OTS Code of Ethics
Preface to our Code of Ethics
What is the Code of Ethics? The Code of Ethics (herein referred to as the Code) is a set of guidelines intended to support ethical behavior and decision making for all representatives of Out of the Shadows. The term ‘representatives’ includes all board members, staff, volunteers and others who provide services for the organization. Building and maintaining trusted relationships with representatives, clients and donors is fundamental to our services, our reputation and our success. Managing in an ethical way, guided by a sense of social responsibility, is not just a matter of good practice but is the right thing to do. We are often faced with challenges that require difficult decisions. This Code of Ethics explains the behavior that is expected of all representatives at all levels in the organization. Each representative is responsible to become familiar with the Code of Ethics and to lead by example in the organization.
This Code calls for absolute commitment to ethical behavior among colleagues, clients, organizations and communities. The sincere prayer of the OTC Executive Board is that each representative will have the grace to adopt this Code professionally, the strength to live it honorably, and the hope to see it as a foundation of common identity and organizational unity.
Affirming Human Worth and Dignity
Human Beings are God’s creation and consequently, are due all the rights and respect that this fact entails. Therefore, OTS representatives must express appropriate care towards any client or anyone encountered in our organization without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual behavior or orientation, socioeconomic status, age, disability, marital status, education, occupation, denomination, belief system, values, or political affiliation. God’s love is unconditional, and so must that be of the OTS representative.
OTS representatives acknowledge the primary rule of professional ethical conduct is: First, do no harm to those who are served. Representatives actively avoid every manner of harm, exploitation and unjust discrimination in all client-representative relations, and help ensure the overall safety and well-being of clients.
In the event that a client threatens to harm themselves or anyone else, either verbally or by any other means, it is the OTS representative’s ethical duty to intervene and protect life and to report deadly threats to the proper authorities and those threatened by clients.
Avoid Counsel against Professional Treatment
OTS representatives should never advise against professional counseling, medical or psychiatric treatment, the use of medications, legal counsel or other forms of professional service merely because they believe such practice is wrong.
Every client of OTS has a fundamental and moral right to privacy, a dynamic that will promote strong and effective trust relationships with those providing care to them. For this reason, OTS representatives will maintain client confidentiality unless there is reasonable suspicion of deadly harm.
Protecting Persons from Deadly Harm – The Rule of Mandatory Disclosure
OTS representatives accept the limits of confidentiality when human life is imperiled or abused. Representatives must take appropriate action, including disclosures of confidential information, to protect clients in the case of threats including suicide, homicide serious bodily harm to others, life-threatening disease, or the abuse of anyone under the age of 18.
Respecting Different Faiths, Religions and Values
Representatives must work to understand the client’s belief system, always maintain respect for the client and strive to understand when faith and values issues are important to the client and do not impose their religious beliefs or practices on clients.
As OTS representatives, we all make decisions that affect one another, our clients and the organization. The actions we choose to take as individual representatives reflect on us all and influence how others perceive our organization. Each of us, through our actions and decisions has the power to improve our organization, build the trust of our clients and partners and enhance our reputation. This Code of Ethics provides a standard of behaviors that define the conduct to which we hold ourselves accountable.