Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Equalities Policy
November 2022 –
Ratified by the Board of Trustees – 2010
Reviewed – April 2019
Revised – November 2022
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION AND EQUALITIES POLICY
Version number :
Replaces Version 2.0
IFT Leadership Team
Last Review Date:
April 2019 (Version 2.0)
Next Review Date:
This policy has been developed in consultation with EDI experts and is based on national guidance detailed in Appendices.
Sola Afuape (MBE)
Independent EDI specialist
Wider stakeholders and service users TBC
Board of Trustees
Board of Trustees
All employees of IFT, students/trainees training at IFT, external teaching staff, clients/service users, clinical supervisors, all those coming into contact with IFT, anyone interested in IFTs Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Equalities policy and members of the public.
3.0 Policy Statement
4.0 Scope of the Policy
6.0 Roles and Responsibilities
7.0 Our Equality Objectives
8.0 Having due regard to equality
9.0 Policy implementation
10.0 Enabling environments and reasonable adjustments
11.0 Monitoring and Review
12.0 Concerns and Complaints
This policy applies to the work of the Institute of Family Therapy, hereafter referred to as ‘IFT’. This policy is consistent with and builds on UKCP’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Statement. Valuing meaningful diversity, advancing equity, supporting inclusion and championing equality are fundamental to the vision, mission and core values of IFT and integral to IFT’s organisational culture. IFT are aware however, that ‘diversity’ initiatives alone do not necessarily lead to meaningful changes and can actually end up being a way to look progressive rather than move towards meaningful change, particularly if diversity becomes what we are encouraged to ‘see’ rather than what we actually ‘experience’. Therefore, a core value at IFT is the importance of increasing diversity and inclusivity of clients, trainees, ideas, experience, influence and contexts where we practice, beyond just visual or tokenistic diversity.
IFT is committed to acknowledging, naming and addressing oppression and therefore we understand the need for transformational and progressive policies that go beyond simply outlining our responsibilities under legislation.
IFT is committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, training and therapeutic services, offered to clients, students and members. IFT also reflects on how we can, address the pervasive challenges to equality, diversity and inclusion that exist, create the conditions for sustainable change, deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world, and use that knowledge to promote meaningful equality, diversity and inclusion within IFT and within society.
With respect to equal opportunities in employment, training and therapeutic services, we believe that no employee, trainee, member or service user should receive any less favourable treatment than other persons due to gender, gender identity, ‘race’, culture or ethnicity, religion or belief, age, pregnancy and maternity, disability, class, sexuality or marital status in line with the Equalities Act 2010. We are equally committed to fair treatment of people in relation to other characteristics, such as with respect to first language spoken, status, union activity, HIV status and so on. As an employer, and training and service provider, IFT is committed to promoting equal opportunities and challenging discrimination and structural inequalities wherever they arise.
We do not assume we always get this right, so welcome, encourage, and try to act on, feedback at all times.
2. Purpose of the policy
This policy sets out how IFT meets its statutory responsibility to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty of the Equality Act 2010 (and associated Regulations) and how IFT will work to achieve good equality performance outcomes. It also ensures that EDI considerations routinely underpin IFT’s governance structures and are actively promoted by IFT’s shared leadership team.
A summary of the legislative framework for equality is provided in Appendix A.
It should be noted that this policy focuses specifically on the duties set out in the Equality Act and its associated regulatory requirements and not on the statutory health inequality duties placed on IFT by the NHS Act 2006 (as amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2012). Whilst these duties are linked, they are distinct duties with different requirements.
- Policy statement
IFT actively and positively welcomes diversity in its workforce and service users and recognises the richness and important perspectives that this brings to the organisation. IFT accepts its duty to ensure that no trainee, student, service user, or prospective or present member of staff receives less favourable treatment or is in anyway disadvantaged because of a protected characteristic.
IFT will comply with all legislation and codes of practice that relate to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Equalities and in particular the Equalities Act 2010, with the aim of ensuring that equal opportunities are provided for all staff, trainees and all those who use the services of IFT (see Appendices Section).
As such, IFT is committed to:
- Trying to embed equality, diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of our working life, in our work and within our relationships, including policy development, training content and processes and recruitment and employment practices. Improve equality of access to health services and health outcomes for the diverse population we serve.
