Conflict of interest policy
This Policy is to make sure that members of the Family Rights Group advice and advocacy team act at all times in the best interests of the organisation and its users, particularly where this may conflict with a personal interest, a financial interest, or the interest of another organisation which they represent, with which they are involved, or were previously employed.
A conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust has competing professional and/or personal interests. Such competing interest can make it difficult to carry out his or her duties fairly. Even if no actual unfair treatment takes place, a conflict of interest can make something look unfair. This can undermine confidence in the ability of that person to act properly.
When there is a conflict of interest, a manager of Family Rights Group’s advice and advocacy team and/or the chief executive of Family Rights Group, in consultation with any other relevant staff, will be responsible for making decisions about the conflict.
If necessary the chair of the Management Committee will be consulted, and when needed the Management Committee.
Conflict of Interest with service user
Where there is a concern about a conflict of interest between a Family Rights Group adviser and a user (e.g. where the user is known to the adviser), the client will be referred to another adviser.
This will be recorded, and the case will not be discussed in any group supervision sessions where the adviser with whom there is a conflict of interest is present. Should this not be satisfactory for the user Family Rights Group will signpost the user to other suitable agencies.
Conflict of Interest between service users (advocacy service)
Family Rights Group advocacy team will not represent a family member if another family member is already a client of the advocacy team in connection with the same problem/issue. If this happens, the family member will be signposted to other agencies. If a caller asks why s/he cannot receive an advocacy service, then the adviser should state that there is a conflict of interest. If pressed further, the adviser can state that FRG have some involvement in the case, but that it is not possible to make further comment.
Family Rights Group advocacy team will represent couples in the following circumstances:
- they have been referred as a couple; and
- the two individuals both want to receive a service as a couple; and
- there is no significant conflict of interest between them.
If an adviser thinks that there is a significant conflict of interest or one arises during the course of the advocacy, a management decision should be sought and recorded.
Once a significant conflict has been established, FRG will only offer a service to one of the couple. Advisers should inform both members of the couple and try to find alternative support for the member of the couple who will not be offered a service /a continuing service.
FRG will consider the following in deciding who to offer any continuing service to:
- who has the greater care responsibility for the child;
- who has PR;
- the nature of any incident that gave rise to the conflict;
- who first approached FRG to seek a service as an individual.