Forms and Policies
The Center for Social Concern and Homewood Student Affairs have created many policies that help provide framework and structure for the students who are involved in our programs. In addition to the CSC’s policies, students are also required to follow the University Student Policies and Student Conduct Code. Below are some CSC policies, online trainings, and forms that we require. As our office and programs continue to grow, we continuously modify and expand our policies to meet our needs while keeping in mind the safety of our students, our community partners, as well as the university.
To learn more information about the Center for Social Concern’s student group policies, please view the Group Management Handbook (view digital version) or (PDF Document: view .pdf version). If you are interested in starting a new group, please refer to our student group registration page.
Have questions about these policies? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 516-4777.
In response to student requests, The Center for Social Concern has moved the process for requesting reimbursements online. In the event that a student group member must make an out-of-pocket purchase, the member is eligible to submit a reimbursement request. To learn more about the CSC’s Reimbursement Policy, see below.
All students participating in a Center for Social program are required to submit the Center for Social Concern’s Release and Indemnification Agreement. Depending on the type of work you are completing, additional trainings may be required. Please continue reading more about our policies and trainings below to determine if you need to complete anything additional.
Required Online Trainings
All students working with children should view JHU’s Child Safety in University Programs Policy. All participants in CSC programs are responsible for upholding this policy.
Many CSC programs work with children (under 18 years of age). Those students who are working with children are required to complete JHU’s online child safety training prior to service. The training discusses your responsibility as a student working with children. It will also provide best practices when working with children, describe the different types of child abuse, and JHU’s process of reporting suspected abuse or neglect of a child.
For more information, read the Child Safety Policy below.
Health Advocacy and Health Related
The use of the University name and iconography by student organizations is governed by the PDF Document: Homewood Student Affairs Branding Guidelines and JHU’s Office of Communication. Student Organizations that use “Johns Hopkins University”, “Hopkins”, or “JHU” in their name or incorporate JHU iconography in their logo are required to comply with the HSA Branding Guidelines effective the first day of classes in the Fall 2017 semester. The staff at the Center for Social Concern will work with student organizations to manage this transition and provide assistance. PDF Document: Please review answers to Student Leadership and Involvement’s frequently asked questions or email email@example.com with questions and concerns about this policy.
JHU’s Online Child Safety Training
All students working with children should view JHU’s Child Safety in University Programs Policy and are responsible for upholding this policy.
Many of the students in the CSC’s programs work with children (under 18 years of age). Those students who are working with children are required to complete JHU’s online child safety training prior to service. The training discusses your responsibilities of working with children. It will also provide best practices when working with children, describe the different types of child abuse, and JHU’s process of reporting suspected abuse or neglect of a child.
Students who are working with children should refrain from being alone with a child. You are responsible to report known or suspected abuse or neglect. We hope this never occurs but should you learn of or suspect abuse or neglect, you should be vigilant and take immediate action. Proof of child abuse is not necessary to file a report of suspected abuse.
Many fear of making false reports, interfering in someone’s personal business, or causing a scene, and/or making the situation worse for the child. The best way to stop potential child abuse is to protect the child and report it. Don’t protect the abuser. A child’s life may depend on it.
If you need to report suspected abuse or neglect of a child, you need to report it internally to the Office of the General Counsel and externally to Baltimore Child Protective Services within 48 hours of the incident. The Center for Social Concern can assist you with this process. For your reference, both offices contact information is listed below.
Office of the General Counsel
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218-2688
Phone: (410) 516-8128
Fax: (410) 516-5448
Baltimore Child Protective Services
1900 N. Howard Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone: (410) 361-2235
Fax: (443) 423-7003 or -7002
After-hours Fax: (410) 423-5950
The Center for Social Concern works with community partner organizations and request that they sign a Memorandum of Understanding and submit a Certificate of Insurance before participating with any of our programs (PDF Document: view sample Memorandum of Understanding). Students are not allowed to participate in a CSC Program until staff have communicated with the partner and/or signed an agreement.
For CSC student groups, we are able to identify our community partners based on the re-registration paperwork that you submit for your group. If we are having trouble signing the agreement for whatever reason, we will contact the student group leaders. If there are other organizations that you’d like to work with, you must contact and receive approval from your CSC staff advisor prior to your service with them.
Student groups who are looking to partner with a new organization should contact their CSC staff advisor or group management intern.
