Dear SKIP of New York Family:
In light of recent events, we at SKIP would like to take the opportunity to reaffirm that we value and embrace all our staff, families, and community members. We are collectively heartbroken and upset by the death of George Floyd and so many other unnecessary deaths and injustices felt by people of color and others. It is difficult to find the right words to adequately express our sentiments and concerns with racial injustices, health disparities and immeasurable loss of life from violence. What we can do is to offer support and to focus on hope, resiliency, and our commitment to creating an ever better environment here at SKIP and continuing to strive for a better world for all. We recognize we do not have all the answers and there is work to be done, but our hearts and ears are open, and we remain ready and willing to listen and respond.
So much is happening, including many unsettling events, in our lives, communities and the world around us, having unique impacts on each of us personally and collectively. We are disheartened by acts of cruelty, disenfranchisement of various groups, acts of racism and inequalities experienced in our communities and by people of color each and every day. We are saddened for those who are hurting and frustrated by the injustices around us. Still we remain committed to stand together here at SKIP in support of one another and are encouraged to see people from all races and all walks of life coming together to seek positive change. These are challenging times certainly, but our resolve as a SKIP family is strong because our mission of supporting families is strong. We will continue to rise up to meet each challenge and push through ever better than before and stronger together.
SKIP of New York is built on a foundation of family, community and togetherness. Our mission has always been to care for those who are vulnerable, to help, advocate for and protect the rights of others. SKIP values the personal worth of the families we support. We recognize each person is unique and so must be our approach at seeking to understand each individual, their circumstances, hopes and needs. We will continue to advocate for those who need our help, working to address issues of inequality and paving the way for better access to appropriate systems of care and support, so each person can pursue and lead a life of meaning to them.
Likewise, SKIP values the personal worth all our staff. At SKIP, we want all our staff to feel and to be safe in their working environment, with opportunities for honest and intentional dialogue and collaboration with the aim of doing good work and seeking positive outcomes. We must all respect, value and work together in order to achieve meaningful outcomes here at SKIP and for the children and families we support. We must carefully and purposefully respond to what is occurring in the present moment and in the world around us while continuing to pursue and keep focus on the mission that guides our important work.
We are a team here at SKIP, and want each of our staff to know you are valued, you matter and you play an important and necessary role in the support of those individuals and their families we are honored to serve. In order to reinforce our commitments to all our staff and families, we at SKIP would like to take this opportunity to highlight the following expectations and standards that we promote, will continue to embrace and require:
- SKIP employees will conduct themselves in a legal, ethical and moral manner in the conduct of our employment, maintaining professional integrity and avoiding behavior that could cause harm to others.
- We will promote and practice justice, fairness, and equity for the people we support, our coworkers and the community as a whole.
- We will develop and engage in respectful and professional relationships with those we come in contact with. We will aim to foster collaborative partnerships with one another in order to best support our families, each other and to further the mission of SKIP.
- We will consider our own values and unique circumstances and how they influence us and our interactions with others.
- We will be open to continuous learning and ongoing collaboration.
- We will assume responsibility and accountability for our decisions and actions.
- We will promote human, civil and legal rights for all people.
- We still strive to recognize and respect the cultural context of those we come in contact with and strive to communicate in ways that are respectful, sensitive and appropriate.
- We will maintain mutual respect in our working relationships with one another and treat each other with courtesy and consideration.
- We are committed to doing our part to respond to the disparities around us, including preconceived perceptions of treatment towards persons based on race, color, age, religion, immigration, disability and other statuses.
Furthermore, SKIP would like to reaffirm for our team that we do not discriminate nor will we tolerate any discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, creed, color, religion, alienage or national origin, ancestry, age, disability, sex, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, arrest record, gender, gender identity, marital or partnership status, pregnancy, transgender status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws. No one will be denied opportunities or benefits based on those criteria that do not prohibit performance of essential job functions, nor will anyone receive special treatment for those reasons. SKIP is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities and general treatment during employment. To ensure our workplace is free of artificial barriers, violation of this policy including any improper retaliatory conduct will lead to discipline, up to and including discharge.
Please know how greatly we value you our SKIP team and the important role each of you play in supporting our children and their families across the State of New York. We will continue to work hard each day in collaboration with and support of one another. We will seek to understand and support all our staff including those who share their experiences, resources and recommendations for continuous improvements in our work culture and in our approaches to providing the best help we can to others. We are all one SKIP team and each member of our SKIP family is important and valued.
We stand in solidarity with our employees and families of color who experience racism. As an agency, we are committed to actively seeking ways to identify practices that may contribute to proliferating racism and working together to stand against overt and covert racial acts. We commit to actively listen, reflect and act when presented with ways that we can be a part of building a community that upholds the dignity of all people.
Our doors and hearts remain open to each of you. Your thoughts, feedback and support continue to be necessary and welcomed. Each of us has an important role in the amazing work we do here at SKIP. As we keep our SKIP mission in the forefront of the work we do, we want to partner with and provide the necessary support to be the very best we can be for each other, our families and communities.
We appreciate your continued commitment to SKIP and the families we support.