The New Standard of Care

The New Standard of Care for Caregivers

is a movement of ethical support for caregivers expected of all institutions
for 2021 and beyond.

About: The three pillars of justice uphold and run through the 11 action steps, prioritizing Anti-Racism as the central pillar to caregiver support as lack of caregiver support impacts Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities uniquely and exponentially. Prioritize and center anti-racism in all practices, including caregiver support.

Make It Standard.

3 Pillars of Justice | 11 Action Steps

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  1. You cannot have an anti-racist organization without formal caregiver support.
     

    • Caregiver discrimination and/or neglect in the workplace impacts Black, Indigenous, People of Color caregivers more than any other group. 
       

      • See the data: Impact on BIPOC Communities

        “Estimates for subgroups suggest that Black non-Hispanic mothers saw the largest absolute gain in leavetaking.”
         

      • Read the testimony: Parents of Color and the Need for Anti-Racist Practices
         

      • Centering Black, Indigenous, People of Color parents and caregivers is just and results in greater equity for all initiatives and programming that develops from this center.
         

      • Recognizes and advocate for anti-racism and its intersection with parenting and caregiving. 
         

      • Comprehensively support the testimony, experiences, and calls to action of We See You White American Theatre.
         

      • "When we don’t view systematic inequity through the lens of race and racism, our anti-oppression practice remains rooted in oppressive values and inactive language." - Nicole Brewer, Creator, Founder Concientious Theatre Training, PAAL Board of Directors | "Parents of Color and The Need For Anti-Racist Theatre Practices"

         

  2. You cannot have gender parity or gender inclusion without formal caregiver support.
     

    • The majority of caregiving responsibilities falls on birthing people and women and removes them from the workplace and work opportunities, including auditions, interviews, and career development. [statistic source]
       

      • Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities are impacted significantly by the intersection of gender and race, with the caregiver community as no exception."Black Trans Women & Black Trans Femmes's quality of life is tied to both cultural attitudes and institutional policies." - TransgenderLawCenter.org
         

      • For transgender and nonbinary birthing people and parents, accessing traditionally gendered caregiver support can be exclusive, alienating, and sometimes even impossible.
         

      • EEO statements should read: “We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, reproductive health decisions, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, genetic information, political views or activity, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.” [sample source]
         

      • Intentional and formal caregiver support should include language that affirms caregivers of all gender identities and expansive understanding of unique family formation. 
         

  3. You cannot support reproductive rights without formal caregiver support.
     

    • The diverse paths of family planning and responsibility must be supported in all caregiver policies and formal support, including IVF/assisted reproduction, pregnancy loss, reproductive health choices, birth, adoption, foster care, surrogacy, and more.
       

      • "Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, and individuals who live at the intersection of identities encounter pervasive reproductive health injustice. Many lack health insurance, and with it, coverage for essential services. Black and Indigenous patients are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than non-Hispanic White patients." - HealthLaw.org
         

      • The rights of women and people who choose not to have children must also be respected and dignified in all social and professional perspectives, conversations, and practices.
         

      • While Choice must be supported in caregiving, the word "Choice" must never be weaponized against a caregiver as reason for withholding support.
         

      • Language such as “we have no obligation to support them because they chose/it was their choice to have a child,” is rooted in classicism, racism, and misogyny. These claims neglect communal responsibility and uphold biased and privileged perception of caregiving. To correct it: acknowledge that caregiving is not always a “choice;” to assume so ignores a vast range of complexities such as access to healthcare, biological variability, and the unpredictable - and often sudden - reality of elder and other dependent care, among other diverse circumstances. 
         

      • Use "choice" when referring to the institution with power to choose in this way: to withhold or create support, placing the obligation on the institution instead of the individual
         

4. Provide caregiver support for all departments and contributors in the organization - regardless of status in the employment hierarchy and family design.
 

  • If only full time/executive/office-staff receives support, those who need it most, such as laborers with lower pay, likely working multiple jobs, etc.
     

  • Create access to and support for employment, including but not limited to interview and audition/callback support for caregivers.
     

  • Acknowledge that individuals become caregivers in diverse ways and function in diverse family designs; language must be inclusive for these designs and policies must consider all care potentials (defined as "Legal Dependents") to include birth, adoption, foster care, elder care, dependent relatives, and other inclusive definitions.

  • The voices and needs of Black, Indigenous, People of Color caregivers are often silenced and oppressed due to white-led organizations and conversations.

