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1000 Faith-Based and Community Engagement Division Overview

FBCE August 2022

Faith-Based and Community Engagement (FBCE) is a division of the Prevention and Community Well-Being program at the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). FBCE employees work to involve the community and contribute to DFPS’s work through donations, volunteer work, and partnerships.

Employees build positive, ongoing relationships with community and faith-based partners to improve outcomes for children, families, older adults, and people with disabilities. Some examples of outreach include the following:

  • Conduct presentations for local organizations on how to identify abuse and neglect.
  • Host community meetings to receive public input about DFPS policies.
  • Attend events and conferences to build a network of partners to further the DFPS mission.
  • Recruit faith-based partners and volunteers.
  • Connect families to resources and services in the community.
  • Collaborate with community partners to host awareness events.

1100 FBCE Resources

FBCE August 2022

This handbook contains guidelines for DFPS employees who partner with community stakeholders or work with volunteers.

The Faith-Based and Community Engagement (FBCE) division includes employees from across the state, as well as State Office.

In addition to this policy handbook, the FBCE section of the DFPS intranet includes:

  • Contact information for State Office and regional FBCE employees.
  • Job aids for FBCE employees.
  • The Volunteer Handbook, which can be printed and handed out to volunteers.
  • Forms related to FBCE.
  • Training for DFPS employees on FBCE-related topics.

1200 All DFPS Employees

FBCE August 2022

A DFPS employee may not perform any of the following functions:

  • Write grants for external partners.
  • Maintain membership lists of community members or clients for an external organization.
  • Conduct fundraising of any kind on an external partner’s behalf.
  • Serve as an external partner’s registered agent.
  • Serve on an external partner’s committee or board. If an employee is asked to attend a board meeting on behalf of DFPS as either a liaison or presenter, he or she consults with a regional FBCE employee. A statutory authority or directive for an employee to sit on a community board (such as with children’s advocacy centers) is an exception to this rule.
  • Use credit cards belonging to external partner accounts, in accordance with internal audit determinations.

When a resource room has no designated employee, the assigned FBCE employee may:

  • Be responsible for an external partner’s resource room or other bookkeeping.
  • Enter or reconcile inventory.
  • Shop to stock a resource room, unless there is an applicable exception in 2110 When a Resource Room Has No Designated Employee.
  • Maintain control of gift card access, tracking, or reconciliation.

1300 Protecting Client Confidentiality

FBCE August 2022

Client confidentiality must be protected at all times. When a volunteer group or volunteer works directly with a DFPS client, the client must sign Form 0252 Release of Confidential Information for Volunteer Services to give DFPS permission to release personal information.

The client must sign the form before DFPS releases any information, when such a form is necessary. An employee must document the existence of the release in the client’s case record.

If a child is involved, the child’s guardian must sign the form. This policy does not apply to children in conservatorship.

Any memorandum of understanding between DFPS and a volunteer organization that will provide services directly to DFPS clients must contain a provision for the protection of client confidentiality and outline the scope of services.

1400 Ensuring Client Safety

FBCE August 2022

Partners and employees work together to ensure organized activities and initiatives include precautions to provide a safe environment for clients.

A volunteer choosing to attend an event created specifically for clients must authorize and pass a DFPS background check (unless otherwise noted in 5200 Volunteer Groups). A vendor participating in planned events goes through an abbreviated procedure (see 7310 Background Checks for Employees of Donating Vendors).

1500 Legal Requirements for Volunteer Programs

FBCE August 2022

Federal Law

Federal law requires DFPS to provide for the use of non-paid volunteers in providing services and in assisting any advisory committees established by the agency.

DFPS adheres to federal law by doing the following:

  • Maintain a position responsible for the development, organization, and administration of the volunteer program, and for coordination of the program with related functions.
  • Maintain methods of recruitment and selection that assure participation of volunteers of all income levels in planning capacities and service provision.
  • Maintain a program for organized training and supervision of such volunteers.
  • Meet the costs related to volunteer service and assuring that no person is deprived of the opportunity to serve because of the expenses involved in such service.
  • Expand the number of volunteers progressively each year until the volunteer program is adequate for the achievement of the agency’s service goals.

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, §225.2(b)

State Law

State law requires all governmental entities, including DFPS, do the following:

  • Develop a volunteer program.
  • Consider volunteers a resource requiring advanced planning and preparation for effective use.

Texas Government Code §2109.003

A volunteer program must include the following:

  • An effective training program for paid employees and prospective volunteers.
  • The use of paid employees to plan and implement the volunteer program.
  • An evaluation mechanism to assess the following:
    • The performance of the volunteers.
    •  The cooperation of paid employees with the volunteers.
  • Follow-up studies to ensure the effectiveness of the program.

In addition to these requirements, a volunteer program also may do the following:

  • Establish a program to reimburse volunteers for actual and necessary expenses.
  • Establish an insurance program to protect volunteers.
  • Cooperate with private organizations that provide services similar to those provided by DFPS.
  • Purchase engraved certificates, plaques, pins, or other awards of a similar nature, with a value that does not exceed $75 for each volunteer, to recognize special achievement and outstanding service of volunteers.

Texas Government Code §2109.004

1600 Equal Opportunity for Volunteers

FBCE August 2022

DFPS employees must recruit and place volunteers without regard to age, race, sex, religion, color, national origin, political belief, or disability.

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