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Blog Highlight: Team Formations: Traditional, Full Team SART

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For this month, we are going to talk about all of the ways that you can build up a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)! I’m particularly excited about this, because so many teams have used creative strategies to become really effective, even if their team looks a little different. What matters most in any team formation type is that the whole team is devoted to a continuous improvement process to change practice, policy, and protocols.

To kick off the month, we’re going to start with the most traditional team type: a full SART. The full SART is a group of multi-disciplinary professionals who will gather on a regular basis as a complete group. Typically, most traditional SARTs meet on a monthly or quarterly basis, though some meet bi-monthly. Who participates in a traditional SART? There are some core members who most directly impact the criminal justice response to sexual violence. These include:

  • Community Advocacy
  • Systems-based Advocacy
  • Medical Professionals
  • Law Enforcement
  • Prosecutors/District Attorneys/Commonwealth Attorneys
  • Probation/Corrections

There are others who typically join a traditional SART who can include any primary point of sexual violence disclosure and entry into help seeking. These might include agencies such as colleges and universities, adult protective services, culturally specific programs, and others. There is typically a single coordinator or co-facilitators who run the meetings.

The traditional SART is exceptionally beneficial for SARTs who are just starting out or re-starting after a lapsed team, those communities who have all the players at the table to work on one specific project, and/or those who may be writing protocol for the first time. This SART requires a high degree of collaboration and time commitment from all representatives; additionally, traditional teams need to determine how to ensure all members can provide meaningful feedback as equal participants. The traditional SART is a great strategy to effect systems change for many communities.