VOLUNTEER CODE OF CONDUCT
Safeguarding the groups that our volunteers support, is a commitment HandsOn makes to all our frontline charity partners and program participants. As part of this commitment, we have implemented this Code of Conduct which all volunteers are prompted to review and confirm before serving with us for the first time. This has been developed to ensure the safety of everyone joining our programs. We also ask all volunteers to review our Volunteer Policy, outlining HandsOn's approach to data usage and privacy as well as participation requirements.
1. Scope and purpose
A. This code of conduct applies (“Code”) to all volunteers (“Volunteers”) who: (i) registered with HandsOn Hong Kong; or (ii) participate in volunteering activities organized by HandsOn Hong Kong or their NGO partners via HandsOn Hong Kong’s platform (“Organizer”).
B. This Code aims to provide guidance to Volunteers in the context of providing volunteering services to beneficiaries who receive services from the Organizers (“Clients”).
C. HandsOn Hong Kong reserves the right to change the content of this Code from time to time. The updated Volunteers’ Code of Conduct will be posted on our website here.
2. Respect and understand the individual
A. Volunteers should recognize the ethnic and cultural diversity of the communities being served. Volunteers should respect and be sensitive to the culture of Clients and appreciate the differences among them in respect of their ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, custom and sexual orientation.
B. Volunteers should respect fundamental human rights, human dignity, social equality and equal rights of all Clients including children.
C. Volunteers should always take into consideration the difficult experiences that Clients may have faced or survived, as well as the disadvantaged position in which they may find themselves in relation to those who hold power or influence over certain aspects of their lives.
3. Ensure a safe and healthy environment
A. Where possible, Volunteers should avoid working alone in an isolated or closed environment with a Client. Try to keep an open door and not position yourself between the Client and an exit route. If unavoidable, please ensure that someone from the Organizer knows where you are and why.
B. Volunteers must not be alone with children or people who are vulnerable such as with those intellectual disabilities (“VPs”), in private without supervision by their parent, legal guardian, HandsOn Hong Kong’s or Organizer’s staff member.
4. Physical contact
A. Volunteers must be aware of the kind of games and/or activities they play with children and VPs. Physical contact with children and VPs may be appropriate on certain occasions (e.g. when reassuring them or guiding them in carrying out operations) but this should be kept to a minimum. Always discuss this beforehand, explaining what you are doing and why.
A. Volunteers must be aware of their language and behavior. Volunteers must never use inappropriate language or behavior, or do anything that is abusive whether verbal, physical, or otherwise. Volunteers must report any such behavior to a HandsOn Hong Kong’s staff member immediately (including where behavior of another Volunteer is observed).
B. Volunteers must be aware that some Clients may use a relationship to obtain “special attention.” The Volunteer is always responsible for maintaining an appropriate boundary, even if a Client is unaware.
C. Volunteers must never smoke or be under the influence of alcohol or other substances when volunteering.
D. Volunteers must not engage in activities or suggestions of a sexual nature.
E. Volunteers must not give a Client any personal items or money.
F. Volunteers should not bring gifts for specific Clients or give them directly to a Client. Should a volunteer wish to provide gifts, they should first check with the Organizer or HandsOn Hong Kong to ensure the gifts are appropriate and distributed equally or in a fair manner.
6. Personal data
A. Volunteers must not encourage a Client to pass on sensitive information such as that which may be found on his/her Hong Kong Identification Card or Passport.
B. Volunteers should not ask about the background and family situation or any personal matters of children and VPs.
C. Volunteers should not exchange any personal contact details (eg. phone number, social networking, and email address) with Clients. If a Client passes such information to a Volunteer, the Volunteer should report this to the Organizer.
A. Volunteers should not take photos of children or VPs and must not publish any materials or stories about them without permission from their parent or legal guardian.
B. For other Clients (aside from children or VPs), Volunteers should obtain permission from the Clients before taking a photo of them or publishing any materials or stories about them.
8. Repercussions and penalties
A. Inappropriate behavior, including but not limited to failure to follow this Code, is a ground for remedial action, up to and including dismissal from any and all Programs and volunteering opportunities organized through HandsOn Hong Kong.
B. Volunteers must be punctual to all scheduled sessions. If Volunteers do not arrive by the scheduled starting time, it will be considered a late arrival.
C. If Volunteers are absent without an early notification, it will be considered a no show.
D. Upon 3 no shows and/or late arrival, HandsOn Hong Kong has the discretion not to allow the Volunteer to volunteer through HandsOn Hong Kong again.
Volunteers must confirm that they have not been convicted of any child or sexual-related crime.
Volunteers must sign and acknowledge the Code of Conduct and as well as our Volunteer Policy--which outlines HandsOn Hong Kong's approach to data usage and privacy, liability and volunteer participation requirements.