Kuranda Neighbourhood Centre Volunteers In -Service Training
Welcome Kuranda Neighbourhood Centre (KNC) wishes to acknowledge this lands traditional owners and custodians.
WHO WE ARE The Kuranda Neighbourhood Centre is a non-profit, incorporated Association funded by the Queensland Government’s Department of Communities. It also receives funding from the Federal Government’s Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Services. The organisation is managed by a voluntary Management Board elected annually by the membership of the organisation.
Over three thousand years ago Lao Tsu wrote GO To the People; Live among them; Love them; Learn from them; Start from where they are; Work with them; Build on what they have. But of the best leaders, When the task is accomplished, The work completed, The people all remark: “We have done it ourselves” Lao Tsu
OUR MISSION Building strengths and capacities, promoting links, embracing diversity and engaging community, for families, individuals and groups.
OUR VALUES. The Kuranda Neighbourhood Centre is a non-sectarian, non-political organisation .• KNC is committed to social justice principles – equality, participation, access and equity.• Services are provided on a non-discriminatory basis. • “Participation” also includes a commitment to community participation in all levels of the Kuranda Neighbourhood Centre’s operations.
Community work is a two way street!! Community work isn’t about working for people, its about working with people to improve either their individuals situation or the situation of the whole community. Every one has skills, energy, strengths and knowledge that can help to develop culturally appropriate programs that can empower individuals and the Community and generate personal rewards.
Volunteering at KNC • What brings people into KNC to volunteer? • Wanting to give back and connect to the community by donating their time to not for profit organisations • Building skills, knowledge and experience • Need to fulfil participation requirements for Centrelink and believe KNC is a worthy/interesting/diverse place • People feel comfortable about being at the Centre and want to be part of the team • People have received a service from KNC and want to support the service being delivered for others
Volunteers at KNC come form many diverse backgrounds. Our volunteers range from young to not so young and bring with them valuable skills and life lessons. The Diversity of our community and volunteers gives us strength.
Why Volunteer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkHbQrlQ7yE
Volunteering underpins strong and vibrant communities. Australia and Queensland have a long history of volunteering. In 2006, 38% of Queenslanders volunteered. Volunteering was worth approximately $13.4 billion to the QLD economy and provided assistance equivalent to 299 000 jobs.
Who Volunteers ? “On any given day in Australia, millions of individuals give their time, skills and enthusiasm to help others and create productive, caring communities. Whether it is volunteering for the local sporting club, delivering a meal to the homeless, or working productively to clean up our creeks and waterways, the contribution that many Australians make is vital.” Source: Volunteering in Queensland a Snapshot
What is a Volunteer ? “Volunteering is defined as an activity for the benefit of the community and the volunteer, where the volunteer freely chooses their involvement without expectation of payment.” (According to the Queensland Government Policy on Volunteering 2007–2010)
KNC History • The legal name of the organisation is Kuranda Information and Support Centre (KISC), however we trade as the Kuranda Neighbourhood Centre (KNC). The legal name is the one used by the bank, funding bodies, the Office of Fair Trading and the Australian Tax Office.
KNC History Cont... In October 1992, a group of local residents met and considered the concept of people helping other people in the place where they live. It was envisaged that an information and support Centre for Kuranda locals would assist in promoting a sense of community: by linking people to supporting services, by promoting inter-agency contacts and by responding to emerging needs. This was achieved over nine years without any government funding: in short, entirely by volunteers. A vital and dedicated Management Committee kept the vision alive whilst Kuranda volunteers kept the doors open.
KNC History Cont... • The Centre’s first home was a brightly painted donated caravan parked behind St Saviour’s Church. In subsequent years, the service moved to the former Mareeba Shire branch office, to the QCWA hall in Thongon St, an original timber cutter’s cottage beside the BP Service Station and then in the Market Mall arcade on Therwine Street. • After much lobbying the Government, extensive planning and discussion and a substantial renovation of an existing Queenslander, we moved into our new home in November 2007.
