Bendigo Autistic Advocacy and Support Service
Professional Code of Ethics & Conduct
These guidelines have been developed by the BAASS Co-Convenors as crucial for the integrity, cohesion, sustainability and transparency of BAASS as a functioning entity.
For the purposes of this document, BAASS ‘members’ refers to any associate of BAASS for eg. Mentors and Volunteers.
Values are individual or personal standards of what is valuable or important and ethics describes a generally accepted set of moral principles.
At Bendigo Autistic Advocacy and Support Service, each Co-Convenor and Member commits to living our Values, Mission and ethical principles.
Bendigo Autistic Advocacy and Support Service (BAASS) is an Autistic founded, led and driven
not-for-profit organisation; the first of its kind in Australia.
We endeavor to EMPOWER autistic people, families and communities to optimise their potential through a passionate, professional and experience based service providing RESPECTFUL individual, family, community and systemic advocacy and support.
We will maintain INTEGRITY through RESPECT for people and differences, ongoing personal
development in the form of education and mentoring in our areas of experience, and will approach this with enthusiasm and PASSION.
We are committed to working towards an INCLUSIVE community of acceptance valuing diversity in all forms, whilst adhering to the neurodiversity paradigm. We are committed to providing services of a high standard in education and employment and support for family caregivers and professionals in COLLABORATION with our local and larger communities.
As will be demonstrated by our complete commitment to:
1. Uphold the BAASS Values, Code of Conduct, which includes, at all times, behaving in a way that upholds the integrity and reputation of BAASS and advocacy in general
2. Respect and Inclusion
2.1 We protect, value and support each other, our clients and community.
2.2 We actively support, promote and encourage diversity within BAASS.
2.3 We are inclusive of diversity in gender, sexuality, disability, culture and in particular intersectionalities
2.4 We recognise the value and diversity of every person and are committed promoting each person’s rights, dignity and integrity.
3. Honesty and integrity
3.1 We behave with integrity, honesty and without prejudice in a way that upholds the reputation of BAASS and values the strengths and contribution of Co-Convenors and members.
3.2 The rights, safety, health and wellbeing of each other and our clients remains our utmost priority and the fundamental principle behind all that we do. Our work is not for personal benefit, gain or ego.
3.3 Co-Convenors must disclose, and take steps to avoid, any conflict of interest. For more information, see our Conflict Management Policy here.
4. Professional behaviour
4.1 When acting in connection with BAASS, we comply with all applicable Australian laws and conduct ourselves as according to this policy and common ethical standards.
4.2 BAASS Co-Convenors and all members commit to contribute to an organisation and environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, bullying, victimisation and violence.
5.1 We operate within a high standard of personal and organisational responsibility in ensuring we provide the best possible knowledge and experience based service and operate within our scope of expertise.
5.1.1 We are proactive in seeking further opportunities to enhance and increase our experience, knowledge and skill base.
5.2 We will refer clients on to other services if queries are not within the scope of knowledge or experience of BAASS Co-Convenors.
6.1 We protect the privacy and confidentiality of BAASS as an organisation- Co-Convenors, clients, partners, supporters and other stakeholders.
6.2 We respect the privacy and confidentiality of information and will use the utmost care in handling and storage of all sensitive information.
7. Respect and fair treatment
7.1 We treat each other with respect, courtesy, and fairness.
7.2 We actively support the health, safety and wellbeing of each other, our clients, community and all others we interact with.
7.3 Respect, choice and autonomy of all Co-Convenors, members and clients is to be paramount at all times.
7.4 BAASS reserves the right to refuse services based on real, genuine and significant personal or organisational conflict of interest.
7.5 We will be flexible and strive to incorporate measures in the interest of accessibility and equality in our program delivery and as relates to any financial costs.
8. Accountability and decision-making
8.1 BAASS Co-Convenors and members will perform assigned duties according to the applicable roles and responsibilities and taking into account skills, experience, qualifications and position.
8.2 All Co-Convenors and Members must have a current relevant WWC Check (volunteer or employee) and a copy will be filed confidentially.
