Hold Team Meetings . Monitor and Evaluate Your Efforts . Sustain Your SART . Know Your Team . Critical Issues
Identify Opportunities for Collaboration
Integrate Community Services
The long-term sustainability of your SART rests on your ability to build on the unique strengths and assets of people, institutions, and organizations within the region. In preparing for a sustained multidisciplinary response to sexual violence, consider the following questions:
- Does a SART model fit into the community's other collaborative and multidisciplinary efforts for crime victims?
- Is there organizational support through domestic violence task forces, child abuse response teams, or elder abuse task forces?
- What are the commonalities, differences, and respective roles among other coordinated community teams in the jurisdiction?
The Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault works with communities that have one coordinated team for both domestic violence and sexual assault response. Having teams address both these crimes helps stretch their resources, but it can also be challenging to address both issues during single, coordinated team meetings.
Other SARTs have integrated their team meetings with child advocacy centers (CACs). According to the National Children’s Advocacy Center, "a CAC is a child-focused, community-oriented, facility-based program in which representatives from many disciplines meet to discuss and make decisions about investigation, treatment, and prosecution of child abuse cases. They also work to prevent further victimization." In Fairbanks, Alaska, for example, the CAC meets monthly and the SART meets quarterly. Each team attends the other team’s meetings. On the other hand, in Kotzebue, Alaska, the CAC and SART meetings are combined. Kotzebue is a remote region that is small in population (under 10,000) but large in size (about the size of Indiana). By combining CAC and SART meetings, Kotzebue gets the largest turnout from its first responders.
Another way to integrate services is through family justice centers. The Office on Violence Against Women's Family Justice Center Initiative started in 2003. Its goal is to make a victim's search for help and justice more effective by bringing professionals who provide an array of services together under one roof. (The Ann Patterson Dooley Family Safety Center in Oklahoma is one example of a family justice center.)