Code of Conduct for Custodians of People with Special Needs

Individuals who are employed by, or volunteer at, state operated, licensed or certified facilities or agencies under the Justice Center’s jurisdiction are required to sign and adhere to the provisions of the Code of Conduct. Consultants, volunteers or contractors of organizations or companies that contract with facilities and agencies under the Justice Center’s jurisdiction, are also considered to be custodians if they have regular and substantial contact with a service recipient.

The Justice Center has developed an interactive, online training which provides an overview of the Code of Conduct and includes real-life scenarios that ask the viewer to apply the Code of Conduct provisions. This is not a mandatory training, but is offered as a resource to staff who sign the Code of Conduct and provider agencies for employee training. To view the Code of Conduct for Custodians for People with Special Needs training, click here.

Additionally, this page contains useful information about the Justice Center’s Annual Code of Conduct Recognition Award. This award honors staff who demonstrate a strong commitment to the Code of Conduct for Custodians of People with Special Needs.

Please be advised that the Protection of People with Special Needs Act (Chapter 501 of the Laws of 2012) requires that the Code of Conduct be signed upon hiring and on an annual basis. Please read below the framework of the Code of Conduct. On this page is a PDF of the form that Custodians can open, print and sign for submission.

 

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR CUSTODIANS

OF PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Revised January 21, 2016

Introduction

The Code of Conduct, as set forth in the Code of Conduct itself, sets forth a framework intended to assist impacted employees to help people with special needs “live self-directed, meaningful lives in their communities, free from abuse and neglect, and protected from harm,” in addition to the specific guidance provided by the agency’s policies and training.

Similarly, the Notice to Mandated Reporters contains guidance designed to assist mandated reporters, and is intended to provide a summary of reporting obligations for mandated reporters. It is not intended to supplement or in any way add to the reporting obligations provided by law, rule, or regulation.

As provided by law, rule, or regulation, only custodians who have or will have regular and direct contact with vulnerable persons receiving services or support from facilities or providers covered by the Justice Center Act must sign that they have read and understand the Code of Conduct.

The framework provides:

1. Person-Centered Approach

My primary duty is to the people who receive supports and services from this organization. I acknowledge that each person of suitable age must have the opportunity to direct his or her own life, honoring, where consistent with agency policy, their right to assume risk in a safe manner, and recognizing each person’s potential for lifelong learning and growth. I understand that my job will require flexibility, creativity and commitment. Whenever consistent with agency policy, I will work to support the individual’s preferences and interests.

2. Physical, Emotional and Personal Well-being

I will promote the physical, emotional and personal well-being of any person who receives services and supports from this organization, including their protection from abuse and neglect and reducing their risk of harm to others and themselves.

3. Respect, Dignity and Choice

I will respect the dignity and individuality of any person who receives services and supports from this organization and honor their choices and preferences whenever possible and consistent with agency policy. I will help people receiving supports and services use the opportunities and resources available to all in the community, whenever possible and consistent with agency policy.

4. Self-Determination

I will help people receiving supports and services realize their rights and responsibilities, and, as consistent with agency policy, make informed decisions and understand their options related to their physical health and emotional well-being.

5. Relationships

I will help people who receive services and supports from this organization maintain or develop healthy relationships with family and friends. I will support them in making informed choices about safely expressing their sexuality and other preferences, whenever possible and consistent with agency policy.

6. Advocacy

I will advocate for justice, inclusion and community participation with, or on behalf of, any person who receives services and supports from this organization, as consistent with agency policy. I will promote justice, fairness and equality, and respect their human, civil and legal rights.

7. Personal Health Information and Confidentiality

I understand that persons served by my organization have the right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to their personal health information and I will protect this information from unauthorized use or disclosure, except as required or permitted by law, rule, or regulation.

8. Non-Discrimination

I will not discriminate against people receiving services and supports or colleagues based on race, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, economic condition or disability.

9. Integrity, Responsibility and Professional Competency

I will reinforce the values of this organization when it does not compromise the well-being of any person who receives services and supports. I will maintain my skills and competency through continued learning, including all training provided by this organization. I will actively seek advice and guidance of others whenever I am uncertain about an appropriate course of action. I will not misrepresent my professional qualifications or affiliations. I will demonstrate model behavior to all, including persons receiving services and supports.

10. Reporting Requirement

As a mandated reporter, I acknowledge my legal obligation under Social Services Law § 491, as may be amended from time to time or superseded, to report all allegations of reportable incidents immediately upon discovery to the Justice Center’s Vulnerable Persons’ Central Register by calling 1-855-373-2122.

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The Code of Conduct Award: Each year, the Justice Center recognizes the dedicated women and men who provide direct support to people with special needs throughout New York State. The Justice Center seeks nominations annually for the Justice Center Code of Conduct Recognition Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize those staff members who demonstrate a strong commitment to the provisions of the Code of Conduct.

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