Official Policies

Conflict of Interest Policy

A “conflict of interest” exists when, in the course of employment or work for the Coalition, a person’s judgment and discretion is or may be influenced by considerations of personal gain for one’s self, a family member, friend or third party. All business decisions for the Coalition should reflect the best independent judgment and discretion of the person making the decision, uninfluenced by any consideration other than what is honestly believed to be in the ethical best interest of the Coalition. Anyone acting for or on behalf of the Coalition must conduct himself/herself in an ethical manner and avoid any direct or indirect conflict of interest. This policy applies to the members of the Board of Directors, advisory board members, junior board members, officers, employees, consultants, and volunteers. At all times, such individuals are prohibited from using their position or relationship with the Coalition for profit or benefit.

It is not possible to address every possible potential conflict of interest situation. The illustrations below provide guidelines for certain types of situations. The Executive Director and Board President can answer specific questions regarding other situations on a case-by-case basis.

A. Board members, officers, employees, volunteers, consultants of the organization should neither solicit nor personally accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors/vendors. This is not intended to preclude bona-fide organization fund raising-activities.

B. Board members, officers, employees, volunteers, consultants of the organization shall not participate in the selection, award, or administration of a purchase or contract with a vendor where he or she has a financial interest in that purchase or contract or any of the following have such an interest:

1. Any member of their immediate family;
2. Their partner;
3. An organization in which any of the above is an officer, director or employee;
4. A person or organization with whom any of the above individuals is negotiating or has an arrangement concerning prospective employment or other work place arrangement.

C. Board members, officers, employees, volunteers, consultants of the organization shall not use any Coalition property or information for personal gain or profit.

D. Reporting
1. Actual, potential, and/or perceived conflicts of interest must be reported in writing as soon as they arise to the President of the Board or Executive Director.
2. The President or Executive Director will review, investigate and either resolve the actual, potential or perceived conflict and so advise the reporter in writing or bring the matter to the full Board or Executive Director for resolution.
3. If any matter is brought to either the full Board or Executive Director which involves a member of a voting body, such member will not be present during discussion of and may not vote on the matter. The official minutes of the Board shall reflect that the conflict of interest was disclosed and the interested person(s) did not participate in the final discussion of or vote on the matter.

E. All board members and other persons covered by the policy must sign a “Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement” annually.

Privacy Policy

The www.foster-adopt.org website is a service of the Foster Care Coalition of Greater St. Louis, Inc., a Missouri non-profit corporation d/b/a Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition (“FACC”) and d/b/a Little Wishes.  At the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, we value your privacy. We have implemented this Privacy Statement to explain to you how we use and protect information that we may gather from you by means of the FACC website.

WHAT INFORMATION IS COLLECTED?

Information you give us.  We receive and store all information you enter on our website or give us in any other way. This information includes information you give us at registration such as your first name, your last name, your postal address including zip code and country, your e-mail address, and your telephone number.  We collect this information from you for the purpose of enhancing your user experience on our site, to improve the content of our website and services, to alert you to our services, and to share special offers, service announcements and updated information, and other new services from FACC.  We may use your telephone number to authenticate you after you have registered.

Automatic Information. We receive and store certain types of information whenever you interact with us. This includes software “cookies”.  Cookies are small chunks of data created by a web server and stored on your computer. They provide a means for websites that you visit to keep track of your online patterns and preferences. Among other things, cookies help us identify returning users, and they help us customize our service to a user’s needs. By understanding which areas of the site a user visits, cookies allow us to present information, products and specials that are of personal interest.  In addition to cookies, for each visitor to www.foster-adopt.org, our web server automatically recognizes the visitor’s domain name and IP address (where possible). An IP address is a number assigned to your computer when you connect to the Internet. As part of the protocol of the Internet, web servers can identify your computer by its IP address. We collect IP addresses and related information for the purposes of system administration, to assess the traffic to our site and to maintain and improve our site. Usage of a cookie is in no way linked to any personally identifiable information on our site.

HOW IS THE INFORMATION COLLECTED SHARED?

We are not in the business of selling the information we collect to others. We share personal information only as described in this Privacy Statement and with our affiliates that either are subject to this Privacy Statement or follow practices at least as protective as those described in this Privacy Statement. Aggregate information (without personally identifiable information) may be used for internal business purposes, marketing purposes or shared with third parties for our business purposes.

