RSVP Volunteer Handbook - Steuben County

RSVP Volunteer Handbook - Steuben County
RSVP Volunteer
                             RSVP is sponsored by:

                              3 E. Pulteney Square
                                 Bath, NY 14810
                             Patty Baroody, Director

Last Update: 02/12/2018 CT
Implemented: 01/01/2018
RSVP Volunteer Handbook - Steuben County
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Table of Contents:
Welcome…………………………………………………………...................................….                                            3
RSVP Staff………………………………………………………...………………………….                                                                 3
Sponsorship…………………………………………………...………..............................                                            4
            The Steuben County Office for the Aging...…………………...…………………                                       4
            National Service………………………………………………………………………                                                       5
            Senior Corps………………………………………………………………………….. 5
                        RSVP……………………………...............................................................        5
                        CNCS Priority Areas………………..........................................................   6
                        Steuben County RSVP……………………...……...……………………….. 6
            Funding…………………………………...………………………………………....... 6
            Advisory Council……………………...………......................................................              7
            Stations……………………...….……………………………………………………..                                                       7
Volunteer Engagement……………………………………………………………………                                                                8
            Joining RSVP…………………………………………………………………………                                                          8
            Volunteer Opportunities and Placements………………………………………….                                           8
            Non-RSVP Opportunities……………………………………………………………. 9
            Volunteer Responsibilities…………………………………………………………... 9
            Volunteer Benefits………………………….……………..………………………….                                                   10
            Insurance………………...……………………….…………………………………... 12
            Travel Expense and Reimbursements……………………..................................                       14
            Reporting Volunteer Hours………………………………………………………….. 15
Other Important Information……………………………………………………………… 16
            Special Limitations…………………………………….……………………………..                                                   16
            Background Check Guidelines……….……………………..................................                         16
            Confidentiality Guidelines……………………………………………………………                                                 17
            Inactive Status and Separation…………………………………............................ 18
            Grievances……………………………………………………………………………. 19
            Volunteers with Disabilities………………………………………………………….                                               19
            Surveys and Evaluation.…………………………………………………………….. 20
            Branding and Media…………………………………..……………………………... 20

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Thank you for joining Steuben County RSVP!

Whether you realize it or not, you have joined a national movement of older adults using
their experience, skills and time to give back to and improve the communities of
Steuben County. With a quick glance, I’m sure that you can see many unmet needs
facing our residents. The fact that you recognized and have stepped forward to help do
something about these needs indicate that you are indeed a very special and precious

In order to help you help others more efficiently, Steuben County RSVP would like to
share our guidelines and procedures with you. Understanding our organization and
polices will help you be effective in your role as a RSVP volunteer. This handbook was
designed to help with that purpose.

The Steuben County RSVP Volunteer Handbook should answer any general question
or concern you may have in fulfilling your role as a RSVP Volunteer. Knowing the
benefits and guidelines will help you have an enjoyable and productive volunteer
experience. If you ever have any questions regarding your role with RSVP, or any other
concern, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to assist you in your
service to Steuben County, and our door is always open!


Christine Towner
Steuben County RSVP Project Director

Steuben County RSVP Staff

Christine Towner – Project Director, email:
Mary Dugo – Volunteer Coordinator, email:
Kathy Burns – Special Projects Coordinator, email:

Please feel free to contact any staff member email or by calling the Steuben County
Office for the Aging at 607-664-2298.

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Sponsorship of Steuben County RSVP

The Steuben County Office for the Aging
Director, Patty Baroody

All RSVP projects are required to be sponsored by a greater entity. For Steuben
County RSVP, our sponsor is the Steuben County Office for the Aging. RSVP
Volunteers help further the goals and mission of our sponsoring agency.

“The new age of aging – working together for innovative solutions”

To maximize quality of life, safety and independence for individuals of all ages and their
caregivers through information, assistance and quality programming.

Following the authorization of the Older Americans Act, local area agencies on aging
were created to ensure the needs and rights of older persons were supported and
protected. To that end, the services of the Steuben County Office for the Aging have
grown by leaps and bounds since its establishment in 1984. Supported by federal, state,
county and other local funding, our programs assist with access to benefits and services
to promote safe community living with emphasis on quality of life.

As a result of this partnership, Steuben County RSVP promotes projects that reflect the
initiatives of our sponsor. Our offices are located alongside the Office for the Aging.
Office for the Aging hours are available Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.,
excluding recognized Steuben County holidays.

RSVP Office Locations and Contact Information:
Bath:                      Corning:                                                    Hornell:
Main Office                The Corning Senior Center                                   The Hornell Senior Center
Steuben County Office Bldg 1 Park Lane                                                 20 Broadway Mall
3 E. Pulteney Square       Corning, NY 14830                                           Hornell, NY 14843
Bath, NY 14810             Please contact via Bath                                     Please contact via Bath
607-664-2298               office                                                      office

RSVP Office hours:                                     RSVP Office Hours:              RSVP Office Hours:
 Monday-Friday                                         Available by appointment        Available by appointment
 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
(Excluding County
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National Service

As a member of Steuben County RSVP, you are part of the National Service movement.
The federal agency which oversees all National Service projects is the Corporation for
National and Community Service (CNCS). With the mission to “support the American
culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility,” CNCS engages more than five million
Americans through projects like AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, National
Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), and Senior Corps. CNCS establishes the overall
parameters of its programs, including guidelines on budget management, program
development and performance measures. Each guideline is reviewed and approved by
the appropriately corresponding committee of both the House of Representatives and
the Senate before they are either enacted or changed.

