Section 5. Maintaining an Active Task Force
Keeping FVTF members engaged is critically important to moving the task force’s work forward. It takes intention to build a team and to keep members focused, engaged and motivated to work toward accomplishing the goals.
Here are some key questions to guide and assist you in keeping your FVTF on track:
- Review your mission statement; does it reflect the focus of your FVTF?
- Is the FVTF making services to victims more accessible in your community?
- Is the FVTF strengthening accountability measures for perpetrators?
- Are key stakeholders present and engaged?
- Are survivors represented on the FVTF?
- Do you know how each person/agency represented at the table addresses domestic violence?
- Are you discussing and addressing topics such as dual arrests, protective orders, accessibility of services, teen dating violence, firearms, domestic violence laws, and family violence intervention programs?
- Are you addressing fatality review recommendations?
Principles to keep your team engaged include: encouraging trust and cooperation by maintaining a safe environment for discussion, getting to know individuals and their organizations, and celebrating individual and agency successes.
FVTF member involvement in planning and carrying out initiatives through committee work can create greater ownership, buy-in, and retention of members. Including stakeholders from multiple systems can help inform and improve practice and polices, as well as strengthen relationships.
FVTFs should focus on building policies and practices that support the four primary strategic principles regarding inter-agency interventions associated with Duluth Model.
Here are some examples of strategies to engage your FVTF:
1. Change is required at basic infrastructure level of all agencies involved in case processing
- Organize a meet and greet and invite your local prosecutor’s office to present to the team in order to learn more about the system and to begin to build a relationship.
- Focus one of your goals on monitoring and tracking of domestic violence cases through the criminal justice system an advocacy agencies in your community.
- Support the creation of a court watch program.
2. Overall strategy must be victim centered
- Make it a priority to invite survivors/victims to your FVTF.
- Ensure that the FVTF is focused on creating a supportive community infrastructure for victims/survivors of domestic violence. Spend a day with your FVTF mapping the steps a victim has to traverse through the system. Have each system describe the steps to access services a victim might walk through. This is an opportunity to build collaboration and to address any gaps. Confirm the experience resonates with perspective of victims.
- Consistently evaluate the impact that changed or developed policies have on victims. Is this policy impacting victims as intended, or are there unintended consequences that need to be addressed?
3. Agencies must participate as collaborating partners
- Focus on developing best practice policies and protocols when improving systems.
- Ensure that the FVTF has created and signed an MOU with all participating agencies and organizations.
- Create social and professional opportunities that encourage networking among local service providers.
4. Perpetrators must be consistently held accountable for their use of violence
- Ensure that the FVTF is focused on developing protocols for FVIP referrals and providing sanctions for offenders.
- Ensure there is representation from probation and Family Violence Intervention Programs.
- Create a firearms removal program.
The suggested topics listed are a result of requests by Task Force members for guidance on a list of subjects for their education-centered Task Force meetings. This is not an exhaustive list, and it will be periodically updated. Please contact Stacey Seldon for any questions regarding the meeting topics listed.