KNC Membership • To become a member of KNC, a person needs to fill in a membership application. This application goes to the Management Committee for nomination and must be seconded to be accepted. It is most usual for the person to be known to the people nominating and seconding. The KNC Constitution has certain rules about membership of KNC. • The membership is renewed annually and all KNC members have the right to vote at the AGM on motions being put forward, to nominate a person for the KNC Management Committee and to vote for new Management Committee members. If a member is unable to attend the AGM, they can nominate one proxy to vote on their behalf.
KNC Management Committee The Management Committee is made up of 4 Executive Committee members and 3 General Committee members that include: • President Rachael Kelly • Vice President Cate Lamont • Treasurer Linda Davis • Secretary Peter North • 3 General Members Jenni McHugh, Fran Hynes and Tracey Wells. They are elected each year at the Annual General Meeting and work on a voluntary basis in an overall governance role for the organisation.
Our services KNC is a community service hub that provides a range of supports, service options, venue for outreach services, networking, community education and development. Our services include: • Information and Referral • Crisis intervention and Support • Community Development activities • Groups and Courses including volunteer training • Community Education sessions • Conflict resolution, mediation & advocacy • Family Support Program • Personal Support • Network development and coordination • Photocopying, Fax & Computer facilities • Book Exchange and 2nd hand Bookshop • A venue for hire • A drop-in space
No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) • KNC has a NILS program that is coordinated by Cathy Billam. Cathy worked on a volunteer basis developing this program and attending national forums, conferences and training in her own time. Recently KNC applied for a one off operational grant and we received enough money to pay Cathy 4 hours per week to continue to coordinate and develop the program for two years. Cathy also does additional volunteer hours as well as the paid hours. • NILS is a national loan scheme that people can apply for to purchase an essential household item such as a fridge, washing machine, bed etc. The maximum is $1000 and they need to meet eligibility criteria such as receiving a Centrelink Payment. • The money is paid back over a period up to 2 years usually through Centapay deductions. It has no fees and no interest. • The money comes from an overdraft account provided to us by the National Australia Bank through the Good Shepherd organisation in Victoria. We don’t pay any fees for the overdraft and we don’t receive any interest. As money is paid back to the overdraft, other loans can be made. • A person can only have one loan for one item at a time and once they pay it off they can apply for another loan.
Other things that KNC does • KNC aims to work collaboratively with other agencies, services, groups in the community to make the best use of available resources. • KNC supports emerging or fledgling groups to establish with the purpose of these groups gaining their own momentum and sustainability • KNC works in the community interest to determine existing or emerging needs and work alongside other groups to identify appropriate service responses
Public Internet Access • The computers in the front reception are available to the public for computer and internet use. There are 5 (when they are all working): 2 older ones, 1 brand new touchscreen BFS (in the middle) and 2 white Broadband for Seniors (BFS) computers. • KNC now own the BFS computers but have agreed to continue allow free access to seniors (anyone over 50) in exchange for support with broadband and security • If all computers are being used, and the end room (right) is free and is not booked for anything else, a person can use that computer and this will print to the Ricoh copier in Louise’s room. • School age young people cannot use the computers between 9-3 without approval from Ceri/Marg/Lou. This means that they are utilising the computer for a vocation/training/alternate education program purpose.
Public Internet Access Cont... • 50 years and older have free use of computer/internet at KNC. If the BFS computers are in use, they can use one of the others. If all computers are in use, the BFS computers need to be prioritised by seniors. This needs to be stated to people not meeting this criteria when they come in if they are going onto the BFS computers. • We are trying to make the use of computers fair to all, so if people want to use the computers for a specific time they will need to book it in advance to ensure there is a computer free. At other times, they may have to wait or limit the time they are on the computers. • Students (or school age) have a discounted rate of $1 per hour for computer/internet access. • The usual rate is $2 per hour. • Food and drink cannot be consumed near the computers so please direct users to the table or outside. • If someone states that they only need the computer for a period less than half an hour, then we will discount the rate to a minimum of $1 (or 50c for a student/school age). • If someone says they do not have enough money or don’t have any money, we can be flexible if it is not a regular occurrence and suggest they pay the balance next time or when they can afford it. • If this is occurring on a regular basis, this needs to be discussed with Marg and if an arrangement is made to waive the cost it will be made known to all volunteers.
Computer/Internet Printing • There are two printers that can be used: HP colour printer/scanner/copier and the Ricoh Printer in Louise’s room.
Photocopying/Faxing/Printing/etc • This is a service that KNC provides as an affordable alternative for people living in Kuranda who cannot get to Cairns or Mareeba to utilise these kinds of services or who cannot afford the options that exist in Kuranda. The charge is not to make a profit, but to cover costs for this community service. • This service is also a strategy to bring local people into the Centre where they may find out about another program/service/support, or connect with others in the community or need a level of anonymity when coming into the Centre if there are services they are receiving here. This is also the case with the bookshop and the computer/internet access.
KNC Kitchen and Toilets • The facilities at KNC including toilets and kitchen are available to the community when they come into the Centre. People working at KNC in any capacity can adopt an ‘unconditional positive regard’ for others in their use of these facilities. While there are one or two people who take unreasonable advantage of opportunities in general, we can be confident in the knowledge that this represents a very small minority (around .05%) of all people coming to the Centre. • Tea and Coffee are available for people to make a cuppa and it is made clear by signage that people can donate towards the cost of this if they can afford it. (In reality the cost of tea and coffee is approximately $30 per month). If people do not contribute, we accept that there is generally an honest reason and hope that by being welcoming in this way that people feel they can come into KNC and feel comfortable.
To build community, we need to be able to work with many different kinds of people, organisational structures and action emphases. We also need to be able to ….expand our thinking to more than one pattern….locked into one logic or pattern of thinking, we make and accept judgements solely on the basis of what is familiar, whereas with an open mind we are open to both new ideas and to the way we process those ideas. (Kelly &Sewell, 1988)
Volunteers in reception People working at the desk or in the reception area are the first point of contact for the Centre. This is an important role that is a large part of the community and client experience of KNC. It is essential that people feel welcomed, accepted and accommodated when they enter the building. Having an accepting manner means that you are able put aside your own thoughts and feelings about a person or people to allow them to receive a service or information without feeling judged or scrutinised.
Volunteers in reception Cont... • Part of this is to accept that you have your own assumptions, judgements and values and be aware that they may not match 100% with how KNC provides access and services to the community. This can be difficult at times and it is really important that you are able to recognise when your feelings or thoughts will not allow you to be accepting. • This happens to most people working in a diverse community setting and recognising it is the first step towards making sure you feel OK and clients/community members/families feel they can come and get a service anytime they need it. When you feel like it is too hard to be accepting of a particular person or family this is OK and everyone feels like that at different times.
Volunteers in reception Cont... For example you may have some personal history with someone who abused children and now find it too difficult to be accepting of paedophiles in the community; or you may have personal feelings or history about a particular person or family in this community and need to avoid them. When something like this happens, it is really important for you to go to one of the staff (Ceri, Louise, Cathy or Marg) and let them know so that we can take the pressure off you, problem solve and work out how the person or family can still come in to KNC and receive a service. Sometimes that service is just a referral or information about another more appropriate service.
Telephone Calls • Equally important is consistent telephone protocols. Put simply phone calls can be answered: “Hello, Kuranda Neighbourhood Centre, this is ....” • If someone rings and asks for a member of staff who is not available, ask if they would like to talk to one of the other staff. If not, take a message with name, phone number and brief message if necessary. • When a phone call is transferred, please let the staff member know who the caller is if possible.
Managing Difficult Situations • If a person appears intoxicated (with alcohol or other drugs) seek assistance and support from one of the staff members (preferably Marg or Ceri). You can ring down to either staff member or go directly to their room if you feel uncomfortable staying out the front. • Just ask the person to have a seat or offer to make them a cup of tea or coffee while they wait for a staff member. • Generally KNC is unable to provide a service to people when they are intoxicated, however this decision needs to be made by a KNC staff member depending on the situation and the needs of the person.
Managing Difficult Situations Cont... • If a person appears to be angry or getting angry and is raising their voice, swearing or other threatening behaviour, first try to ‘talk down’ the situation by using a calm voice saying things like: “it’s alright, please have a seat”; “I can arrange for someone to talk to”; “we will try to help you”; “please calm down – can I make you a cup of tea/coffee or get you a glass of water”. • Don’t say “no” directly to the person – staff will always be able to offer some options to their problem. • Always try to remain calm in all situations and not become part of the problem. If you are having any difficulty with someone for any reason, have a staff member manage the situation.
Managing Difficult Situations Cont... • If people come in with children – they are responsible for supervising their children (there are clear signs regarding this responsibility). If children appear to be unsupervised, calmly and respectfully remind their parents/caregivers that they need to watch out for their children. If you don’t feel comfortable or have tried and this is still a problem, please see one of the staff. If you can see that a parent/caregiver is trying to either get a service or get information from the internet etc, you may choose to pick out a book and sit with the child/ren and read to them at the table. You may also arrange for colouring in with resources from Ceri’s room to assist the family. • Smoking is not permitted by law within 4 metres of a government building doorway or window. If people are smoking on the veranda within 4 metres, please respectfully remind people that we are governed by this law and they will need to move outside the 4 metre perimeter.
Other situations • Protective behaviours – this is about keeping you and other people in the Centre safe. KNC has policies and procedures around keeping staff, volunteers and clients safe at the Centre. It is expected that all staff and volunteers act in their own best interests and for the wellbeing of others. Please do not do anything that you think may be risky or unsafe. This includes things like not standing on chairs; not intervening in a challenging client situation; lifting heavy objects; electrical issues; identifying situations before they become unsafe etc • Incidents – are events that result in someone getting hurt or injured or the risk of someone getting hurt or injured. KNC has an incident reporting procedure which is kept by Marg. Please see Marg , Ceri or Louise if you witness an incident of this nature and they will assist you fill in an incident report form.
Other situations Cont... • Emergencies – generally this will require a phone call made by you or someone else to an emergency service such as Police, Fire or Ambulance. Try to consult with a staff member before making this phone call, unless you deem the situation critical enough to make this call first (eg a person appears to be having a heart attack, has stopped breathing, or a person is threatening violence with a weapon). Ceri and Marg both have current Applied First Aid and CPR certificates and can provide transitional assistance to a person in need of emergency medical assistance until the ambulance arrives. • Evacuation – if the alarm sounds, or if there is smoke/fire, or there is another dangerous situation you will need to ask everyone in the building to evacuate as per the Evacuation Plan (three copies are located at: the end of the hallway, at the security key pad near the toilets and near the photocopier in reception). Do not go looking for people, just call out and exit with everyone you can physically see. The meeting point is at the KNC sign/notice board/seat out the front.
