Organizational Policies

Formal policies that support fair treatment and opportunity in services and practices, and that clearly set out the organization’s values, are the foundation of creating an inclusive organization.

Clear expectations can be included in the following80 (note that sample policies are contained in Appendix C of the guide):

  1. Organization's mission, vision, and values statements that communicate a commitment to non-discriminatory, anti-oppressive, and LGBT2SQ-affirming policies and practices.
  2. Policies or bylaws related to board composition and recruitment of families, caregivers, and volunteers that communicate that the organization expects itself to be reflective of all populations served, including LGBT2SQ communities.
  3. Policies related to ongoing training for all staff, caregivers, and volunteers on LGBT2SQ-affirming and inclusive services and organizational practices.
  4. Client/Service non-discrimination policy that prohibits service-related discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (e.g., policy that LGBT2SQ children and youth receive care according to their self-identified sexual orientation, gender identity, and preferred gender expression).
  5. Employment non-discrimination policy that clearly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in human resource practices, and requires recruitment, retention, and advancement of a diverse workforce that reflects the community, including diverse gender /sexual identities/expressions.
  6. Harassment and complaint procedures that are equipped to address potential discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

Examples of other policy areas include those related to organizational partnerships and referral relationships, client and community feedback, and anti-oppression training.

RESOURCES

Tools for creating a safe and affirming environment

Rainbow Health Ontario - Inclusive Washroom Signage

https://www.rainbowhealthontario.ca/resources/gender-neutral-washroom-signs/

Creating affirmative organizational policies

Resource: Creating Authentic Spaces: A Gender Identity and Gender Expression Toolkit to Support the Implementation of Institutional and Social Change

The 519 Church Street Community Centre is an organization in Toronto committed to the health, happiness, and full participation of LGBTQ communities. The 519, in consultation with the Ontario Human Rights Commission and members of Toronto's trans communities, developed the Creating Authentic Spaces: A Gender Identity and Gender Expression Toolkit to Support the Implementation of Institutional and Social Change to provide organizations with a greater understanding and step-by-step suggestions to create inclusive and affirming environments for everyone, regardless of their gender identity and/or gender expression. This toolkit includes many helpful resources on how to affirm difference, foster diversity, and cultivate inclusivity to strengthen an organization. Pages 70-77 of the toolkit provide tip sheets on practical steps on the following topics:

The toolkit is available at: http://www.the519.org/education-training/