- Challenging oppression, oppressive ideas, structures and policies that further oppress and marginalise people
- Developing and maintaining a learning community environment, free from bullying, prejudice and discrimination, where dignity, understanding and mutual respect is experienced by all, where we learn from each other and clients, trainees, and staff feel able to challenge discrimination and harmful behaviour.
IFT will ensure that the Policy is consistently applied and that all other policies, practices and procedures adhere to its principles. Notwithstanding this, all staff have a responsibility to work towards achieving these high standards and to promote the principles of this Policy.
4. Scope of the policy
This policy applies to all people who use IFTs services and/or come into contact with IFT in some way, are employed by IFT, deliver services and training on IFT’s behalf or are associated with IFT in another capacity such as IFT students and Trustees of the Charity.
The following key definitions apply for the purposes of this policy:
In recognition that many social worlds exist, diversity is about recognising and respecting the differences between people and groups of people, and placing a positive value on those differences.
Equality is about ensuring everybody has equal access to opportunities in line with their needs and protecting them from being treated differently or discriminated against because of their characteristics.
While Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognises that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.
Inclusion refers to an individual’s experience of justice within their workplace and in wider society, and the extent to which they feel valued and included.
Descriptions of the key terms used in the legislative framework for equality are provided in Appendix A, including definitions of the nine characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010.
6. Roles and Responsibilities
The responsibility for exercising diversity, equity, inclusion and equalities principles in all that IFT does, as well as preventing unlawful discrimination, rests with all staff of IFT as well as the IFT Board.
- IFT has a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that it and all its staff do not unlawfully discriminate and recognises that it should not just seek to avoid such discrimination but should develop positive policies to widely promote, diversity, equity, inclusion and equality;
- IFT is responsible for safeguarding its staff from all forms of unlawful discrimination by service users, trainees, students and those that come into contact with IFT staff in the context of their work;
- IFT seeks to provide opportunities for all staff to develop their potential and for service users and trainees to have equal access to services that will facilitate their development;
- IFT is liable, together with individual members of staff, for any acts of unlawful discrimination by its staff, even when such acts are carried out without its knowledge or approval;
- IFT is responsible for ensuring that its Policy provisions comply with the relevant UK laws and regulations.
Manager / Supervisor Responsibilities
- Managers and Supervisors must try to prevent actual or potential discrimination within their sphere of responsibility and that they discharge their responsibilities in a manner free of discriminatory practices;
- Managers and Supervisors must ensure that the staff they manage and trainees they supervise, are aware of their rights, duties and responsibilities, and that they comply with the standards set by this Policy;
- Managers and Supervisors must promptly, address discriminatory behaviours or attitudes that fall below acceptable standards;
- Managers and Supervisors must deal with complaints and grievances promptly and in a fair and consistent manner;
- Managers and Supervisors should try to lead by example and set standards that promote the principles of this Policy;
- Managers and Supervisors should try to create an environment and culture where diversity, equity, inclusion and equalities are promoted and encouraged.
Employee Rights and Responsibilities
- It is the duty of all staff to accept personal responsibility for the practical application of this Policy;
- Employees can expect to be treated with dignity and without discrimination in all matters associated with their employment;
- Employees must not discriminate in the way they behave towards others or encourage or condone it in others;
- Employees must not harass or intimidate individuals on the grounds that they made a complaint or provided information on discrimination;
- All employees have a responsibility to alert management to any behaviour that is perceived as being in breach of this Policy;
- All employees are expected to co-operate with the policies and procedures introduced to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and equality.
Trainee Rights and Responsibilities
- Trainees can expect to be treated with dignity and without discrimination in all matters associated with their education;
- Trainees must not discriminate in the way they behave towards others or encourage or condone it in others;
7. Equality Objectives
IFT will develop and publish three specific and measureable equality objectives at least every four years. This will help us to better perform against the three aims of the general equality duty by focusing attention on the priority equality issues within the organisation to deliver improvements in policies, commissioned services and employment.
When identifying the equality objectives, we will ensure that they are: specific; measurable; outcome-focused; and ambitious, yet realistically achievable. They will be approved and monitored by the IFT Board of Trustees.
8. Having Due Regard to Equality
The public sector equality duty, created under the Equality Act 2010, came into force in April 2011. In recognition of the institutional and embedded nature of forms oppression, the emphasis of equality legislation shifted from an emphasis on rectifying cases of discrimination and harassment after they occurred, to a duty to prevent them happening in the first place, with a corresponding shift in onus from individuals to organisations,
IFT takes this obligation to positively promote equality, not merely to avoid discrimination, very seriously. In the course of our work, we have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other behaviour prohibited by the Equality Act.
- Advance equality and equity of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
- Foster meaningful dialogue between and good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
Having due regard for advancing equality also involves:
- Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics.
- Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people.
- Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.
IFT’s vision and mission, as well as, ways of working document (Appendix A and C) are a useful foundation for setting out our three priority areas for this policy period (November 2022-November 2023), to ensure compliance with the general equality duty:
- Decolonising the curriculum
- Student support
- Meaningful diversity in every area and level of IFT
8.1 Decolonising the curriculum – It is well understood that academic institutions reflect and reproduce, but also have the potential to challenge, social, cultural, historical and political structures in the broader society. Decolonising the curriculum encourages us to interrogate the taken-for-granted ‘neutrality’ of mainstream ‘knowledge’ and the inevitable way that it reproduces a Minority world (read Western) colonial perspective as objectively true
Decolonising the curriculum therefore involves educating trainees about the political context in which the field of family systemic therapy exists and is shaped, as well as embedding diverse views, experiences and perspectives into the learning experience.
To this aim, IFT teaching staff are going through the curricula, up-dating reading lists, making exercises in the learning context more dynamic, creative and experiential and ensuring that internal and external educators (such as clinical supervisors and lecturers) are embedding this duty in their role and relationships with trainees.
This would expand into the ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ we teach, with respect to:
- being more responsive to the impact of inequitable power, privilege and injustice which affects experience, health and wellbeing
- facilitating a supportive learning community for a diverse cohort of trainees, who we are training to work effectively with clients from a wide range of ethnic, cultural, sexual, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.
8.2 Student support – IFT’s analysis of their trainee data repeatedly shows that there is a significant discrepancy in the rate of good grades awarded to racially minoritised trainees and that racially minoritised trainees are more likely to fail than their racially privileged counterparts.
Research has shown that developing a curriculum that is more inclusive is successful in reducing the attainment gap by allowing all students to relate to and engage more with academic material and assessments.
IFT will develop and produce a check list for lecturers, and clinical and research supervisors, to support them to reflect on how well they embed the principles of diversity, equity, inclusivity and equality in all aspects of their work.
IFT will build on the existence of the Learning and Teaching Support Assistance (L&TSA) process which supports trainees in disclosing their learning requirements and supports IFT in making reasonable and effective adjustments that are necessary to help trainees overcome the effects of their learning needs on their education. It will introduce more opportunities for trainees to receive academic support in their learning and actively engage with trainees from protected characteristic groups (and other marginalised groups) through a range of different mechanisms, to better understand their experience of training and incorporate this understanding into IFT practice.
8.3 Meaningful diversity in every area and level of the Institute – IFT is committed to developing a more diverse, inclusive, and representative workforce at all levels and to maintaining a working environment that promotes equality, diversity and inclusion. Recently, IFT has moved into a shared leadership model, having four Directors of Training working together alongside our Chief Operating Officer. The four IFT Directors of Training are all women and three of them are racially minoritised women. Progressive leadership structures like this showcase IFT’s systemic approach, diversity, equity, inclusivity and equalities principles, as well as its values and mission in action. Such joint working in relationship enables IFT leaders to benefit from generative dialogue, creativity and diversity of thought and multiple perspectives in their work, as the Directors share a common set of values and support each other to stay aligned with them.
IFT’s Directors will review, evaluate and refresh IFT’s policies from a diversity, equity, inclusivity and equality perspective every year. In addition, IFT will work on its levels of board representation by racially minoritised people.
In addition, IFT directors will be developing practice guidelines based on consultation with trainees, IFT staff and service users, with practice examples that highlight the complexity of implementing this policy (such as the nuanced complexity of responding to requests for particular types of therapists – such as described in point 9.3 below).
9. Policy implementation
The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Equalities policy covers the distinct areas of activity of the organisation: as an employer, as a training organisation, as a provider of clinical services, as a membership organisation and as a promoter of family and systemic psychotherapy and systemic practice to the public.
As an employer
- Given our intention to recognise, value and support the development of IFT staff, it might be that in some relevant situations, we initially advertise vacancies internally to encourage those associated with the Institute to apply. However, most vacancies will be advertised widely, and advertised in appropriate media so as many eligible and suitably qualified candidates as possible have an opportunity to apply.
