Culture is the difference in race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, spirituality, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, physical ability, language, beliefs, behavior patterns or customs among various groups within a community, organization or nation. Specific cultural customs among First Nations vary significantly, even within a single community. Deeply held values, general world view, patterns of communication and interaction are often the difference as that affect the helping relationship. The interpretation of child welfare legislation is another area where cross-cultural misunderstanding frequently occurs. Kina G’bezhgomi Child and Family Services must continue customer service excellence in its responsibility to support “the best interest of the child”. To this end the Kina G’bezhgomi Child and Family Services affirms its Service Principles as:
- Reconciliation to increased understanding and mutual respect. This service will demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of First Nation families, communities and service delivery systems and will foster working relationships that adhere to the concept of reconciliation in First Nation child and family services.
- The employment of evidence based practice throughout its service. The agency will be grounded in the best and most current available evidence derived from research, proven practice and other sources known to result in positive outcomes for First Nation children, youth and families.
- That child safety and child and family well-being is primary in all matters. This agency will recognize that child safety, enhancement of family and child well-being remain of paramount consideration.
- That a strengths-based and resilience focus is a means for creating change. The Kina G’bezhgomi Child and Family Service agency will encourage the use of strength-based approaches in service delivery, positive resilience strategies, and, through collaborative decision-making, that promotes the self-determination and empowerment of First Nation children, youth and families.
- To promote a systems integration approach for addressing consumer needs. The Kina G’bezhgomi Child and Family Service agency will demonstrate a holistic approach by encouraging integration with existing programs and systems and by promoting multi-sectoral partnerships.
- A commitment to community-based relationships that support engagement of resources to First Nation children and families. Kina G’bezhgomi Child and Family Services will encourage partnerships with community by building the capacity of existing networks, fostering new networks and providing opportunity for First Nation community members to participate in strategies to improve the delivery of child welfare services.
- Assurance to the inclusion of culture for a bicultural service. The agency will respect customs, traditions, language and values of First Nation children, youth and families.
- To promote accessibility and equity throughout its service. The agency will strive to support greater accessibility for services to all UCCMM and Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve First Nation children, youth and families throughout the province of Ontario for whom there is a need.
- To demonstrate continuous quality planning for improvement. The agency is committed to promote a culture of organizational excellence aimed at continual assessment of how the system is doing, utilizing performance indicators and current research to inform and refresh best practice.
- The provision of a professionally equipped and supported work force. This agency will prioritize a supported work force by advancing effective training and skill development strategies, promoting programs designed to mitigate workplace stresses and embracing the known best practice goals of manageable workloads and increased time available for face-to-face contact with First Nation children, youth and families.