Tips on Revisiting Policies and Practices relative to DOMA
- Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
As we continue to explore the broader definition of diversity and inclusion, we at T/TAS think it would be helpful to consider revisions in your policies, procedures and practices impacted by DOMA. We know that the makeup of Head Start/Early Head Start families has changed over the decades, thereby expanding our understanding of the definition of family. Please read ACF-IM-HS-14-03 Federal Recognition of Same-Sex Spouses/Marriages.
The IM tells us that as long as a same sex couple is legally married under the laws of a state or territory, they are considered married regardless of the state in which the couple resides. Consider reviewing, revising, and revisiting the following practices, policies, and procedures:
- Application information inclusive of husband/wife, wife/wife, husband/husband language.
- Family needs assessment inclusive of husband/wife, wife/wife, husband/husband language.
- Nepotism policies and practices.
- Parent engagement activities that include and support singles, couples and LGBT parents.
- Additional community partnerships with appropriate agencies and updating your Community Assessment.
- Discussions amongst staff regarding family size for eligibility purposes.
- Discussions on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day events and the implications of LGBT parents.
Similarly, Revisiting and Updating the Multicultural Principles for Head Start Programs serving Children Ages Birth to Five has several principles that can guide and inform practice in this area.
Principle 2: The cultural groups represented in the communities and families of each Head Start program are the primary sources for culturally relevant programming.
Principle 3: Culturally relevant and diverse programming requires learning accurate information about the cultures of different groups and discarding stereotypes.
Principle 9: Culturally relevant and diverse programming examines and challenges institutional and personal biases.
Principle 10: Culturally relevant and diverse programming and practices are incorporated in all systems and services and are beneficial to all adults and children.
In addition, several of our trainers have used the video That’s A Family by Groundspark (designed to help children understand about diverse families) to help adults understand, see and hear the changing face of families from a child’s perspective. As always the specialists at T/TAS are available to provide training and technical assistance in this area.
For further conversation on this topic please feel free to contact Robin Gadsden-Dupree at T/TAS.