Work, Love, Play study, we have developed a set of Practice Guidelines for health and welfare professionals who might be working with same-sex attracted parents and their families.
I am always a bit cynical about Guidelines. Do they really change much? We all know most end up collecting dust.
But the central aim of these Guidelines was to get people to think about their own practice and whether what they currently do is inclusive or inadvertently exclusive of LGBT couples and families. So, hopefully, even if someone only browses these Guidelines once before putting them on the shelf that will be enough to spark some sort of reflection.
In the development of these Guidelines we spoke to same-sex attracted parents and to service providers (some of whom worked a lot with same-sex couples and some of whom had very little experience). The service providers all expressed an interest in resources that could help them feel more comfortable and confident working with same-sex couples—many said they felt ‘naive’ when it came to same-sex parented families. They were interested in ways in which same-sex couples created their families and family life, but were worried that they would ask the wrong questions or use the wrong words. So our Guidelines are partly educative (what are some myths about same-sex attracted parents? what do same-sex couples value when using services?) and partly instructive (what are some ‘door opening questions’ that will invite people to tell you about their family?).
These Guidelines are free and I am happy to send copies out to parents or to organisations. Just email or call me on 03 9385 5131 (Australian number) for more information or to place an order.
The Bouverie Centre also conducts training for health and welfare services on working with same-sex parented families. If you are interested in more information about this just email or call.