The assessment in Phase 2 identifies where and how the current criminal legal system response differs from the Blueprint’s recommended practice. In Phase 3, each agency’s policy is revised or written to address the gaps in practice and problems identified via the assessment. Through a process of discussion and negotiation, Blueprint work groups and agency representatives reach agreement on recommended policy language. For some agencies, the Blueprint might be the first time that a written policy is put in place; others will incorporate the Blueprint elements into existing policy manuals. The Blueprint as a collective, unified policy takes shape as agencies incorporate the shared commitments and response reflected in the foundation principles and essential elements.
Published as The Blueprint for Safety: An Interagency Response to Domestic Violence Crimes, the templates provide a detailed illustration of policies and protocols that are consistent with the collective policy for intervention that is fundamental to the Blueprint for Safety. A Blueprint Community is free to adopt the template language and format as-is or modify them to meet local policy-writing structures and formats. At the heart of the Blueprint, however, are essential elements of policy and practice that must be incorporated regardless of how the document looks in its subject headings, layout, and organization. While a local policy might look different on the page in comparison to the Blueprint template, the content—the essential elements—must be the same, to the fullest extent possible.
In many communities, those most directly involved in Phase 3 are likely to be many of the same individuals who participated in the assessment. When an assessment work group becomes a policy work group, the crossover membership promotes a smooth transition from assessment to policy writing as members bring their shared analysis, familiarity with the essential elements, and experience with the Blueprint. The policy adaptation process benefits from as much continuity and core membership as possible between the phases, with orientation for new participants as needed. Members of the larger
Blueprint adaptation team continue to participate in the policy writing groups and contribute to the ongoing problem-solving and negotiation of proposed changes. The Blueprint coordinator continues in the central role of organizing and managing the policy adaptation process. The Blueprint advocate continues as the primary link to ensure guidance from community-based advocates and victims/survivors. Blueprint organizers and key champions may become involved if areas of disagreement surface that are difficult to resolve. A Blueprint coordinator and team can also seek outside technical help, such as that provided or organized by Praxis International.
Tasks & Tools
Policy writing groups rely on reports from the assessment to identify specific changes. The extensive Blueprint policy and protocol templates support and expand upon the essential elements. Agencies can elect to use the policy templates largely as-is or fit the Blueprint elements into the agency’s policy format, as long as the content does not contradict the essential elements and foundational principles. Published as The Blueprint for Safety: An Interagency Response to Domestic Violence Crimes, the templates have a common structure: a framework statement that provides an overview of key aspects and rationale for agency and practitioner roles, followed by one or more policies and related protocols and supplemental material such as training memos, checklists, and other background relevant to the agency’s response. Again, agencies are free to use the templates as-is or to adapt them to local conditions, within the overall framework of Blueprint principles and essential elements. In Phase 1 the coordinator will have determined the specific policy approval process for each agency and incorporated needed steps and timelines into the overall Blueprint plan.
View and download the Phase 3 – Key Tasks, Tools and People chart highlighting the major tasks, listed below, involved in the phase of adaptation, the tools introduced or useful at each step, and the key players involved. The key people who will carry out the Phase 3 tasks include: the Blueprint Coordinator, the Blueprint Advocate, the Adaptation Team, agency heads, agency liaisons, policy-writing work groups, and Blueprint organizers and champions.
Phase 3 Key Tasks
- Use small, agency-specific work groups (e.g., 911, patrol response, prosecution, etc.) to develop local adaptations to the Blueprint policies and protocols.
- Use results of the practice assessment to identify policy revisions and additions to current practice.
- Highlight and discuss questions and concerns; agree on policy changes.
- For areas of continuing disagreement, summarize options and barriers and propose solutions; use the Blueprint Essential Elements Annotated as a reference; seek outside technical assistance as needed.
- Adapt from Blueprint policy templates to incorporate essential elements, with adjustments to reflect local conditions and laws.
- Present recommended changes to the full Blueprint adaptation team and agency directors for review and feedback.
- Brief criminal legal system agency heads, interagency/CCR group, and other relevant community agencies and organizations on agency-specific changes and the Blueprint collective policy.
- Assist agency directors in the process of accepting or modifying the recommended language changes to Blueprint policies, protocols, and memos.
- Secure approvals and adopt all Blueprint policies and protocols.
- Document all work group and adaptation team discussions and decisions.
- Keep the experiences of victims of battering visible and central throughout the policy adaptation process.
- Use community consultations to help guide the policy adaptation, with specific attention to communities that are overrepresented and/or underserved communities in seeking help from the criminal legal system.
Phase 3 Tools
Tools introduced in the first two phases continue to support the overall coordination of the adaptation process, such as the tracking checklist, timeline, strategies to move forward, reporting and documentation tools, and community consultation guidelines. The Essential Elements Annotated (Appendix 10) and Research that Supports the Blueprint (Appendix 8) are particularly useful in Phase 3 to address confusion or disagreement about policy language and why specific elements are included or worded in a specific way.
The Blueprint coordinator and team members continue to utilize many tools introduced in previous Phases 1 and 2. The primary Phase 3 tools include.
- Summary of policy and practice assessment findings for each agency, utilizing the notes and documentation tool.
- Blueprint policy templates and related supplemental material and training memos.
The templates are published as The Blueprint for Safety: An Interagency Response to Domestic Violence Crimes.
Additional tools referenced in Phase 3 are listed below, and can also be located in the Appendix section of the Guide: