The Volunteer Release Waiver and Application link may be found at the end of the Volunteer Policy. Please read the policy before completing the waiver and application.
CITY OF STOCKBRIDGE
The City of Stockbridge believes volunteers can make a positive difference to the community and to themselves. Volunteering is an activity where individuals decide, freely and by choice, to help achieve the organization's goals without expectations of financial or other rewards in kind. Volunteers benefit by gaining a greater understanding and appreciation for their local government and simultaneously strengthening the community's bond. We understand that people volunteer for many reasons and we value their contribution, commitment and participation. Their involvement compliments the work the City undertakes, but does not replace the work of paid staff members.
To utilize motivated citizens to enhance and supplement the productive efforts of the City and to improve the quality of life of the citizens and the City of Stockbridge through the medium of volunteering.
The purpose of this policy is to provide overall guidance and direction to staff and volunteers engaged in volunteer involvement. This policy shall govern those volunteers secured by City departments and those volunteers utilized by the Mayor and Council, separately.
The City of Stockbridge recognizes and supports the use of volunteers to assist the City of Stockbridge government in providing services and programs. The City of Stockbridge Municipal Volunteer Program Policies will establish standards of volunteer service for a formal volunteer program. This policy contains responsibilities of both the City and volunteers. Written policies and procedures will assure volunteers are suitably oriented and trained and job duties are developed. Supervision of volunteers is appropriate to assigned duties and discussion regarding safety, liability to the City, and accident and property damage coverage is conducted.
For volunteering to be successful, the needs of the organization, service users and volunteers must harmonize. In an effort to match the City with qualified pre-screened volunteers and persons with specific strengths, volunteer organizations may be utilized in conjunction with the City for opportunities to enhance and more rapidly complete certain endeavors. Because of the composition of this diverse community, and the number of skilled persons desiring to participate in assisting the City, there needs to be a mechanism by which matches between organized volunteers and the City can be made. Volunteerism is valuable to meet the needs of both the City and utilizing the skills and desires of citizens willing to participate and help.
These policies are intended for internal management guidance only, and do not constitute, either implicitly or explicitly, a binding contractual or personnel agreement. The City of Stockbridge may periodically change these policies. When changes are made all volunteers are expected to adhere to the policies set forth by the City of Stockbridge. Appointed boards and commissions are not covered by this policy.
DEFINITION OF 'VOLUNTEERS'
An individual or group who provides their time, talent and abilities to perform assigned tasks at the direction of the City Council, City Manager and/or Department Directors, without expectation of any type of compensation. The City does not recognize "paid volunteers".
For the purpose of utilizing volunteer services, the City will generally use the following categories of volunteers:
Non-professional - Those volunteers that have specific limited skills, knowledge, but have the abilities to perform tasks in a variety of areas. Also include volunteers with skills and knowledge in areas including but not limited to supervisory experience, graphic design, information technology, landscape design, public relations, etc.
Professional - Those volunteers that have specific talents and that are licensed to perform duties such as architectural, law, appraisals, electrical, plumbing, or other professional experience in specific areas of municipal or private sector specialties. Utilization of volunteers in which the City will rely on the volunteers' recommendation may require that the City and the volunteer enter into a separate contract.
To maximize the effectiveness of volunteers, yet limit risk exposure to both volunteers and the City, this policy will apply to the City Council and all City departments with volunteers. The City Manager will oversee and/or designate an employee to be responsible for the Volunteer Program, who will serve as the contact person.
RECRUITMENT OF MINORS
Generally speaking, the City of Stockbridge will not accept as an individual volunteer, anyone less than 16 years of age, but encourages participation of all ages in event-related and other group appropriate projects.
The City encourages individual minors (16-18) participation as volunteers so that these volunteers can accomplish their community service hours required for school. Individual minor volunteers are assigned to an appropriate supervisor who may be staff or an adult volunteer.
Groups and organizations whose members consist of children under age 16 are to volunteer with appropriate projects, provided their independent sponsoring group or organization adequately provides all of the adult supervision necessary for all minors to perform the activity safely. The City shall not be responsible for providing adequate adult supervision for groups including minor volunteers.
Each volunteer who has not reached the age of 18 must have the written consent of a parent or legal guardian prior to volunteering with the City.
RISKS OF INJURY TO VOLUNTEERS
City Volunteers are not covered for work related injuries by the City's Worker's Compensation Insurance. Volunteers are asked to sign the release as an acknowledgement that they are solely responsible for injuries resulting from participation in the volunteer activities or services.
City Volunteers may be covered under the City's Liability Policy but are still required to sign a release for activities during the course and scope of their volunteer duties.
DAMAGE TO OR THEFT OF VOLUNTEER PROPERTY
The City shall not be responsible for any damage to or theft of personal volunteer property.
