The success of Plummer’s work depends on relationships, and successful relationships are built on trust. Trust arises when people feel safe, valued, and have a sense of belonging. These are hard to achieve in the context of a child welfare system in which youth of color and LGBTQIA+ youth are overrepresented and experience worse outcomes than their white, cisgender peers.
Our 2020-2024 Strategic Plan recognizes that DE&I is a foundational competency that must endure over time, not an initiative with a beginning and end. Embracing that belief, we have become more intentional about developing our knowledge and creating an organization in which youth, families, and staff of all backgrounds can thrive. This has impacted practices ranging from vendor selection and hiring processes to data collection and analysis and many things in between.
Plummer lives deeply into our values; chief among them is Dignity. Our values are operationalized through clearly articulated principles that embody the distinct though related concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Every day, these principles inform our work with youth, families, one another, and our partners.
Among our principles most directly related to diversity, equity, and inclusion are:
- Committing to racial equity by actively examining our services, behaviors, and structures for the purpose of eliminating biases, policies and practices that may perpetuate racism or inequity.
- Addressing and dismantling injustices faced by marginalized, vulnerable youth by advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of the organization.
- Engaging and including families and other adults and partners on a collaborative team to help move each youth toward a permanent family.
- Empowering young people and their families to identify, understand, and express their needs and to capitalize on their unique strengths so they can guide their services.
- Creating and following a youth-guided, family driven, individualized, trauma-informed treatment plan that recognizes family as the primary healing agents, prioritizes permanency, and includes preparedness and community goals as appropriate.
- Protecting the continuity of youths’ relationships and attachments to family and other caring adults.