Core Values

Our core values guide our operations and programs, and inform our approaches. We are committed to justice, equity, belonging, and access (JEBA). Based on a review of several social constructions (e.g., DEI, JEDI, REDI), we introduce the acronym, JEBA with the thinking that belonging deepens both, inclusivity and diversity. We strive for cultural competency in our work, and are guided by cultural humility.

We encourage families to discuss how these values may enhance awareness of each other’s needs and offer opportunities for personal wellbeing.

Privacy

People thrive when living free from other people’s intrusions into their personal lives, relationships, and personal information. Privacy is an essential element for mental health and happiness – it is being in control of one’s own story. Although related, it is not the same as secrecy; rather, privacy is akin to a dog sneaking under an end table to be alone for awhile. We also recognize privacy as a key factor in children’s healthy and safe development, which must be protected and negotiated with parents/guardians.

Confidentiality

We all have an ethical duty to not share another person’s private information without that person’s voluntary and informed consent. Relaying such information may harm the individual, his/her/their family and community, and our society in general.

Belonging

People enjoy feeling like they belong in a community where they can experience emotional, physical and spiritual acceptance and support, and where they have access to good food, education, work, transportation, and a variety of services, all of which require a mutual interdependence. Inclusivity is not only good for those who have been historically and casually left out – it is good for everyone. Family Spirals® strives for a society that embraces holism and pluralism. As such, we are nonpartisan and nonsectarian.

We also recognize that familial relationships are often formed with other animals at home and elsewhere, and these animals, along with the people who love them, also belong. We recognize their autonomy, and need for care, in our discussions and programs.

Individual Wellbeing

We support a high-quality of life, consisting of safety from physical and psychological harm, body acceptance and neutrality, high-degrees of autonomy, and resilience. Hence, we help families and other social systems in meeting the needs of individuals and supporting their aspirations.

Integrity

How does one interact with others when no one is watching (or when accepted policies and institutions are unfair)? Kindness, honesty, and patience govern our actions and drive our struggles for justice, which can only be achieved when our words and actions are aligned.

Ongoing Learning

Learning requires self-reflection if we are to become aware of our personal, cultural, and institutional biases that impede learning. Self-awareness helps us understand how our thinking is shaped by our (sub)culture, teachers, and experiences. In this effort, we can help one another, as we embrace the African proverb: “each one teach one.”

updated October 7, 2022