Embracing Collective Action.
We are compassionate toward every individual we are privileged to serve and work with. While our core principle of teamwork solidifies and strengthens our relationships, we need to move beyond empathy and solidarity to embrace the power of collective action. We recognize that if we are to make significant strides towards true equity and physical and psychological safety for our workforce and for every person we serve, there are operational changes and action steps that must be taken.
While we realize our individual efforts may be awkward and unchartered, we have long fought to secure equal footing for those we serve. We are well-positioned to create and operationalize steps to reduce inequities and address systemic oppression which hampers the growth and wellbeing of our communities. As a part of the broader County government, DFS is a supporter of the One Fairfax initiative and policy. Under this policy DFS has authored this Equity Impact Statement:
Consistent with the principles of the county’s One Fairfax policy, the Department of Family Services (DFS), recognizes systemic oppression and institutional racism have contributed to disparities in opportunities for county residents. In recognition of race as a defining social construct in America that gives birth to all of the other “-isms”, we are committed to addressing institutional racism as a component of our charge to support the safety, health, and wellbeing of residents of our community. Our team intentionally creates, implements, and revises existing policies, practices, and procedures to alleviate disparities in service delivery and to promote equitable outcomes for those receiving our services.
We unequivocally reject racism, violence, and bigotry in all its forms, including the systemic oppression directed at people of color and other marginalized identities that have been woven into the fabric of our policies, procedures, and practices. While we have specifically called out some forms of bigotry such as racism and xenophobia, we intentionally and collectively advocate for each person’s right to physical and psychological safety, justice, and access to opportunity.
The goal of our equity focused work is to improve outcomes for all people, regardless of singular or intersecting identities. Addressing racial equity, social equity, and rejection of bigotry in all its forms allows DFS to develop goals and outcomes that will result in improvements for all people, and centers strategies based on equitable practices. DFS is committed to advancing beyond its oppressive, systemic underpinnings to critical self-examination and reflexive practice.
We unequivocally reject racism, violence, and bigotry in all its forms, including the systemic racism directed at people of color which has been woven into the fabric of our policies, procedures, and practices. We further reject the criminalization of people of color, both native-born and immigrant. While we have specifically called out some forms of bigotry such as racism and xenophobia, we intentionally and collectively advocate for each person’s right to physical and psychological safety, justice, and access to opportunity. We are committed to moving the system away from its oppressive underpinnings through critical self-examination and reflexive practice.