Frequently Asked Questions
Table of Contents
Project Evaluation and Data Collection Requirements
What Is Expected on the Scholarship Application Narrative?
· Question 1. Does your community have a formal Sexual Assault Response Team that is comprised of different agencies/organizations working together in a formalized and coordinated way to deal with sexual assault/abuse incidents? If not, what informal arrangements are in place? (1-5 Points)
· Question 2. Describe each agency involvement in your community response team, i.e.,, a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Program, a dedicated Sex Crimes Unit in law enforcement, a dedicated sexual assault prosecutor(s) in the prosecuting attorney’s office, a victim crisis intervention and advocacy service. (1-10 Points)
· Question 3. How long have these individual services been available? (1-5 Points)
· Question 4. In what ways have you worked collaboratively in the past? Please indicate how long the network of organizations/agencies has been working together, as well as key accomplishments that the network has achieved. (1-10 Points)
· Question 5. Does each agency collect (or have the demonstrated capacity to collect) basic statistics about the number of cases handled by each agency/organization, the referrals from one component of the network to another, and the cases’ eventual outcome? (1-5 Points)
· Question 6. Does each agency collect (or have the demonstrated capacity to collect) basic descriptive statistics about the number of cases handled and their disposition? (1-5 Points)
· Question 7. Why does this conference and “challenging the legal process” seem appropriate for your community? (1-10 Points)
· Question 8. Are there any special considerations or circumstances supporting your qualifications as a community? (1-10 Points)
Each agency should have the capacity to collect and report basic descriptive statistics on the total number and nature of cases that enter their agency over a given time period and the disposition of those cases. The type of data being requested for the purposes of this project is aggregate/summary data of the type that is often used by agencies for inclusion in annual reports, accountability reporting to funding agencies, etc. (see the section below on "What pre-conference aggregate/summary data is required?" for more details). The purpose of this information is to provide base-rate data for 12-month periods before and after the project, and for comparisons between the participant communities to understand the variability between locations, including the possible existence of different criterion or reporting methods.
At the time a community is accepted, it will be asked to re-affirm the capacity of participants to provide basic descriptive information for their organizations on the number, nature and disposition of cases. By "nature", the total number of cases should be able to be broken down into subtotals based on relationship (stranger/acquaintance), violence (physical harm or use of a weapon/neither), and selected offender characteristics. For Police, the total number reported should also be able to be broken down by crime classification and by the disposition of all reported sexual assaults. The disposition should include whether or not the case was forwarded to the prosecuting attorney and whether the accused was charged. For the Prosecution, the total number of cases referred by the police should also be able to be broken down by disposition (rejected for prosecution, charges dropped, plea bargained, case taken to trial), and aggregate statistics for plea, verdict, and sentence. For Advocates, the total number of cases should also be broken down by type of case (current assault/consequences of a previous assault), referral source (system referral/direct self referral), reported or not to the police, and whether the survivor received medical services. For Other Agencies, similar breakdowns of the total number into standard dispositional categories. For more information, please see the attached copy of the Pre-Conference Aggregate Statistical Data Form.
Participant-communities will be provided with a pre-conference data form at the time they are notified of the approval of their application and the awarding of the individual scholarships. The data should be submitted as soon as possible but in no case later than the end of August. This deadline is required to give the conference coordinators time to compile the composite data and to distribute a summary to each participant in advance of the conference. An interpretation of the data and a discussion of the possible regional and/or reporting differences will be one element of the curriculum in the session on evaluation methods and procedures.
What types of case records will be kept during the 2005 Project Period to help facilitate the evaluation of the project?
The agencies in each participant-community should have the capacity to contribute to a coded (no personal identification) integrated case record data collection process that will allow the progress of individual cases to be tracked through the system. The purpose of this data is to track the progress of individual cases through the system allowing each community, and the overall project, to evaluate its effectiveness. For more information, please see the attached copy of the Case Record Data Form.
Question 1: Does your community have a formal Sexual Assault Response Team that is comprised of different agencies/organizations working together in a formalized and coordinated way to deal with sexual assault/abuse incidents? If not, what informal arrangements are in place? (1-5 Points)
Is this application from a formal team that has a history of working together, a group with informal working arrangements, or a new group coming together for the purpose of this application? All other considerations being equal, this question gives a preference to communities that already have a formal response team in place. However, the primary consideration (weight) will be the documentation provided in the remaining questions that demonstrate the applicant-community is committed and able to work together to try new ways to be more effective.
Question 2: Describe each agency involvement in your community response team, i.e.,, a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Program, a dedicated Sex Crimes Unit in law enforcement, a dedicated sexual assault prosecutor(s) in the prosecuting attorney’s office, a victim crisis intervention and advocacy service. (1-10 Points)
We recognize that there is no single best way to organize a local sexual assault response team. Clearly, there may be significant differences between rural and urban areas, between different geographical locations, and between the agencies and services available. Describe the agencies that compose your team and the role and positions of the individuals from those agencies who will be the participants at the conference, and how you are organized (e.g., do you meet on a regular basis, are the arrangements formal or informal?).
Question 3: How long have these individual services been available? (1-5 Points)
What is the extent and depth of the experience of each of these agencies and organizations in terms of their response to sexual assault? Describe the history of each of the participant agencies in terms of their stability and resources. What is their reputation within the community and with victim/survivors of sexual assault?
