Community Readiness Toolkit Overview

The Community Readiness Toolkit is designed to help communities better understand and enhance their current approaches to domestic violence homicide prevention. The worksheets in this Toolkit provide strategic planning and community engagement activities to ensure that each project plans and implements sustainable domestic violence homicide prevention strategies that respond to the unique strengths and challenges of each community.

Contents At A Glance

Creating a unified vision for your project can help you prioritize your goals and objectives and create buy in from all of your partners. Identifying and prioritizing the goals and objectives of your project will inform what domestic violence risk or lethality assessment tools and domestic violence prevention strategies might work best in your community. Additionally, it can help you identify what resources you might need to support the operationalization of your vision.

A thorough system map will provide your team with a clear picture of which stakeholders are currently assessing for risk, what risk assessment is being used, and with whom the risk information is being shared. Once identified, this knowledge provides a solid basis to develop a responsive plan in which the risk assessment process can enhance victim safety and offender accountability.

A SOAR analysis can help your community assess how it currently responds to domestic violence risk and lethality. This exercise is intended to prompt discussion across systems and agencies about what’s working well, what your vision for the future is, and what changes need to be made to achieve your vision. The focus should be around cross-system communication and collaboration regarding domestic violence risk and lethality.

Resource mapping is the process of identifying and documenting community-based resources, such as social service providers, advocacy organizations, and legal services that support survivor safety, domestic violence homicide prevention, and services for the abusive partner to address their domestic violence risk.

It can be helpful to look at your jurisdiction’s laws and statutes that correspond to domestic violence risk assessment. Through thorough examination of your state laws, you will identify how each stakeholder is permitted by statute to include risk information in its decision-making.

When developing a response to domestic violence homicide, it is important to seek input from a diverse group of stakeholders and community members. This will ensure that people who will be impacted by policies are included in the process and can share their insight, as well as increase buy-in for practitioners who will be implementing the response. Listening sessions can be an effective way to gather this important information. This checklist includes the steps to developing a listening session series as well as sample questions.

This self-assessment focuses on the implementation of survivor-informed practices in domestic violence-related project and program development. The purpose of the tool is to enable stakeholders to reflect upon the ways in which they meaningfully engage and intentionally partner with a diverse group of survivors in the development, implementation, and evaluation of their work.

Developed by the Office on Violence Against Women’s (OVW) Culturally Specific Technical Assistance Providers, these activities can help ensure your project is culturally responsive to the needs of diverse members of your community, focusing on those that have been traditionally marginalized and underserved.

A racial equity impact statement is a tool used to analyze the ways in which proposed programs, initiatives, policies, or other decisions impact various racial and ethnic groups. This examination helps stakeholders understand the systematic impacts of potential plans, especially adverse consequences on historically oppressed racial and ethnic groups, and affords decisionmakers the opportunity to proactively address issues before implementation. This template outlines a process to analyze your project through a racial equity lens and provide a statement to the community about the project’s impact.

Implementing a risk assessment or strategy in your community requires adequate staff time, training, coordination and information sharing with other stakeholders in your community. This tool will help you assess the capacity of your staff and other partner agencies to determine your readiness to implement a new risk assessment or strategy.

A training needs assessment can help your community learn about the current systems response to domestic violence, specifically the gaps and challenges, so you can plan training programs to address those issues. The focus of this tool should be around cross-system communication and collaboration regarding domestic violence risk and lethality. This tool can also help you gather information about the professional backgrounds of potential training participants, which can inform which training approaches are used and what types of content are most applicable to their roles, as well as logistical considerations such as scheduling and continuing education credit.

It can be useful to determine your project’s most important goals and objectives, identify a simple, short list of key performance measures to monitor your progress, and institute a data collection protocol to ensure that you can track the measures you identified. This worksheet will provide your team with critical guidance on developing performance measures for your project and provide some additional information on independent evaluation.

To access any of these worksheets or to receive assistance with implementing community readiness activities, contact the project team through the DV RISC Technical Assistance Portal.