With Agents and Contractors. We may engage other companies and individuals to perform certain functions on our behalf. This includes, by way of example, businesses that sell our services. They may have access to personal information needed to perform their functions, but may not use it for other purposes.

Business Transfers.  We might sell or buy assets. In such transactions, personal information generally is one of the transferred business assets but remains subject to the promises made in any pre-existing Privacy Statement.

Links. This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of any other site that collects personally identifiable information.

For FACC’s Protection and for the Protection of Others. We may disclose personal information about you or your use of the www.foster-adopt.org site if we have a good faith belief that such action is necessary to (a) conform to legal requirements or comply with legal process, (b) protect and defend the rights or property of FACC or its affiliated companies, (c) enforce the Terms of USE www.foster-adopt.org, and/or (d) act to protect the interests of our users or others.

With Your Consent.  Additionally, we have the right to transfer your personal information if we give you notice that such information might be transferred to a third party, and you do not choose not to have such information transferred in the manner specified in such notice.

IS THE INFORMATION COLLECTED SECURE?

We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline.

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a closed lock icon at the bottom of your web browser, or looking for “https” at the beginning of the address of the web page.

We will take appropriate steps that we believe are reasonable to protect the security of the personal information you share with us. It is important for you to protect against unauthorized access to your user account including your password and to your computer. Accordingly, be sure to sign off when finished using a shared computer.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

CAN I ACCESS THE INFORMATION COLLECTED?

We will provide you with the means to ensure that your personal information is correct and current. You may review, update and/or delete this information at any time when you log in to our site with your user name and password.

DO I HAVE ANY CHOICES REGARDING THE INFORMATION COLLECTED?

You can choose not to provide personal information.  However, you will not be permitted to access the site.

CHANGES TO THIS PRIVACY STATEMENT

We reserve the right to revise this Privacy Statement at anytime. When we do, we will also revise the “last updated” date at the top of this Privacy Statement.  You are responsible for regularly reviewing the current Privacy Statement. The most current version of the Privacy Statement can be reviewed by clicking on the “Privacy Statement” hypertext link located at the bottom of our home page at www.foster-adopt.org. Your continued use of the Coalition website after we post any revisions constitutes your agreement to any such revisions. If any such revisions are unacceptable to you, do not access the Coalition website.

CONTACT INFORMATION
We welcome your comments regarding this Privacy Statement. Please contact us by e-mail or postal mail. If you have questions or concerns regarding this Privacy Statement, please e-mail us at info@foster-adopt.org, or contact us by postal mail at:

Melanie Scheetz
Executive Director
Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition
1750 South Brentwood Blvd., Suite 210
St. Louis, MO 63144

Nondiscrimination Statement

The Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition is an equal opportunity employer.  As such, and in accordance with applicable law, the Coalition prohibits discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, sex, creed, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, veteran status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or any other discrimination protected by applicable federal, state or local law.  This policy applies to all aspects of employment including selection, training, promotion, transfer, compensation, discipline and dismissal.

The Coalition provides services to all clients regardless of race, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, national origin, sexual orientation, age or disability.

Donor Privacy Policy

We will not sell, share or trade our donors’ names or personal information with any other entity, nor send mailings to our donors on behalf of other organizations.

This policy applies to all information received by the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, both online and offline, on the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition’s website, as well as any electronic, written, or oral communications.

To the extent any donations are processed through a third-party service provider, our donors’ information will only be used for purposes necessary to process the donation.

Missouri Children's Division Policies

Client Rights & Grievances

I.  Purpose  In accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes it a crime to alter, cover up, falsify, or destroy any document with the intent of impeding or obstructing any official proceeding, this policy provides for the systematic review, retention and destruction of documents received or created by Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition in connection with the transaction of organization business.  This policy covers all records and documents, regardless of physical form, contains guidelines for how long certain documents should be kept and how records should be destroyed. The policy is designed to ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, to eliminate accidental or innocent destruction of records and to facilitate Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition’s operations by promoting efficiency and freeing up valuable storage space.

II.  Document Retention  Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition follows the document retention procedures outlined below.  Documents that are not listed, but are substantially similar to those listed in the schedule will be retained for the appropriate length of time.