Duress Alarm • KNC has a duress alarm system that is activated by mobile buttons. There is one underneath the desks of Marg and Ceri and there is one under the top counter of the reception desk. If outreach workers are using a room, they will also be offered a duress alarm with instructions on how to use it. • The alarm is pressed if a worker/volunteer feels that a situation has gone out of control and becomes scared. All efforts to calm the situation using a ‘talk down’ approach will have been attempted before the alarm is pressed. • When the button is pressed the alarm will sound loudly out the front of the building. An alarm will also be sent to the monitoring company who will ring the Centre first and then notify the police if there is no answer or if they are requested to by the person answering the phone. • If you hear the alarm sound, calmly ask everyone to leave the building immediately and assemble at the KNC sign/noticeboard/seat at the front. Proceed out the front of the building and wait for instructions by other Centre staff or the police. Do not try to intervene in any situation that may be occurring. Do not enter any room where the door is closed
Other volunteer roles at KNC • Management Committee • No Interest Loan Scheme (only part paid) • Tax Help • Kuranda Interagency minute taker • Website maintenance • Newsletter Editor • Garden and yard maintenance • Family Days/Community events support • Group coordination (egMahjong) • Submission writing • Statistical collation • Other project/admin work (eg Evacuation Plan, guillotine work etc)
Giving Information not advice • It is important to make a clear distinction between providing information, possibly referral and giving advice. • To give advice means that you have been trained or have studied in a particular area and are then qualified to give advice. • Staff and volunteers do not ‘give advice’, however we are in a position to explore options and provide a person with information. The person can then use that information to make a choice or decision about what they then do. • Sometimes when a person comes into the Centre looking for information, there might be other underlying issues that may also need assessment or support. Ceri and Marg have been trained and are qualified in needs assessment and therefore it may be most suitable for a person to see one of these workers.
Giving Information not advice Cont... • This is not always necessary and if you are not sure, then it is best to ask the workers anyway. • Sometimes the person may just be asking directions to the medical centre or library; when playgroup is on; what day Probation and Parole is here etc and in these instances it is most appropriate that you provide that information. • If a person is asking more about what kinds of services there are, or if they are telling you information about themselves or a problem they are having, you will need to refer them to a worker.
Privacy and Confidentiality • Privacy is the right of a person/client to be protected against intrusion into his /her personal life or affairs, or those of his/her family. So this means that information not directly relevant to a person receiving a service is not needed and therefore not collected or asked for. Privacy is also a person’s right to decide what, if any, information about them is shared with others. • Confidentiality is about keeping any information about a person/client absolutely secure which includes verbal, papers, documents, forms and files. Confidentiality is an obligation to respect a client’s privacy and to keep secret the information that is revealed as a result of contact with that client. Confidentiality means that workers/organsiations will not reveal to anyone information that they have received from a client without the client’s informed consent. • Absolute Confidentiality: Information provided by a client is not made available to anyone other than the person with whom they spoke. Information is only shared further if clients give their specific consent. No one is able to access this information, including the courts. Conditions where absolute confidentiality applies are limited. Lawyers and ministers of religion can both claim professional privilege if asked to disclose a client’s information. Within the Family Law Act 1975 and the Dispute Resolutions Centres Act 1990 there are certain exceptions made for some counsellors and mediators.Community workers usually cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality. • Relative Confidentiality: The degree of confidentiality workers can offer varies depending on other obligations they may have. There may be a requirement that workers disclose or share certain information with others. This could be due to organisational procedure (conferring with co-workers or a supervisor) or legal requirements .
Privacy and Confidentiality Cont... • All KNC staff, volunteers and Management Committee have signed a Confidentiality Agreement that details the commitment to upholding the principles of confidentiality. Deliberate breaches of confidentiality may result in termination of employment for any staff and volunteers. • Everyone needs reminding about our commitment to client confidentiality because it is easy to become complacent about some of the ways people’s information is protected. • It is extremely important that clients of KNC are confident about their confidentiality and that everyone at KNC understands it and upholds it. • Breaches of confidentiality can include: • Leaving identifiable information in public places (even in the car or at home) • Talking about a person or a client within earshot of someone else • Telling someone else about a person being at the Centre or anything about them • Talking about someone, even if you don’t say their name but use other identifiable information (eg the person with red hair who lives on Smith St) • Asking someone else to tell you about a person or a client (ie asking them to breach confidentiality)
KNC Funding • Currently we have two streams of funding from the Dept of Communities. They are called Community Support Services (CSS) and Family Support (FS). They each have a wage/salary component to employ Marg and Ceri full-time. The other parts of each stream of funding are called ‘administration’ and ‘operational’ components. When added together, they cover all the overheads and running costs of the centre including the administration and bookkeeping that Louise does. • A budget is written and approved by the Management Committee for each Financial Year and includes everything that we spend money on from the garden maintenance to Insurance (approximately $3,500 per year), the lease of the car, electricity, rates, phone, maintenance of equipment and so on.
