In July 2019, DBHIDS launched the Community Wellness Engagement Unit, a multilingual engagement team designed to provide greater access to wellness-related resources and support for all communities within its scope.
CWEU works in some of Philadelphia’s most challenged neighborhoods to meet the people most in need and make sure they get access to the services the City has available to them.
CWEU is a mobile unit that makes use of teams of Certified Peer Specialists, Certified Recovery Specialists, and Behavioral Health Specialists to assess individuals, link them to the appropriate services, and coordinate with agencies and community stakeholders to address any barriers to treatment and wellness.
Diversity: The composition of a group – specifically whether different demographics are represented in a group.
Equity: The centering of creating opportunities and changes to a space or system so marginalization doesn’t unjustly predict one’s success and ultimately improves outcomes for all.
Inclusion: A person or group of people’s abilities to contribute to and fully participate in a space. Inclusion is also the acknowledgement, celebration, and welcoming of individuals’ sense of uniqueness and belonging.
DBHIDS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team Vision
DBHIDS believes in a community where everyone can thrive and be authentic and included; has a voice and feels valued; and can achieve health, well-being, and self-determination. DBHIDS celebrates differences and advocates for equity and justice. DBHIDS strives to shift the culture boldly by collecting, reporting, and monitoring data and building partnerships and collaborations with various stakeholders. Above all, DBHIDS recognizes that diversity includes YOU.
DEI Principle: DIVERSITY
Diversity at DBHIDS recognizes the unique perspectives and needs of Philadelphians in the way we serve individual and community differences by:
Ensuring diversity in recruitment, hiring, and promotion policies, procedures, and practices.
Creating and promoting safe spaces and training opportunities to increase diversity awareness; and
Practicing a culture where everyone participates in addressing disparities.
DEI Principle: EQUITY
Equity at DBHIDS guarantees fair and full access to opportunities and resources by:
Ensuring policies, procedures, and practices reflect equity.
Creating an impartial environment; and
Practicing transparency to promote accountability.
DEI Principle: INCLUSION
Inclusion at DBHIDS respects and welcomes diverse viewpoints in collective decision-making regardless of race, gender, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, abilities, disabilities, or health care needs by:
Ensuring policies, procedures, and practices are inclusive.
Creating an environment that empowers individual to contribute without apprehension authentically; and
Demonstrate respect, honesty, accountability and professionalism
Value teamwork, collaboration and relationships
Model effective and intentional communication
Appreciate one another
Recognize diversity includes YOU
The six-member Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) team was created in 2019 to have departmental lens on:
inspiring a shared vision by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the entire DBHIDS and provider systems
mitigating disparities; utilizing data, research, and community input for program development; and standardizing clinical quality management tools and protocols
providing support to the DBHIDS staff, as well as to the provider community and special populations.
We operate from a three-pronged approach: research, data, and community input to inform our work. Through collaboration, we will model inclusive work practices to promote diverse perspectives, creative viewpoints, and innovative ideas by working collaboratively across all six divisions and all four HR components while implementing department-wide workgroups reflective of staff from all levels. We will work to develop a more equitable work culture.
1. Enhance economic and equitable inclusion for the Department’s contracted and subcontracted Minority/Women/Disabled-owned Business Enterprises (MWDBE);
2. Monitor and access the clinical quality of the Department’s DEI practices and attitudes while addressing the DEI needs of its workforce; and
3. Collaborate with behavioral health providers to diversify to increase cultural humility and linguistic competencies to promote inclusive service delivery.
DEI Five-Year Plan
Over the next five years, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team will lead the charge and model the way by supporting quality management functions related to DEI by:
utilizing data for decision making and contributing to policy and program development for the Department and provider systems;
developing mechanisms to manage and standardize DEI;
increasing provider recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce reflective of the populations served;
providing leadership and coordination of clinical and provider-related quality activities associated to DEI including relevant MWDSBE providers and subcontractors;
enhancing reviews and quality improvement projects and evaluations;
promoting and enhancing awareness and understanding of DEI through a range of quality management activities and projects.
Guided by the vision and mission of DBHIDS, the mission of this Unit is to improve the total wellness for immigrant and refugee communities through a holistic community-based engagement and service delivery approach.
Immigrant Affairs and Language Access Services assists in the development of agency-wide policies and strength-based approaches that engage and provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services for refugee and immigrant communities with behavioral health concerns. The unit also serves as an adviser/liaison to the DBHIDS Commissioner, Executive Management Team, and the City’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Assessing the needs of immigrant and refugee communities as well as service providers, to identify gaps and determine how DBHIDS can deliver culturally and linguistically appropriate services to the communities
Developing tools and innovative strategies that support effective service delivery for immigrant and refugee communities
Identifying, developing, maintaining, and aligning resources and information—that exist across the City—to successfully integrate immigrants and refugees into the cultural, social, health, economic, and civic fabric of the City
Promoting the total wellness of immigrants and refugees communities through population health approach
Language Access Services
The DBHIDS Language Access Policy provides protocols for staff when providing services to individuals who have limited English proficiency (LEP). The Policy is essential to the success of our mission to improve the health statuses of Philadelphians in need of behavioral health and/or intellectual disability services. It is the City’s policy to grant access to services or programs to every person even when there is a limited ability to speak, understand, read or write English. Staff WILL NOT suggest or require an LEP member to provide an interpreter in order to receive services.