The CSC prohibits volunteers from taking any images, including photos and video, of or with children, in connection with your volunteering activities. There are many privacy and safety concerns that are easily forgotten when it comes to taking photos and images of people without their permission. We take this policy seriously and prohibit students involved with the CSC’s programs from taking pictures of people or children.
The CSC and JHU realize that the work you are doing is engaging and impactful and in many cases, it provides you the opportunity to build strong bonds and meet new friends. When you work with the same people and/or children week after week, it’s hard not to build a friendship. We understand but you must remember that you don’t have the authority or right to take a picture of anyone without permission nor do you have the right to decide where their photo can be placed/shared (i.e.-social media, brochure, etc.).
We realize that you mean no harm. However, by taking and having a picture of a child in your possession, you are putting them at risk or in danger. What if the photo falls into the wrong hands of someone who does want to harm the child? What if the child and their family is in a witness protection program and should not be identified? What if a child is adopted and their biological parents are trying to locate them and harm them? By having and/or posting a picture of a child in a public forum, you are placing that child at risk. We realize these are drastic situations but point being is we don’t know any child’s situation nor can we make any assumptions of their situation. Any information or pictures shared online and/or in a public setting lasts forever and you have no control over where it goes and/or who has it which is why we prohibit students from taking any photos or images, in connection with your volunteering activities. If a student chooses to do so, it is at the student’s own discretion and JHU/CSC cannot advise the student in this process.
The majority of the Center for Social Concern’s programs do not provide home visitations. However, if students need to visit someone’s home within the scope of your volunteering, there are safety protocols that need to be in place between you and your community partner prior to entering someone’s home. There is a detailed “home visitation” section in our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that are signed by our community partners. PDF Document: View Home Visitation Policy in MOU.
Your supervisor should share their home visitation safety protocol policy with you and discuss an emergency plan and your itinerary (including the location of the home and estimated time of return). Your community partner should know where you are at all times and in case there is an emergency. There should be a plan in place prior to departing for a home visit. In addition, students should always be going to someone’s home in a pair if not a larger group, NEVER alone, and always with an employee of the Organization.
Home visitations are optional and you should never feel unsafe. If you have concerns about the work you are doing, you should discuss them with your organization and/or contact the Center for Social Concern immediately.
Student groups must be in good standing with the Center for Social Concern in order for reimbursement requests to be processed. View the Group Management Handbook (view digital version) or (PDF Document: view .pdf version) for more information about staying in good standing, which includes responding to emails from your advisor and Group Management Intern, submitting end-of-semester reports on time, completing required trainings, tracking service hours in Track it Forward, and acting in accordance with the CSC’s policies.
In the event that a group member must make an out-of-pocket purchase, the following rules apply:
- The university will not reimburse for sales tax.
- Any sales tax will be deducted from the total of any reimbursement.
- The CSC has a supply of university tax exempt cards, which should be used for every retail purchase.
- Please stop by the CSC for a tax exempt card if your group plans on making retail purchases.
If there is a problem with your reimbursement request, the CSC staff will contact you.
Important Reimbursement Request Information
- The Reimbursement Request Form can only be used for expenses less than $100.
- You may submit multiple receipts as long as the total to be reimbursed is under $100.
- If you have a single receipt for more than $100, you will need to visit the CSC in person to have your reimbursement processed (read more below).
- All reimbursement requests must be submitted within 30 days of the date of the expense (the date on the receipt).
- The treasurer of your student group must sign the back of your original receipt.
Picking Up Petty Cash Vouchers at the CSC
- Wait for an email from the CSC letting you know that your Petty Cash Voucher is ready to be picked up (generally within 2 business days).
- When your Petty Cash Voucher is ready, come to the Center for Social Concern (3103 N. Charles) Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
- Only the student being reimbursed can pick up the Petty Cash Voucher.
- You must bring your original receipt signed on the back by the treasurer of your student group with you when you come to the CSC to pick up your Petty Cash Voucher.
- If you do not have your original receipt with you, you will not be able to pick up your voucher.
- This is due to the regulations of the Petty Cash Office.
- This will also ensure that your treasurer has noted the expense in the group’s budget.
- Group budgets (including all expenses) are submitted to the CSC at the end of each semester.
- It is the responsibility of the group’s treasurer to have an accurate accounting of the group’s finances at all times.
- The Petty Cash Voucher must be cashed at the Petty Cash office within 60 days of it being issued (not the day you pick it up).
