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Ethics Policy

Ethics Policy

Updated: March 27, 2019

The Hope for Children Foundation Ethics Policy reflects the high standard of business conduct representing what is the hallmark of our organization. Our Ethics Policy helps define our commitment to support a culture of openness, trust and integrity in all we do.

We are committed to conducting all of the Hope for Children Foundation's affairs and activities with the highest standards of ethical conduct. All of us have an obligation to adhere to this policy and encourage others to do the same.

As volunteers and staff, we are passionate about working with all of our customers. We must dedicate ourselves to pursuing our mission with honesty, fairness and respect for each person.

The Ethics Policy helps clarify our standard of conduct. It makes clear Hope for Children Foundation expects volunteers, independent contractors, board members, officers and employees to understand the ethical considerations associated with their actions. Our Ethics Policy affirms our long-standing commitment to not merely obey the law, but also to conduct our business with integrity and without deception.

The Hope for Children Foundation’s reputation for integrity and honesty is very important.

Code of Ethics

The summary code of ethics includes the following provisions:

Hope for Children Foundation employees and volunteers must:

  • Proactively promote ethical behavior as a responsible partner among peers in the work environment.
  • Deal fairly with Hope for Children Foundation Customers, suppliers, competitors, volunteers, and employees.
  • Provide constituents with information that is accurate, completely objective, relevant, timely, and understandable.
  • Comply with applicable government laws, rules and regulations.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of information entrusted to them by the Hope for Children Foundation or its Customers except when authorized or otherwise legally obligated to disclose.
  • Accept responsibility for preventing, detecting, and reporting all manner of fraud.
  • Be honest and ethical in their conduct, including ethical handling of actual or apparent conflicts of interest between personal and professional relationships.
  • Protect and ensure the proper use of company assets.
  • Prohibit improper or fraudulent influence over the External Auditor.

The purpose for this ethics policy is to support a culture of openness, trust, and integrity in all Hope for Children Foundation management and business practices.  A well understood ethics policy requires the participation and support of every Hope for Children Foundation volunteer and employee.

At the Hope for Children Foundation, we are dedicated to working with our volunteers, employees, partners, vendors, and customers to reduce child abuse, prevent cruelty to children, educate and advocate for the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault.  We are committed to conducting all of the Hope for Children Foundation’s affairs and activities with the highest standards of ethical conduct; further providing guidance for decisions and actions during our daily work.

We are committed to the responsible use of Hope for Children Foundation assets; to provide accurate, complete and objective information; to respect the confidentiality of financial and other information; to act in good faith and exercise due care in all we do; to comply with all rules and regulations, and to proactively promote ethical behavior.

The Hope for Children Foundation’s Ethics are built on the Hope for Children Foundation’s Guiding Values.  As such, we acknowledge our individual responsibility to ensure our collective success by practicing and promoting the following values which reflect a shared view of how we want to operate and be seen by others.

Our Values

  • Improving and Extending People’s Quality of Life
  • Bringing Love & Better Protection to Children & Families
  • Speaking with a Trustworthy Voice
  • Building Powerful Partnerships
  • Inspiring Passionate Commitment
  • Meeting People Where They Are
  • Making an Extraordinary Impact

Our People

The Hope for Children Foundation is committed to provide a work environment that values its volunteers, supporters, independent contractors, and employees.  All Human Resource policies and activities are intended to create a respectful workplace where every individual has the opportunity to reach their highest potential.

Employees are provided opportunities regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, veteran status, or disability. These policies apply to both applicants and employees in all phases of employment including, recruiting, hiring, placement, training, development, transfer, promotion, demotion, performance reviews, compensation, benefits, and separation from employment.

We will evaluate how we are living up to our code of ethics by requesting feedback on a regular basis from our employees, independent contractors, board members, officers, supporters, volunteers, and customers. We will provide all of our stakeholders a mechanism to report unethical conduct. We will begin with employee orientation and regularly communicate all of these expectations to employees and volunteers.

Hope for Children Foundation volunteers, employees, contractors and suppliers are expected to report any practices or actions believed to be inappropriate to their supervisor, another Hope for Children Foundation leader, the Human Resources department, or via the Hope for Children Foundation ethics hotline.

Our Customers

We are dedicated to 100% customer satisfaction.   We are devoted to developing “customer enthusiasm” and are passionate about exceeding customer expectations. We dedicate ourselves to anticipating the changing needs of customers and creating timely, innovative and superior programs, products, and services.

Fraud

Fraud is defined as any intentional act or omission designed to deceive others, resulting in the victim suffering a loss and/or the perpetrator achieving a gain.  The Hope for Children Foundation Board of Directors and Senior Management have adopted a “no fraud tolerance” attitude.  In addition to the Board, volunteers, management, and staff at all levels of the Association have responsibility for preventing, detecting, and reporting fraud.