Senior Corps

Senior Corps taps the skills, talents, and experience of more than 245,000 Americans
age 55 and over to meet a wide range of community challenges through three programs
— RSVP, the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP), and the Senior Companion Program
(SCP). The programs were originally mandated under the Domestic Volunteer Service
Act of 1973 with similar aims. When the Corporation for National and Community
Service was formed by then-president Bill Clinton in 1993, the three organizations were
reformed into a single agency--Senior Corps. Each program has a unique history, and
each was developed to meet a specific need. But all were crafted on the same belief
that older adults are valuable resources to their communities.


Established in 1971 and now one of the largest senior volunteer organizations in the
nation, RSVP engages more than 208,000 people age 55 and older in a diverse range
of volunteer activities. Volunteers tutor children, renovate homes, teach English to
immigrants, assist victims of natural disasters, provide independent living services,
recruit and manage other volunteers, and serve their communities in many other ways.
RSVP volunteers choose how, where, and how often they want to serve, with
commitments ranging from a few hours to 40 hours per week.

RSVP is open to all people age 55 and over. Volunteers do not receive monetary
incentives, but may be reimbursed for some costs incurred during service, such as
transportation and meals.

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RSVP Summary of CNCS priority areas

In 2009 Congress passed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which laid the
foundation for restructuring Senior Corps – especially RSVP. Volunteer service is
concentrated in specific areas nationally, as well as having local priorities.

The 6 Focus Areas of National Service are:

           Healthy Futures
           Education
           Economic Opportunity
           Disaster Services
           Veterans and Military Families
           Environmental Stewardship

Steuben County RSVP has chosen Heathy Futures as our primary concentration of
volunteer service as it closely aligns with the mission of our sponsor, the Steuben
County Office for the Aging. Healthy Futures includes volunteer opportunities which
support older adults’ independent living, which address food insecurity and which lead
to healthy lifestyles. RSVP also has many opportunities available locally in the other
focus areas listed. In addition, RSVP has opportunities in other community priorities
that may not fit in the focus areas but are vital to the wellbeing of the community at

Steuben County RSVP

RSVP was established in Steuben County in 1974. Originally part of the Department of
Social Services, the program’s sponsorship was changed to the Steuben County Office
for the Aging (SCOFA) when that department was established in 1984. SCOFA and
RSVP work together to maintain program compliance, ensure community needs are
recognized, and help promote the independence of older adults through volunteerism.
Since its founding, RSVP has developed partnerships with over 60 different agencies
serving Steuben County, and has collaboratively developed more than 150 different
volunteer assignments. This has allowed RSVP to develop into the premier resource
for volunteer engagement in Steuben County.


Primary support for Steuben County RSVP comes from the Corporation for National and
Community Service (CNCS). CNCS oversees the administration of the RSVP grant via
its state-level office in Albany, NY. Steuben County Government supports RSVP’s
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sponsorship through the Steuben County Office for the Aging and contributes required-
match funding. RSVP is also supported by funding from the United Way of the
Southern Tier, the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) and various other
local funding opportunities as they are available.

The RSVP Advisory Council

The RSVP Advisory Council assists the RSVP Project Director and the sponsor in
recognizing community priorities, promoting support, and evaluating the program. The
Advisory Council consists of 9 – 15 community members, including RSVP volunteers,
local professionals, volunteer station representatives, and other community

The RSVP Advisory Council is a 501(C)4 organization, and as such is able to engage in
fundraising activities to support the RSVP program.

The RSVP Advisory Council meets quarterly, with various committees meeting as

RSVP Stations

RSVP partners with 501(C) organizations, local government agencies, and proprietary
health care facilities in order to develop volunteer assignments that meet both
community and organizational needs. A qualified agency that is partnered with a RSVP
program is called a station.

Once the volunteer need has been identified, RSVP will work with the station to develop
a job description. The job description will include what the duties of the assignment are
as well as any training, background check, etc. requirement is necessary for the
volunteer to begin the assignment. In addition, RSVP and the station will work together
in developing ways in which the impact of volunteers can be measures. At times, RSVP
volunteers may be asked to help in the collection of this information. If this is the case,
such activities will be outlined in the job description.

Stations agree to several responsibilities that affect RSVP volunteers, which are
outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). RSVP stations agree to:

           Create a safe environment for volunteers to work in and provide accessible sites
            for volunteers with physical limitations
           Interview and make final decisions on volunteer placements
           Conduct volunteer background checks as necessary for the assignment
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     Provide volunteers with an orientation, in-service instruction and special training
            as necessary for the assignment
           Furnish all materials required for the volunteer to perform their assignment, as
            outlined in the job description
           Provide adequate supervision, guidance and support for volunteers
           Ensure that volunteers are not assigned to activities that would displace

Volunteer Engagement

Joining RSVP

RSVP is open to anyone age 55 and over. There are no income eligibility requirements
that could prevent someone from becoming a RSVP Volunteer. By joining RSVP, you
have the opportunity to donate your time, experience, skills and enthusiasm to your
community and create a lasting impact on the lives of those who need help most.