- Active attempts will be made to recruit staff members from a variety of under-represented groups within the organisation, to enrich the Institute with different perspectives.
- Applications will be welcomed and actively encouraged from members of underrepresented groups, in all areas of Institute practice, administration, training and service provision.
- In the areas of service provision, (when practical) we will endeavour to ensure that specific needs of clients from diverse communities are met.
- All appointments to any post within the Institute should be made utilising current best practices and legislation with an Equal Opportunities perspective which includes the following elements:
- Identification of staffing needs and drawing up of person specification;
- Advertising the post (see above);
- Providing clear guidelines to ensure candidates have the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities;
- Setting clear criteria for evaluation of applications;
- Standard and appropriate interview questions for all candidates;
- Interview panel to ensure equal opportunities legislation are included in the interview;
- Interview panel to provide feedback to candidates if requested
vii. Staff Training in Diversity / Anti-discriminatory Practice
In order to promote an equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory policy at all levels, it is essential that at every level of the Institute awareness and anti-discriminatory approaches are made explicit to all staff and that there is an expectation that all staff participate in the delivery of anti-discriminatory practice.
9.2 As a training provider
Assessment of Students
All assessments should include an assessment of students’ competence to deal with issues raised by cross-cultural and cross-racial work and with issues such as disability, sexual orientation, class, age, gender etc.
Access to training and CPD
To ensure that access to training and CPD activities is sufficiently broadly based to allow entry to those who may be less well-resourced and/or are under-represented in the field.
IFT works to provide a safe and respectful environment for training that recognises structural inequalities and systemic racism.
9.3 As a provider of Clinical Work / Training
- There is an expectation that staff and students develop ways to examine their own assumptions and use of language and avoid the use of racist or other stereo typed comments. If clients use demeaning and prejudicial language this should be challenged appropriately.
- The Institute should seek to offer services to clients from a range of different ethnic minorities and backgrounds.
- Supervision of students and staff should address issues of racism and other forms of discrimination or prejudice.
- The academic component of all training courses should be designed to incorporate an equal opportunities perspective so that all course material will reflect an anti-colonial and anti-discriminatory practice.
- Opportunities should be provided for staff and students to explore issues of discrimination and prejudice in the wider world as well as in the context of work at the Institute.
- An awareness of discrimination, inequity and oppression should be included in the consideration of cases and their allocation, although this is not the only basis on which allocation is made.
Choice of Therapist
Given an awareness of pervasive racism and white privilege in society, if clients from racially minoritised background request a therapist from their own ethnic group or similar background, all efforts will be made to respond to this request, wherever possible. However, if a client with racial privilege requests not to see a therapist from a black or other racially minoritised group and this is viewed as discriminatory, it will be made clear that this is against IFT’s policy.
9.4 As a membership organisation
All IFT members are required to adhere to the Institute’s Code of Ethics and Practice which includes a requirement for anti-discriminatory practice.
- Enabling environments and reasonable adjustments for health conditions
IFT tries to take positive steps to remove the barriers that people with disabilities or health conditions might face in their environment. This is to ensure that all people receive the same services, as far as this is possible, regardless of their physical ability. The Equality Act 2010 calls this the duty to make reasonable adjustments.
What is meant by the duty to make reasonable adjustments?
The Equality Act 2010 says changes or adjustments should be made to ensure that people can access the following things if they have a disability:
- goods and services like shops, banks, cinemas, hospitals, council offices, leisure centres
- associations and private clubs like the Scouts and Guides, private golf clubs and working men clubs.
Adjustments only have to be made if it’s reasonable to do so. What is reasonable depends on factors like:
- the nature of the disability
- how practicable the changes are
- if the change would overcome the disadvantage disabled people experience
- the size of the organisation
- how much money and resources are available
- the cost of making the changes
- if any changes have already been made.
There are three different things that IFT endeavours to do to make it easier for people with a disability to access training and services from us:
Change the way things are done
Change a physical feature
Provide extra aids or services
Examples include a step-free access into the building and accessible rooms
Support for Trainees with dyslexia and other learning difficulties or impairments.
IFT makes reasonable attempts to provide rooms and access for clients and students with mobility difficulties or disability.
IFT aims to make its premises welcoming to all clients regardless of their background.
Staff should be able to operate any specialist equipment when supplied through IFT for clients with disabilities.
As well as accessibility, people with health conditions that do not impede their ability to do their job, should not be discriminated against but supported with reasonable adjustments.