In addition to the definition of fraud set out above, this policy covers any dishonest or fraudulent act, including but not limited to:

  • Misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies, or other assets.
  • Impropriety in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions.
  • Profiteering as a result of insider knowledge of company plans or activities.
  • Disclosing confidential and proprietary information to outside parties.
  • Intentional, false representation or concealment of a material fact for the purpose of inducing another to act upon it to procure an advantage, benefit, or gain.
  • Accepting or seeking anything of material value from contractors, vendors, or persons providing services/materials to Hope for Children Foundation, unless pursuant to the Acceptance of Gifts Policy.
  • Destruction, removal, or unauthorized use of records, furniture, fixtures, and equipment.
  • Any similar or related irregularity.

Each member of management will be familiar with the types of improprieties that might occur within his or her area of responsibility and be alert for any indication of irregularity.  An employee, volunteer, consultant, vendor, contractor, or outside agency doing business with Hope for Children Foundation shall immediately report any irregularity that is detected or suspected, as instructed below under ‘Reporting Ethics Violations.’  Any employee or person who suspects or reports dishonest or fraudulent activity shall not attempt to personally conduct investigations or interviews related to any suspected fraudulent act.  Investigations will be coordinated with the Legal Department and other affected groups, both internal and external. 

Conflict of Interest

Purpose of Policy

This conflict of interest policy is designed to help directors, officers, contractors, volunteers, and employees of Hope for Children Foundation identify situations that present potential conflicts of interest and to provide Hope for Children Foundation with a procedure that, if observed, will allow a transaction to be treated as valid and binding even though a director, officer, or employee has or may have a conflict of interest with respect to the transaction. In the event there is an inconsistency between the requirements and procedures prescribed herein and those in federal or state law, the law shall control. All capitalized terms are defined in Part 2 of this policy.

  1. 1. Conflict of Interest Defined.

    For purposes of this policy, the following circumstances shall be deemed to create Conflicts of Interest:

    1. a. Outside Interests.

      An Agreement or Transaction between Hope for Children Foundation and a Responsible Person or Family Member.

      An Agreement or Transaction between Hope for Children Foundation and an entity in which a Responsible Person or Family Member has a Material Financial Interest, or of which such person is a director, officer, agent, partner, associate, trustee, personal representative, receiver, guardian, custodian, conservator, or other legal representative.

    2. b. Outside Activities.

      A Responsible Person competing with Hope for Children Foundation in the rendering of services or in any other Agreement or Transaction with a third party.

      A Responsible Person’s having a Material Financial Interest in; or serving as a director, officer, employee, agent, partner, associate, trustee, personal representative, receiver, guardian, custodian, conservator, or other legal representative of, or consultant to; an entity or individual that competes with Hope for Children Foundation in the provision of services, or in any other Agreement or Transaction with a third party.

    3. c. Gifts, Gratuities and Entertainment. A Responsible Person accepting gifts, entertainment, or other favors from any individual or entity that:

      does or is seeking to do business with, or is a competitor of Hope for Children Foundation; or

      has received, is receiving, or is seeking to receive a loan or grant, or to secure other financial commitments from Hope for Children Foundation;

      is a charitable organization;

      under circumstances where it might be inferred that such action was intended to influence or possibly would influence the Responsible Person in the performance of his or her duties. This does not preclude the acceptance of items of nominal or insignificant value, or entertainment of nominal or insignificant value that are not related to any particular transaction or activity of Hope for Children Foundation. 

