Being Least Intrusive emerges from the front-line challenges of practice in responding to situations of abuse, neglect and self-neglect of vulnerable First Nation adults living in on-reserve First Nation communities. It is a hybrid approach, which draws on indigenous knowledge, key concepts from critical social work theory and first-hand accounts of response and prevention initiatives within First Nation communities across Canada. It has been developed to assist front-line service providers (primarily non-aboriginal) in orientating themselves to respond to situations of abuse, neglect and self-neglect of vulnerable First Nation / Aboriginal adults in a way that:
- Is Culturally Safe;
- Facilitates a holistic understanding of health and wellness;
- Honours cultural and spiritual diversity;
- Creates space for collaboration and partnership;
- Acknowledges the strengths and resiliency of individuals, families and communities; and
- Ensures safety, protects dignity and encourages empowerment.
Being Least Intrusive presents a fundamentally different approach to health care service delivery. It challenges front-line workers to:
- Engage in critical practice;
- Understand issues of vulnerability, abuse and neglect in the historical, social and cultural context in which they emerge and are experienced;
- Develop a critical self-awareness (understanding how your social, cultural identity and experience shape knowledge, awareness and interactions);
- Be thoughtful, intentional and respectful in engagement with individuals, families and communities.
Being Least Intrusive was developed within the socio-legal context of British Columbia’s provincial adult guardianship legislation. However, we believe that the concepts and principles underlying this approach to practice and process of engagement are applicable across jurisdictions and geographical regions.