As a national organization, Family Voices values the diversity of many individuals who strive for quality health care for children and youth with special health care needs. It is only through the collective wisdom, experience, and diversity of our family, friends and partners that Family Voices is able to speak with "One Heart, Many Voices" for children and youth with special health care needs. The following proclamation outlines the commitment of Family Voices, as a national organization, to provide services to all families, children and youth.
Family Voices' mission as a national grassroots network of families and friends is to advocate for health care services for all children and youth with special health care needs that are family-centered, community-based, comprehensive, coordinated and culturally competent;
Family Voices promotes the inclusion of all families and/or youth as decision makers at all levels of health care to assure the provision of quality care and the enhancement of care outcomes that are beneficial to the child, youth and his/her family;
Family Voices supports the exploration, development and maintenance of essential and supportive partnerships between children, youth, families and professionals;
Family Voices affirms the principles that family-centered health care benefits and services for children and youth be flexible, guided by need, be affordable, and within geographic reach;
Family Voices is informed by an appreciation of cultural and ethnic diversity as essential to the quality of outcomes, products, services for which it as an organization is responsible;
Therefore, Family Voices commits to making every effort to understand, value, include and incorporate considerations related to diversity and cultural competence into its work and operational structure in order to assure that:
- Issues of diversity are explicitly and implicitly at the forefront of policy, practice and research considerations;
- Its commitment to and recognition of diversity and cultural and linguistic competency is seen as intentional and infused into all aspects of the organization by those in the network;
- Its commitment to and recognition of diversity and cultural and linguistic competency is examined and assessed regularly and carefully as a desired outcome of work by board and senior leadership, embraced by staff and integrated structurally in the operation of the organization;
- Children, youth and families and the organizations it partners with recognize and understand its championship of, commitment to, and practice of diversity and culturally competent care;
- Improvements in the health care delivery systems for children, youth and families allow for the receipt of appropriate and responsive services that meet their unique needs;
Hence, Family Voices is committed to providing the necessary training and resources to its network to develop attitudes, knowledge and skills to enable staff to provide culturally competent services to families of children and youth with special health care needs.
Family Voices as an organization, operationally defines "Diversity" as valued differences based on ethnicity, age, socio-economic status, religion, language, national origin, political belief, creed, race, color, sex, height, weight, geographic location, disability, gender identity, marital status, and veteran status; and "Cultural Competency" as a fluid, on going life-long process that involves the individuals within the network's ability to think, feel, and act in ways that acknowledge, respect and build upon ethnic, socio-cultural, and linguistic diversity allowing individuals to work effectively cross-culturally.