SVN Response to George Floyd in the context of Covid-19

As an international organization whose mission is to support providers of services frequently required to provide safety in the middle of family violence and conflict, SVN joins its voice with those expressing outrage at the death of George Floyd. We are deeply saddened, and even more sadly not surprised, by yet another example of the racism and excessive use of force that are still so deeply embedded in American society and around the world. We commit to doing our part in confronting that racism in our practices and in our organization.

 This deeply disturbing event and the protests that have followed seem to us to be further evidence that the convulsions in American life and throughout the world are linked to how starkly the COVID pandemic has laid bare the inequities and dysfunctions of economic and social systems in the US and other countries that are dangerously imbalanced in favor of those with institutional and economic power and inadequately attend to the needs of less advantaged and marginalized citizens. We commit also to doing what we can within our own sphere of influence in supervised visitation to pay attention to and correct these imbalances.

 In coming months, SVN will be reviewing its membership and personnel policies and our Standards for Practice to ensure that they acknowledge and support the values of economic and social equality.  We will also consider how, since people of color tend to be disproportionately represented in the child welfare systems with which we work, we can best pay attention to the power imbalances that may be experienced by clients using our services. As always, we will continue to raise our voice in support of social justice as an inherent element of good practice.

Rob Straus, President, SVN

Joe Nullet, Executive Director.

            With the approval of the Board of Directors.