Code of Ethics
Preamble: In Order to remain faithful to our mission, as a member of Catholic Charities USA, we are guided by this common set of ethical norms. Their purpose is to assure that each member organization is a moral agent and that it carries out its moral responsibility as a corporate entity, which is essential to carry out the social mission of the Church. These principles are concerned with the application of rightness, goodness, and obligation to the decisions which determine policy, procedure, and practice as well as internal and external relationships, within the context of our responsibility for carrying out the social mission of the Church. The sources of these principles are found in the Scriptures, papal encyclicals, synodal and other documents that accompanied or followed Vatican II, Canon Law, the statements of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States that are relevant to the social mission, charisms of religious communities serving in the Church's social mission, the policy statements of Catholic Charities USA, and the policies of the Diocese of Paterson.
As a member organization of Catholic Charities USA, DPD agrees that:
- All policies, programs, and practices shall support the sanctity and dignity of human life from the moment of its conception until death, the value and integrity of the human person, the sacredness of the union of man and woman in marriage, the value of people's social relationships to one another and to community, and the central role of the family in human life and in society.
- DPD will reach out to help those who are suffering and shall adopt, in the allocation of limited resources, a preference for serving the neediest and the most vulnerable members of the community.
- DPD will acknowledge and support the right of all people to set and pursue their own life goals, within the limits of the common good, whereby they can freely enter into participation with others in order to fulfill their common human potential and contribute to the building of a more humane community.
- DPD will identify itself to the pluralistic community as a means by which the Church community seeks to fulfill its social mission. It will seek full support and participation of the people of God through representation on policy-making boards of directors and advisory committees, diocesan-wide development of parish based social ministry, and involvement of volunteers in the programs of the agency.
- DPD will collaborate with other individuals, groups, and social agencies on issues, policies, and programs which are compatible with a Christian value system, in the interest of achieving the fullest measure of charity and justice.
- In all its policies, procedures, and practices, DPD will be faithful to biblical values, the social teaching of the church, and the relevant sections of the code of Canon Law.
- DPD will function faithfully within the mission and structures of the Diocese of Paterson with proper respect for the role of the diocesan bishop.
- DPD will Assure conformity with relevant civil law in its governance, and at the same time it will hold itself free to seek peacefully to change oppressive civil laws.
- DPD will seek to realize in action the virtues of charity and justice in all relationships with staff, volunteers, the people served and the larger community.
- DPD will recognize confidentiality as a living principle within the agency and establish policies and procedures to assure protection of the privacy of the relationship established with its clients and other relative bodies.
- DPD will hold itself fully, consistently and publicly accountable for its program and fiscal operations and seek objective certification that it meets those standards of quality in its performance that have been established for the field of social service, through accreditation and licensing as appropriate.
- DPD will support and advocate for those freedoms and structures in society that contribute to pluralism in social welfare and cooperation between public and voluntary sectors.
- DPD will subscribe to and advocate for the principle of subsidiarity, with its concerns to leave the highest degree of freedom to the individual that is consonant with the common good, to recognize the family as the primary institution for meeting human needs of its members, and for active, vigorous mediating groups and voluntary organizations in society with particular reference to the parish as a caring community.
- In conformity with Catholic social teaching, DPD will support the legitimate, necessary, and important responsibility of government for programs essential for the general welfare.
- DPD further agrees that it will expect all board members, committee and service volunteers, and administrative, professional and support staff to accept and conform to these organizational norms.
- These norms will be an essential part of the orientation of new members of the staff and governing bodies. Clients who use DPD's service will be helped to understand how the agency and its policies work with respect to protecting their privacy and their rights and responsibilities.