To join RSVP, you will be asked to complete an application and interview with RSVP
Staff – typically our Volunteer Coordinator. Afterwards, you will be provided with an
orientation to RSVP, followed by a discussion on possible assignments. Our goal is to
“match” you with volunteer opportunities that appeal to you knowledge, skills,
experiences and interests. By the end of the process, you may have one or several
assignment possibilities for you to decide on, as well as the appropriate contact
information. Once you have made a decision, contact the station and schedule a time
to meet with them. RSVP will also provide your information to the supervisors of the
assignment that you expressed interest in as well.

Volunteer Opportunities and Placements

Steuben County RSVP is partnered with over 60 different agencies, and offers more
than 150 different assignments. Many of these assignments promote National Service
priorities, including delivering meals to homebound individuals, offer companionship to
older adults, give rides for older adults to medical appointments or grocery shopping,
provide respite to caregivers, assist in food pantries and free summer meal programs,
lead community wellness programs, tutor children and help out in classrooms, help with
administrative duties like answering phones, assist with blood drives, support disaster
response and preparedness, are docents and guides in local museums, and much,
much more.

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After deciding on an assignment, RSVP Volunteers will need to contact the station
where the assignment is managed. Volunteers typically will be required to fill out an
application for the station, and interview with the assignment supervisor. Some
assignments require certain background checks. These requirements, along with any
necessary training, will be provided by the station.

RSVP Staff is available to assist you in making the most of your volunteer experience.
If you would like assistance making the connections with the stations managing the
assignments you are interested in, our staff will be more than happy to help you.

Non-RSVP Opportunities

Occasionally, RSVP may invite you to support volunteer needs with our partner
agencies that will not count towards your RSVP Volunteer service time. Typically, these
are one-time events that are important to the stations and the community at large, but
may contradict with some of the rules RSVP must follow, or would be very difficult to
accurately track volunteers’ involvement. Examples of these would be fundraising
events or large-scale community volunteer events. Whenever RSVP promotes these
sorts of events, we will make it clear that the hours you serve will not count towards
your service time.

Volunteer Responsibilities

           Perform volunteer duties to the best of your ability. Observe the days and hours
            agreed upon, cooperate with staff and other volunteers, and follow the policies
            set forth by the volunteer station. If a problem should arise, speak with the
            assignment supervisor or a RSVP staff member.

           Be sure to follow sign-in and sign-out procedures at your assignment. Your
            volunteer hours are a valuable commodity! Tracking your hours helps RSVP and
            our partnered agencies tell the whole story of how we’re impacting our
            communities and changing lives for the better.

           Volunteers should inform the assignment supervisor if unable to report to their
            assignment, will be late, or must leave early. It is understandable that
            emergencies or conflicts will occur, but stations rely on volunteers to be prompt
            and dependable.

           The station is responsible for helping you feel comfortable and trained for the
            duties you are asked to perform on your assignment. If you do not understand
            any part of your volunteer assignment, speak with your assignment supervisor
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first. If you still feel unsure, please contact RSVP so we can assist in securing
            the training you need for your assignment or match you with a new assignment
            that you may find more rewarding.

           Inform your assignment supervisor in advance if you have plans to be away for
            any extended periods of time, or if you choose to discontinue your assignment. If
            the decision is made to discontinue your volunteer assignment, please contact
            the RSVP office as well.

           Report any accident you experience while on duty to your assignment supervisor
            and to RSVP. RSVP maintains secondary volunteer insurance on all RSVP
            volunteers, and we will be happy to file a claim on your behalf.

           Maintain the confidentiality of any information encountered at the volunteer
            assignment concerning the volunteer station, its employees, the people it serves,
            and/or other volunteers.

           Notify the RSVP office of any changes in personal information – name, address,
            phone number, driver’s license renewal date, etc.

           Timesheets and mileage reimbursement requests should be filled out completely
            and submitted in a timely manner.

Volunteer Benefits

Personalized Matching Service: At your application and orientation process, RSVP staff
will spend a great deal of time getting to know you. We will ask about your experiences,
your goals and what things are important to you. In this way, we can help guide you to
a volunteer experience that truly fulfilling.

Opportunity to Meet Critical Needs: RSVP assesses critical community needs and
seeks volunteers to address them. As a RSVP Volunteer, you will be informed of new
volunteer opportunities which you may choose to respond to as you desire.

Surprising Health Benefits: There is increasing research that volunteering can support
an active, healthy lifestyle in older adults. Research has shown that adults age 50 and
over who volunteered as little as 2 hours a week actually lived longer than those who
did not (Lee at al 2010). A study of Americans over age 60 found that those who
volunteer reported lower disability and higher levels of well-being relative to non-
volunteers. The effects of volunteering were found to be greater than other factors
including income, education level, or marriage (Morrow-Howell et al., 2003).

