Policies and Procedures
A program committed to serving LGBT clients should first demonstrate its commitment in written administrative policies and procedures. When implemented, these policies and procedures will help ensure that the delivery of fair and equitable clinical services is built into the fabric of the organization and does not depend only on personal commitment by staff members. These policies and procedures need to be comprehensive and permeate the entire continuum of care and all agency activities.
Strategies and Recommendations
Suggested administrative policies are described below for an agency’s mission, treatment programming, promotional material, advertising and public relations, personnel, training, and aftercare services. These suggestions are not intended to be definitive; they merely provide a foundation on which organizations can base programs and policy changes. Every policy and procedure needs to be tailored to meet the specific needs of the agency and to consider the type of services (i.e., modality) being delivered and geographic area (i.e., urban or rural).
Because LGBT communities are underserved and often invisible, it is important that treatment providers make a commitment to serving this population and incorporate it into the organization’s mission statement, philosophy, and service literature.
Administrators should check and edit the mission philosophy or service statement to ensure it includes a commitment to serve LGBT communities.
Policies and Procedures Regarding Outreach and Promotional Materials
Consideration of the following points is critical when preparing promotional materials to distribute to potential clients, the community at large, and policymaking and funding sources.
• Ensure that promotional materials include information about LGBT-specific services, if appropriate.
• Use language that specifically identifies LGBT individuals as people the program is attempting to reach.
• Include images in promotional materials that depict individuals identifiable as LGBT individuals.
• Enlist the assistance of focus groups composed of a culturally diverse selection of LGBT individuals in the development of promotional materials for your agency.