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2000 Policy Governing Resource Rooms

FBCE August 2022

Resource rooms are store-like settings where caseworkers obtain emergency supplies or special requests for clients including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Lice treatment
  • Clothing
  • Hygiene items
  • Small furniture

These resource rooms usually are called Rainbow Rooms in CPS and CPI and Silver Star Rooms in APS.

Resource rooms are primarily stocked and run by independent volunteer groups or organizations who generously coordinate the many aspects of the rooms. The groups or organizations who maintain the rooms are responsible for the following tasks:

  • Shopping to stock resource rooms and purchasing other bulk items, such as gifts for special event drives.
  • Organizing and stocking shelves.
  • Maintaining an inventory system (tracking and reconciling items).
  • Maintaining membership lists and other official records.
  • Maintaining bookkeeping and accounts, including gift card reconciliation.
  • Planning events and fundraisers.
  • Seeking community support.

2100 DFPS Resource Room Employees

FBCE August 2022

FBCE resource room coordinators maintain the emergency resource rooms and facilitate the resource room partnership. This employee may be a liaison for one or more resource rooms throughout a region.

Although DFPS provides a FBCE employee position to contribute to resource partnerships, this person remains a DFPS employee and must abide by all agency policies.


CPS Rainbow Rooms

APS Silver Star Rooms

Only a designated employee (usually an FBCE employee) may assist the partner in running the resource room, with restrictions. The employee may perform any of the following activities:

  • Shop to restock the resource room. Restrictions: The partner must pre-approve the items to be purchased and the amount to be spent.
  • Use gift cards to purchase items. Restrictions: Use of credit cards belonging to external partner accounts is prohibited for all DFPS employees, including dedicated resource room employees. However, dedicated employees may use gift cards to purchase items to stock the resource room as long as the gift card policy is followed in its entirety. See 4400 Use of Retail or Other Gift Cards.
  • Assist partners with event planning. Restrictions: A dedicated resource room employee may assist the partner with event organization and concept development. He or she may not be in a decision-making capacity, be responsible for outcomes, or work on fundraising. DFPS computers and supplies cannot be used to raise money or solicit for partners, even if clients are the beneficiaries.

2110 When a Resource Room Has No Designated Employee

FBCE August 2022

In an area where a resource room does not have a designated employee position assigned, an FBCE employee may act as the resource room employee. The partner organization should always look to community volunteers first, specifically with regard to shopping duties, before asking a DFPS employee to assist.

2200 Resource Room Inventory Systems

FBCE August 2022

A resource room used by DFPS employees must use an inventory system. The system must track the following:

  • What donated items are received and when.
  • The identity of the donor.
  • Where it went (client identifier).
  • Name of caseworker who removed it.
  • What is left in the room. A physical inventory must be conducted at least annually.

Inventory systems can range from simple manual records to complex computer-based versions. If desired, FBCE can help partners choose a suitable system.

An employee must always comply with the partner’s requirements for room usage, such as signing out items, providing requested destination information, and so on. An employee not in compliance with the partner’s processes may be barred from using the resource room.

Partners and employees must follow specific procedures when gift cards are purchased and stocked in the resource room.

See 4400 Use of Retail or Other Gift Cards.

2300 Requesting and Obtaining Gift Cards in Resource Rooms

FBCE August 2022

Use of gift cards should be reserved for the following situations:

  • Items that cannot be obtained through another channel.
  • A situation that requires immediate intervention and for which other resources cannot be immediately located.

The designated resource room employee is the only DFPS employee who may use gift cards to shop for items to stock the room. However, a CPS, CPI, or APS caseworker may request a gift card for a specific client. Requests to obtain a gift card must be made on the resource room’s withdrawal or request form. The caseworker must document the following:

  • The case identifying number.
  • Reason the use of a gift card is necessary.
  • What will be purchased.

The caseworker must sign and date the form before submitting it to his or her supervisor for approval.

Permission to obtain a gift card requires the following:

  • Supervisory approval to obtain the card.
  • Pre-purchase approval of the types of items to be purchased or amount to be spent.

The supervisor’s signature on the withdrawal or request form indicates approval.

A caseworker on call after-hours may request a gift card to be used in case a need arises. With pre-approval, the caseworker signs out the card with the local withdrawal or request form. The caseworker then follows the usual logging and receipts procedures outlined in 2310 Tracking and Documentation of Gift Cards. If the card is not used, the caseworker returns the card to the organization’s designated gift card manager upon completion of after-hours duty, with an unchanged balance certified on the balance tracking sheet.

2310 Tracking and Documentation of Gift Cards

FBCE August 2022

Because gift cards are cash-like items, they must be logged and inventoried into the resource room or organization’s inventory tracking system by an authorized member of the partner organization. A DFPS employee may not log gift cards into an inventory system.

Some partners purchase gift cards in larger denominations for successive uses by employees. Other partners purchase cards in small denominations to be given as gifts for clients.

All gift cards checked out by DFPS employees must display a tracking number, either assigned by the issuing retailer or assigned by the community organization at inventory login. Each card must have a tracking sheet, created by the organization that oversees the resource room. The sheet must include a tracking number and record the card’s beginning balance.

A gift card used for more than one transaction must stay with its tracking sheet, which contains the following:

  • Beginning balance.
  • Current transaction purchase amount.
  • Date of transaction.
  • New ending balance after the transaction.
  • Signature of the caseworker responsible for the transaction, verifying that the amounts are correct and that the card was used for the client.

The caseworker must track the gift card balance using Form 0263 Monetary Donations Receipt Log and turn in itemized receipts and the card to the organization’s designated gift card manager. See Appendix I: Donations Procedures.

If the partner organization allows a gift card to be given to a client in its entirety, the caseworker must obtain the client’s signature on a receipt containing the card’s inventory tracking number and balance. The caseworker must return the receipt to the organization’s designated gift card manager within 48 hours.

2311 Retention of Gift Card Documentation

FBCE August 2022

If a resource room is run by a partner organization that does not have a designated employee, the DFPS employee must be mindful of the records retention schedule when maintaining the gift card logs. The employee should refer to the Understanding the Records Retention Schedule page to ensure he or she is following the current requirements.

Please contact the Records Management Group at DFPS for questions.

2400 Initiating a Resource Room

FBCE August 2022

A resource room must be created with the assistance of an FBCE employee and the commitment of an external partner.

The use of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) between the initiating partner and DFPS is required in order to do the following:

  • Advance understanding of applicable policies and procedures, particularly when state resources are contributed to the partnership.
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities.
  • Provide continuity in the event of a change in staff or revolving partner volunteers and members.
  • Provide clear understanding of who resources serve.
  • Provides a solid foundation of agreement when an unforeseen situation arises.

2500 On-Site Resource Rooms

FBCE August 2022

A resource room in a DFPS building that is run by external partner volunteers is subject to existing building security guidelines.

A volunteer may not access DFPS sites after hours unless the following are true:

  • The volunteer is accompanied by a DFPS employee and access is approved by the volunteer’s supervisor.
  • The volunteer is working at a site where DFPS employees are present 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

2600 Reconciliation of Resource Room Records

FBCE August 2022

It is the expectation of DFPS that partner organizations will do the following:

  • Reconcile gift card tracking sheets, balances, and receipts at least monthly.
  • Maintain inventory tracking sheets.
  • Bring discrepancies in documentation and balances immediately to the attention of the regional or district director and FBCE leadership.
  • Report any instance of incomplete documentation by a caseworker to the regional or district director and to FBCE leadership. These leaders then can instruct the caseworker on the proper use of these resources.

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