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Increased Life Satisfaction/ A Sense of Purpose: As a RSVP Volunteer, you will have
the opportunity to interact with other volunteers and staff striving to help those in need.
Working together to bring about a change is a great way to bond with others and
become part of a community. When you are matched with an assignment that reflects
your skills, interests and experience, you will have a good chance of having fun while
giving your time and helping others.

Mediation Assistance: Sometimes, conflicts arise in the course of an assignment.
RSVP staff will act as a mediator between stations and volunteer as necessary.

Second Season Newsletter: As an RSVP Volunteer, you will automatically be signed up
to receive the Steuben County Office for the Aging’s publication, Second Season, either
by mail or by email. Inside you will find helpful information that will allow you to stay
connected in this “new age of aging.”

Recognition: RSVP believes that recognition is an important element of service. How
RSVP chooses to recognize its volunteers’ service is considered with the input of the
RSVP Advisory Council. These methods may change as the Advisory Council sees
necessary, or as volunteer trends and desires indicate. Currently, RSVP holds an
annual recognition event, which we try to rotate through various locations in Steuben
County. Volunteers in attendance at the event will receive pins according to their time
in service as follows:

           60 hours of service – RSVP lapel pin
           5 years of service – pin with chain
           10 year of service – pin with chain
           15 years of service – pin with chain
           20 years of service – pin with chain
           25 years of service – pin with chain

Recognition for additional years of service or individual milestone will be made at the
recommendation and direction of the RSVP Advisory Council. Volunteers earning
recognition pins may pick them up either at the annual recognition event, or by making
arrangements to pick them up at a RSVP office. Pins cannot be mailed to recipients.

RSVP presents two awards annual as special volunteer recognition. Candidates are
presented to the RSVP Advisory Council for consideration and selection:

The Louise Argentieri Award is awarded to the RSVP with them greatest number of
service hours logged with RSVP for the calendar year. A portion of those service hours
must be in service to a Nation Service strategic goal (Healthy Futures, Economic
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Opportunity, Education, Disaster Services, Veterans and Military Families, or
Environmental Stewardship).

The Spirit of Volunteerism Award is presented to a RSVP Volunteer(s) that demonstrate
exemplary dedication, compassion and effectiveness, embodying the concept of service
to others.

Veterans and Volunteers Serving Veterans are a category of volunteers that holds
special distinction with National Service projects. As a result, Steuben County RSVP
will provide certain recognition for these individuals.

Special Days of Service are also a consideration for National Service projects. These
days include Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day, National Volunteer Recognition Day,
Senior Corps Week, Patriots Day (9/11 Day), and others. Occasionally, Steuben
County RSVP may host Day of Service Events to commemorate these occasions and
invite RSVP Volunteers to participate, or bring media attention to a specific volunteer


 All RSVP Volunteers are provided supplemental insurance coverage while on their
volunteer assignments. This is a wonderful benefit for volunteers, as it helps minimize
the risks associated with volunteering. The RSVP coverages are in effect only while
you are on a RSVP-approved volunteer assignment. All coverage is secondary to
insurance you already carry for yourself, such as health or auto insurance.

Accidental Injury, Dismemberment and Death Insurance

RSVP maintains a CIMA Volunteer Insurance policy, which activates in the unfortunate
event of an injury sustained while on a volunteer assignment. Your personal medical
insurance will be primary for any injury, and RSVP’s policy will act as secondary
insurance. This will cover unanticipated expenses such as copays or deductibles you
may experience as a direct result of the reported injury. A claim must be filed within 60
days from the date of the incident, and will provide coverage for related medical
treatment up to 1 year (365 days). In addition, RSVP policy will cover up to $2,500.00
should an incident of dismemberment or death occur while on your volunteer
assignment. Volunteers will be asked, but are not required, to name a beneficiary for
death benefits.

To activate this benefit, contact the RSVP office as soon as possible after the incident.
RSVP will ask you related questions in order to file an incident report, and assist you in
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contacting CIMA to file the claim. RSVP will also coordinate with the associated station
to assure the incident is properly documented.

Personal Liability Insurance

All RSVP Volunteers are provided with liability coverage to protect you should you be
involved with an occurrence resulting in harm to another person or property while
performing volunteer duties. This insurance is secondary to any collectable insurance
you may currently have. However, this coverage will not apply to:

           Personal injury or property damage arising out of the use of an automobile,
            aircraft, or watercraft
           Personal injury resulting from assault and battery committed by or at the direction
            of the volunteer
           Damage to property belonging to the volunteer

Excess Auto Liability

Protection under this form of insurance covers you for bodily injury or property damage
liability resulting from the use of your own auto in connection with RSVP volunteer work.
The limit includes driving directly between your residence and assignment location. The
amount of protection is a $2,000,000.00 combined single limit Bodily Injury and Property
Damage for each accident. This insurance is in excess of an amount equal to the
applicable limits of liability of any other insurance collected by the insured. However,
this insurance does not apply to any damage sustained to the volunteer’s automobile.

Legal Defense

Steuben County will defend any covered suit against the volunteer seeking damages on
account of personal injury, bodily injury, or property damage which exceeds any other
valid or collectible insurance available to the volunteer.

