Our Guiding Principles
Ten Principles that guide our work
WE CANNOT TELL WHICH SITUATIONS ARE HOPELESS
At The Family Centre we do not act as a judge of people. It is vital that we meet children and families where they are and respect the decisions they make. This means we work hard to maintain our objectivity and give each family as much of what we have to offer.
OUR JOB IS TO MOTIVATE AND INSTILL HOPE
It is our experience that many families lose hope because of the numerous barriers that impact their lives and their futures. By building on strengths, families soon experience small successes that increase their belief in themselves, help them gain personal power, and move them toward resolution of their problems or challenges.
WE ARE RELENTLESS IN PURSUING CLIENTS
Our view is that if we cannot at first connect with a family then we have to adapt our interaction and communication until we find a “language” that the family can understand. Although we believe that families have a choice about whether or not they need or receive help, we also know that many of the people we serve come to us with little faith and lack of trust in others, which is typically based on previous, negative experiences. For this reason, being zealous in our attempts to form relationships is extremely important if families are going to experience success.
WE WON’T GIVE UP
As referenced earlier, giving up means that we as professionals failed to be helpful. We refuse to do that. This speaks to our own resilience as a service provider in that if we are unable to maintain a positive and objective approach, it is our responsibility to advocate for another service provider or different services that can best meet the family’s needs.
CLIENTS ARE OUR PARTNERS IN THE CHANGE PROCESS
This principle affects the way we approach all of our work. We do not live the lives of the people we help, which means we do not have their answers. The work has to be driven by the family and we ensure as best we can that each family we serve is in the driver’s seat when it comes to their future. Through behavioural contracts, philosophy, and style of interaction we work hard to make sure the family decides what needs to be done and how we will do it, together.
WE RESPECT CLIENTS
This may seem obvious, but respect is essential if we believe in the other nine principles. Respect is hard to teach, so we hire professionals that demonstrate authentic respect for themselves and others. With an environment of support and open feedback, our staff and organization approach each client with the respect they deserve.
WE ARE RESPONSIVE TO FAMILY VALUES
Diversity in culture and beliefs are expected and valued. It is delicate work to be respectful of family values while recognizing some behaviors are detrimental to the children and/or to the family’s health. Through recognition and understanding of another’s values, we provide feedback and information in a respectful way, offering choices and information to allow families to make informed decisions.
PEOPLE ARE DOING THE BEST THAT THEY CAN
This is about understanding and empathy. History and experiences cannot be changed. At The Family Centre we work from a solution focused framework because we believe that individuals have done the best they can with the available resources, information and support they receive. It is our job to help them look at areas where they would like to see change and then offer them the resources, information and support to help them meet their goals.
PEOPLE DON’T INTEND TO HARM EACH OTHER
It has been our experience that the motivation behind harmful behaviour is generally honourable. Parents want their children to be healthy and productive, however not everyone has the ability to make this happen. Previous experience and fear, for example, perpetuate violence, not the intention to cause pain.
THE JOB IS TO EMPOWER THE FAMILY
We recognize that everyone does not experience internal motivation and power. We aim to assist families in regaining a sense of power, and provide tools that encourage future success.