Volunteers are not allowed to operate City vehicles.
The City may conduct an annual recognition event to recognize employees and volunteers for their years of service to the City.
ADHERENCE TO ALL LAWS AND RULES
All volunteers shall adhere to all applicable federal, state and local laws. Damage to any City property by the volunteer may result in criminal and/or civil action against the volunteer.
CITY DEPARTMENTS VOLUNTEERS
Departments shall use the following recruiting procedures when seeking a volunteer. A Volunteer Request Form (Exhibit 1) should be submitted to the City Manager or his designee, for review and approval prior to the recruitment of any volunteer. Whenever possible, there shall be a response within three (3) business days of the time request is received. Failure of the City Manager, or his designee, to respond to a request shall not prohibit the department from proceeding with securing a volunteer.
Once the Volunteer Request Form has been approved, the Department or his/her designee may openly recruit for that volunteer or utilize a volunteer organization for applicants.
Applicants will be required to fill out a Volunteer Application Form (Exhibit 2). Application information will include: name, address, telephone number, driver's license, work or volunteer experience, education or training, interests, availability, preferred assignments, references, etc. specific project or program. Procedures shall be consistently followed for every department requesting the use of volunteers. All forms shall be the responsibility of the Human Resources Department (HR).
Once the Volunteer Application Form is completed, the respective department director and/or designee will interview the applicant(s). Once a volunteer is selected, the Department Manager will recommend said volunteer to the City Manager or his designee for approval. HR will send a letter to the volunteer notifying them of their acceptance pending any necessary background, live-scan and/or medical examination.
The Volunteer must complete and sign a Volunteer Liability Release Form (Exhibit 3) in order to proceed with the selection process. Volunteers working with minors, the elderly and/or disabled persons will require a background check in accordance with law.
If the volunteer position requires driving, a copy of the volunteer's driver's license shall be placed on file, a copy of the volunteer's personal vehicle insurance, and an Abstract of Driving Record obtained from the Department of Drivers Services at the volunteer's expense.
If the selection process discloses information that indicates the tentative volunteer would not fulfill department expectations, the City is under no obligation to assign or retain that volunteer.
City Employees as Volunteers
City Departments may accept the services of its staff as volunteers. This service is accepted, provided the volunteer service is:
- Provided totally without a coercive nature.
- Involves tasks which are outside the scope of normal staff duties.
- Time provided is outside of usual working hours.
Additionally, the City supports its employees in volunteering with other community organizations, outside work hours.
Orientation will be conducted by HR or the Department Head on the first day of volunteerism. In order for both the City and volunteers to have a complete understanding of the conditions of volunteering, the following topics will be discussed during new volunteer orientation:
l. Policy and Procedures: Policy and procedures regulating volunteer duties should be discussed. Specific emphasis should be given to working safely, conditions of driving while as a volunteer and risk exposure to the City. This policy should be furnished to and discussed with volunteers.
2. Training: Volunteers will receive an overview of their volunteer assignment and, as appropriate, a written list of duties and expectations, hours of service, supervision, necessary forms, approved financial expenditures and reimbursement procedures, accident reporting procedures, confidentiality, call in, dress code, performance reviews (if applicable), etc. Volunteers shall receive instructions in areas within their assigned duty assignment.
3. Supervision: Volunteers will be supervised as to assignments, work performance, activity, use of equipment, etc. Performance problems will be corrected or the volunteer will be released from service.
4. Exposure and Use of City Property: Volunteers shall be limited in the use of City property unless required by their volunteer assignment. Damage to any City property by the volunteer may result in criminal and/or civil action against the volunteer. The volunteer is required to adhere to all confidentiality policies of the City. Volunteer shall only be allowed to access secured areas of the City via a City employee escort who is to remain with volunteer. Employees providing volunteers with City access cards and keys is strictly prohibited. Authorizing volunteers to enter secured areas of City buildings alone shall be kept to a minimum.
CITY COUNCIL VOLUNTEERS
City Council shall use the following recruiting procedures when seeking a volunteer. A councilmember shall identify their chosen volunteer to Mayor and Council during a work or business session prior to the volunteer performing any duties. Volunteers of the City Council do not require City Manager approval nor a Volunteer Request Form; however, City Council volunteers must still fill out a Volunteer Application Form to remain on file with HR. The Volunteer must also complete and sign a Volunteer Liability Release Form.
City Council shall not allow volunteers to use any City property that could potentially expose confidential and/or privileged information unless the volunteer is supervised by the City Councilmember at all times. Volunteers shall only be allowed to access secured areas of the City via the City Councilmember.
City Council shall not use City employees as volunteers.
Volunteer Release Waiver and Application