Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles

We believe that a meaningful and fulfilling life arises from every person’s basic human need to experience the security and affirming nature of belonging, in relationship to family, community, and culture.

Personal Identity and Community

YouBelong believes in a relational view of the person, that the development of a person’s identity and sense of self is directly tied to her or his experience of relationships both in family and in community. We assert that humans find their sense of self and their uniqueness, as well as their similarity with others, not in isolation but through every day relationships. Accordingly, if there has been a fracture in a person’s relational development, then essential support must be given to heal this area of basic human need.


YouBelong affirms that the human experience of respect, recognition, and belonging within family, friendships, community, and culture, is essential to a well-developed sense of self, personal fulfilment, and wellbeing. Paramount to achieving happiness and recovery in people who have been institutionalised or abandoned, we assert the importance of giving structure to ‘belonging’ in their individual relationships as well as in their connection to communities.

Human Dignity

YouBelong embraces the human right of all people to be treated with equal human dignity and that this dignity finds its rightful place when it is lived out with family, culture, and active participation in community life.

Personal Respect

YouBelong will model high levels of respect for all of the people with whom it works and engages, mindful and caring of a person’s culture, language, spirituality and religious faith, as well as their unique individuality within the human family.


YouBelong believes that every person, particularly the most vulnerable, has a human right to an active voice in the life of their community and in the decisions that are important for the good working of their community and of society. The exercise of this right contributes to the individual’s personal wellbeing, fulfilment, and a sense of belonging.

Human Security

YouBelong is clear that early intervention in social needs contributes to a less violent and more secure society by addressing the belonging needs of disenfranchised people and people who have been abandoned to the edges of the community. YouBelong transitions people with mental illness from institution to the community so that they can be accepted as active participators in the economic and social life of the community.