The journey toward self-determination is a process of self-growth. The following are the nine operating principles around which CLS, Inc. centers its supports to help people truly succeed in achieving dignity and freedom. We believe understanding of and commitment to them is essential to ensure that basic human rights are respected. Each action and decision made should be weighed against the following principles.
People have the right to choose how, where, and with whom they will live their lives. When people need help, it is friends and family closest to them who assist in broadening their experiences and exercising their right to choose. It is essential that each person have a circle of support chosen by them.
The relationships a person has with others are like precious gems. It must be treasured, nurtured, and protected. These relationships
provide the strength, assistance, and security which ensure each
CONTRIBUTION & COMMUNITY
Everyone has the ability to contribute to their community in a meaningful way. Giving of one’s self helps people establish a sense of belonging and identity. Community membership includes having an opportunity to be employed, to own a home, to be truly involved in the community, and to make a difference in the lives of others.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Individuals, as they take greater control and authority over their lives and resources, assume greater responsibility for their decisions and actions. Professionals and staff work for the person rather than for the system. Families, friends, and staff help people 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.
People have the power to make decisions and truly control their lives. This includes gaining authority over financial resources, the power to determine what supports are needed, how they will be implemented, and by whom. People also have the power to control the hiring of the people who will support them.
All people have hopes and dreams that are meaningful which guide the actions they take. A commitment to helping people determines their dreams, respecting them, and helping them come true is crucial.
DIGNITY AND RESPECT
All people have an inherent right to be treated with dignity and respect. Some of life’s greatest lessons are learned by making choices that are later realized as mistakes. All people have the right to the dignity of risk. The network of support makes risk possible by weaving a safety net that supports growth.
Making things happen does not always require money. It is imperative that alternatives to paid support be found. When support must be purchased, people will get what they need, pay for only what they get, make real investments, spend money more efficiently, and make adjustments when they are needed. To find the best quality for the most reasonable price, people are free to purchase in and out of the ‘system’.
WHATEVER IT TAKES
The attitude “Nothing is impossible, as long as it is legal and causes no harm”, is required. “No we can’t” for an answer is replaced by “How can we make this happen?” Those who work within the system become barrier removers.