Deepening our Vision to SEE THE GIRL in the Context of Her Community
The Community Framework for Systems Change provides a roadmap for deepening our work in the individual counties of the First Coast: Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns. The following steps outline the work to be completed in each county:
What is the status of girls in the community? Gather baseline information about girls to determine their status, review existing data sets and reports and observe initiatives focused on girls.
Listen: Facilitate listening sessions with girls, focus groups with key stakeholders, and face-to-face meetings and interviews with diverse members of the community to better understand local “issues.”
Convene: Organize a taskforce committee to engage community members, including formal and informal leaders who can help engage diverse individuals to begin dialogue (includes key stakeholders such as judges, educators, social workers, public defenders, mental health professionals, parents, girls and young women, community volunteers, etc).
Raise Awareness through dialogue such as hosting a community briefing or a Girl Matters overview training that is tailored to the needs, challenges, and opportunities in the community. This initial training is a broad outline of the gender-responsive tenets, a discussion of why girls are critical to the well-being of a community, and a look at the current research. Questions are posed about the needs of girls in the local community, the availability of services, and potential gaps. This initial training launches the dialogue about community strengths, challenges, opportunities and necessary voices at the table. This step in the process also helps gain top-level support with key stakeholders (decision-makers) to expand the planning group’s sphere of influence.
Assess Needs: Conduct a local needs assessment that looks at local data trends, how many girls are in or at risk of system involvement, the profile of needs, the voices of girls and their families, and their recommendations and experiences with the systems.
Assess Policies & Practices: Conduct a protocol assessment that looks at existing policies, processes and procedures to identify strengths and areas for improvement.
Prioritize Needs: Identifying priorities will require convening community stakeholders to share and review community needs assessment and findings from the systems protocol assessment.
Strategic Plan: Create strategic plan from the needs assessment and protocol assessment findings. The strategic plan lays out the vision, goals, objectives and implementation strategies and timeline to improve community outcomes for girls.
Implement: Ongoing training and technical assistance help guide the process and the operationalize the priority steps and strategic plan.
Measure: Monitoring impact and reflecting on lessons learned is critical to assisting community stakeholders in advancing the vision, goals, and objectives of the strategic plan.
Adapted from: Ravoira, L. and Patino Lydia, V (2013). Strategic Training and Technical Assistance: A Framework for Reforming the Juvenile Justice System’s Treatment of Girls and Young Women. Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, Vol XX, No 2, pgs 297-319
Similar to statewide trends, the majority of girls on the First Coast were committed for less serious offenses (i.e. misdemeanors and violations of probation) (64% of girls vs. 26% of boys).
Almost three in four girls who are locked up have diagnosed mental health problems related to the impact of trauma and violence. Addressing the need: Model Programming
Girls who are locked up from the First Coast community have experienced loss (e.g.; death of a primary caregiver, parent incarceration, abandonment).
Half of girls who are locked up have histories of sexual or physical abuse. See the Research