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Frequently Asked TA Question: Who Should Be On My Team?

One of the amazing and frustrating parts about providing support and training to SARTs across the country is that while there are themes and trends we see across the board, very little is a cut and dry answer. Every community brings unique traits, dynamics, politics, resources, geography, etc. So when people ask, “who should be on my team?” the answer is most often “it depends.”

In the past, we’ve done a blog series on the “core members” of a SART: advocacy, medical, prosecution, law enforcement, and possibly corrections/probation. And those are typically folks who should be at the table. In some communities, you might not be able to get all of those disciplines to work together. Then, you need to be creative about how your team defines justice, how you can work towards accountability and safety without a key player, as well as exciting ways of getting reticent disciplines to participate.

For some SARTS, this is where the SART stops. This is often what we see in teams that are lead by a systems professional, meaning teams that are based out of law enforcement or prosecution. Some teams choose to expand outside of this and include folks such as local non-profits, schools, faith leaders, culturally specific programs, mental health, representatives of other area groups, or victims/survivors.

When people ask “who should be on their team” after saying that it depends, I often asked two questions:

  • Who do you need on your team to fulfill the mission?
  • Does your team reflect the make-up of your community?

Some teams get creative and have varying formats and types of meetings that allow both the on-going systems change work to be accomplished as well as ensuring that key points of disclosure or people who are part of the “web” that victims/survivors might need are able to give input. Regardless of what you choose, all teams should always be reflecting on if the right people are on the team and if the team is meeting the needs of victims/survivors in 2020 (or whatever year it is that you read this!).