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Community Action Plan
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The Healing Journey Family Violence Prevention in Aboriginal Communities

Community Action Plan

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An Exercise for Creating a Family Violence Prevention Community Action Plan

Step 1: Landscape your community

Try to identify the existing services in your community to respond to the needs of victims of family violence. Identify both on and off reserve services. If your group is large, break into smaller groups. Come together to share your findings.

Step 2: Identify gaps and the barriers

Next, have a discussion about the needs in your community and the gaps in services and resources. Share your ideas for addressing gaps.

Step 3: Create an Action Plan

Based on the discussion above, create a family violence prevention Action Plan. If there are more needs and gaps than you feel you can tackle all at once, use the dotmocracy exercise to see if a consensus arises for starting with a focus on a few particular issues.

Number OneStep 1: Landscape Your Community

Consider the following question:

1) Under each of the headings below, identify existing services and resources available in your community, both on- and off-reserve, that can help people experiencing family violence.

• Crises Response Services - police, victim services, transition houses, hospitals
• Educational Services and Resources - safety planning, public education, parenting skills, credit counseling, etc.
• Health and Medical Services - physicians, emergency room, public health, other health practitioners
• Religious/Spiritual - traditional sweats, as well as churches, prayer groups
• Outreach Programs - Counseling services, Native Friendship Centre, Family Resource Centres
• Community Support – Band and Council, support groups, safe houses, Second Stage Housing, Family Resource Centres, YWCA and YMCA
• Counseling & Support Groups - child protection services, support groups, health and wellness counseling, alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs, anger management
• Legal Information - Legal Aid, legal clinics, Band Lawyer
• Housing and Employment - affordable housing, employment and training opportunities

Number TwoStep 2: Identify Gaps and Barriers

Discuss these questions:

1. What are the gaps in services and resources for dealing with family violence in your communityÀ (List at least three services you would like to have available.)
2. What are the needs in your community for these services and resourcesÀ Be sure to consider the diverse needs of women, children, elders, youth, and men.
3. What barriers would have to be addressed to ensure that people in your community can access existing and proposed services/resourcesÀ (Eg. Shame, fear, hopelessness, addictions, low literacy, poverty, few options, etc.) List five.

Report Back

(If you were in small groups, come together to report back and share ideas.
Have each group list three important gaps/needs on a flip chart. Eventually, there will be many suggestions.)

Number 3Step 3: Create an Action Plan

Based on your discussion of gaps and needs in your community, answer these questions and fill in the attached table to start the process of creating an action plan to improve the response to family violence in your community. The fact sheet in your toolkit called “Community Healing” offers additional information and tips on how to create an action plan.

(a) Gaps and needs: What are the family violence issues (gaps and needs) that we could respond to in our communityÀ Choose the issues from the flip chart. List five. If possible, choose some needs that relate to crisis intervention, some that relate to prevention, and some that relate to public education. If you cannot agree on which of the many issues you should included, use the “dotmocracy” exercise below to help you reach consensus.)

(b) Strategies for addressing this need: Next, brainstorm the strategies and actions that might help to address the identified issuesÀ What new programs or services, or public education activities, or other things would help promote a healing journey for individuals experiencing or perpetrating abuse, their families, and the communityÀ

(c.) Who’s responsible and Resources Needed : How can we make our action plan a realityÀ What would I be willing to do to address these issuesÀ What are the abilities and resources that each person brings to the group, for example, as a member of a member of First Nation community, through my work or my organizationÀ
Remember: You will need to discuss who is not at the table. Who else needs to be invited to participate in implementing an Action Plan – service providers, teachers, Chief and Council, etc., and how can we engage themÀ Also, how could the broader community contribute to the Action PlanÀ What partnerships could we make that would improve our ability to achieve our goalsÀ
What other resources do we needÀ Identify the resources, both financial and human, that would help you carry out any suggested projects or services. Where could you get these resourcesÀ Who could helpÀ Who could write funding proposals or help with fundraisingÀ

(d) Expected Outcomes: Use this column to set out what you hope to accomplish by addressing particular needs and what you expect to happen in response to the the specific strategies and initiatives that you plan to put into place. This is important because these expected outcomes become your indicators of success and will later help you with evaluating your plan.

Give each person five red dots and ask them to put them on the issues they think are most urgent or important. You can put all your dots on one issue if you wish!

Look at where the red dots have accumulated. This may help the group reach consensus on a “family violence community action plan” for your region. You might agree to work to address the top three or the top five issues.

The Healing Journey Family Violence Prevention
Community Action Plan

a. Gaps and Needs

b. Strategies for addressing this need

c. Who’s responsible Resources Needed

d. Expected Outcomes