What other guidelines should Service Coordinators follow?
ROSS Service Coordinators are encouraged to consider the following guiding principles when working with program participants:
- Cultural competency: ROSS program participants come from diverse backgrounds. Staff should be encouraged to learn about culturally appropriate ways of engaging with residents. For tips on working with immigrants or other groups with different cultural references, see the accompanying textbox in this section.
- Confidentiality: Service Coordinators must obtain a signed release of information for all clients and treat clients’ information in a way consistent with the grantee’s organizational written policies and procedures to ensure confidentiality. Keeping client information secure is a key component of maintaining confidentiality. The release should clearly explain what type of information is being collected from the resident, how the information is being used, who has access to that information, and for how long those parties will be granted access to the information. Trust between the Service Coordinator and his or her residents is built on transparency.
- Boundaries: Service Coordinators must maintain appropriate, professional boundaries with residents at all times. These boundaries should include:
- Using a professional work email, phone number, and office location;
- Refraining from discussing the Service Coordinator’s personal life;
- Avoiding profanity;
- Establishing clear physical boundaries;
- Maintaining professional boundaries when in social settings; and
- Using professional social media accounts for the program.
- Conflicts of interest: Each ROSS program should have written policies and procedures for preventing personal and financial conflicts of interest.
- Policies and Procedures in the ROSS Action Plan: Service Coordinators are encouraged to develop a ROSS Action Plan outlining the policies and procedures they will use for client referrals, client confidentiality, tracking and reporting, and other functions they are responsible for carrying out. Having such a document to point to can help clients see that there are guidelines in place to safeguard their privacy.
Working with immigrants
Tips on working with immigrants* include:
- Clients may have varying levels of English language proficiency. Be sensitive to this when providing instructions or information, and translate all oral and written communication into clients’ primary language whenever possible.
- Immigrants often encounter challenges preparing for a GED, a process which today is primarily computer-based. They may need assistance accessing services to overcome these challenges.
- Recognize that foreign-born clients may have cultural beliefs that include varying levels of comfort with women working outside of the home and child care provided outside of immediate circles of family and friends.
- Consider forming partnerships with service agencies that match client demographics.
- Take advantage of community events to emphasize the program’s celebration of diversity.
For additional tips on how to create a program that is welcoming of participants from different cultures and backgrounds, see the Community Tool Box section on Enhancing Cultural Competence.
*Drawn from HUD’s Jobs-Plus Demonstration program.