Section 60 of the Equality Act 2010 makes it generally unlawful for anyone to be asked questions about their health or disability before they are offered a job, unless these questions are necessary for non-discriminatory reasons. This is to prevent information about a person’s disability or health being used to reject their job application without first giving them the opportunity to show that they have the skills to do the job. However, we can make a job offer conditional on medical checks and then ask health-related questions without being in breach of Section 60.
IFT is committed to fair and just practice and will make every effort to support employees with health conditions in their work by making reasonable adjustments to their job role and job plan.
- Monitoring and Review
This Policy will be reviewed in a year and monitored consistently by the shared leadership team, during that period to assess its implementation and effectiveness.
- Concerns and Complaints
Complaints from the public that they have been unlawfully discriminated against in the course of seeking employment with IFT will be dealt with under the Complaints Procedure. Complaints by service users or trainees that they have been discriminated against or harassed by a member of staff will also be dealt with in accordance with the Complaints Procedure.
Any member of staff who feels that they have been discriminated against or victimised may raise the matter with the IFT Directors who will fully investigate all reported incidents of alleged discrimination.
Any member of staff who is believed to have discriminated against others may face disciplinary action in accordance with IFT’s Disciplinary Policy.
If the complainant is dissatisfied with the manager’s action, they may address the matter through IFT’s Grievance Procedure.
Appendix A: Summary of the Legislative Framework for Equality
1.0 Equal Opportunities and the Law
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act came into force on 1 October 2010. The Equality Act brings together over 116 separate pieces of legislation into one single Act. Combined, they make up a new Act that provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals, protect them from unfair treatment, promote a fair and more equal society and advance equality of opportunity for all.
The nine main pieces of legislation that have merged are:
- The Equal Pay Act 1970
- The Sex Discrimination Act 1975
- The Race Relations Act 1976
- The Disability Discrimination Act 1995
- The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
- The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
- The Gender Recognition Act 2004
- The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006
- The Equality Act 2006, Part 2
- The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007
- Treating one person worse than another because of a protected characteristic (known as direct discrimination); or
- Putting in place a rule or policy or way of doing things that has a worse impact on someone with a protected characteristic than someone without one, when this cannot be objectively justified (known as indirect discrimination).
- Harassment includes unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect or violating someone’s dignity or which creates a hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for someone.
- Victimisation is treating someone unfavourably because they have taken (or might be taking) action under the Equality Act or supporting somebody who is doing so.
The Act makes it unlawful to discriminate, harass or victimise a person or group of people because they have any of the nine protected characteristics set out in the Table below. There is also protection against discrimination where someone is perceived to have one of the protected characteristics or where they are associated with someone who has a protected characteristic. The Act also requires that reasonable adjustments be made for disabled people.
The Nine Protected Characteristics
For the purpose of the Act, this refers to a person with a particular age (for example, 32 year olds) or belonging to an age group. Age groups can be quite wide (for example, ‘people over 50’ or ‘under 18s’). They can also be quite specific (for example, ‘people in their mid-
40s’). Terms such as ‘young person’ and ‘youthful’ or
‘elderly’ and ‘pensioner’ can also indicate an age group.
In the Equality Act, a disability means a physical or sensory impairment, a learning disability, or a mental condition that has a substantial and long-term impact on a person’s ability to do normal day to day activities. For the purposes of the Act, these words have the following meanings:
There are additional provisions relating to people with progressive conditions. People with HIV, cancer or multiple sclerosis are protected by the Act from the point of diagnosis, even if they are currently able to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
People are also covered by the Act if they have had a disability in the past. For example, if they have had a mental health condition in the past that lasted for over 12 months, but they have now recovered, they are still protected from discrimination because of that disability.
For the purposes of the Act, sex can mean either male or female, or a group of people like men or boys, or women or girls.
Gender identity (trans, nonbinary)
This is defined for the purpose of the Act as where a person has proposed, started or completed a process to reassign physiological or other attributes of their sex. A transgender person or trans male or female has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.
Marriage or civil partnership status
The Equality Act says you must not be discriminated against in employment because you are married or in a civil partnership.
Marriage is a union between an opposite-sex or same-sex couple. Same-sex and opposite-sex couples can also have their relationships legally recognised as ‘civil partnerships’. Civil partners must not be treated less favourably than married couples.
Pregnancy or maternity
Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.