Filing a Claim

As with all insurance plans, it is important to file your claim in a timely manner.
Therefore it is important to contact both your volunteer station and the RSVP office as
soon as you are able if you experience an accidental occurrence. Incident reports will
be completed, and the RSVP Project Director will work with you to help you complete,
file and track your claims.

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Travel Expenses and Reimbursement

RSVP offers modest travel and expense reimbursement for RSVP Volunteers. During
your orientation process, you will be asked to complete a Steuben County Vendor
Application, provided by the Steuben County Finance Department. Reimbursements
cannot be issued without this form completed and on file. This form will give you the
option to have reimbursements sent to you either as a mailed, paper check or as a
direct deposit into the account of your choice. The reimbursement polices outlined in
this handbook are effective as of January 1st, 2018.

Mileage Reimbursement

RSVP will reimburse you $0.15 per mile up to 150 miles for each calendar month (up to
$22.50 per month, $270.00 per year). Mileage reimbursement may be requested for
documented miles driven as part of your volunteer assignment, or from your residence
to your volunteer assignment and back. Mileage may not be claimed if you are the
passenger sharing a ride with another RSVP Volunteer. To receive mileage
reimbursement, complete the Volunteer Mileage Reimbursement Form completely.
Document each day you served on your assignment, along with the number of miles
you wish to be compensated for. The Volunteer Mileage Reimbursement Form must be
reviewed and signed by your assignment supervisor before sending it to the RSVP
office. Once received, RSVP staff will verify that your reimbursement claim accurately
reflects the hours reported for the assignment. If discrepancies are noticed, RSVP staff
will contact both you and your assignment supervisor for clarification. If volunteer
service cannot be verified, your mileage claim may be either reduced or denied. Should
this happen, your claim for will be returned to you with a letter of explanation and
instructions on how to correct the inaccuracy.

If you serve on an assignment which offers mileage reimbursement, the RSVP benefit
may be claimed supplemental to the reimbursement you receive from the station.


Typically, RSVP will not cover meals purchased by volunteers while working on
assignment. However, if your assignment requires you to perform your volunteer duties
for 6 or more continuous hours in a single day and the station will not provide a meal for
you during that time, please contact the RSVP office. In a situation such as this, RSVP
will ask you to complete and submit a Reimbursement Request Form along with the
receipt from your meal purchase. RSVP will verify the claim with the assignment
supervisor, and then reimburse up to $10.00 towards the reported cost of your meal.

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Other Reimbursement Requests

RSVP will reimburse expenses directly related to allowing you to qualify or perform a
specific RSVP volunteer assignment. Examples of such an expense would be a copay
charge from a medical exam required as part of the qualifications to serve at an
assignment, or paying for a background check prior to being allowed to begin service.
In such instances, RSVP will reimburse the full amount of the expense, providing that
the associated expense is not already reimbursed by the station. Volunteers wishing to
request reimbursement will be required to complete and submit a Volunteer
Reimbursement Request Form along with the receipt associated with the request.
RSVP will verify the claim with the assignment supervisor, and then reimburse the full
amount to you.

Payment of Reimbursement Claims

To be eligible for reimbursement, RSVP Volunteers must complete the Steuben County
Finance Department Vendor Form. Volunteers may choose to have reimbursements
deposited directly into a specified account, or to have a paper check mailed. Claims for
reimbursement are made on a monthly basis. Please avoid placing multiple months on
a single reimbursement claim, especially if making multiple requests per month (for
example mileage reimbursement for several days of service). Volunteers may submit a
claim for expenses up to 12 months after the date the expense accrued. Claims filed
after the 12 month limit will not be accepted. Claim amounts must total a minimum of
$5.00 before they will be processed. RSVP will hold reimbursement claims until the
minimum processing amount is met, then forward the claims to Steuben County
Finance for payment. If the minimum processing amount is not achieved within 12
months from the date of the claim, the request(s) will be voided.

Reporting Volunteer Hours

Service hours are our primary unit of measure for volunteer work, so making sure they
are reported accurately and consistently are very important to RSVP. Most stations are
just as concerned about tracking hours as RSVP, although some may not be. However
documenting your volunteer time is an important practice, and something you should
make standard in your service. Accurately reporting service hours is also critical for
RSVP volunteers seeking reimbursements. Reimbursements cannot be approved
unless corresponding service hours are recorded.

Typically, there will be some sort of volunteer sign-in at your assignment. Learning
where and how to sign in and out of your assignment should be part of the training

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provided at your station. Each month, the station will report RSVP Volunteers’ service
hours, and RSVP will track them accordingly.

Some assignments may not have a standard sign-in for volunteers. In this case, RSVP
will allow volunteers to report their own hours. Hours may be reported electronically via
the Web Assistant, an online hours reporting system accessible via the RSVP website.
Paper forms which can be faxed or mailed to RSVP are also available. If you wish to
report your own hours, please contact the RSVP office so that we may train you on
efficiently using the reporting tool of your choice.

Service hours are truly a unique and precious gift. The time that you spend helping
others is a valuable commodity worth tracking and tells a greater story of the effect
volunteers have in helping others and creating positive change in communities. Please
don’t take your service hours lightly – we sure don’t!

