Administrative Policies and Procedures

Instituting the following policies and procedures helps create a climate that ensures LGBT clients do not experience or perceive discriminatory practices or harassment.

• Create or confirm the existence of agency policies regarding freedom from discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, gender, and cultural background.

• Create procedures for filing complaints and a process for resolving reported violations of these policies.

• Ensure the enforcement of these policies at every level of the program, from the board of directors to the direct line staff, in such a way that individuals filing reports are not traumatized further.

• Investigate every complaint of discriminatory practices reported by LGBT clients and their family members.

• Ensure that all personnel from the board of directors to volunteers are trained, on a regular basis, on anti-discriminatory policies. Training should be experiential as well as didactic and include discussions of subtle forms of discrimination and harassment as well as blatant forms of this behavior. Ensure that all personnel are familiar with the procedures for reporting violations.

• Review all operational procedures, from initial phone contact through the intake process, to ensure that heterosexual bias has been eradicated and inclusive terms are available as options.

• Use the phrase “clean and sober” as opposed to “straight” to refer to individuals who are drug-free, since straight is often used to refer to individuals who are heterosexual.