- Please pick up your voucher promptly once you’ve been notified it is ready and plan ahead to make sure you’ll be able to redeem it before it expires!
Reimbursements over $100
- If you need a reimbursement for a receipt over $100, you must come to the Center for Social Concern in person for your reimbursement with your receipts (dated within 30 days of the date on the receipt).
- Remember that in most cases, groups can ask the CSC staff to pay for larger purchases to avoid this situation. Refer to the Group Management Handbook (view digital version) or (PDF Document: view .pdf version) for more information and contact your advisor with questions.
Getting to your Community Partner Site
Volunteers may use public transportation. If a volunteer chooses to use their personal vehicle, be aware that the volunteer’s personal insurance will be primary coverage in the event that there is an incident. Under no circumstances, should you be driving any minors under the age of 18 at any time.
A benefit of where JHU is located and where our partners are located, is that in many instances, you can get around the city by walking (or even biking). If your community partner is too far from campus to walk or bike, you have other public transportation options:
- Charm City Circulator
- Hopkins Shuttle
- MTA Bus
You can always reserve CSC and HOP Vans (read more in the Student Management Handbook regarding van usage). Use common sense when walking, waiting for the bus, or traveling on the bus. Be alert of your surroundings, don’t get distracted, and use common sense. Put down your cell phone, take your ear buds out and make eye contact with those around you. Campus Alerts reminds you of the same information
Transportation Policy and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
The majority of the Center for Social Concern’s programs do not provide any kind of transportation within the scope of your work. If students need to provide transportation (i.e. going to Staples to pick up drawing supplies for your community partner), there are safety protocols that need to be in place between you and your community partner prior to leaving. There is a detailed “transportation” section in our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that are signed by our community partners. PDF Document: View Transportation Policy in MOU. Your supervisor should share their transportation safety policy with you, addressing your safety, discuss an emergency plan, and your itinerary (including the location of the home and estimated time of return). Your community partner should know where you are at all times and in case they need to reach you or you need to reach them, to ensure there is a plan in place.
In addition, students are not permitted to drive any Organization owned or non-owned vehicles (i.e. leases, business Zipcars, etc.). Students should not drive minors under the age of 18. If you ever feel unsafe, you should share your concerns with your organization and/or contact the Center for Social Concern immediately.
Any student groups who are going on overnight trips or conferences outside of the Baltimore area need to be approved by a CSC Staff Advisor at least 2 weeks in advance of the trip. If approved, a student group leader must submit the following documents:
- PDF Document: Itinerary Form (including a list of the names of all attendees, contact information of where you will be staying, arrival and departure dates, etc.)
- PDF Document: Emergency Contact and Medical Information Form (from each attendee)
Student group leaders should PDF Document: bring a copy of the CSC’s Travel Policy with them and get their CSC staff advisor’s contact information in case of emergency.
We understand that it’s important for some student groups to plan field trips with your community partners and we believe it’s important for the work that you are achieving. However, there are policies and protocols that need to be put in place before your trip can be approved. Each trip is reviewed on a case-by-case basis with CSC and applicable university staff. Additional paperwork may be required of the attendees and/or participants, depending on the trip or activity planned. Unfortunately, this process could take several weeks since multiple offices need to communicate. Please plan your trip several weeks in advance and work with the CSC staff to ensure that your trip is not delayed.
Student groups are not allowed to have websites or use a 3rd party to host a website. Student groups who need to recruit students or provide information to the public should use Hopkins Groups to post any necessary information that needs to be promoted. Hopkins Groups has the ability to post event information, pictures, current leaders, social media, group overviews, etc. It has similar functionality as a website and is a consistent way for student groups to recruit and promote your group and activities.
Background Checks and Fingerprinting
Students working in Baltimore City Public Schools will need to be fingerprinted and background checked through City Schools. Those who have already completed these checks by BCPS, do not need to complete this process again, unless notified otherwise. The CSC will be working with BCPS to provide fingerprinting and background check sessions on campus in the fall. Students who are not able to attend these sessions will be responsible to work with the BCPS where he/she is volunteering to have this completed.
In other instances, students who are not working in a Baltimore City Public School may also be required to complete fingerprinting and background checks. If your community partner requires these checks, you will need to have this done through an approved provider. If you need assistance having this completed, please contact the Center for Social Concern at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 516-4777.