Registered Handlers are responsible for complying with all of the Pet Partners Policies and Procedures, one of which stipulates that each facility where a visiting program occurs “must have policies and procedures in place concerning AAA/AAT”.
Pet Partners (nationally) does not manage a data base of facilities where visiting programs are occurring at this time. It is important, however, that Pet Partners be informed of all visits conducted. This is accomplished via the “log a visit” section in the Volunteer Center at the Pet Partner web site.
Establishing a Visiting Program
1. Meet with the facility representative who will be responsible for managing the program. In hospitals and hospice programs, this is typically the manager responsible for Volunteer Services. In Nursing homes, it may be the Activities Director and in schools or libraries, it may be the Principal or Librarian. It is advisable to encourage participation with this discussion by other key stakeholders. In a hospital, this would include the Risk Manager, a representative from nursing leadership and from the Department of Infection Control.
2. Provide the facility representatives with the following, so they know what to expect from Pet Partners programs:
b) A copy of Summary of Risk –also found at the Pet Partner web site under the ACT tab, “Pet Partners at Your Facility”)
c) A copy of Why Infection Control provided during Handler training and soon to be located at the Pet Partner web site)
3. Utilizing the Pet Partner Visiting Program Development Guide as a tool (this document is NOT to be sent to Pet Partners), identify with the facility representatives the important elements of the program. This will provide information for recruiting and training additional teams as well as for logging visits. Page 4 will help determine if the facility is considered a complex or predictable environment. Consult the “Complex /Predictable” information at the Pet Partner web site (ACT section, Pet Partners at Your Facility) for additional information to make this determination.
6. For schools and libraries, also complete a R.E.A.D. agreement, keep a copy and provide one to the Facility Representative (located in the R.E.A.D. manual or the R.E.A.D. forum).
7. To recruit additional teams:
a) Create an advertisement containing pertinent information (including who to contact for additional information or with interest) and send to current Mo-Kan Secretary for Constant Contact distribution.
b) “Post a Volunteer Opportunity” at the Pet Partner web site (ACT section, Pet Partners at Your Facility). Include the contact for interested volunteers. It may be helpful for the local Pet Partner handler who is establishing the program to be listed. NOTE: this opportunity listing will only remain at the Pet Partner web site for 6 months unless it is renewed.
8. Log the initial visit to the facility at the Volunteer Center, entering the facility’s information after checking the box “facility not listed”. This will enable the facility to remain listed at the Pet Partners web site. All subsequent visits should be logged at the Pet Partner web site (all teams).
Ongoing Management Of Pet Partner Visiting Programs:
1. Meet regularly (at least annually) with the Facility Representative to identify opportunities for growth and adjust the Facility Visiting Program Description document as needed (re-distributing to Mo-Kan VP and all relevant persons as needed.)
2. Remain informed of any changes in Pet Partner policy and adjust visiting program procedures as needed.