Providing culturally safe services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) people means delivering affirmative, responsive, trauma-informed and person-centred care. It requires acknowledging the unique strengths and vulnerabilities of LGBTIQ+ people and having structures and processes in place that proactively identify and address potential risks to safety and wellbeing. It means challenging heteronormative and cisnormative ideas and assumptions about bodies, genders and sexualities within systems, workplace culture and service delivery.
At Relationship Matters we acknowledge that some institutions have historically perpetrated harm against LGBTIQ+ communities. In order to become culturally safe for LGBTIQ+ people, we take active steps to challenge any pathologising practices that have objectified and ‘othered’ LGBTIQ+ people receiving health and wellbeing services. Our counsellors and staff are offered ongoing LGBTIQ+ inclusive practice training to ensure that LGBTIQ+ people’s care needs are considered within this history of discrimination and barriers to affirming community responses.
Rainbow Tick Accreditation
Relationship Matters continues to work to improve the quality of care and services we provide to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) service users, staff and volunteers. The LGBTIQ+ inclusive practice Standards that are used in the Rainbow Tick accreditation process guides us to strive for the most impactful ways to measure and demonstrate LGBTIQ+ inclusion in organisational practices and service delivery.
These standards cover
1. Organisational capability
2. Workforce development
3. Service users participation
4. A welcoming and accessible organisation
5. Disclosure and documentation
6. Culturally safe and acceptable services
Embracing Equality Pledge
AS A SERVICE PROVIDER, WE ENDORSE THE EMBRACING EQUALITY CHARTER AND PLEDGE TO:
- Establish and maintain relationships with LGBTIQ+ communities and services.
- Ensure all staff receive LGBTIQ+ inclusive practice training.
- Protect LGBTIQ+ staff and service users from discrimination, including by promoting a culture of respect and inclusion,
and embedding formal structures that promote the reporting of instances of discrimination.
- Ensure systems of care are safe and culturally appropriate for LGBTIQ+ people, including by establishing and
maintaining referral arrangements with LGBTIQ+ services, and evaluation processes that ensure the cultural needs
of LGBTIQ+ people are addressed when referrals and service needs are being considered.
- Improve organisational understanding of intersectionality to address different modes of discrimination and privilege,
including but not limited to the intersections of people who are both LGBTIQ+ and Aboriginal and/or Torres
Read the Embracing Equality Pledge
Relationship Matters Client Charter of Rights
Relationship Matters is committed to building positive, safe and respectful personal and professional relationships by providing exceptional and responsive services to the Victorian community. Relationship Matters reflects a compassionate concern for those experiencing relationship difficulties, isolation and hurt and celebrates the joy of positive relationships.
You have the right to:
- participate in the formulation of all plans relating to your situation
- request a review at any time
- request a referral to other services
- give feedback about the service at any time
- decline to participate with any request that you believe to be unreasonable
- decline the participation of others not directly related to your situation such as students on placement or trainee staff.
Relationship Matters undertakes to provide you with the best service we can. To assist us to help you, we request that you:
- respect the privacy of others attending the service
- notify us if you have special needs or require the services of an interpreter
- keep appointments and/or if unable to attend notify Relationship Matters as soon as possible
- be as honest as you can about your situation
- participate in the development of a counselling plan and other interventions where appropriate
- treat staff with courtesy and respect
- attend the service free from the influence of alcohol or other substances that may impact on your ability to engage with the work.
Relationship Matters is focused on providing you with excellent client service and welcomes your feedback so we can continually improve client experiences.
Relationship Matters’ staff have a sensitivity to, and an awareness of, diverse communities including LGBTIQ+ and culturally and linguistically diverse people. This includes an awareness of the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families and communities.
We welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse and intersex (LGBTIQ+) people at our services. We pledge to provide inclusive and non-discriminatory services to LGBTIQ+ clients.