Accessing Interpretation or Translation Services
If you or someone you know is in need of interpretation or translation services, please use the links below in the Resources section that provide all of the services offered by the City of Philadelphia.
For more information about the Immigrant Affairs and Language Access Service Unit, please contact unit Director Sarorng Sorn, M.S.; office, 215-685-5454; mobile, 267-582-8017.
The Department of Health & Human Services defines Human Trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery that occurs both within the United States and around the world.
Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of commercial sex, debt bondage, or forced labor. They are young children, teenagers, men and women. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines “severe forms of trafficking in persons” as follows:
Sex Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which a person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; and
Labor Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Source: The Department of Health & Human Services
Pennsylvania’s Comprehensive Anti-Human Trafficking Law, Act 105, prosecutes human traffickers, prevents human trafficking, and protects survivors of human trafficking.
Sex Trafficking: defined under Act 105 as a commercial sex act induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or where the victim is a minor.
Labor Trafficking: defined under Act 105 as labor obtained by use or threat of serious harm, physical restraint, or abuse of legal process.
Source: 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. 3001 – 3072
Traffickers use violence, threats, blackmail, false promises, deception, manipulation, and debt bondage to trap vulnerable individuals in horrific situations.
List of Common Trafficking Indicators
Has the victim been threatened with deportation or law enforcement action?
Is the victim allowed to socialize or attend religious services?
Was the victim recruited for one purpose and forced to engage in some other job
Is the victim in possession of identification and travel documents; if not, who has control of the documents?
Is the victim a juvenile engaged in commercial sex?
Do they seem submissive or fearful?
Are they free to come and go as they please?
Are they allowed to speak for themselves?
Was the victim coached on what to say to law enforcement and immigration officials?
Has the victim or family been threatened with harm if the victim attempts to escape?
Was the victim forced to perform sexual acts?
Has the victim been harmed or deprived of food, water, sleep, medical care or other life necessities?
Human Trafficking Hotline
If you suspect someone is being held against their will or is being used for illegal purposes:
Covenant House — covenanthouse.org— Provides housing and supportive services to homeless and trafficked youth. Homeless youth are easy targets for this horrific industry.
Dawn’s Place — ahomefordawn.org— Supports women affected by commercial sexual exploitation by providing services to women. Raising awareness through education, generating prevention, public policy reform, and community collaborations.
The Joseph J. Peters Institute (JJPI): Serves adults who are victims of sex and or labor trafficking. Provides individual and group therapy for victims of sexual trauma.
Women Against Abuse (WAA): Services adult victims of all forms of relational violence. Provides the following services: legal, shelter housing, transitional, training, and therapy.
Philadelphia Children’s Alliance: This center screens children for any form of abuse, neglect, and sexual commercial exploitation. This CAC is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance.
Project Dawn Court Diversionary Court Program — Lesha.Sanders@courts.phila.gov — Project Dawn Court is Philadelphia’s newest problem-solving court, designed for women with repeat prostitution offenses. The first of its kind in the country, its modeled on the nationally lauded Philadelphia Treatment Court, established in 1997 to reduce both drug possession recidivism rates and the cost of jailing drug addicts by providing rehabilitative services under close court supervision
Villanova Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation — cseinstitute.org — Serves all victims of sex trafficking. Provides the following services: Education, training, policy advocacy and legal services for survivors.
Social Service Resources
Nationalities Service Center — nscphila.org — Provides a wide range of services to meet the needs of newly arriving refugees, victims of human trafficking and unaccompanied children.
Salvation Army — pa.salvationarmy.org/greater-philadelphia/NewDay — The Salvation Army New Day Drop-in center address human trafficking in Philadelphia. The center is a safe, trauma informed, welcoming and non-judgmental space for women suffering, from sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS
Blue Campaign is “the unified voice for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts to combat human trafficking,” and works with a variety of organizations dedicated to fight against human trafficking including law enforcement, government and non-governmental agencies. DHS is responsible for investigating human trafficking, arresting traffickers, and protecting victims. DHS also provides immigration relief (blue-campaign/immigration-assistance) to non-U.S. citizen victims of human trafficking. DHS utilizes a victim centered approach (blue-campaign/victim-centered-approach) to combat human trafficking, which places equal value on identifying and stabilizing victims and on investigating and prosecuting traffickers. dhs.gov/blue-campaign
Care and Understanding for Those Affected by Trauma
The mission of the Trauma Transformation Unit is to ensure that Philadelphians affected by trauma receive care in a safe, positive and supportive environment.
In order to realize this mission, the Trauma Transformation Unit has developed a plan to create a trauma-informed system of care which responds appropriately to the needs of individuals, families and communities affected by trauma, behavioral health problems and social difficulties. The cornerstones of this plan include:
Train provider agencies to ensure care providers are aware and responsive to the unique needs of consumers affected by trauma
Set standards so that trauma-related care is provided in a safe, competent and culturally-appropriate manner
Educate care agencies and staff to understand the relationship between human behavioral pathology and exposure to traumatic events
Create a welcoming environment that is respectful, hopeful and empowering
Recognize the effects of trauma on care providers who provide services to consumers
Definition of Trauma according to SAMHSA:
Experiences that cause intense physical and psychological stress reactions
Refer to a single event, multiple events, or a set of circumstances experienced by an individual as physically and emotionally harmful or threatening
Have lasting adverse effects on the individual’s physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being