Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy (APAC)
LGBTI Policy Statement 2019
APAC aims to foster a culture among its staff and registrants whereby the rights of families, children and young people are respected, protected and fulfilled; where their voices are heard and where they are supported to realise their maximum potential now and in the future.
This LGBTI policy has been created to ensure that all members of APAC staff and registrants behave in a way that respects the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTI people to enable LGBTI people to live full and equal lives.
Core Values that underpin the statement:
- Inclusiveness: APAC advocates for a world that embraces diversity and promotes an integrated and supportive society.
- Equality: APAC celebrates difference and support equal opportunity for LGBTI people that enables them to achieve their potential.
- Rights: APAC promotes the right to be LGBTI people in a safe environment that is free from negativity and supports freedom of expression.
- Empowerment: APAC fosters an environment where LGBTI people are supported and encouraged to co-produce and partner on initiatives.
- Respect: APAC treats all LGBTI people with respect by being considerate of people’s differences and choices.
- Positivity: APAC promotes the collective expression of success among the LGBTI+ community.
- Acceptance: APAC encourages all LGBTI people to express themselves openly and promote the recognition of people’s preferences (e.g. pronouns) so that they know they will be accepted in this safe and inclusive and environment.
This policy does not tolerate negative attitudes towards LGBTI people and advocates the correction of misunderstandings of LGBTI identities. It furthermore acknowledges that all sections of society have a role to play including Government, State Agencies, health and social sevices, schools, LGBTI organisations, local communities, families, individual citizens and LGBTI people themselves. This policy promotes the acceptance of one’s LGBTI identity and supports a person’s personal growth in the face of having to overcome challenges in order to achieve this stage of identity acceptance.
APAC seeks to foster inclusive policies that recognise difference and diversity in order to help LGBTI people and other minorities to feel confident that they are welcome, included and respected, and that any related concerns they might have will be addressed. Such inclusive policies are the basis of a positive organisational climate and culture that is welcoming, supportive and encouraging of all staff, registrants and service users.
APAC seeks to ‘proof’ all existing key policies so that difference and diversity is acknowledged within the organisation and to ensure that these policies are inclusive of LGBT people and other minorities.
APAC is very aware that family forms have changed considerably in the past few decades. In addition to the more common family unit of mother, father and children, APAC acknowledges and respects different forms of family including:
- One parent families (either mother or father)
- Trans-generational families (one or two grandparents as the main care givers)
- Step-family arrangements (sometimes known as ‘blended families’)
- Foster families
- Two parents/guardians of the same-sex
- Siblings from different families (as in the case of ‘blended families’)
- Families where parents/guardians live apart
- Young people in care
- Children with adoptive parents/ guardians.
APAC is committed to the provision of capacity building measures among its staff and registrants to improve their understanding of and ability to engage with LGBTI people. One of the key objectives of these measures is to ensure that the LGBTI policy is clearly understood and implemented across all sectors of the organisation. Positive outcomes are likely to result in an improved understanding of, and effective responses to the mental and physical health needs of LGBTI people. All members of staff are encouraged to play an important role in supporting the implementation of this policy and promoting a positive organisational climate and culture that is welcoming of difference and diversity.
Registrants are advised to prepare a professional development plan annually taking into account that clinical practice involves working with complex relationships requiring different types of professional knowledge, attitudes and dispositions.
APAC furthermore aims to enhance the quality of LGBTI data and encourages evidence based research to inform policy and service delivery among its registrants.
Glossary of Terms:
Gender expression: How someone presents their gender externally, for example through clothes, appearance and behaviour.
Gender identity: Someone’s internal perception of their gender – how they feel inside about their gender.
Intersex: A term used to describe people born with physical or biological sex characteristics that do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies.
Non-binary: Gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine.
Sexual orientation: Refers to the attraction people feel towards others based on their gender.
Transgender: An umbrella term for anyone whose gender identity or gender expression is different from the biological sex they were assigned at birth.
Trans: A commonly used shorthand version of transgender.
Transitioning: The process of transitioning from one sex or gender to another. This can be done by dressing in different clothes, changing the way you talk, using make up, changing your hair, changing your name, taking hormones, or surgery. Transitioning does not always involve all of these steps and is ultimately up to how an individual feels about it themselves.
Trans-man: A person who was assigned a female sex at birth, who now identifies as a man.
Trans-woman: A person who was assigned a male sex at birth, who now identifies as a woman.
APAC wishes to thank and acknowledge the following resources and documents which were drawn upon to revise and upgrade its current LGBTI policy:
- The LGBT Ireland Report: national study of the mental health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in Ireland. Published by GLEN and BeLonG To, Dublin. 2016
- Being LGBT in School A Resource for Post-Primary Schools to Prevent Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying and Support LGBT Students. GLEN (Gay and Lesbian Equality Network). 2016
- LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy 2018-2020. LGBTI+ young people: visible, valued and included. Department of Children and Youth Affairs Ireland. 2018