Other Important Information

Special Limitations

           RSVP Volunteers shall not promote their religious or political beliefs while on
            duty at their assignment.

           Under no circumstance shall an RSVP Volunteer receive a fee-for-service. Fee-
            for-service is defined as compensation for services provided that benefit the
            volunteer and/or station.

           RSVP Volunteers are not employees of the sponsor, the Steuben County Office
            for the Aging, Steuben County government, the Corporation for National and
            Community Service (CNCS), the federal government, or the volunteer stations.

           RSVP Volunteers are not a replacement for employed workers. The volunteer is
            limited to activities that would not otherwise be performed by employed workers
            and which would not result in the displacement of employed workers.

           Eligibility to be a RSVP Volunteer may not be restricted on the basis of race,
            color, national origin, sex, age (with the exception of the program’s minimum age
            requirement), religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or on the basis of

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Background Check Guideline

Steuben County RSVP and its sponsor, the Steuben County Office for the Aging, are
committed to protecting the wellbeing and safety of all whom we serve. RSVP serves
our partnered agencies by supporting volunteer connections. Many RSVP assignment
opportunities require some amount of background checks performed by the station. In
an attempt to not overtax and duplicate requirements, Steuben County RSVP requires
minimal procedures which align with standards set for National Service projects.

Volunteers joining RSVP after January 1st, 2018 will be asked to sign a self-certification
attesting that they have not been convicted of murder, and will be processed through
the National Sex Offenders Registry. Volunteers who joined RSVP prior to the above
mentioned date shall be considered “grandfathered” into the program. A volunteer will
not be permitted to join RSVP if:

      1. The volunteer candidate self-certifies that they have been convicted of murder
      2. The volunteer candidate has been identified on the National Sex Offenders
      3. The volunteer candidate refuses to agree to participate in the background check
      4. The volunteer falsifies information related to background check requirements

Background check and other placement requirements for each assignment will be made
known to the volunteer as part of the assignment’s job description. Each station is
responsible for developing and executing background check and assignment placement
procedures. Final placement determination will be made at the discretion of the station.

Confidentiality Guideline

Confidentiality is the preservation of privileged information. By necessity personal and
private information is disclosed in a professional working relationship. Part of what you
learn is necessary to provide services to the applicant or client; other information is
shared within the development of a helping, trusting relationship. Therefore, most
information gained about individual clients through an assignment is confidential in
terms of the law, and disclosure could make you legally liable. Disclosure could also
damage your relationship with the client and make it difficult to help the person.

Many of RSVP’s stations assist community members struggling in difficult situations.
During the course of volunteer assignments, you may become aware of confidential
information, such as recognizing the name a person receiving assistance. RSVP is
counting on you to maintain and respect the personal and private information of persons
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receiving service with the stations that you are assigned to as well as any associated
staff and volunteers. This confidentiality extends not only to outside of your assignment,
and the highest degree of professionalism should be practiced within your assignment
as well.

While in orientation for your assignment, you should be educated on the confidentiality
guidelines of the station. These guidelines should also contain consequences for
breeches in confidentiality which may range from retraining to termination. If you feel
unclear on the confidentiality guidelines of your assignment, speak to your assignment
supervisor. If you are still uncomfortable or have concerns, contact the staff at RSVP.
RSVP will act as your advocate to help mediate such matters.

Inactive Status and Separation

At any point, the RSVP Volunteer or the station may choose to discontinue partnership
with RSVP. Decisions to separate should be handled with due consideration and

A volunteer who has not actively served with RSVP for 1 year (12 consecutive months)
will be notified that they will be made inactive either by phone call or letter. When ready
to return to service, the volunteer can contact the RSVP office to be reactivated.
Reactivated volunteers my return to their previous assignments as available or work
with the RSVP Volunteer Coordinator to explore new opportunities. Enrollment records
are maintained to simplify the reactivation process. However, volunteers who have
remained inactive for 3 years or more will be required to reapply.

RSVP Volunteers planning to be out of the area for extended periods of time (such as
“snow-birds”), or just need time extended time away from their assignment are asked to
contact the RSVP office as soon as possible. It is just as important to contact the RSVP
office as soon as you return as well. Also, please inform the supervisors for your
assignment(s) of any extended absence.

Other reasons for separations include:

Reduction in volunteer workforce at the station: At times, a volunteer station may only
have need of volunteers for a limited time and will require a reduction of volunteer
workforce. When separation of a volunteer is required because of a reduction in
workforce, every effort shall be made to transfer the volunteer to another suitable

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Unsatisfactory Performance: Imposed by the volunteer station for not meeting the
agreed performance standards, a failure to complete assigned tasks, misconduct,
repeated failure to report for assignments, etc. Prior to separation of a volunteer for
unsatisfactory performance, the volunteer station supervisor and/or the RSVP Project
Director must make a reasonable effort to address and resolve the problem.

Cause: Imposed by the volunteer station for gross misconduct, breach of responsibility,
wrongful appropriation for personal use of goods or materials owned by the volunteer
station, conviction of a crime or insubordination. Notification may come from the
volunteer station with notification sent to the RSVP Project Director. Separation for
cause requires no notice and may also result in the volunteer’s separation from RSVP.


