The CHOW Project adopts a Harm Reduction philosophy in serving our clients. Harm reduction is a philosophy and set of strategies for working with individuals engaged in potentially harmful behaviors. The main objective is to reduce the potential dangers and health risks associated with such behaviors, even for those who are not willing or able to completely stop. Harm reduction uses a non-judgmental, holistic and individualized approach to support incremental change and increase the health and well-being of individuals and communities.
CHOW’s philosophy of harm reduction is based on the following eight institutional values:
- Participant-centered: listen to and honor peoples’ needs
- Non-judgmental: care without judgment and with respect
- Accessibility: eliminate barriers to access services based on peoples’ circumstances
- The self-determination rights of each person: respect and honor individual privacy, freedom, and choice
- Empowerment: provide opportunities for empowering participants to make positive changes in their health and well-being
- Positive change: support positive incremental change through options, not directives
- Centrality of relationships: recognize the importance of trust and relationships as the building blocks for successful service provision and positive change
- Holistic and strength-based approach: belief in the resiliencies of people to enhance the well-being of family and community
For more information on harm reduction, visit the Harm Reduction Coalition at www.harmreduction.org.