Our code of ethics
The era of the welfare state is well and truly over. Society is invited to change and must find new ways of sharing the obligations between the different levels of public power and the resources of the community sector. All these changes lead community organizations to review their mission, their objectives and to find new ways of doing things, taking into account the structural constraints resulting from new government policies.
It goes without saying that the establishment of new parameters of the responsibilities incumbent on community organizations is not without difficulties and raises questions of an ethical nature: how to reconcile the requirements inherent in the quality of services, the extent of the needs and the scarcity of resources taking into account the mission and objectives? How can we ensure that the people who use our services are respected as genuinely as possible? Finally, what attitudes and behaviors should be developed to ensure that any intervention respects the principle of confidentiality?
However, in 1996, to resolve some of these questions, the regular member associations of the Réseau Avant de Craquer mandated him to develop a code of ethics adapted to their reality.
When members of the associations team are faced with complex decisions to make, the code suggests courses of action to better execute the task or fulfill the mandate. It is therefore a tool for:
- awareness of the obligations of associations, the rights and obligations of customers;
- transformation of practices, attitudes and mentalities that can limit the application of these rights.
This is a code of honor; the consensus around certain minimum rules that testify to the shared values and the objectives pursued is enough to make it legitimate. Since the adoption of the normative framework in 2004, all member associations of the Réseau Avant de Craquer must adhere to it or demonstrate that their own code of ethics fully respects that of the Réseau Avant de Craquer.
The normative framework
The normative framework of the member associations aims to provide a base of services for the families and friends of people with mental illness and to publicly confirm the entry point status of the member associations that come to their aid. In this sense, the members of the Réseau Avant de Craquer have chosen to harmonize their support measures, while preserving their autonomy and their regional particularities.
Several studies have shown that, regardless of where they live, the reality of families and loved ones is very difficult. Their emotional distress is three times higher than in the general population. Paradoxically, despite their anguish and grief, the support they provide to the person with mental illness is considered to be of primary importance. In this perspective, every effort must be made to increase the range of services that can be offered to them and thus promote the response to their multiple needs.
Concerned about the quality of the services offered to the members of the entourage of the person with mental illness, the board of directors of the Réseau Avant de Craquer initiated this process in close collaboration with the associations. This project was worked on collectively and, together, the administrators and the permanent staff thought long and hard and identified the parameters that should guide the organization of services. The quality of activities is a collective concern and, as such, the associations wish to work in collaboration with funders in order to continue to strive for excellence.
The implementation of quality standards is a necessity in all sectors of activity. As a result, it is to the credit of the member associations of the Réseau Avant de Craquer to be proactive in adopting common standards. Equity in the services offered, the coalition between the associations, the strength that unites the members of the entourage and the reference tool that will support the services on a daily basis will increase the visibility and credibility of the associations.
Today, in Quebec, there is no longer any doubt that the member associations of the Réseau Avant de Craquer demonstrate that they have become the gateway to services for members of the entourage who have a loved one with mental illness.