Inclusion and Exclusion Policy for VIA LINK’s Resource Database
Part of VIA LINK’s work involves connecting people with human services resources. To ensure that we can do this effectively, VIA LINK gathers, organizes, and publicizes information about agencies and programs that provide services to residents and organizations. VIA LINK uses this information to maintain a searchable online resource database, create internal resource directories, provide data about referrals, support community research, and participate in specialized projects at state and local levels. This document describes the policies we use to identify what resources to include in our database.
Types of Organizations:
VIA LINK’s database contains organizations that have been operating for at least one year and are providing direct services to residents or organizations . Exceptions may be made for emergency services, crisis intervention, information and referral, and other areas of critical need.
The following types of organizations may be included:
- Federal, state, parish, or local governmental entities providing information or services to the community
- Non-profit agencies
- Public libraries, parks and recreation departments
- Professional associations/organizations offering free or low-cost services to the general public
- Organized recreation clubs
- Community and self-help groups
- Toll-free hotlines offering information about health and human services or direct assistance
- Organizations (such as religious organizations or social clubs) offering services to the community at large—not just their members
- Hospitals, health clinics, personal and intermediate care homes
- Advocacy groups
- Toll-free lines that offer social or community services that can be accessed by residents (such as FEMA tele-registration)
- Substance use disorder programs
- Educational institutions, including special service components within schools/school districts
- Websites providing information about or direct access to a health and human services resource
- For-profit agencies providing services not adequately met by the non-profit sector
- Entities providing services for free, low-cost, or on a sliding scale
- Organizations providing Medicaid/Medicare services
Included entities must:
- Be operating legally, with facilities and staff that have the licenses and credentials that are required to provide the services they offer
- Be in operation under a set of written documents of governance (policies, procedures, etc.) for at least one year
- Offer services available to the general public, not limited to members of specific groups or organizations
- Be a non-profit organization, a government provider (federal, state, or local), or a for-profit entity (LLC or Inc.) offering unique services or a documented policy of providing that service at a significantly reduced fee for those who would otherwise be unable to afford that service
This policy does not prohibit the inclusion of any programs that provided services to people based on their age, gender, health, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or other characteristics. They can be designed to meet the special needs of targeted populations, as long as they are open to all people in those targeted populations. Inclusion in the database does not represent or imply an endorsement of an organization.
VIA LINK may choose to prioritize organizations based on what needs are most urgent.
When evaluation organizations for inclusion, VIA LINK considers the number of agencies offering same/similar services and the demand for those services.
Exclusion / Removal Criteria:
Approval for inclusion in the VIA LINK database is a privilege, not a right. Approval for inclusion does not guarantee permanent inclusion. VIA LINK reserves the right to exclude or remove an organization from the VIA LINK community resource database at any time.
Examples of reasons for exclusion or removal include:
- Agencies violating federal, state, or local laws or regulations
- Illegal activity, including fraud, discrimination, or misrepresentation
- Agencies denying service on the basis of color, race, sexual orientation, gender, religious belief, gender identity, national origin, or ancestry
- Not responding to repeated attempts to acquire updated service information
- Non-delivery of services
- Organizational philosophy not supporting the mission of VIA LINK such as one promoting hate or violence
Statement of Responsibility
Inclusion in the VIA LINK database should in no way be considered an endorsement of an organization or its services, nor should exclusion constitute disapproval.
VIA LINK provides referrals, not endorsements or recommendations of potential service providers. VIA LINK reserves the right to edit information to meet software and database formatting requirements, and to utilize the information in community resource directories, in publicly searchable online databases, and for community planning purposes.
This Statement of Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria serves as a foundation for the VIA LINK community resource database.
Decisions to exclude or remove an organization from the VIA LINK database may be appealed in writing to VIA LINK, provided that evidence can be presented showing that the decision for exclusion or removal was inappropriate. Appeals can be sent to Andrew Holbein, Director of Resources and Data, at [email protected]. VIA LINK’s staff will review the appeal and reply in writing to the organization with their decision.
VIA LINK does not license, endorse, or recommend any provider. Agencies and resources included in the VIA LINK database are intended as referrals only. This information is maintained and distributed by VIA LINK.
Your privacy is a personal and fundamental right. VIA LINK values and protects your privacy and places strict controls on the gathering and using of personally identifiable information.
Last Updated 9/27/2022.