All Agency employees and volunteers are responsible to read and adhere to this Code of Ethics in the performance of their duties on behalf of the Agency and the individuals served by the Agency.
Principle 1: Respect for the Dignity of Persons
In all our activities, Supported Lifestyles Ltd. (the Agency), its employees and volunteers demonstrate respect for the dignity of service recipients, professionals, and the other individuals and organizations with which they interact. In adhering to this principle, the Agency recognizes the knowledge, insight, experience and areas of expertise of others. The Agency treats others fairly, in a manner that enhances their right to participate fully in their interactions with Supported Lifestyles Ltd. The Agency respects the privacy and confidentiality of the information to which it is privy.
Supported Lifestyles Ltd. behaves in a fair and non-discriminatory manner in selecting, assessing and providing services to people with disabilities. The Agency demonstrates respect for service recipients’ values, self-knowledge and experiences in the way in which individual service plans are developed and implemented. Service recipients and their legal representatives are provided with sufficient, understandable information so that they can make informed service decisions. Support is provided to assist individuals to understand services offered. Information about service recipients is recorded and stored in a manner that maintains the level of confidentiality desired by the service recipient.
Supported Lifestyles Ltd. treats employees justly and in a non-discriminatory manner. The Agency communicates with staff in an open manner regarding conditions of employment, job performance standards, and organizational decisions that have an impact on employees’ work. In recognition of the important role staff play in fulfilling the mission of the Agency, employees are provided with opportunity for input into the decisions made by Supported Lifestyles Ltd. Information about personnel is treated in a confidential manner.
The Agency conducts business with other service providers and professionals in a fair and non-discriminatory manner. The Agency acknowledges the insight, experience and areas of expertise of other service providers and professionals. Supported Lifestyles Ltd. provides all the other organizations and individuals with which it does business with accurate and relevant information about the Agency to the extent that it does not violate confidentiality or the privacy of service recipients and personnel. Information provided by other service providers and professionals is accorded the same degree of confidentiality as that of service recipients and staff.
Principle 2: Responsible Caring
Supported Lifestyles Ltd. employees and volunteers demonstrate their commitment to quality supports and services to people with disabilities in all their activities. They maximize benefits and minimize harm to the service recipients and service providers with whom they interact by providing competent service.
Supported Lifestyles Ltd. employees and volunteers care about the well-being of the people they serve, and work with service recipients and their legal representatives to secure and provide services that maintain and improve the recipients well being. They ensure competent administration and delivery of the services they offer.
The Agency is committed to the well-being of employees and fosters the physical and emotional health of staff in the workplace. The Agency supports all staff to maintain and increase their professional competence through continued professional development.
The Agency makes business decisions that foster the provision of quality supports and services to people with disabilities. The Agency ensures that it deals with other organizations and individuals in a competent and professional manner.
Principle 3: Integrity in Relationships
Supported Lifestyles Ltd. employees and volunteers represent themselves in an honest and accurate fashion in all their dealings with service recipients, professionals and other individuals and organizations. They monitor their relationships for conflicts of interest and strive to avoid biases that may favour their own interests over those of the people they serve.
The Agency represents the type, limitations and appropriateness of its services to recipients and their legal representatives honestly and accurately. The Agency provides the services it has contracted to provide. Supported Lifestyles Ltd. employees and volunteers recommend particular services because they feel they will meet the needs of the service recipients most effectively, not because of any financial benefit or other benefit that may, as a result, accrue to the Agency. Supported Lifestyles Ltd. behaves with integrity in dealings with its employees. The Agency acts on commitments made regarding terms of employment. The Agency monitors decisions regarding staff for potential conflicts of interest and support staff members in their efforts to avoid conflicts of interest. Supported Lifestyles Ltd. employees and volunteers represent themselves and their services honestly to service recipients and to other organizations in the community. They do not enter into relationships with other organizations that favour their own interests over those of the people they serve.
Principle 4: Social Responsibility
The Agency actively questions service sector, governmental and societal practices or decisions that harm people with disabilities. The Agency is committed to the development of best practices. The Agency advocates for changes that will benefit the people served in the belief that society’s welfare is affected by its treatment of those who are in the margins of society.
Supported Lifestyles Ltd. employees and volunteers advocate on behalf of service recipients for their right to quality services and supports in the community. They are committed to developing and providing the best services available.
The Agency encourages employees to question policies and practices that may harm people with disabilities. The Agency supports employees in reporting an apparent breach of these ethical practices to the appropriate authority. Investigations of allegations are motivated by a desire for justice for service recipients, rather than by a desire to protect the Agency’s name.
Supported Lifestyles Ltd. advocates with other organizations and society members for the basic and human value of people with disabilities. The Agency educates those individuals and organizations with whom they do business regarding how best to accommodate people with disabilities, who have been marginalized.
(The above is adapted from the AARC Guiding Principles adopted 1995, and is consistent with the 2013 statement of “Ethical Principles of the Alberta Council of Disability Services”)
Supported Lifestyles Ltd. employees and volunteers will find that some ethical dilemmas will be difficult to resolve even with the support of this Code of Ethics. Employees and volunteers are encouraged to use a team approach to resolving such dilemmas by involving appropriate supervisory support. Consulting with others, with respect for the requirements of confidentiality, is an accepted approach to ethical decision making.