At FamilyWise’s January 2019 meeting of our board of directors, members ratified the following declaration:
FamilyWise acknowledges that:
- there are systems of power in the United States that grant privilege and access unequally,
- inequity and injustice are inevitable products of these systems and
- both these systems of power and their byproducts must be continuously addressed and repaired for equity to thrive.
Therefore, FamilyWise commits to creating and sustaining a culture of equity.
FamilyWise defines equity as the equal right to access spaces, tools, resources, supports and care for all individuals. Access ensures that every individual has the opportunity to secure safety, stability and well-being.
Furthermore, we believe all children deserve to be raised in safe, stable, loving homes in safe, stable, loving communities. We know that not every child has the same opportunities. Maintaining a culture of equity in our work with families allows us to better help our families develop the resources they need to thrive.
Equity must integrate into all that FamilyWise does – including decision-making, planning, service implementation and evaluation.
Equity at FamilyWise looks like:
- Acknowledging that only those problems that are named can be corrected.
- Recognizing that many have been historically underrepresented in decision-making and access based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, religion or other identities.
- Inviting culture into our work through direct outreach to natural supports, an openness to cultural traditions, and an integration of culture into case planning. We know that connection to culture is a protective factor.
- Collaborating with families in our work, side by side. No meetings about families or decisions made about families will occur without including the members in the process.
- Actively building teams that have diversity of backgrounds, cultural experiences, language capacity and lived experience.
- Promoting both group and individual work on deepening understanding of institutional racism and oppressive systems.
- Creating opportunities for learning and sharing on topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Participate in efforts to address system inequities within our community.
This represents neither a final definition of equity nor an exhaustive list of processes for building and maintaining a culture of equity.