CAFS has received a Rainbow Tick accreditation for being a safe and welcoming organisation for LGBTQI+ people.
The Rainbow Tick is a benchmark for inclusive practice in health and human services, given to organisations demonstrating their commitment and ability to deliver LGBTQI+ inclusive services.
CEO Wendy Sturgess said the team is very proud to have received the world-first accreditation, only available in Victoria. Its more than a symbol and rather a set of criteria Cafs will work by to provide services over all program areas.
Its an acknowledgement that our organisation has completed training and gone through a rigorous accreditation process, she said.
Its an intensivecostly exercise, but we think its really important because we need to demonstrate to our own staff, to clients that come to Cafs to receive services, to the community and our volunteers that were an organisation that genuinely values cultural diversity.
We genuinely want to make people who are LGBTQI+ feel safe, and thats important because we know people who identify on the rainbow are more likely to have discrimination, higher rates of mental health issues and suicide, Ms Sturgess said.
The Cafs board is currently receiving LGBTQI+ training so that the whole organisation understands what it means to be Rainbow Tick accredited.
Its about what we need to do in our language, in our behaviour, how we collect information and how were respectful in collecting information relating to gender. Were doing our best to be sensitive and offer safety for people who identify, Ms Sturgess said.
This week, Cafs also celebrated Reconciliation Australias endorsement of their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Plan that demonstrates the organisation can and will sensitively work with people who identify as being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.
Its very important for our workforce to understand the impact of colonisation and dispossession of generations of First Nations people, particularly because Cafs used to run an orphanage and a childrens home, Ms Sturgess said.
We didnt do the taking, but we did receive children as part of the Stolen Generation. We want people to know that were not hiding from our past, were sorry thats happened, and we will not be doing that again.