Frequently Asked Questions about the CARES Employee Assistance Program for Sparrow Associates

What is CARES Employee Assistance Program?

CARES is an employee benefit designed to provide professional assistance for a wide range of personal problems to associates and their household members.

What types of personal problems are addressed?

CARES helps with virtually any personal problem that you or a household member might have. Most often, the problems we see are with alcohol and drug abuse, divorce and other family disputes, stress and other psychological and emotional matters, and financial and legal problems.

How much will the program cost me?

Evaluation of your personal problem and short-term counseling by a trained CARES professional is free. If long-term counseling or other help is needed, CARES can assist in making an appropriate referral.

Is CARES a counseling services?

Not necessarily. CARES staff members assess your personal situation and, if necessary, refer you to another professional or organization for additional help.

Who can use the program?

Any employee or any person in the employee's household may use the program.

Will my employer find out if I get help through CARES?

No. CARES services are completely private and all contracts with CARES are kept entirely confidential. Only you can decide who will know about your participation.

What if my supervisor refers me because of poor job performance?

If you are referred by your supervisor because of a job performance issue, you may be asked to sign a "Release of Information" form which allows CARES to inform you supervisor or human resources department of your participation. It does not allow CARES to divulge specific information that you share with your counselor.

Can this program cause me to lose my job?

Your employer has agreed that contacts with CARES will neither jeopardize nor guarantee an employee's job security, prospects for a pay raise or transfer and promotional opportunities. The responsibility to remedy substandard work or unacceptable job behavior resulting from an apparent personal problem rests with the employee. Keeping your job is up to you.

Can I be forced to participate in CARES?

No. If job performance is a problem and disciplinary action is being taken, CARES can be helpful.

Can I seek help even if my job performance isn't an issue?

Yes. Any eligible person may seek services through CARES even if job performance is not a problem.

What's in it for my employer?

Your employer knows that the personal problems of employees eventually can become job performance problems. By making available a system for you to resolve personal problems, your employer gets a more productive person and a better functioning business.