    "The majority white decision-makers who head nonprofits have considerable authority in deciding who gets the mic, which conversations take place (& with whom) & what narratives are pushed forward - or pushed aside." - International Mother Artist Day Data Board on "Systemic Racism in NonProfits," partnership with PAAL and Philadelphia Women's Theatre Festival, led and advised by Tamanya Garza

5. Provide financial childcare support/caregiver fund/stipends as a formal budget-line item.
 

  • In multiple case studies, radical financial support for childcare in the theater amounts to less than 2% of the annual budget. [read the numbers here]

  • "Black, Indigenous, People of Color work more and earn less. Studies show that the cost of childcare is out of reach for most working families, and these high costs don't translate into high wages for the BIPOC women and birthing people statistically doing most of the care work." - International Mother Artist Day Data Board on "Systemic Racism in NonProfits," partnership with PAAL and Philadelphia Women's Theatre Festival, led and advised by Tamanya Garza
     

  • Transgender artists, nonbinary artists, and cis women artists, particularly in the Black, Indigenous, People of Color community, make less on the dollar, have fewer employment opportunities, and are expected to put labor into finding childcare/caregiver resources in order to work at all. 

  • Refusing to provide financial support for childcare prevents birthing people and women - particularly BIPOC birthing people and women - from access to employment and upward mobility in our field.

  • Provide financial support for galas, opening nights, extensive hours required by production or company demands.

 

6. Implement family leave structures for administrators and contributing artists. 
 

  • Family leave impacts Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities exponentially. [read more]

    "Estimates for subgroups suggest that Black non-Hispanic mothers saw the largest absolute gain in leavetaking. Their maternity leave increased by 10.6 percentage points (relative to their baseline rate of 2 percent), for a predicted increase of about 6 weeks.'" - Caregiver Support by Numbers | PAAL

  • Family leave must expand beyond that of FMLA for sustainable career development because of its minimum work requirements.

  • Family leave must be gender inclusive or it ensures the removal of birthing people and  women, primarily, from the workforce to engage in caregiving.

  • Family leave must be caregiver inclusive, or it only prioritizes families created by “giving birth” and excludes family needs created through adoption, foster care, and elder caregiving.

  • Family leave can be well-defined through the legal definition of caregiving under “major life events” to encompass leave for the addition of dependents, loss of family members, and more.

7. Abolish the 10/12 to achieve caregiver support that is also humane for everyone. 
 

  • Excessive hours can create great logistical, financial, and physiological obstacles impeding employment and/or sustainable, healthy employment.

    "A 12+ hour work day, back to back on multiple days, with only one day to recover is a severe impediment for anyone trying to live and make a living. It is a racist practice disproportionately impacting BIPOC folx who do not have the privilege of other family support (social, financial or otherwise) or built-in network, nor the benefit of being the most represented voice in the room. For indigenous communities who are trying to rebuild their population after generations of genocide and mistreatment, the choice of picking between family, work/life balance and a career takes on an entirely different meaning. Any discussion of equity, diversity and inclusion is built on a false premise if the work conditions preclude certain races from ever being able to get in the door. We encourage you to read more about dismantling these oppressive practices at www.weseeyouwat.com." - NoMore10Outof12s.com

     

  • Parents and caregivers who are and/or care for those in the disability community experience increased obstacles due to excessive hours.
     

  • The majority of individuals who reduce work to increase time caregiving are birthing people and women.
     

  • The disciplines that see an increase in demand during the inhumane rigor of “tech week” - designers, backstage crews, and stage managers, for example - who have family responsibilities and only work in tech week mode must either reduce work or not care for their families. 
     

  • The financial cost of 10/12 rehearsals for caregivers is exorbitant and does not justify artistic and productive time in the space; the financial costs of 10/12 - when considering childcare, meals, time management, and scheduling for support - often result in great debt or the inability to justify accepting work all together for parents and caregivers in the performing arts.
     

8. Implement the 5 day rehearsal-week and/or progressive work and rehearsal hours. 
 

  • Without the adjustment to the workweek, only the privileged can sustain the hours demanded in the theatre, which perpetuates the imbalance of leadership and employment demographics, creating barriers to work, particularly for Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities.

 

  • School systems and work expectations were designed around white male workflow that expected free caregiver labor to run school pickups, weekend support, and supply endless, round-the-clock food, rest, and childcare support.

 

9. Support the health and well-being of families through inclusive sick day policies that extend to children/dependents and through remote work opportunities
 

  • Policies must include remote work opportunities and acceptance of dependent health conflicts to provide some compensation for the inequity in our insurance systems.

    "A study on paid disability leave in five different states by Jenna Stearns in the Journal of Health Economics found that 'these programs led to improved infant health, with the largest effects accruing to disadvantaged African American and unmarried mothers.'" -
    Caregiver Support by Numbers | PAAL

10. Make the workspace/rehearsal space accessible for caregivers and their child(ren)/dependents as needed. 
 

  • Individually-sourced childcare and elder care is costly and variable. Prepare your space and work culture for when all options are exhausted and a dependent enters the workplace. Prioritize the caregiver, not the institution’s fear or lack of planning.

