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Disaster: VOAD Volunteer Management

Disaster: VOAD Volunteer Management

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Published by: Catholic Charities USA on Mar 18, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Ratified by Full Membership, May 2011
The National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) recognizes that volunteers areinherently valuable and, when properly coordinated, make up an essential part of the human resources neededto respond to disasters of all magnitudes. In times of disaster, people are drawn to help their neighborsphysically, spiritually, and emotionally. We believe volunt
eers’ skills are best utilized and are most effective
when they volunteer as part of an established organization trained in disaster response activities. However, werealize that not all volunteers will be affiliated with an organization and trained prior to a disaster. Weacknowledge that they too are a valuable resource and should receive the same level of care brought forth inthis document. In addition, we acknowledge that volunteer organizations have the right to select volunteers inagreement with their Mission, Code of Conduct, and/or Statement of Faith. Acknowledging that major disasterspresent significant challenges to those individuals and organizations responding, the National VOAD Volunteer Management Committee has developed this Points of Consensus document to provide best practices in the
area of volunteers’ rights and their responsibilities when serving in a non
-paid capacity with any NationalVOAD member organization.
1. Right To Be Treated With Respect
Volunteer Rights Volunteer Responsibilities
Volunteers have a right to be respectedregardless of ethnicity, socio-economic, culture,gender, age, sexual orientation,spiritual/religious practices and disabilities.Volunteers should respect the organization,support its mission statement, and agree with itscore values. They should respect all those withwhom and for whom they serve regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic, culture, gender, age,sexual orientation, spiritual/religious practicesand disabilities.
2. Right To Be Valued
Volunteer Rights Volunteer Responsibilities
Volunteers have the right to be treated as avalued team member, treated with fairness andequity; and have the right to understand how theassigned task is a valuable part of fulfilling the
organization’s mission. Volunteers should be
recognized and thanked for their contribution tothe organization.Volunteers should serve and interact with their colleagues with respect, fairness and equity.Volunteers should maintain an enthusiastic andflexible attitude. In addition, volunteers shouldprovide contact information so they can beproperly thanked and recognized.1
Ratified by Full Membership, May 2011
3. Right To Organized, Structured System That Matches Skills With Tasks
Volunteer Rights Volunteer Responsibilities
Volunteers have a right to know about theorganization in which they are serving includingits mission, leadership, organization andfinancial structure, and its management liabilitypractices. They have the right to know aboutavailable volunteer opportunities and the typesof skills needed to perform tasks. They shouldexpect their time and skills to be used wiselyand effectively.Volunteers should seek information about anorganization, its mission, and structure todetermine if it is a good fit with their own skillsand values. Volunteers should be honest incommunicating their skill level, experience, andavailability. Volunteers should use their time andskills wisely and should cooperate in the
organization’s process and procedures.
4. Right To Clear Expectations
Volunteer RightsVolunteer Responsibilities
Volunteers have a right to know whatassignments or tasks are needed and clear expectations of the task that they have agreedto perform including the estimated time andparameters of the task. Volunteers have theright to ask questions and clarify expectationsat any time during their service.Volunteers should make sure they understandhow to do the assigned task and how to properlyoperate necessary equipment. They should askquestions to clarify expectations and bringattention to any impediments that would hinder them from performing a task.
5. Right To Safe Work Environment
Volunteer Rights Volunteer Responsibilities
Volunteers have the right to know that theorganization has taken appropriate precautionsto provide a safe work environment, to identifypotential hazards, and to identify safetyequipment needed to perform their assignedtasks safely and effectively.Volunteers are responsible for following safetyguidelines and wearing safety equipment asdirected. Volunteers should not acceptassignments which are beyond their ability. It is
the volunteer’s responsibility to let a supervisor 
know if they are uncomfortable in a situation or performing a task. Volunteers should make theorganization aware of any potential safety issues.
Volunteers should respect an organization’s
request to perform background checks.2

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