The Code of Ethics applies to and forms the basis of acceptable conduct for all members of the Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta. The CYCAA and its members are responsible to act in accordance with Common Law, Federal, and Provincial Human Rights Legislation, the United Nations Declaration of Children’s Rights, and the Standards of Child Care of the Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families. The Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta and its members respect the dignity and worth of the individual, value the contribution of the family as the main tool of development of the well-adjusted child, and strive to protect, respect, and promote the rights and welfare of all those who receive services from members of the association. The profession aims to address, as much as possible, the psychological, social, cultural, spiritual and biological needs of young people and their families. This may occur at different life stages or in a variety of circumstances. This ethical statement is a living document, always a work in progress, which will mature and clarify as our understanding and knowledge grow.
Principles and Standards
I. Responsibility for Self:
A. Maintains competency.
- Takes accountability for identifying, developing, and fully utilizing knowledge and abilities for professional practice.
- Obtains training, education, supervision, experience and/or counsel to assure competent service.
- Shall divorce themselves from any situation or consideration which causes or may be seen to cause a loss of objectivity or effectiveness.
B. Maintains high standards of professional conduct.
- Shall practice the profession to the best of their ability, and in any case in line with the current state of the profession with respect to standards and regulations governing childcare in the Province of Alberta.
- Failure to comply with relevant provincial and local agency regulations, standards, and codes shall be considered a breach of the Code of Ethics of the CYCAA if the member is in a position to know the relevant regulation, standard, or code.
- Ensure when stating an opinion the recipient of the opinion is aware that it is a personal opinion. Additionally, members will strive to maintain objectivity in their statements and discussions.
C. Maintains physical and emotional well-being.
- Aware of own values and their implication for practice.
- Aware of self as a growing, learning, and strengthening professional.
II. Responsibility to the Client:
- Responsible for ensuring that their relationships with their clients are therapeutic. In a situation where the relationship is of no benefit or is detrimental to the welfare or well-being of the client, it is the duty of the member to terminate the non-therapeutic relationship and refer the client to other professionals.
- Will maintain professionalism in consultation, communication, and collaboration with other professionals in providing the best possible care for the client. In situations where the member believes that the involvement of another professional is not in the best interests of a client, it is the member’s responsibility to advocate for the client.
- Will maintain confidentiality with regard to information concerning clients. Information obtained in the course of executing their professional duties will not be shared with anyone except in a professional capacity.
- Any use of client information for teaching, public education, or research is acceptable only if the client and all those in a position of legal responsibility have given informed consent for the release of the information. Informed consent includes an explanation of the purposes for which the information is intended. Any use of confidential information for teaching, public education, or research purposes requires the member to thoroughly disguises the identity of the client and others involved.
- Interviews, counselling sessions, meetings, interrogations, and any other form of interpersonal communications other than those which produce a hard copy version of the interaction require informed consent to be obtained by the member prior to recording by electronic means or transcription. In cases of hard copy, such as letters or fax transmissions, informed consent will be assumed from the act of transmission.
III. Responsibility to the Employer/Employing Organization:
- Publicly respects the prerogatives and obligations of the institutions or organizations with which they are associated.
- Treats colleagues with respect, courtesy, fairness, and good faith.
- Relates to the clients of colleagues with professional consideration.
- Respects the commitments made to the employer/employing organization.
IV. Responsibility to the Profession:
- Shall not intentionally, and/or accidentally compromise the Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta and/or the objectives of the CYCAA in any way or means.
- Will ensure the accuracy of information and soundness of recommendations forwarded to another involved professional, agency, or the courts.
- Maintain personal and professional integrity. Any contract position or agency/organizational directive or requirement which the member feels is in conflict with the Code of Ethics must be reported to the registrar of the CYCAA.
- Be responsible for involving themselves in their professional association and working to strengthen that association.
- Recognizes that in situations of professional practice the standards in this code shall guide the resolution of ethical conflicts.
- Ensures that education and training programs are competently designed and delivered.
- Ensures that administrators and supervisors lead programs in high quality and ethical practice in relation to clients, staff, governing bodies, and the community.
V. Responsibility to Society:
- Contributes to the profession in making services available to the public.
- Promotes understanding and facilitates acceptance of diversity in society.
- Demonstrates the standards of this Code with students and volunteers.
- Encourages informed participation by the public in shaping social policies and institutions.
The current version of the CYCAA Code of Ethics (distributed January 2008) was designed and patterned after the North America Code of Ethics (Council of Canadian Child and Youth Care Associations). Permission to use was received via email on October 24, 2007, by Chip Bonsutto (President of ACYCP. Association for Child and Youth Care Practice). Approved by the Certification Board and Endorsed by the CYCAA Executive Board of Directors on November 24, 2007.