SARTs and Their Areas of Impact: Agency Policies
The next area of impact for this month is agency policies. When Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) are working towards systems change, many see the policies established by individual agencies as a prime area of focus. It’s important to understand what I mean when I say “policies.” Policies are the written expectations and guidelines that those employed by the organization are expected to follow. When thinking about agency policies, the same three questions can serve as the engine of review: What is going well? What isn’t going well? How do we take action on our knowledge?
When teams are considering assessing and making changes to agency policy this requires the buy-in of agency leadership. Re-writing policy can sometimes be challenging or take a while—so it’s important to keep the team and the agency policies focused around how the changes will directly and positively impact the victim/survivor experience. However, teams can make lasting changes as a result of working to write or amend policies. This ensures longevity of change, because most agencies work hard to write/review policies relatively infrequently. Teams can work on multiple policies at the same time, especially if the policies impact the final two areas of impact: systems procedures and interagency collaboration. However, we will talk more about those in the next post!
Have ideas or suggestions for others as they focus on the impact area of agency policies? Share below!