QueerCare Young Folk Principles
This protocol is a draft. It has not yet been accepted as protocol and may be incorrect or poorly cited. Please do not use this in your work until it has been accepted.
Please see #protocols on Slack to discuss this protocol further.
This document outlines the principles upon which QueerCare Young Folk (QCYF) operates.
As a group within QueerCare, QCYF also operates using the QueerCare Principles.
This is a living document and is regularly reviewed and updated. These principles should be reviewed in a QCYF General Meeting at least once every six months.
Last reviewed: 13/02/2021 Next review: w/c 09/08/2021
Principles of QCYF as an Organisation
- QueerCare Young Folk (QCYF) is for people aged 13-19.
- QCYF is made up of people aged 13-19 ('young people') only.
- QCYF generally does support for people aged 13-19 only.
- QCYF is structured to meet the needs and material realities of people aged 13-19, prioritising people in this age group who experience transmisogyny and/or racism and those who are or who are at risk of being incarcerated.
- The purpose of QueerCare Young Folk is to support young people doing support work for young people who experience transmisogyny and/or who are incarcerated and/or at risk of incarceration.
- QCYF and those working as QCYF also support many other people, but this is the overarching aim.
- QueerCare Young Folk is part of QueerCare, but operates autonomously.
- All QCYF work follows QueerCare Principles.
- Care and advocacy for people aged 13-19 is dispatched and run separately to care and advocacy for people aged 20+ (see Care and Advocacy in QCYF Dispatch Protocol).
- QCYF has its own private Slack channels on QC Slack for internal organisation and communication.
- QCYF decides the focus of its work and organises its own training and resources independently from people aged 20+ organising in QC.
- QCYF as an organisation and people within QCYF regularly communicate, skillshare and work on wider QC projects with people in QC aged 20+, and this is encouraged (following Policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People).
- QueerCare Young Folk as an organisation supports young people doing support work and helps them to do better, safer and more sustainable support.
- QueerCare Young Folk as an organisation also participates in collaborative work and initiatives that support young people's mental health and/or access to trans healthcare, especially those that work using youth liberationary, abolitionist and anti-psychiatric frameworks.
- QueerCare Young Folk is led and informed by people marginalised by the systems it works in alternative to and against, namely the trans healthcare, psychiatric, education and criminal justice systems.
- QueerCare Young Folk is a youth liberationist organisation.
- It is made up only of and supports young people, and promotes young people's knowledge, leadership, experience and expertise.
- QueerCare Young Folk is an abolitionist and anti-psychiatric organisation.
- It understands incarceration as a tool of oppression, violence and trauma.
- It understands the history and present of psychiatry as a colonial, violent and queerphobic institution.
- It works to build autonomous models of community mental health support that centre improving people's material conditions and access to resources.
- It takes a Disability Justice and trauma-informed approach to distress.
- QueerCare Young Folk is a permissive organisation.
- Anything that does not constitute Bad Care and is not directly specified as outside the scope of QCYF or against protocol can be done as QCYF work and using QCYF resources.
- QueerCare Young Folk aims to be decentralised.
- It facilitates the formation of local groups, which can be as autonomous as they wish, as well as the national network.
- It prioritises skill-sharing so that knowledge is shared rather than held by any individuals.
- QueerCare Young Folk aims to have a structural and material analysis of power, and centre this in all work.
- In practice, this includes:
- Explicitly naming and discussing the power dynamics present in care and advocacy work.
- Actively challenging oppressive societal power dynamics in QCYF meetings, training and internal work.
- Remaining aware of how people's material conditions and the oppressions they experience shape their experiences of the systems it works in alternative to and against.
- In practice, this includes:
- QueerCare Young Folk as a system formalises and encourages a culture of skillsharing, political education and continuous learning.
- QCYF aims to actively work against knowledge hierarchies and create environments where young people feel able to learn from and with each other.