The first major step in becoming a Blueprint community is to explore whether or not the Blueprint for Safety is even a good fit for your community. Who are the likely organizers and champions? What capacity exists to support the adaptation process, such as a history of coordinated community response and problem-solving? Is there sufficient community will to begin and sustain the Blueprint? If the answer to this question is yes, continue on to develop the necessary framework of people, agreements, and timelines.

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Community-based advocates and practitioners who are curious about the Blueprint’s united approach and collective policy typically initiate the exploration. These Blueprint organizers explore its features with likely champions and agency heads. The organizers may also be involved in seeking funding, securing a Memorandum of Understanding, hiring the Blueprint coordinator and advocate, and assembling the adaptation team—and perhaps serving on that team. Blueprint organizers promote the approach and the process. When exploration shifts to adaptation, the Blueprint coordinator sets up and manages the process, in partnership with the advocate and adaptation team. The Blueprint advocate ensures that the voices and experiences of battered women are represented at all stages of the process and that community-based advocates have a central role in leading the process. The Blueprint adaptation team adds practitioners to the mix. The adaptation team assesses current practice to identify problems and adapts policies to produce the collective Blueprint for Safety. The first phase concludes with these key roles in place. There is no bright line, however, marking who comes on board when and which tasks they pursue. Some communities may select a coordinator early on and that person will have a central role in assessing community capacity and selling policy makers on the merits of the Blueprint. In other communities, the organizers will complete those steps before hiring the coordinator. Early preparation also includes community consultation to help ground Blueprint policy and practice in the experiences of victims of violence, with particular attention to the complex and often dangerous implications of a victim’s collaboration with the criminal legal system. Community consultation is the process of engaging with and seeking guidance from survivors of battering and others in the community who represent the broadest range of life experiences, circumstances, and identities in order to keep victims’ needs at the center and help identify and reduce unintended consequences and realize the Blueprint’s commitment to a fair and just response.

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View and download the Phase 1 – Key Tasks, Tools and People chart highlighting the major tasks, listed below, involved in the initial phase of exploration and planning, the tools introduced or useful at each step, and the key players involved. While the Phase 1 chart presents the tasks in sequence, it is a loose sequence and many tasks will be underway simultaneously. Similarly, some tools, such as the Blueprint Essential Elements, will be introduced at a particular step and then used at multiple points throughout Blueprint development. The key people who will carry out the Phase 1 tasks include: the Blueprint Coordinator, the Blueprint Advocate, agency leaders, the Adaptation Team, Blueprint organizers and champions, advocates and the community.

Phase 1 Key Tasks

  1. Identify and bring together organizers and key champions to explore the features and goals of the Blueprint for Safety, decide whether or not to pursue the Blueprint, and support the adaptation process and ongoing implementation.
  2. Centralize community-based advocacy leadership and participation in exploration and planning activities and ongoing adaptation and implementation.
  3. Assess community capacity and infrastructure to support Blueprint adaptation, implementation, and monitoring.
  4. Articulate the distinctive response that the Blueprint brings to the community and the problem of domestic violence.
  5. Promote the Blueprint’s distinctive response and benefits to policy makers and agency directors.
  6. Secure agency participation and seek funding.
  7. Select the Blueprint for Safety Coordinator.
  8. Select the Blueprint for Safety Advocate.
  9. Recruit the adaptation team, including community-based advocates and practitioners who are influential in their agencies.
  10. Develop and complete a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the roles and responsibilities of each participating agencies.
  11. Designate a lead person (liaison) in each agency to work with the Blueprint coordinator, serve on the adaptation team, participate in all phases of development, and oversee internal agency implementation.
  12. Establish a plan and timeline for guiding the Blueprint and establishing needed work groups.
  13. Begin a process and timeline profile for each agency, including and timelines for policy approvals and training.
  14. Use community consultations to discover the needs and lived experiences of victims of battering.  Include members from communities overrepresented and/or underserved communities in seeking help from the criminal legal system.

Phase 1 Tools

The tools referenced in Phase 1 are listed below and can also be located in the Appendix section of the Guide:

  1. Essential Commitments of a Blueprint Community
  2. Frequently Asked Questions
  3. Blueprint for Safety Informational Brochure
  4. Adapting the Blueprint: Phases & Key Activities
  5. What Is Distinctive About the Blueprint as an Approach to Domestic Violence Crimes?
  6. Community Readiness Checklist (editable)
  7. Community Consultation in the Blueprint
  8. Research that Supports the Blueprint for Safety
  9. The Blueprint Approach to Risk
  10. Blueprint for Safety Essential Elements – Annotated
  11. Foundations of Effective Intervention
  12. Sample Memorandum of Understanding (editable)
  13. Blueprint Coordinator Role, Responsibilities and Skills
  14. Blueprint Advocate Role, Responsibilities and Skills
  15. Blueprint Adaptation Team Role and Activities
  16. Planning a Blueprint for Safety Proposal
  17. Policy Adaptation Phases
  18. Adaptation Process and Timeline
  19. Coordinating the Blueprint: Strategies to Stay Focused and Move Forward
  20. Blueprint Adaptation Tasks and Timeline
  21. Presentation Template: Becoming a Blueprint Community