy needs to signed every year at the annual board meeting in January but no later than the summer Celebration Retreat and kept on file.) I certify by checking the following statements and my signature that: _____ I have received a copy of the conflicts of interest policy. _____ I have read and understand the policy. _____ I agree to comply with the policy. _____ I understand that STEPS is charitable and in order to maintain its federal tax exemption it must engage primarily in activities which accomplish one or more of its tax-exempt purposes. ____________________________ STEPS President
_____ I have received a copy of the conflicts of interest policy. _____ I have read and understand the policy. _____ I agree to comply with the policy. _____ I understand that STEPS is charitable and in order to maintain its federal tax exemption it must engage primarily in activities which accomplish one or more of its tax-exempt purposes. ____________________________ STEPS Vice President date _____ I have received a copy of the conflicts of interest policy. _____ I have read and understand the policy. _____ I agree to comply with the policy. _____ I understand that STEPS is charitable and in order to maintain its federal tax exemption it must engage primarily in activities which accomplish one or more of its tax-exempt purposes. ____________________________ STEPS Secretary
_____ I have received a copy of the conflicts of interest policy. _____ I have read and understand the policy. _____ I agree to comply with the policy. _____ I understand that STEPS is charitable and in order to maintain its federal tax exemption it must engage primarily in activities which accomplish one or more of its tax-exempt purposes.
Form D â€“ The Travel Reimbursement Sheet is on the next page.
Form E â€“ Donated Services Timesheet (All chapter and board members, volunteers, and staff donating their time must have their donated timesheets turned into the state office by the 5th day of the following month.)
Form F – Chapter Meeting Questionnaire (Chapter Secretaries, Chapter Reporters, or Chapter Reps must have their chapter’s monthly report, called a Chapter Meeting Questionnaire, into the state office by the 5th day of the following month.)
Chapter Meeting Questionnaire – PLEASE RETURN THIS FORM BY THE 5TH OF THE MONTH! Mail to the APF/STEPS office at:
Questions? Call 1-888-488-6040 or 501-650-5881
OR fax to: OR email to: email@example.com Chapter: Date of Meeting: Chapter Rep Phone ___________email_______________ President Phone ___________email_______________ Vice President Phone ___________email_______________ Secretary Phone ___________email_______________ Treasurer Phone ___________email_______________ Sergeant at Arms Phone ___________email_______________ Chapter Reporter Phone ___________email_______________ Advisor Phone ___________email_______________ When did you last elect new officers? _____________________________________ 1. How many people were at the meeting? 2. What was talked about at the meeting? 3. What project is your group planning or working on? 4. Did your chapter do the Flavor of the Quarter idea this month? _____; if yes, what did you do? 5. Do chapter members need any of the following training from APF? Officer training How to run a meeting Reaching My Own Greatness training Fundraising Role of the Advisors Other_________________ 6. When is your next meeting? Any other comments:
Form G â€“ Volunteer Policy
APF/STEPS VOLUNTEER POLICY Volunteer Participation Volunteers are welcome to help APF/STEPS provide strong chapters, assignments, projects, fundraisers, etc. and help accomplish our mission. Volunteers are valued, encouraged, and utilized to supplement the work of APF/STEPS. APF/STEPS accepts the service of all volunteers, with the understanding that such service is at the sole discretion of APF/STEPS and the appropriate staff member, executive officer, and/or committee chairperson. Volunteers agree that at any time with good reason APF/STEPS may decide to terminate the volunteerâ€™s relationship with APF/STEPS.
Definition of a Volunteer A volunteer is anyone who, without compensation or expectation of compensation, performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of APF/STEPS or any organization. Volunteer individuals may be event related volunteers or assignment related volunteers. Event related volunteers participate in a specific event (i.e. chapter meetings, special projects, fundraisers, state or national conferences, etc.) or come infrequently for a designated period of time (some volunteers such as Advisors help at monthly chapter meetings). Assignment related volunteers are all other individuals who on a regularly scheduled basis offer their time, services, and expertise to supplement the work and projects of APF/STEPS. Assignment related volunteers may be assigned to assist employees but will always perform their duties under the direct supervision of a designated APF/STEPS staff person and/or the State Coordinator. An example of a regularly scheduled volunteer would be the APF/STEPS webmaster who volunteers on a regular basis to keep the website updated throughout the year. A volunteer must be accepted by APF/STEPS prior to performance of a task. Unless specifically stated, volunteers shall not be considered agents of APF/STEPS.
Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities Volunteers are viewed as a valuable resource for APF/STEPS. Volunteers will be extended the right to be given meaningful assignments, the right to be treated as equal co-workers, the right to appropriate supervision, and the right to recognition for work done. In return, volunteers agree to actively perform their duties as defined within the job descriptions, as outlined by APF/STEPS to the best of their abilities; to ask for help when needed to understand or perform their duties; to maintain confidentiality in accordance with HIPAA standards; and to remain loyal to the mission and policies and procedures of APF/STEPS.
Donated Timesheets Each volunteer is responsible for the accurate completion and timely submission of volunteer timesheets of time donated to APF/STEPS. They are due to the APF/STEPS state office by the 5th of each month. Timesheet information is used in part for volunteer recognition.
Criminal Records Check Volunteers in certain assignments may be asked to submit to a background criminal records check. Volunteers who do not agree to the records check may not be accepted.
I Have Volunteered for the APF/STEPS Volunteer Program In consideration of my volunteer work, I understand that I am not entering into any employment relationship with APF/STEPS and that I am not entitled to receive a salary or any employee benefits including workersâ€™ compensation. I understand that either APF/STEPS or I may terminate this volunteer relationship at any time without notice. I also understand that I have an obligation to respect the confidentiality of any sensitive information or dealings, which may relate to my volunteering at APF/STEPS. I agree that I will not disclose any information without the prior written authorization from APF/STEPS. I understand that my obligation of confidentiality continues into perpetuity (until the end of time).
Signature of Applicant
Form H â€“ Policies and Procedures Statement Acknowledgment of Receipt of Manual I acknowledge receipt of the APF/STEPS Policies and Procedures manual and verify that all pages are intact. I understand that it is my responsibility to familiarize myself with and abide by these policies in order to maintain paid employment or volunteerism with APF/STEPS. By signing this form I am stating that I have read through this manual. I understand that this manual does not in any way create a contract between the employer and myself. I further understand that I may request support or help from my supervisor in reviewing this manual. By signing on the line below, I also realize that the policies and procedures within this manual could change without notice or that new ones could be created. I understand that I will receive regular updates of changes. Signature of Employee/Volunteer:
Date: Signature of Supervisor: