Volunteer Policies and Procedures

Volunteer Screening

  • Volunteer Application: Individuals who are interested in volunteering at Urban Neighborhood Initiatives should fill out a volunteer application. Online applications are available at www.unidetroit/volunteer. Paper applications can also be submitted. An individual who attends a one-time service event (such as a park clean up or beautification project) is not required to turn in an application. All volunteers who submit a volunteer application or sign into a UNI volunteer event agree to follow the UNI Policies. See attached volunteer application.
  • Court Ordered Community Service: Individuals seeking to perform court ordered community service are welcome to complete their hours in accordance with UNI hiring policies. Individuals with court ordered community service may participate in indirect service volunteer opportunities (examples include park clean-ups, stewardship projects, special events).
  • Individuals with a Criminal History Seeking to Volunteer at UNI: It is at the discretion of UNI staff to determine if an individual with a criminal history is permitted to volunteer at UNI. Furthermore, it is at the discretion of the UNI staff to determine what specific volunteer activities are appropriate for each individual. Decisions regarding whether the individual is a good fit to volunteer at UNI, as well as what job the potential volunteer could perform, will be determined on a case by case basis. For example, a registered sex offender would not be allowed to volunteer at UNI.
  • Background Check: Background checks are completed on all volunteers who perform direct service at Urban Neighborhood Initiatives. All volunteers will be screened using the Internet Criminal History Access Tool and the Michigan Sex Offender Registry. Volunteers 18 years and older are required to obtain Child Abuse & Neglect Clearance from the Department of Human Services. See Volunteer Screening Process for more information. 

Minor Volunteer Policy: Volunteers under 18 years old must submit a Parental Consent and Release from Liability for Child Volunteer form signed by a parent or guardian.

Hours Tracking

  • Volunteer Sign-ins Sheets: Volunteers who attend volunteer events must sign in on a sign in sheet. By signing in, they agree to the release printed at the bottom of the sign in sheet. 
  • Volunteer Sign-in Binders: Volunteers who serve on a regular basis can sign in at one of the sign in binders on a volunteer sheet, located at Harms Elementary & at the All Saints Neighborhood Center. 
  • Hours Verification Letters: Volunteers who wish to receive a letter from UNI confirming their volunteer hours should contact the volunteer coordinator. Please give at least 5 days of advance notice to allow UNI staff to prepare the letter. 

Volunteer Attire: Volunteers must wear appropriate attire for the volunteer activity they are participating in.

  • Clean-up & Beautification Events: Volunteers should wear attire that is weather appropriate and comfortable for physical activity. It is recommended that volunteers wear long pants and sleeves at vacant lot clean ups. Closed toed shoes and work gloves are required at all clean-up and beautification events.

Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse, Identification and Reporting: In keeping with State Law, UNI staff and volunteers are required under public act No.  238 of 1975 to immediately make an oral report of cases of actual or suspected child abuse and neglect and to file a written report within 72 hours. 

  1. Employees shall report evidence of such abuse to the Executive Director utilizing the Incident Report Form.
  2. The written report shall be made using the state of MichiganReport Form 3200 attached.   This form shall be kept available at all times.
  3. The form shall be mailed to the following address: Children and Youth Services, 1801 E. Canfield,  Detroit, MI 48207
  4.   A copy of form completely filled out by the Executive Director is to be retained on file in the office of the Executive Director.  
  5. The oral report shall be made by the Executive Director at 396-0300.
  6.     In the absence of the Executive Director, such referrals should be made by the Social Work Consultant.  In that person’s absence, the referral may be made by the Program Director. 
  7. The information is to be kept confidential.  Any inquiries from the public or media are to be handled by the Executive Director.

The Executive Director shall update addresses and phone numbers on this policy statement as changes occur and shall make known such changes to staff as they become available.

Crisis Management

A) Emergency involving personal injury

  1. Stay calm and model calmness as a way of handling the situation.  Panic is contagious and must be avoided.
  2.    Assess the situation in determining whether a grave condition exists requiring immediate notification of emergency medical services.
  3.   Call for EMS noting clearly the location and address of the center.
  4.  Take emergency measures to minimize the injury such as stopping bleeding (using universal precautions) or treatment to prevent shock.
  5. The Executive Director or senior staff member present shall notify the parent or other family member identified in the registration.
  6.   Do not leave the injured person unaccompanied by an adult staff member or volunteer.
  7.  Fill out an incident report and present it to the Director.
  8.  The Executive Director will be the spokesperson with parents or public officials or members of the media.  There will be no communication by others to the media.
  9. The Director will submit a written report to the Board.

B) Weather emergency:

  1.  If dangerous weather is threatened and time permits, close the center and send children home.
  2. If children do not have time to walk home, engage the children in a quiet activity in the basement and drill them in procedures involving walking into the basement restroom hallway and kitchen.
  3.  Notified parents by telephone of the emergency and give them the opportunity to pick up the children if they think that they can do that safely.

C) Fire emergency:

  1.  Evacuate the building.  Practice this in regular fire drills.
  2. Call 911 and report the emergency.
  3. Use the fire extinguishers in the front and back of the first floor and in the kitchen to put out small fires.
  4. Do not risk life to save property.

D)  Hold up or other criminal emergency:

  1. Comply with any request involving property.  Do not argue with the criminal intruder.
  2. Maintain calm.
  3. Call police as soon as it is safe to do so.
  4. Notify parents.
  5.  Involve all witnesses in writing written reports.

The lead staff person shall write an incident report for the Executive Director.

Driver Acceptability: Drivers of either vehicles furnished by UNI or their own vehicles on UNI business must Z

  1. Have a currently valid driver’s license.  (Make copy for employee or volunteer record.)
  2. Have records with no more than four (4) points and no charges of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.   

UNI will request a clearance of the driver’s record through the insurance agent or another source with access to official records.

Motor Vehicle Certificates of Insurance, Employee or Volunteer-Owned Vehicles: Obtaining, Recording, and Filing: To drive an employee or volunteer-owned vehicle, the driver must present a copy for our files of a certificate of insurance for the vehicle.  The certificate must specify a coverage of at least $100,000/300,000 or $300,000 CSL.  The certificate must be stapled into the person’s file folder.  The certificate’s date of expiration must be recorded in a comprehensive document for review at regular intervals by the Executive Director.

Incident Reporting: All volunteers and staff are required to follow this procedure when events occur which involve an injury, assault, or serious conduct violations* endangering life, safety, property, dignity, or well-being of guests, volunteers, staff or agency:

1. Inform the Executive Director and Program Director immediately.
2. Isolate the person causing the problem if behavior is an issue. 
3. Call or arrange for the Executive Director to call 911 if emergency services are required.
4. Provide first aid where necessary.
5. Assist the Executive Director in informing parents of problem where minors are involved.  Highest ranking staff is authorized to make this notification in the absence of the Director if immediate notice is necessary to protect the health or safety of the child. 
6. Write up and turn in Incident Report using form attached before leaving for the day.

*Serious conduct violations shall include but not be limited to disrespectful behavior, willful violation of posted rules and directions of adult leaders, and verbal aggression physical aggression such as hitting, pushing, pulling hair, kicking and cursing, and damage to property.

In order to provide adequate supervision of youth group events, the following additional procedures must be followed:

1.       Youth at all times are to be respectful of others and of property.  Behavior should be appropriate to circumstances.
2.      Adults must be present in each area where there are youth, at a ratio of one adult to 10 youth and a minimum of two adults.
3.      Access to unsupervised areas of the building is not permitted and is to be barred by the use of locks where practical.
4.      Entrance to the restroom hallway must be only through the activity room.  There is to be no access to the furnace room or the back stairway.  These areas are off limits except when supervision is present.
5.      Loitering in the restrooms shall not be permitted.
6.      Wrestling, chasing, or intimidation is not permitted.
7.      Youth are not allowed to leave the building and then return to the same activity without permission of the supervisor in charge.

Maximizing Safety: While certain key staff may be credentialed under certain conditions to have the sole care of a client, the desirable practice is to have two persons involved in the care of a child.  This is especially true and a matter of policy when a child is being taken off the premises for any reason in the name of the program.  Exceptions:

1.       Professional UNI staff (who have police clearance and appropriate driving clearances) may with written parental permission take up to three (3) children for library or other daytime services supportive of the child’s education or center program involvement.
2.      Staff or volunteers (who have police clearance and appropriate driving clearances) may take adults to appointments or services when the lack of appropriate transportation is a barrier to getting adequate legal, financial, social, or health services.

All transportation of clients must have the approval of either the Executive Director or the designated senior staff person. In addition, it is the policy of this agency that a minimum of two staff and/or volunteers be in the building at any time when children are being served. 

Grievance Policy and Procedures for Volunteers: Urban Neighborhood Initiatives has an open door policy and encourages volunteers to bring their concerns or complaints about Urban Neighborhood Initiatives related matters that cannot be resolved to the attention of the Volunteer Coordinator or other individual designated by the Executive Director immediately. 

All volunteers are encouraged to report any conduct that the individual believes to constitute a violation of law (i.e., a whistleblower). If you have a problem that cannot be resolved, notify the Volunteer Coordinator or other designee immediately. Most difficulties can be settled promptly at this point.

All grievances whether or not in writing must contain the following information:

  1. Concise facts about the situation prompting the grievance. Suspicions or assumptions about the grievance will be rejected.
  2. Date and time of incident(s).
  3. Individuals involved.
  4. Resolution of the complaint that would satisfy complaint.

If there continues to be a problem, report it to the head of the human resources department, the Executive Director or other designee as appropriate.  This step should be taken within five (5) working days after the Volunteer Coordinator has given his/her decision or after the incident giving rise to your grievance, whichever is later.

If the circumstances require it, the head of the human resources department or the Executive Director will conduct a review or an investigation of the situation.

Following his/her review/investigation, the Executive Director or the head of the human resources department will respond in writing to your grievance. The decision shall be final.