 

  • "There is such a long history of mistrust between white people and Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities which cannot be remedied by a generic “family friendly” invitation to a conference. It’s difficult to repair trust when communication is not clear around whose experience and comfort is being prioritized." - Nicole Brewer, "Parents of Color and The Need For Anti-Racist Theatre Practices"
     

  • Take a tour of one of our partnered family spaces

  • Research the difference between “unattended minor” and “attended minor” in terms of liability distinction.

  • Create a plan of support ahead of time to make available to all caregivers if physical-building terms and liabilities are outside your jurisdiction.
     

  • Accommodate artist residences to support family caregiver needs.

11. Create a plan for accessible remote-work options for caregivers who do not feel safe bringing their children into the workspace. 
 

  • Parents in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities who experience skin discrimination, and want to protect their children from the same, should be given the right to engage remotely so as to protect their children from institution spaces while our industry does the work to make these spaces antiracist. 

 

12. Create accessible and compliant spaces as well as remote work/call-in opportunities to support caregivers in the disability community and/or with children/dependents with disabilities. 

  • Not all caregivers can “bring their child(ren)/dependents” to work.

  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities who are also part of the disability community experience exponential obstacles preventing access even to the already limited platforms and avenues of access and support.

    "'[The Americans with Disability Act is] a floor, not a ceiling. The law essentially says, okay, you’re here and I recognize it,” Wilson said. “But the problem with most laws is that even if they technically apply to everyone in the same way, you often still have to have a certain level of access or power in order to take advantage of them.'" - To Be BIPOC, Disabled and Fighting for Justice
     

  • Artists who are neurodiverse and/or with children/dependents who are neurodiverse must be visibly considered, supported, included in policy, and given agency in the development and manifestation of support. 

  • Travel can be prohibitive when caregiving, and/or with the intersection of disability

  • Engage in creating physical access and supporting remote work policies through the lens of  interconnected access at the intersection of caregiving and the disability community: [Read about interconnected access]

13. Stop firing pregnant people through AEA loopholes of change in appearance, or refusing to adjust work task lists for pregnant people on crew or physical labor roles backstage, in design, stage management, and other departments.
 

  • It is illegal to fire pregnant persons without making significant effort for “reasonable accommodations” under the law.

  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities are most vulnerable, including during pregnancy, in all systems: social, medical, economical, professional.

    "Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women." - Centers for Disease Control

     

  • Pregnancy discrimination compounds to create greater harm for Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities already experiencing oppression and race discrimination. Justice will center BIPOC voices in their own agency when creating and manifesting support during pregnancy and caregiving and all areas of health and sustainability.
     

  • Create legal, ethical, and compassionate mediations and conversations that center the needs of the pregnant person over the organization’s preconceived vision.

  • Educate staff on how to legally and compassionately support people as they experience abortion, pregnancy loss, fertility care, and other reproductive realities in the workplace.

14. Educate staff, managers, and representatives on the socio-economic realities and legal obligations.
 

  • Create caregiver affinity spaces for co-workers and/or connect with the local PAAL chapter/parent + caregiver community. [we can help]

  • Engage with training on the intersection of anti-racism in caregiving, centering Black, Indegenous, People of Color in your caregiver support, preventing family discrimination, supporting reproductive rights, and preventing verbal harassment and aggressions against caregivers.

  • Accept and acknowledge in policy the complexities of birth/adoption/foster care/elder care as legitimized major life events deserving of communal support in the workplace/rehearsal room/production and performances.
     

  • Train, acknowledge, and practice legal interview and audition practices, such as: it is illegal to ask in an interview and hiring process if an individual is planning to have children, lack caregiver support that affects work, and/or discriminate in hiring due to reproductive status/family design.
     

  • [We can help. Book time with PAAL HR Health for a consultation or training, individual and institutional available.]

Nicole Brewer ● J.J. El-Far ● Hannah Fenlon ● Tom Spiggle ● Ariana Smart Truman ● Tiffany Vega-Gibson

Executive Team

Adriana Gaviria ● Tamanya Garza ● Rachel Spencer Hewitt ● Garlia Cornelia Jones ● Iris McQuillan-Grace

Additional consultant: Moss Froom

Board of Directors

To elevate the national standard of care for caregivers in the performing arts and media.

As seen in

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Parent Artist Advocacy League for Arts + Media (PAAL) is a national community, resource hub, and solutions generator for individuals with caregiver responsibilities and institutions who strive to support them.

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