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Values and Ideas That Guide Our Work

Boys with bat

The following set of ideas and values guide our work at Keystone. In some form, though perhaps at times not fully articulated, these values have been present since our founding. They constitute a core set of concepts that are important in our work of helping people live more meaningful lives through finding home, friends, work and presence in the community.

Self Determination

Effective human services must see the individual and family using services as the ultimate customer, the individual to whom they are most accountable. Services should be responsive to the needs of each individual rather than the needs of the system. All people have the right to direct their future. They have a right to control how they live their lives and where and with whom they live. They have a right to exert influence over the resources that support them, and they should be actively involved in all aspects of planning and delivering services. People have the right to choose their lifestyles and their careers. When people need help, it is friends and family closest to them who assist them in broadening their experience and exercising their right to choose. It is essential that each person have a network of support chosen by him or her. Professionals and staff work for the individual rather than for the system. Families, friends and staff assist people to create more meaningful relationships, link them with needed supports, remove barriers, develop safety networks and help make dreams come true while never forgetting who is in charge.

Dignity and Respect

We will use language and words that create an environment of dignity, respect and valued identities for the people we support and their families. All people have an inherent right to be treated with dignity and to be respected as a whole person. Most of life's greatest lessons are learned when we make choices that we later realize were mistakes. All people have the right to the dignity of risk.

Inherent Value

All people are inherently valuable regardless of their level of ability or disability.

Change Agent

We believe that we have a deep obligation to serve as a change agent sharing our experience with others both individually and within the public policy and service delivery processes.

Foundation of Service

We believe that service from one person to another is a transcendent endeavor that should be based on an individual's personal experience of a spiritual, religious, philosophical, humanitarian or social justice motive. We believe it is important to live in an environment where all of us have the opportunity to consider the moral and spiritual aspects of our work. We desire that the many people associated with Keystone will experience their work as a calling, and wish to encourage and nurture deep commitments, friendships, non-paid relationships and life sharing.

Model Coherency

Model coherence involves bringing all elements of service planning, treatment, philosophy, staffing, funding, training, supervision, and professional identity, together into a coherent whole in order to meet the true needs of the person being supported.

Community Building

Our vision is that of creating an environment where all people, regardless of background and ability, can grow, make choices, and be valued and contributing members of our community. Everyone has the ability to contribute to his or her community in a meaningful way. Giving of ourselves helps us establish a sense of belonging and identity. Community membership includes having an opportunity to be employed, to have your own home, to be truly involved in the routines of the community and to make a difference in the lives of others.

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