In the Equality Act, race can mean a person’s skin colour or their nationality (including their citizenship). It can also mean their ethnic or national origins, which may not be the same as their current nationality.
Race also covers ethnic and racial groups. This means a group of people who all share the same protected characteristic of ethnicity or race.
A racial group can be made up of two or more distinct racial groups, for example black Britons, British Asians, British Sikhs, British Jews, Romany Gypsies or Irish Travellers.
Religion or belief
Religion refers to any religion, including a lack of religion. Belief refers to any religious or philosophical belief and includes a lack of belief.
To be covered by the Act, a belief needs to be genuinely held; be a belief and not an opinion or viewpoint; be a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour; attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance; and be worthy of respect in a democratic society, compatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others. The Act cites Humanism and Atheism as examples of philosophical beliefs.
This refers to whether a person’s sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes.
For the purposes of the Act, sexual orientation includes how people express their sexual orientation, such as through their appearance or the places they visit.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced a Code of Practice on Employment in relation to the Equality Act 2010.
The Equality Act (2010) also imposes a Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) to have due regard to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited under the Equality Act (2010); to advance equality of opportunity; and to foster good relations between individuals who possess a certain protected characteristic and those who do not.
Appendix B: Vision, Mission and Purpose
2.0 Vision and Mission Statement
With respect to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and equality within wider society, IFT has a Vision and Mission statement that highlights the following:
For family therapy and systemic practice to:
- Support all people to challenge the oppressive and difficult aspects of their lives using
relationships as resources
- Transform people’s relationships and circumstances for the better
- Ensure that an understanding of how oppression impacts our lives and the development of
inclusive and equitable relationships and institutions, is common place
We strive to:
- Develop a diverse community of people who are passionate about how systemic ideas can
create personal, interpersonal and social solutions
- Use our active and international community to develop and deliver high quality, responsive
and cutting edge therapy, teaching and training to people in any setting
- Contextualise people’s difficulties, strengthen relationships and promote a more just,
equitable and inclusive society
- Providing therapy for individuals, couples and families, and using systemic ideas to work
with larger systems (such as organisations and schools) and intervening at different levels of
- Promoting the systemic approach as a world-view, a set of practices, and a way of addressing
social inequality; i.e. a force for transformation rather than conformity
- Meaningful inclusion and ‘diversity’ of peoples, ideas and interventions, that actively seeks
the views, knowledge and expertise of the most marginalised
- Finding creative alternatives to the traditional ways of operating that are continuing to fail
communities, shrink our imaginations and hamper our ability to meaningfully progress our profession
Appendix C: Ways of Working
3.0 IFT Ways of Working
IFT has developed ways of working around the strapline ‘Justice, Activism, Hope’, with respect to:
We recognise the impact of institutional forms of oppression, marginalisation and social disadvantage on families and strive to name, confront and challenge them
We are constantly striving to look at and address our own short comings through continually seeking, and acting on, feedback from families, trainees, teachers and staff
We insist on kindness, inclusion and respect for each other, with respect to action, intention and language, in line with IFT’s core values. We are not afraid to admit our mistakes and make amends
We communicate with sensitivity, clarity, and appreciation, and value building positive relationships. We strive to have equal commitment to both listening and speaking
We value co-working, co-production and collaborative ways of working, learning and practicing, that centralises the voices of the most marginalised
We strive to create a happy learning community where, diverse forms of knowledge are respected and included, we ask challenging questions and encourage critical reflection and we move beyond comfort in order to grow
We know another world is possible and we hope to support people to challenge the oppressive and difficult aspects of their lives using relationships as a resource
We hope that family therapy and systemic practice can transform people’s relationships and circumstances for the better
We hope that an understanding of how oppression impacts our lives and the development of inclusive and equitable relationships and institutions, becomes common place
4.0 Independent Advisory Board
IFT are setting up an independent external advisory board to audit, evaluate and ensure the maintenance of best practice, standards and governance, of our qualifying systemic psychotherapy course. IFT are aware that organisations that espouse anti-oppressive ethics might struggle to put them into practice. In response to this awareness, IFT are particularly choosing stakeholders who share our vision, values, mission, and ways of working in order for them to support us to stay aligned with our own. IFT believe very strongly that standards that relate to how well our training is addressing institutional forms of oppression and inequity, are just as important as educational standards.
In time we hope that this advisory board will also seek the view of/be made up of service users, and staff and student reps as well as stakeholders, with respect to their views about how well we are embodying our principles in practice.