Client Diversity Policy

Client Diversity Policy

Policy Statement

TASC National Limited (TASC) recognises, respects and values the diversity of its staff, clients and the community in which it operates. TASC understands that valuing diversity contributes to better outcomes for clients. TASC uses diversity sensitive practices and provides all clients with a welcoming, inclusive environment.

Individuals seeking support from TASC are provided with care that is free from stigma, discrimination and stereotyping. TASC is committed to providing sensitive and relevant services for clients with diverse needs.

Unlawful discrimination will not be tolerated by Directors, staff, volunteers, contractors, clients and visitors of TASC.

Definitions

Culturally and linguistically diverse: refers to different linguistic, religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds. Cultural diversity embraces Indigenous Australian and multicultural perspectives.

Culturally secure ways of working: includes respecting the legitimate rights, values and expectations of people and acknowledging the diversity within and between communities living in remote, regional and metropolitan areas.

Disability: defined as an intellectual, psychiatric, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical impairment or a combination of those impairments.

Diversity: refers to aspects of people such as beliefs, attitudes, languages, social circumstances, ability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender history, health status and age.

Diverse sexualities: include people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex or asexual (LGBTI).

Inclusive language: language that is free of bias, discrimination and avoids stereotyping and mistaken assumptions about people on the basis of their, sex, marital status, pregnancy or potential pregnancy, breast feeding, sexual orientation, gender history, health status, race, nationality, colour or ethnic origin, age, religious or political conviction, impairment or disability, family responsibility or family status.

Implementation

Outcomes

TASC practices are free from discrimination. All employees, volunteers and Directors of staff are expected to treat all clients with a welcoming, non-judgmental and professional attitude.

A diverse, flexible and creative work environment exists in which TASC actively acknowledges, supports, encourages and values diversity.

Services and programs provided by TASC are communicated, relevant, accessible and effective for a broad spectrum of individuals with diverse needs.

As far as is practicable, disclosures regarding personal diversity are determined by the client and confidentiality is maintained by TASC.

Staff understand and use diversity sensitive client communication strategies.

Client attributes

Employees, volunteers and Directors make themselves aware of specific issues related to, and respond effectively to, diversity aspects of clients, including but not limited to:

  • Cultural and linguistic backgrounds
  • Aboriginality
  • Sexuality
  • Gender/gender history
  • Age
  • Health
  • Disability (physical, intellectual and others)
  • Religious and spiritual beliefs

In supporting clients with diverse needs, staff acknowledge personal, cultural and social issues beyond and facilitate integration of a case management approach into the client’s support, ensuring referral to and liaison with appropriate services.

TASC promotes and provides access to information about its services in a manner which is likely to reach potential clients with diverse needs.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

TASC staff have an understanding of the specific cultural and historical patterns that have structured Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s lives in the past and the ways in which these patterns continue to be expressed in contemporary Australia.

Culturally secure ways of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families and communities are used by TASC, ensuring treatment and services:

  • Incorporate an understanding of the historical factors, including traditional life, the impact of colonisation and the ongoing effects;
  • Aim to strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family systems of care, control and responsibility;
  • Work from within empowerment principles
  • Understand the need for developing rapport and trust with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to better provide care and services.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds

TASC considers issues of culture and diversity in the delivery of programs and services

TASC involves other services to support the needs of culturally diverse clients and is aware of potential issues when considering using an interpreter. Client concerns may include confidentiality, the interpreter coming from their own country or being known to them, and difficulty translating some languages accurately.

Staff are aware of the potential need to include family members in case management, particularly if the client comes from a collectivist perspective and request family involvement.

Questions TASC asks to improve cultural competency include:

  • Are we working in a client-centred way that allows reflection on assumptions about culture and language?
  • How might clients and families from CALD backgrounds understand legal, advocacy, psychology and counselling or social services concepts?
  • How may clients and families from a CALD background understand confidentiality?
  • Do we develop relationships with relevant community organisations and services to address access issues for CALD clients?
  • Is the information we display and produce in simple and plain English and/or community languages?

TASC has developed a CALD Action Plan for working with clients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Intersex

TASC acknowledge the significance of terminology and that the use of inappropriate terminology can be disempowering. TASC also acknowledge that terminology is contested. TASC understands that LGBTI people form a diverse group and sexuality or sex or gender identity is only one aspect of a person’s total identity.

TASC understands that LGBTI clients may experience barriers to accessing services due to a range of factors including:

  • Service providers assuming they are heterosexual
  • Limited knowledge of LGBTI issue from people working in Community Services
  • Fear of breaches of confidentiality
  • Expectations or past experiences of discrimination / negative attitudes from services providers
  • The client’s level of self-acceptance and comfort with issues of sexuality or gender identity
  • Social isolation experienced as a result of sexuality or gender identity
  • The levels of homophobia and transphobia in the general community.

TASC aims to maintain an understanding of issues and barriers experienced by LGBTI people and provide a service that is inclusive, welcoming and respectful.

TASC develops working relationships with LGBTI service providers and provides appropriate referral pathways when needed.

Disability

Education, information and support are provided to employees and volunteers on service responsibilities and best practice when working with people with disabilities.

TASC develops working relationships with Disability service providers and provides appropriate referral pathways when needed.

Employment

TASC recognises and harnesses the diverse talents and life experiences of its employees, attracting and retaining people from equal employment opportunity target groups and other diversity areas.

Staff recruitment, selection, induction, training and development promotes a diverse workforce which reflects the diversity of the sector and clients seeking support.  For further information, refer to our EEO Equity and Diversity Policy.

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