8.3 Use resources and equipment in a safe and appropriate manner and seek advice in cases of uncertainty.
8.4 BAASS Co-Convenors (and members where relevant and appropriate) will participate in meetings and training as required.
8.5 We will only accept tasks within our capabilities and will fulfil our responsibilities to commitments made.
A. Integrity and Practice
We respect and protect the intellectual property of BAASS and all others and will ensure to give credit accordingly.
A.1 BAASS Co-Convenors will not be involved in any capacity with any organisation/services/supports that are not aligned with our values, ethics, policies etc. in a significant way or that pose a conflict of interest.
A.2 Co-Convenors will attempt to ensure clients have all possible information to make an informed decision and must be respectful of client's choices and decisions.
A.2.1 BAASS Co-Convenors will act with transparency in their definite commitment to this and advise clients and relevant community about this- it is also on our website.
A.2.2 Co-Convenors will be clear about this and remove themselves from that aspect of advocacy and may offer to refer clients to others that can support their involvement with organisations we cannot support or condone.
A.3 Co-Convenors will not recommend specific professionals/services/therapists etc.
BAASS can support clients in accessing information; Co-Convenors may share experiences but cannot recommend specific organisations/services. Service choice is based on personal circumstances and the 'right fit' for each person.
A.4 Relevant parties will be notified of any major changes to BAASS commitments with as much notice as possible including context/detail even if only slight.
A.5 BAASS Co-Convenors will be fair and just in supporting all mentors, volunteers, members and other stakeholders. We will support our members and the diversity of each person to the best of our ability.
A.5.1 We recognise genuine effort and will practice flexibility and support for each other.
B.1 BAASS Co-Convenors will make every effort to answer communication and questions in a timely manner within BAASS and as relates to clients and community enquiries.
B.2 Use BAASS email/s for all BAASS correspondence/communications with clients, community and stakeholders
This is professional, respectful productive and cohesive practice and serves as a form of progress updates for all invested parties.
C. Confidentiality & Privacy
BAASS CO-Convenors adhere to THE strictest of practice and highest standards in protecting confidential information of each other, clients and community. This includes protecting privacy and confidentiality by way of handling documents and keeping information secure. It is not acceptable to breach this in any way.
C.1 No clients are to contact BAASS Co-Convenors regarding BAASS related business, via personal emails, Facebook message etc.
C.2 Co-Convenors will never share or refer clients to another's private phone number, email or Facebook and other private/personal contact methods.
C.2.1 Co-Convenors will never share a client’s personal contact details or information without their express permission.
C.3 BAASS Co-Convenors will ALWAYS respect colleagues/BAASS Co-Convenors and these boundaries.
To maintain respect for colleagues and clients, maintain professionalism, BAASS integrity and professionalism and reputation.
We are all very passionate people and have various disabilities. We will work together and respect boundaries.
Our Professional Code of Conduct exists to provide an inclusive, accepting service and we will practice this within and without the BAASS group.
E. Violation Process
Each Co-Convenor has a responsibility to identify and report in good faith any potential or actual violations of the Code of Conduct or related concerns by raising the issue with the individual.
BAASS Co-Convenors and members have a responsibility to act consistently in accordance with this policy.
E.1 Many situations can be resolved with open discussion and consultation with the individual but if this is not effective or the violation is of a serious nature, the below applies.
E.2 If you become aware of a potential unethical, illegal or fraudulent action, or other violation of firm policy, whether committed by a colleague, client, supplier, contractor or other individual or organisation associated with the firm, it is important that you report the circumstances to the BAASS Co-Convenors as a group.
E.3 While the Code of Conduct is robust, it is not exhaustive. You are encouraged to refer to the appropriate sources for updated organisational policies, regulations and professional standards and consult with BAASS Co-Convenors.
E Action-Violation of BAASS Professional Code of Conduct
E Action 1 Any breaches of the law will be reported to the relevant authority.
E Action 2 In the case of a serious violation of BAASS Code of Conduct: The BAASS Professional Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy and Procedure must be followed.
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