KNC Funding Cont... • The Management Committee make all the decisions about what to do with the money we receive from the State Government or that we generate ourselves. Some of this money goes towards program costs (where the government money is not enough), to community development activities (such as Family Days) or to equipment such as new computers or a specific project (such as a deck out the back – long term!)
Code of Conduct • As an organisation, KNC wishes to be publically acknowledged as ethical, professional and principled. The Employee and Volunteer Code of Conduct document ensures that all staff and volunteers at KNC are aware of what is expected of them and how their conduct represents the values of the organisation (see attachment).
Workplace Health and Safety • KNC is committed to ensuring maximum workplace health and safety for all staff, volunteers and clients accessing the centre. • KNC does not have a WH&S officer as it does not employ 30+ staff which is the requirement. • KNC however has a WH&S policy that details how safety measures will be implemented and includes reporting situations and incidents. • Situations are addressed within usual timeframes and incidents are investigated to ensure ongoing risk is minimised. • If you become aware of an unsafe situation or witness an incident, please contact the Coordinator immediately.
KNC Accountability • KNC is accountable to two Service Agreements that are funding contracts with the Dept of Communities for Community Support Services and Family Support Services. These Agreements form the rules and conditions of the funding and KNC has an annual performance appraisal with the Dept to make sure we are delivering services in accordance with these Agreements. • There are Community Service Standards being implemented across the state with organisations who receive funding from the Dept of Communities. These standards have key performance criteria that KNC will be audited against by an external auditor in the future. We have already conducted a self assessment against the Standards and have a Continuous Improvement Plan to gauge our compliance and development areas.
KNC Policies and Procedures • KNC has a new Policy and Procedure Manual that has recently been adopted this year. It was developed following the Self Assessment against the Community Service Standards. The Manual reflects KNC’s position on the various areas of the organisation. The Manual itself is very big and therefore there is a Handbook that summarises all the Policies and Procedures that are in the Manual. Both the Handbook and the Manual are available upon request and it is advisable that all volunteers have a look at the Handbook and to also read full policies/procedures if they want to know more about a specific area. • Regular review of the Policies and Procedures is undertaken through an internal audit schedule. This is still being finalised and volunteers will have a future role in this audit process. • Having policies and procedures for particular areas is a requirement of the Service Agreements KNC has with the Dept of Communities for our core funding.
You are not alone • Without you the volunteers this centre could not operate, but we hope that all our volunteers discover a mutual benefit from the time you generously donate. • Some may feel that this is a steep learning curve. But remember you are not alone and please feel free to ask myself or any of the staff for help. • Do not be concerned if you feel like this is all to much to absorb in one day, copies of this presentation and other resources are available from at the centre and you will also be given a training resource to take home.
KNC Staff History • In 2001 KNC employed a part time Coordinator (Cherry Ferrari) who stayed with KNC until 2004. Then Vicki Donovan was part-time Coordinator until the position was made full-time in April 2007. Vicki chose to move to another position elsewhere and in May 2007, Marg Yandell was employed full-time. • Linda Davis was employed at this time on a part-time basis as the KNC Bookkeeper. It was approximately 4 hours per week and she also stepped in to act in the Coordinator position for staff leave absences. • Linda moved on to the Kuranda Pool and KNC employed Louise Gilmour in June 2008. The Administration and Bookkeeping needs of the organisation increased with the growth in service delivery and the demands of the bigger Centre and this position increased to 3 days per week. The funds for this position come from the Operational components of both the Community Support Service and Family Support streams of funding.