Operating Principles

Consumer Potential

1. We will support consumers to fully experience life. 

2. We will support consumers in taking risks and learning from their mistakes and celebrating successes. 

3. We are committed to helping consumers imagine a better life and develop steps to achieve it. (Dream/Hope)

4. Our behavior and actions will demonstrate our belief in the potential for growth. 

5. Our role with consumers will be a partnership. 

6. We will look for every opportunity to help consumers develop and exercise choice. 


1. We will deliver services which produce quality outcomes. 

2. We will continually review and measure processes for improvement. 

3. We will approach our work with purpose and enthusiasm. 

4. We will have the courage and wisdom to address difficult issues with all relevant information. 



  1. We acknowledge that each of us is responsible for ensuring compliance with all laws, and regulations and organizational policies that control our business.
  2. We as an organization are accountable and individually responsible to our customers, each other, our organization, our network and the community.
  3. When we learn of inadequacies or weaknesses in our services or business processes we will correct them and learn from the experience.
  4. We are responsible for our own actions and the consequences of them.
  5. We will make informed decisions and if we make mistakes we will correct them and learn from them.
  6. We will remind co-workers when their attitudes and actions are in conflict with the organization’s values and in violation of our operating principles. In turn, we will compliment co-workers when their attitudes and actions are in compliance or exceed the core values of our organization.


1. We have high regard for the diversity and uniqueness of those we serve and those serving. 

2. We respect and value the different functions within the organization which must all work together to accomplish the mission to ultimately serve the consumer. 

3. We will treat each other kindly using common courtesies at a minimum. 

4. We will demonstrate pride in our environment and take personal responsibility in its cleanliness and care. 

5. We will always use person first language in all modes of communication referring to our customers with disabilities and their families. 

6. We recognize that trauma is pervasive, and we presume that possibility that any individual one encounter, whether a consumer, visitor, or staff member, may have a trauma history. 

Racial & Cultural Competency

  1. We affirm the existence and long history of Institutional and Systemic Racism.
  2. We affirm our commitment to racial and cultural equity for staff members that are Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) as well as to all LGBTQ+ and members with disabilities and strive to be a positive example to the community.
  3. We acknowledge that everyone has implicit biases about others with different racial and cultural backgrounds. We will provide training opportunities to educate everyone about Implicit Bias and provide strategies to understand how these biases effect attitudes and behavior that in turn impacts those we serve, their access to service and their service outcomes.
  4. We expect baseline cultural and racial competencies across all network staff members and all agency leadership and will hold ourselves accountable to the demonstration of such competencies.
  5. We will codify our commitments to racial and cultural competency in all work that we do, including agency policies, strategic planning and service and project implementation and evaluation.
  6. We will work to improve both the retention of and promotional pathways for BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and individuals with disabilities as staff members to grow a more diverse workforce at all levels of the organization. 
  7. We will define key metrics to track our progress and publish the results both internally and externally.


  1. We will make business decisions based on the needs of the total organization rather than individual or unit-specific wants.
  2. We will have the courage to share our opinions during the process of decision making and then demonstrate support and commitment to the final decision.
  3. We will work to ensure the complete and accurate collection of data upon which critical decisions are based.
  4. We will be truthful and fair to each other and to all outside parties.
  5. We will avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest as an organization through statements of disclosure and adhere to SCCMHA policies.

Public Stewardship

  1. We will make decisions about resource allocations and investments with an eye on the future to ensure services for Saginaw citizens with disabilities and their families.
  2. We are responsible for doing the best with all resources with which we've been entrusted.
  3. We will ensure non-biased decisions in the referral of persons to specific service providers in our core manager role.
  4. We are committed to “best practice” in service and business design and delivery including evidence-based practice whenever possible.
  5. We take responsibility for the leadership entrusted to us in supporting the needs of Saginaw citizens with disabilities.


  1. We will work as a team to successfully meet organizational goals.
  2. We believe that the best solutions arise from the collective wisdom and action of varied stakeholders.
  3. We will build and nurture community partnerships and networks to achieve creative, efficient and flexible outcomes for consumers, their families and Saginaw citizens.
  4. We will foster productive relationships among staff members, units, departments and functions to achieve creative efficient and flexible outcomes.

Customer Service Philosophy

  1. We will treat every person that we come in contact with including our colleagues as a valued customer.
  2. We respect each other’s time, and individual deadlines and priorities.
  3. We return all phone calls, e-mail messages, and voice mail messages in a timely and friendly manner.
  4. We seek the input of those affected by our decisions and respect their opinions.
  5. We will treat consumers as if they could buy their mental health services from any organization but have chosen us.

Effective Communication

  1. We will ensure no matter who you are or where you work you will receive information necessary to do your job.
  2. We acknowledge our individual responsibility to stay informed. 
  3. We will be active participants in communications that are: timely, honest, thoughtful, mutually beneficial, productive and courteous.
  4. We will always be ready to listen to and learn from others, and be willing to teach or ask for assistance of others.
  5. We encourage the expression of critical thinking and will respect dissenting opinion, but when decisions are made we expect full and active support.