Corporate Records

  • Annual Reports to Secretary of State/Attorney General – Permanent
  • Articles of Incorporation – Permanent
  • Board Meeting and Board Committee Minutes – Permanent
  • Board Policies/Resolutions – Permanent
  • By-laws – Permanent
  • Construction Documents – Permanent
  • Fixed Asset Records – Permanent
  • IRS Application for Tax-Exempt Status (Form 1023) – Permanent
  • IRS Determination Letter – Permanent
  • State Sales Tax Exemption Letter – Permanent
  • Contracts (after expiration) – 7 years
  • Correspondence (general) – 3 years

Accounting and Corporate Tax Records

  • Annual Audits and Financial Statements – Permanent
  • Depreciation Schedules – Permanent
  • General Ledgers – Permanent
  • IRS 990 Tax Returns – Permanent
  • Business Expense Records – 7 years
  • IRS 1099s – 7 years
  • Journal Entries – 7 years
  • Invoices – 7 years
  • Sales Records (box office, concessions, gift shop) – 5 years
  • Petty Cash Vouchers – 3 years
  • Cash Receipts – 3 years
  • Credit Card Receipts – 3 years

Bank Records

  • Check Registers – Permanent
  • Bank Deposit Slips – 7 years
  • Bank Statements and Reconciliation – 7 years
  • Electronic Fund Transfer Documents – 7 years

Payroll and Employment Tax Records

  • Payroll Registers – Permanent
  • State Unemployment Tax Records – Permanent
  • Earnings Records – 7 years
  • Garnishment Records – 7 years
  • Payroll Tax returns – 7 years
  • W-2 Statements – 7 years

Employee Records

  • Employment and Termination Agreements – Permanent
  • Retirement and Pension Plan Documents – Permanent
  • Records Relating to Promotion, Demotion or Discharge – 7 years after termination
  • Accident Reports and Worker’s Compensation Records – 5 years
  • Salary Schedules – 5 years
  • Employment Applications – 3 years
  • I-9 Forms – 3 years after termination
  • Time Cards – 2 years
  • Donor Records and Acknowledgement Letters – 7  years
  • Grant Applications and Contracts – 5 years after completion

Legal, Insurance and Safety Records

  • Appraisals – Permanent
  • Copyright Registrations – Permanent
  • Environmental Studies – Permanent
  • Insurance Policies – Permanent
  • Real Estate Documents –  Permanent
  • Stock and Bond Records – Permanent
  • Trademark Registrations – Permanent
  • Leases – 6 years after expiration
  • OSHA Documents – 5 years
  • General Contract – 3 years after termination

III.  Electronic Documents and Records  Electronic documents will be retained as if they were paper documents. Therefore, any electronic files, including records of donations made online, that fall into one of the document types on the above schedule will be maintained for the appropriate amount of time.  If a user has sufficient reason to keep an email message, the message should be printed in hard copy and kept in the appropriate file or moved to an “archive” computer file folder.  Backup and recovery methods will be tested on a regular basis.

IV.  Emergency Planning  Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition’s records will be stored in a safe, secure and accessible manner.  Documents and financial files that are essential to keeping Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition operating in an emergency will be duplicated or backed up at least every week and maintained off site.

V.  Document Destruction Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition’s executive director or chief financial officer is responsible for the ongoing process of identifying its records, which have met the required retention period and overseeing their destruction.  Destruction of financial and personnel-related documents will be accomplished by shredding.

Document destruction will be suspended immediately, upon any indication of an official investigation or when a lawsuit is filed or appears imminent.  Destruction will be reinstated upon conclusion of the investigation.

VI.  Compliance  Failure Compliance Failure on the part of employees to follow this policy can result in possible civil and criminal sanctions against Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition and its employees and possible disciplinary action against responsible individuals.  The executive director or chief financial officer and finance committee chair will periodically review these procedures with legal counsel or the organization’s certified public accountant to ensure that they are in compliance with new or revised regulations.

Document Retention & Destruction

I.  Purpose  In accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes it a crime to alter, cover up, falsify, or destroy any document with the intent of impeding or obstructing any official proceeding, this policy provides for the systematic review, retention and destruction of documents received or created by Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition in connection with the transaction of organization business.  This policy covers all records and documents, regardless of physical form, contains guidelines for how long certain documents should be kept and how records should be destroyed. The policy is designed to ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, to eliminate accidental or innocent destruction of records and to facilitate Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition’s operations by promoting efficiency and freeing up valuable storage space.