If a volunteer has a concern or is involved with a situation that cannot be resolved by
talking with the assignment supervisor or station representative, they may contact the
RSVP Project Director to act initially as a mediator. If a successful solution is not found,
the volunteer should follow the guidelines below:

           If the matter cannot be settled, a meeting of all concerned parties will be
            scheduled with the RSVP Project Director with information relayed to the
            Steuben County Office for the Aging Director. In certain instances, the SCOFA
            Director may choose to become directly involved.

           If no solution is found at the meeting, the volunteer may request a meeting with
            the RSVP Advisory Council Executive Committee. The decision of the
            Committee will be final.

                  o Requests for a grievance review should be made in writing to the RSVP
                    Advisory Council Executive Committee, and mailed to the RSVP Office at
                    3 E. Pulteney Square, Bath, NY 14810.

If a volunteer station has a grievance against a RSVP Volunteer that cannot be resolved
by speaking with the volunteer, they should contact the RSVP Project Director to
discuss the problem. A meeting of all parties concerned will be scheduled to discuss
and resolve the matter.

Any concern expressed by a volunteer or a station will be treated with appropriate
confidentiality and expedited as rapidly as possible.

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Volunteers with Disabilities

Every effort is made to develop volunteer assignments that are accessible to persons
with diverse physical limitations. Steuben County RSVP complies with all aspects of the
Title VI Civil Rights Act of 1964, and will provide reasonable accommodations for
volunteers with disabilities.

Surveys and Evaluations

Any good program will take the time to review progress and evaluate effect. Steuben
County RSVP will send surveys annually to RSVP Volunteers in an attempt to help our
program stay updated and relevant. The information requested on these evaluations
will also help RSVP demonstrate program effectiveness to our funders. These
evaluations will be accompanied with a self-addressed stamped envelope for your
convenience. We encourage you to take these evaluations as seriously as we do, and
take just a few minutes to complete and return them. Your answers and opinions will
always be held in the strictest confidentiality. If you ever have any concerns as to why
certain information is being collected, please contact the RSVP Project Director who will
be happy to review your concerns.

Branding and Media

An organization devoted to positively and effectively changing the lives of so many
would do itself a great disservice by not promoting a public story. However, RSVP
realizes that our volunteers serve out of compassion and generosity; many choose to
shun any limelight altogether. There are a few small items all RSVP Volunteers should
be aware of that will help share the Steuben County RSVP story.

Name Badges: Upon joining, all RSVP Volunteers will be provided with a RSVP Name
Badge. This badge will only display your first name. All RSVP Volunteers are asked to
wear their name badge on all RSVP assignments. Some assignments will also provide
name badges, or may require specialized identification. We would appreciate it if you
could wear your RSVP name badge in addition to or instead of the any other
identification, so long as your assignment supervisor approves.

Photo Releases: At orientation, you will be asked to sign the Steuben County Photo
Release form. This form will allow RSVP to use your photographed image on Steuben
County publications, such as websites, social media, newsletters, etc. You are not
required to sign this form. If you choose not to sign, RSVP will not use your image in
publications. However, if you are photographed as part of a large group at a public
venue, you image may be used.
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Social Media: Steuben County RSVP has accounts on Facebook and Twitter. RSVP
volunteers who use these accounts are asked to “like” and/or follow our pages. These
accounts are used exclusively to share important, relative information regarding RSVP
and the Steuben County Office for the Aging, as well as to share the service stories and
achievements of RSVP Volunteers.

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           Volunteer Enrollment Form
                  o     Volunteer Timesheet - example
                  o     Mileage Reimbursement Form
                  o     Volunteer Expense Form
           Web Assistant Login Instructions for Volunteers
           The Senior Corps Pledge
           Contacts

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Volunteer Enrollment Form

Salutation:     Mr.      Mrs.      Ms.      Dr.     Other: ______________________

First Name                                         Last Name
I prefer to be called: ____________________________________

Street                                              City                  State           Zip
(Please note that RSVP will look up your Zip Code+4, so please enter your proper mailing address.)

Home Phone: _______________________ Cell:___________________________

Email: __________________________________________________________

Alternate Address:       I have another residence & typically away from ____to____

Street                                            City                  State           Zip

Date of Birth: _________ Gender:                  Female         Identify as: __________

Ethnicity:      Hispanic/ Latino          Not Hispanic/ Latino         Prefer not to answer

Race:       Am. Indian/Native Alaskan               Asian               Black or African Am.
              Hawaiian or Pacific Islander             White        Prefer not to answer
Military Experience:         I served in the armed forces and was honorably discharged
                             I am the spouse/widow of an honorably discharged veteran
Highest Level of Education:              BA/BS      Doctorate       GED         Grade School
   High School         Masters       Associates or Some College             Prefer not to answer

Are you Bi-Lingual?          No          Yes – what languages? __________________
Are you a person with disabilities?               No        Yes – How can we help
accommodate you?
Areas of Interest:
 RSVP is committed to serving our community in areas of need. To help us match you with
 volunteer opportunities that complement your skills, talents and interests, please check any
 activities that you find interesting or feel is an important service.