  2. 2. Definitions.
    1. a.A “Conflict of Interest” is any circumstance described in Part 1 of this Policy.
    2. b. A “Responsible Person” is any person serving as an officer, employee, or member of the board of directors of Hope for Children Foundation.
    3. c. A “Family Member” is a spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, or spouse of a child, brother, or sister of a Responsible Person.
    4. d. A “Material Financial Interest” in an entity is a financial interest of any kind that, in view of all the circumstances, is substantial enough that it would, or reasonably could, affect a Responsible Person’s or Family Member’s judgment with respect to transactions to which the entity is a party. This includes all forms of compensation. (The board may wish to establish an amount that it would consider to be a “material financial interest.”)
    5. e. An “Agreement or Transaction” is any agreement or relationship involving the sale or purchase of goods, services, or rights of any kind, the providing or receipt of a loan or grant, or the establishment of any other type of pecuniary relationship by Hope for Children Foundation. The making of a gift to Hope for Children Foundation is not an Agreement or Transaction within the meaning of this document.
  3. 3. Procedures.
    1. a. Before board or committee action on and Agreement or Transaction involving a Conflict of Interest, a director or committee member having a Conflict of Interest and who is in attendance at the meeting shall disclose all facts material to the Conflict of Interest. Such disclosure shall be reflected in the minutes of the meeting.
    2. b. A director or committee member who plans not to attend a meeting at which he or she has reason to believe that the board or committee will act on a matter in which the person has a Conflict of Interest shall disclose to the chair of the meeting all facts material to the Conflict of Interest. The chair shall report the disclosure at the meeting and the disclosure shall be reflected in the minutes of the meeting.
    3. c. A person who has a Conflict of Interest shall not participate in voting on the issue, but is allowed to disclose material facts and to respond to questions. Such person shall not attempt to exert his or her personal influence with respect to the matter, either at or outside the meeting.
    4. d. A person who has a Conflict of Interest with respect to an Agreement or Transaction that will be voted on at a meeting shall not be counted in determining the presence of a quorum for purposes of the vote. The person having a conflict of interest may not vote on the Agreement or Transaction. Such person’s ineligibility to vote shall be reflected in the minutes of the meeting.
    5. e. Responsible Persons who are not members of the board of directors of Hope for Children Foundation, or who have a Conflict of Interest with respect to an Agreement or Transaction that is not the subject of board or committee action, shall disclose to the Chair or the Chair’s designee any Conflict of Interest that such Responsible Person has with respect to an Agreement or Transaction. Such disclosure shall be made as soon as the Conflict of Interest is known to the Responsible Person. The Responsible Person shall refrain from any action that may affect Hope for Children Foundation’s participation in such Agreement or Transaction.
    6. f. In the event it is not entirely clear that a Conflict of Interest exists, the individual with the potential conflict shall disclose the circumstances to the Chair or the Chair’s designee, who shall determine whether there exists a Conflict of Interest that is subject to this policy.
  4. 4. Confidentiality. Each Responsible Person shall exercise care not to disclose confidential information acquired in connection with such status or information the disclosure of which might be adverse to the interests of Hope for Children Foundation. Furthermore, a Responsible Person shall not disclose or use information relating to the business of Hope for Children Foundation for the personal profit or advantage of the Responsible Person or a Family Member or the Responsible Person’s company.
  5. 5. Review of Policy.
    1. a. Each new Responsible Person shall be required to review a copy of this Policy and to acknowledge in writing that he or she has done so.
    2. b. Each Responsible Person shall complete a disclosure form identifying any relationships, positions, or circumstances in which the Responsible Person is involved that he or she believes could contribute to a Conflict of Interest arising, as soon as possible upon realizing the Conflict of Interest possibly exists. Such relationships, positions, or circumstances might include service as a director of or consultant to a not-for-profit organization, or ownership of a business that might provide goods or services to Hope for Children Foundation. Each Responsible Person should also disclose to the board of directors any potential Conflict of Interest that may arise during the course of the year between the submission of annual disclosure forms. Any such information regarding business interests of a Responsible Person or a Family Member shall be treated as confidential and shall generally be made available only to the Chair, the Executive Director, and any committee appointed to address Conflicts of Interest, except to the extent additional disclosure is necessary in connection with the implementation of this Policy.
    3. c. This policy shall be reviewed annually by each member of the board of directors. Any changes to the policy shall be communicated immediately to all Responsible Persons.

Association's Property and Information

Employees and volunteers are expected to protect the Hope for Children Foundation’s property at all times; including cash, equipment, records, employee, and customer information.  This also requires employees and volunteers to maintain confidentiality regarding Hope for Children Foundation’s records, and employee and customer information.

Nondiscrimination Policy

It is the policy of Hope for Children Foundation that the volunteer membership and staff structures and all programs and activities of the Hope for Children Foundation, its Affiliates and components shall be designed and conducted without regard to race, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or other non-merit criteria.

Reporting Violations

If you have questions or concerns about compliance with any of the policies listed above, or are unsure about what is the “right thing” to do, we strongly encourage you to first talk with your supervisor, program leader, another Hope for Children Foundation Leader or the Human Resources department.  If for any reason you are uncomfortable talking to any of these individuals, contact the Hope for Children Foundationethics at 214-382-4673, or hope@hopeforchildrenfoundation.org to report your concerns. Your calls will be handled in confidence. No director, trustee, officer, employee, or volunteer who in good faith reports an action or suspected action taken by or within the Hope for Children Foundation that is illegal, fraudulent, or in violation of any adopted policy will suffer intimidation, harassment, discrimination, or other retaliation. The Hope for Children Foundation treats complaints about and reports of possible discrimination seriously and investigates them as required by our procedures and any applicable laws.