Implementation Tools overview
The intention of the RHY and Relationship Violence Toolkit is to increase awareness of the critical intersection of relationship violence and runaway and homeless youth (RHY) and, ultimately, to improve services for youth through the collaboration of community based organizations (CBO) providing services to youth and those providing services to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.
Reading through the literature, the incidence of RHY that experience relationship violence and the root causes that are well documented in research makes a compelling case to create a coordinated response. Two service systems, DV/SA and RHY, are uniquely positioned to lead the development of a community response. Each of these service providers addresses some aspect of the complexity of needs that many youth present when seeking services.
The need and interest to work together is clear. However, while collaboration is effective, it can also be a challenge. Not all communities have both domestic violence/sexual assault and RHY programs operating there. Sometimes, barriers that previously deterred progress and were never resolved thwart well-intentioned efforts. Additionally, differences in approach to victims’ accessing services—in DV/SA programs victims must first reach out to service providers whereas with RHY programs street workers may approach youth to offer support services—may create challenges related to victim autonomy and agency.
This Practice Tools section is designed specifically to promote collaboration locally while guiding service providers to sections in this Toolkit that will support their efforts. Included are practical tools to promote meaningful, effective conversations that can lead to a sustained collaboration.
- Steps to Consider in Developing a Collaboration is a checklist detailing how to begin. Knowing what steps to take can alleviate the unknowns of how to proceed, as well as guide the process in communities where collaboration may be new. While all steps may not be necessary, they are provided for consideration based on the unique needs of each community.
- Sustaining the Partnership addresses the need for a Letter of Agreement (LOA) or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as a guiding document for the partnership. This section provides key points that may be included in either an LOA or MOU, as well as templates to use in building these types of guiding documents.