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2000 Policy Governing Resource Rooms

VCE October 2016

Resource Rooms (RRs) are stocked and run by independent volunteer groups who generously coordinate the many aspects of the resource rooms. The volunteers (and volunteer groups) who maintain the RRs are responsible for:

  •  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; and

  •  seeking community support.

2100 DFPS Resource Room Staff

VCE October 2016

In some areas, DFPS provides a staff position to contribute to resource partnerships. These positions, however, remain DFPS staff and are subject to the same statutory limitations. In CPS, these staff members are specifically known as Community Partner Coordinators (CPC) or rainbow room coordinators. In APS, they are Community Engagement Specialists (CES).

They are either assigned to a specific resource room or are responsible for several resource rooms throughout their region.

Please refer to the list of resource rooms for APS and CPS below:

CPS Rainbow Rooms

APS Silver Star Resource Rooms

Only dedicated staff may assist the partner in running the resource room, and there are restrictions. Activities that designated staff may perform include:

  •  Shopping to restock the resource room.

Restrictions: The partner must pre-approve the items to be purchased and the amount to be spent.

  •  Using gift cards to purchase items.

Restrictions: Use of credit cards belonging to external partner accounts is prohibited for all DFPS staff, including dedicated resource room staff. However, dedicated staff 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 4220 Use of Retail or Other Gift Cards.

  •  Assisting partners with event planning.

Restrictions: Dedicated RR staff may assist the partner with event organization and concept development; however, they may not be in a decision making capacity, be responsible for outcomes, or work on the fundraising aspects. DFPS computers and supplies cannot be used to conduct fundraising or solicitations for partners, even if clients are the beneficiaries.

2110 When a Resource Room Has No Dedicated Staff

VCE October 2016

In areas (including APS) where resource rooms do not have a dedicated staff position assigned, the community engagement specialist may act as the dedicated resource room staff; however, the partner organization should always look to community volunteers first, specifically with regard to shopping duties, before asking DFPS staff to stand in.

2200 Approved Resource Room Inventory Systems

VCE October 2016

Resource Rooms used by DFPS staff must have an approved inventory system in place. The approved system must track:

  •  what came in (what donated items are received and when);

  •  where it came from (the identity of the donor);

  •  where it went (the client identifier);

  •  who removed it (the caseworker’s name); and

  •  what’s 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, OVCE can assist partners in choosing a suitable system.

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

Partners and staff must follow specific procedures when gift cards are purchased and stocked in the RR.

See 4220 Use of Retail or Other Gift Cards.

2300 Requesting and Obtaining Gift Cards in Resource Rooms

VCE October 2016

Use of gift cards should be reserved for items that cannot be obtained through another channel, or when the situation requires immediate intervention and other resources cannot be located to deal with the situation.

Gift cards may not be used to shop for items to stock the resource room by any DFPS employees except dedicated resource room staff.

However, a CPS 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 case identifying number;

  •  why use of a gift card is necessary; and

  •  what purchases are intended.

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

Permission to obtain a gift card requires:

  •  supervisory approval to obtain the card; and

  •  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 after hours in case a need arises. With pre-approval, the worker signs out the card with the local withdrawal or request form. If it is used, the worker follows the usual logging and receipts procedures outlined in 2310 Tracking and Documentation of Gift Cards. If the card is not used, the worker 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

VCE October 2016

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

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

All gift cards checked out by staff must display a tracking number, either assigned by the issuing retailer or assigned by the community organization at inventory login. Each card must be given a tracking sheet showing its tracking number and recording the card’s beginning balance.

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

  •  beginning balance;

  •  current transaction purchase amount;

  •  date of transaction;

  •  new ending balance after the transaction; and

  •  signature of the caseworker responsible for the transaction, verifying that the amounts are correct and were used for the client.

Itemized receipts from the transaction must be returned with the card to the organization’s designated gift card manager.

If the partner organization allows gift cards 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 receipt must be returned to the partner organization within 48 hours.

2311 Retention of Gift Card Documentation

VCE October 2016

Staff must be mindful of the records retention schedule when maintaining the gift card logs. This schedule is constantly in flux and staff should refer to the Understanding the Records Retention Schedule page to ensure they are following the current requirements.

If there are any questions, please contact the Records Management Group at DFPS.

2400 Initiating a Resource Room

VCE October 2016

A resource room (RR) must be initiated with the assistance of a community engagement specialist and the commitment of an external partner.

The use of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) is encouraged between the initiating partner and DFPS to:

  •  advance understanding of applicable policies and procedures, particularly when state resources are contributed to the partnership; and

  •  clarify roles and responsibilities.

2500 On-Site Resource Rooms

VCE October 2016

Resource rooms located within DFPS buildings that are run by external partner volunteers are subject to existing building security guidelines.

After-hours access to DFPS sites by volunteers is not permitted unless:

  •  the volunteer is accompanied by a DFPS staff person and access is approved by the volunteer’s supervisor; or

  •  the volunteer is working at a site that is staffed by DFPS 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

2600 Reconciliation of Resource Room Records

VCE October 2016

It is the expectation of DFPS that partner organizations will:

  •  reconcile gift card tracking sheets, balances, and receipts at least monthly;

  •  bring discrepancies in documentation and balances immediately to the regional/district director’s attention; and,

  •  report any instance of incomplete documentation by a worker so that the worker may be instructed in the proper use of these resources to the regional/district director.

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