Cultural Diversity Policy

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Cultural Diversity Policy

Purpose

Camcare will provide equitable, high quality service to people from all backgrounds regardless of cultural or religious identity. Camcare undertakes to provide services which are culturally sensitive and which respect cultural  differences.

Scope

This policy applies across all Camcare sites and sets out required action by all staff.

Background

Camcare is a community agency fundamentally concerned with social justice, encompassing issues of equity and inclusion for all in the community. Cultural or ethnic identity should not be a disadvantage to community participation or access to services.

Definitions

“Staff”: refers to all workers, paid and unpaid;

“Clients”: refers to all members of the community who access service at Camcare; a formal “case” or “episode of service” does not need to be activated on the IRIS database system in order for a member of the community to be considered a client;

“Cultural Rights”: Cultural rights can be viewed as an integral component of universal human rights. In this context, all individuals have the right to express themselves and to create and disseminate their work in the language of their choice; individuals are entitled to quality education and training that fully respects their cultural identity; and individuals have the right to participate in the cultural life of their choice and conduct their own cultural practices, subject to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the law;

“Cultural Pluralism”: Refers to a community that values and promotes harmonious interaction among people and groups with different and dynamic cultural identities; cultural pluralism is conducive to cultural exchange within the community.

Legislation

Racial Discrimination Act (Commonwealth) 1975

Equal Opportunity Act (Victoria) 1995

Racial and Religious Tolerance Act (Victoria) 2001

Policy

Camcare will take a proactive approach to developing a service environment that promotes participation and respects the cultural background and tenets of clients, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including those of indigenous heritage.

Camcare will seek diversity that is reflective of the community in which we provide services in membership of its Board, Committees, working groups and staff and actively address barriers to full participation.

Understanding Clients and their Needs

Camcare will obtain accurate information about the demographic profile of the community it serves and use this information to plan service provision for culturally and linguistically diverse groups. We will inform ourselves about how best to promote and deliver services to CALD groups and actively seek partnerships with organisations and leaders representing cultural groups prevalent in our catchment in order to identify their needs and develop effective service responses.

Camcare will celebrate the cultural diversity of the community we serve by participating in and supporting community festivals and cultural events and providing opportunities (formal and informal) for people of CALD background to share their culture with others thereby promoting respect and reciprocity.

Data collection at intake for all services provided will include country of birth, preferred language and whether an interpreter is required.

Organisational Culture

Camcare will promote an organisational culture in which all staff:

  • Understand and have informed respect for cultural diversity in all interactions between staff, clients and the wider community;
  • Are responsive to the needs of clients whose first language is not English; Camcare will  ensure that all staff are aware of and know how to use interpreting services;
  • Acknowledge clients’ rights, where it does not conflict with Australian law and the rights of others, to adhere to their own cultural traditions without fear of discrimination or harassment.

Workforce Recruitment and Development

Camcare will identify recruitment opportunities and seek appropriately qualified and skilled staff from diverse cultural backgrounds whom speak a language other than English fluently and have first hand experience of another culture.

Training will be undertaken to familiarise all staff with the cultural beliefs and practices of Indigenous citizens and significant immigrant groups within the Boroondara Community and culturally sensitive practice with people from all CALD and Indigenous backgrounds. Training in the use of language services will also be provided.

Knowledge Development

Camcare will:

  • Know its community: by participating in relevant networks; attending cultural festivals etc,
  • Utilise recent demographic data to profile the communities we serve
  • Analyse participation rates and undertake consultation to identify barriers
  • Learn from cultural communities: Camcare will proactively consult, collaborate and partner with culturally specific groups and agencies in order to learn about their needs and provide culturally appropriate services; Camcare commits to inclusive, cross cultural perspectives in the design of services to the community;
  • Work collaboratively with indigenous and ethno specific organisations to improve service provision to cultural minorities

The Delivery of Services

Camcare will:

  • Respect and strive to be informed about clients’ culture and values in the delivery of service;
  • Actively seek information at intake from clients about their preferences for service delivery and, where appropriate, facilitate their access to culturally specific services.
  • Have practice guidelines that mandate case specific consultation with culturally specific agencies when appropriate –  for example, to always consult with the Victorian Aboriginal Childcare Agency (VACCA) when working with clients who are of indigenous heritage;
  • Ensure that key messages are translated into community languages on  the organisation’s website, voicemail/call waiting for incoming calls and in printed promotional materials (e.g. brochures, posters, flyers)
  • Use photographs of people of Indigenous and CALD background, culturally relevant symbols and artwork in offices and promotional materials
  • Ascertain whether CALD clients require an interpreter and/or translated materials to fully participate in services
  • Develop protocols with accredited language service providers and services which provide culturally specific information and support
  • Ensure provision, when required, of an accredited interpreter during service delivery and/or have key service documentation translated for clients whose proficiency in English requires it.
  • Ensure staff are trained in the effective use of language services
  • Seek feedback from CALD clients (in their language of origin if appropriate) about their experience in our services.
  • Actively recruit people from community CALD backgrounds as volunteers in a variety of roles
  • Consider mechanisms for consulting CALD groups about service planning and development, and having influence in the governance of the organisation, for example, a representative community advisory committee.
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