Volunteer Ombudsman Position Description
- A minimum of four (4) hours each week for at least one year. Visits should occur primarily during the business day, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Occasional evening and weekend visits are permitted. The four hours do not include travel time. Allowances are made for vacations and illness.
- Approximately 45 minutes to an hour each month to complete activity reports.
- At least 4 of the 5 or 6 two-and-one-half hour educational in-services throughout the volunteer year.
The Volunteer Ombudsman must:
- be at least 21 years of age;
- provide personal references;
- have the ability to get from place to place;
- not be employed by or volunteer in a long-term care facility or home health agency;
- not have a financial interest in a long-term care facility or home health agency;
- be able to say NO when agency policy requires it;
- be non-judgmental.
- Promote the Residents' Bill of Rights among the residents, their families and the facility staff and monitor its implementation by the facility.
- Assist residents and families to advocate for themselves, e.g., encourage them to utilize the internal grievance procedure within the facility.
- Help the residents and/or their families understand the rules or regulations under which the facility operates.
- Seek out the hard-to-reach resident.
- Advocate on behalf of residents who cannot speak for themselves, by observing and monitoring their welfare.
- Attend Resident and Family Council meetings if they function in the facility and if you are invited to attend. Where they do not exist, encourage their formation.
- Negotiate and assist in resolving residents' complaints within the facility, utilizing help from the Ombudsman Program staff when necessary.
- Notify Ombudsman staff and contact person in facility of unresolved problems/complaints at least monthly. Immediately inform ombudsman staff of critical events, such as suspicions of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
- Work closely with the staff of the Ombudsman Program to develop a strong sense of teamwork and mutual support.
- Strive to establish professional relationships with staff of the facility,characterized by trust and cooperation.
- Maintain current written records of contact with residents. Keep such records secure and destroy when no longer needed.
- Submit to the office a monthly report of your activity using the Activity Summary and Complaint Case forms or formats.
- Adhere to the Volunteer Ombudsmen Rules of Conduct, confidentiality guidelines and other policies and procedures set forth by the Ombudsman Program.
TRAINING AND SUPERVISION:
- Completion of an initial three-day training program to become familiar with program goals and to develop advocacy skills is mandatory.
- Attendance at regular in-service training programs is required.
- Ongoing supervision and support will be provided primarily by the Volunteer Specialist, but also by other Ombudsman staff. Additional support may be available from Volunteer Ombudsman Mentors.
- It is understood that the volunteer may not always be informed of formal investigations being conducted by Ombudsman staff at one’s assigned facility.
The Ombudsman Program reserves the right to ask a volunteer to resign for any of the following reasons: breach of confidentiality, adversarial approach, or failure to follow program guidelines.