   Health and Nutrition                                          Children (K-12)                      Arts & Culture
      Meal Delivery                                                 Head Start/School Readiness          Docent
      Medical Transportation                                        Assisting in Classrooms              Historical
      Friendly Visitor                                              Reading/Tutoring                     Host
      Grocery Delivery/Shopping                                                                          Library Assistance
         Assistance                                                                                      Research/Recording
                                                                 Disaster Services
      Reassurance Calling
                                                                    Emergency Preparedness
      Bone Builders                                                                                   Other
                                                                    Emergency/Disaster Response
      Healthy Living (i.e. “A Matter                                                                     Supporting our Veterans
         of Balance,” Tai Chi)                                                                             and Military Families
      Support Services (i.e. Health                               Community & Economic
        Education, Support Group                                  Development                            Clerical
        Facilitating)                                                Advisory Councils/ Board            Hospice Support
      Food Pantry/Soup Kitchens                                         Member                           Nursing Home Companionship
      Meal Sites                                                     Tax Preparation Assistance          Animal Care/Shelters
      Companionship for Persons                                      Transportation Services
        with Developmental                                                                               *Special Events/On-Call List
        Disabilities                                                                                     for Community Events

By signing below, I acknowledge that I have read and understand the following statements:

I hereby state that I am 55 years of age or older and offer my services as a volunteer for
the Steuben County RSVP. I understand that I am not an employee of the RSVP Project,
the Steuben County Office for the Aging, Steuben County Government, the volunteer
station or the Federal Government, and agree to serve without compensation.

I understand that RSVP may share my application with partnered agencies to coordinate
volunteer assignments. Certain assignments may require background checks that will be
performed by the agency hosting the assignment. I understand that no background checks
will be performed without my prior consent or knowledge. Other conditions pertaining to
my volunteer service through RSVP will apply, such as personal vehicle use, confidentiality,
expense reimbursement conditions and others. These conditions will be reviewed with me
in full by RSVP staff during my orientation.

Steuben County RSVP is an equal opportunity Agency. Enrollment is done without regard
to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age or disability. Steuben County RSVP
provides reasonable accommodations to the known disabilities of individuals in compliance
with the Americans with Disabilities Act. For accommodation information or if you need
special accommodations to complete the application process, please contact Steuben
County RSVP at 607-664-2298.

Volunteer’s Signature                                                                                     Date

  Staff Use:
  Date Received: __________________                                           Date Applicant Contacted: __________________
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  Date of Scheduled Interview/Orientation: ____________________
3 E. Pulteney Square                                       Please check with your assignment supervisor to be sure
                      Bath, NY 14810
                      Tel: 607-664-2298
                                             Volunteer Hours Tracking            they are not submitting hour on your behalf before
                                                                                 submitting for yourself.
                      Fax: 607-664-2371
                                                                                 Hours should be submitted by the 15th of each month.
Month of ____________________________________ Year _________________________

Volunteer Name: ___________________________________________________              Volunteers requesting reimbursement must submit
                                                                                 a separate Mileage Reimbursement Form, which
Phone: ___________________________________________________________               must be verified and signed by your assignment
Email: ____________________________________________________________
Station, Job                         1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Total
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Occasionally, your volunteer assignment may have certain out-of-pocket expenses that are not
  reimbursable by the station you’re working with. Such expenses are reimbursable through RSVP.
  Please complete the following form as thoroughly as possible. Remember to attach original receipts
  and/or invoices. Your assignment supervisor must sign the bottom of this form to verify that the expense
  request have been reviewed and approved as part of your assignment before submitting to RSVP.

  Examples of approved expenses:
      First Aid/CPR Certification and other required training/courses
      Copays and Deductibles for assignments requiring medical physicals and/or immunizations
      Supplies required to perform your assignment duties but not provided by the agency you’re
        working with
  Please check with your assignment supervisor and the RSVP Project Director before acquiring such
  expenses to be sure they will be reimbursed.

  Volunteers working on assignment for greater the six (6) consecutive hours at a single assignment
  without having a meal provided by the station may be reimbursed up to $10.00 towards the cost of the
  meal. Please be sure that your original receipt accompanies this form.

  Volunteer’s Name: _____________________________________________________________

  Assignment: __________________________________________________________________

  Station: _______________________________________________________________

  Approved by Supervisor: ___________________________________________________
                                                 Signature                                            Date

  Approved by RSVP Director: ________________________________________________
                                                       Signature                                         Date

 Date of                          Type of Expense                                        Amount    Receipt    Time In   Time Out
Expense                                                                                           Included     (Meal      (Meal
                                                                                                             Expense)   Expense)
  **Always check with you assignment supervisor before accruing an expense to assure that both required and not already
  reimbursable by the station. Reimbursement is subject to verification of your hours served. No payments can be processed
  without a Steuben County Finance Department Vendor Application completed and on file. Claims must be submitted on monthly
  base and exceed the minimum requirement of $5.00 total. Claims less than $5.00 total will be held until the minimum amount is
  met. If minimum amount is not met within 12 months, the claim will be nulled. Please refer to your Volunteer Handbook for
  further explanation or contact RSVP office.

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