II.  Document Retention  Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition follows the document retention procedures outlined below.  Documents that are not listed, but are substantially similar to those listed in the schedule will be retained for the appropriate length of time.

Corporate Records

  • Annual Reports to Secretary of State/Attorney General – Permanent
  • Articles of Incorporation – Permanent
  • Board Meeting and Board Committee Minutes – Permanent
  • Board Policies/Resolutions – Permanent
  • By-laws – Permanent
  • Construction Documents – Permanent
  • Fixed Asset Records – Permanent
  • IRS Application for Tax-Exempt Status (Form 1023) – Permanent
  • IRS Determination Letter – Permanent
  • State Sales Tax Exemption Letter – Permanent
  • Contracts (after expiration) – 7 years
  • Correspondence (general) – 3 years

Accounting and Corporate Tax Records

  • Annual Audits and Financial Statements – Permanent
  • Depreciation Schedules – Permanent
  • General Ledgers – Permanent
  • IRS 990 Tax Returns – Permanent
  • Business Expense Records – 7 years
  • IRS 1099s – 7 years
  • Journal Entries – 7 years
  • Invoices – 7 years
  • Sales Records (box office, concessions, gift shop) – 5 years
  • Petty Cash Vouchers – 3 years
  • Cash Receipts – 3 years
  • Credit Card Receipts – 3 years

Bank Records

  • Check Registers – Permanent
  • Bank Deposit Slips – 7 years
  • Bank Statements and Reconciliation – 7 years
  • Electronic Fund Transfer Documents – 7 years

Payroll and Employment Tax Records

  • Payroll Registers – Permanent
  • State Unemployment Tax Records – Permanent
  • Earnings Records – 7 years
  • Garnishment Records – 7 years
  • Payroll Tax returns – 7 years
  • W-2 Statements – 7 years

Employee Records

  • Employment and Termination Agreements – Permanent
  • Retirement and Pension Plan Documents – Permanent
  • Records Relating to Promotion, Demotion or Discharge – 7 years after termination
  • Accident Reports and Worker’s Compensation Records – 5 years
  • Salary Schedules – 5 years
  • Employment Applications – 3 years
  • I-9 Forms – 3 years after termination
  • Time Cards – 2 years
  • Donor Records and Acknowledgement Letters – 7  years
  • Grant Applications and Contracts – 5 years after completion

Legal, Insurance and Safety Records

  • Appraisals – Permanent
  • Copyright Registrations – Permanent
  • Environmental Studies – Permanent
  • Insurance Policies – Permanent
  • Real Estate Documents –  Permanent
  • Stock and Bond Records – Permanent
  • Trademark Registrations – Permanent
  • Leases – 6 years after expiration
  • OSHA Documents – 5 years
  • General Contract – 3 years after termination

III.  Electronic Documents and Records  Electronic documents will be retained as if they were paper documents. Therefore, any electronic files, including records of donations made online, that fall into one of the document types on the above schedule will be maintained for the appropriate amount of time.  If a user has sufficient reason to keep an email message, the message should be printed in hard copy and kept in the appropriate file or moved to an “archive” computer file folder.  Backup and recovery methods will be tested on a regular basis.

IV.  Emergency Planning  Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition’s records will be stored in a safe, secure and accessible manner.  Documents and financial files that are essential to keeping Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition operating in an emergency will be duplicated or backed up at least every week and maintained off site.

V.  Document Destruction Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition’s executive director or chief financial officer is responsible for the ongoing process of identifying its records, which have met the required retention period and overseeing their destruction.  Destruction of financial and personnel-related documents will be accomplished by shredding.

Document destruction will be suspended immediately, upon any indication of an official investigation or when a lawsuit is filed or appears imminent.  Destruction will be reinstated upon conclusion of the investigation.

VI.  Compliance  Failure Compliance Failure on the part of employees to follow this policy can result in possible civil and criminal sanctions against Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition and its employees and possible disciplinary action against responsible individuals.  The executive director or chief financial officer and finance committee chair will periodically review these procedures with legal counsel or the organization’s certified public accountant to ensure that they are in compliance with new or revised regulations.