Question 4: In what ways have you worked collaboratively in the past? Please indicate how long the network of organizations/agencies has been working together, as well as key accomplishments that the network has achieved. (1-10 Points)
We are looking for each community to outline the team's activities that are geared toward strengthening the coordinated response to sexual assault in their community. How effective are these agencies and the organizational structures they have created? Please provide information about how the team actually works together in an effective way to meet the unique needs of your community. What are the mechanisms and dynamics of your team, what have you accomplished, and what evidence or documentation of your effectiveness can you provide?
Question 5: Does each agency collect (or have the demonstrated capacity to collect) basic statistics about the number of cases handled by each agency/organization, the referrals from one component of the network to another, and the cases’ eventual outcome? (1-5 Points)
The purpose of this data is to be able to track the progress of individual cases through the system allowing each community, and the overall project, to evaluate its effectiveness in coordinating a team response to sexual assault. Specifically, address the steps each agency in your participant-community team will need to take, in terms of meeting Internal Review Board or administrative approval, to create, participate in, and maintain a coded date base (containing only descriptive statistical outcome information, i.e., no personal or individual identifying information) that will allow the tracking of individual cases through the system, and the participation or not of each agency in that case. If this capacity is not currently in place, please indicate the anticipated timeline for obtaining administrative approval to collect this data as a means to monitor the nature and extent of cooperation achieved by each community and by the project. For more information, please see the attached copy of the Case Record Data Form and address the capacity of your community to meet this requirement.
Question 6: Does each agency collect (or have the demonstrated capacity to collect) basic descriptive statistics about the number of cases handled and their disposition? (1-5 Points)
We are looking for the answer to two questions for EACH of the individual agencies within a participant-community in terms of their capacity to provide a limited amount of consistent aggregate-level statistical information common to all participant-communities:
1. Do the individual agencies have the capacity to provide the basic pre- and post-conference aggregate descriptive data on the nature of the cases handled annually by each agency, and their own agency outcomes for these cases? For more information, please see the attached copy of the Pre-Conference Data Form
2. Do the individual agencies have the capacity to break down the above pre- and post-conference descriptive data by providing outcome measures separately for those cases in which (a) the relationship was either an acquaintance or stranger, (b) the accused either did not, or did, physically harm the victim or use a weapon, and (c) the accused is not, or is, otherwise considered a dangerous or criminally active person.
Question 7: Why does this conference and “challenging the legal process” seem appropriate for your community? (1-10 Points)
Challenging the existing legal system to more effectively prosecute sexual offenders is an ambitious task. It often takes resolve, and at times personal courage, to question the status quo. Is your team aware of the kinds of pressure your group might encounter, and do you have the administrative support needed to withstand potential resistance to change? Is there a willingness and history in your community to take “A Road Less Traveled,” and to assume leadership for innovation? There is a difference between a community that is responsible for the innovation of developing and setting a new “Best Practice Standard,” and a community that adopts it once it has been recognized and tested. What is the evidence that your community is up to the challenge of attempting an innovation toward the goal of achieving a new Standard of Best Practice?
Question 8: Are there any special considerations or circumstances supporting your qualifications as a community? (1-10 Points)
Please describe any special projects or accomplishments (e.g., such as producing a local video, providing training to other professionals), awards or grants received, or special expertise developed in response to some particular need (e.g., serving a rural area or special client group) in your community that has wider application and generalization. In short, are there accomplishments that show your community has contributed to the theory and practice (i.e., the scholarship) of addressing issues of more effectively responding to sexual assault? Does your group have material, resources, or activities you feel should be shared with others?
At the time a community scholarship application is accepted, the designated contact person will be asked to re-affirm that each applicant can attend the conference. Substitutions will be acceptable as long as the original team concept and the community team make-up remains intact. The selection committee reserves the right to withdraw a scholarship if a cancellation or substitution weakens the overall application.
After accepting the scholarship and reaffirming their intent to attend the conference, all participants should view this as the official start of the project. Participants from each agency will be asked to submit their pre-conference data as soon as possible, but no later than the end of August. (See the attached Pre-Conference Data Form.)
Each applicant will receive monthly communication informing them of the identity of other participant-communities, summaries of the pre-conference data, technical assistance and other information. The expectation is that by the time of the conference, a firm foundation will be in place for the conference and the project. A commitment to attend the conference is also a commitment to the total project, at the time the awards are made and accepted.
Each participant will be provided with up to four nights of hotel expenses, depending on the distance from the applicant's originating city and the conference city. Because the conference begins with a dinner reception the night before the conference, most attendees will leave their originating city that morning. Some participants, traveling from the west coast to Ottawa, for example, may need to come in the day before to arrive in time to attend the dinner. Some participants will choose to travel home immediately following the conference, whereas others may not be able to catch a flight until Saturday morning or they may want to stay over for the weekend.
Regardless of the situation, the scholarship will cover a maximum of four hotel nights per applicant. Members of teams wanting to share rooms and reduce expenses can extend the nights saved to accommodate any particular needs for additional nights.
In the US, airfare will be booked and paid for by staff at EVAW International, (509) 684-9800. In Canada airfare will be booked and paid for by the Conference Coordinator, Chris Alksnis of Wilfrid Laurier University (519) 756-8228, Ext. 5738, through Carleton University. In some situations, an applicant may need to make his or her own arrangements, however, all airfare must be pre-approved by EVAW or the Conference Coordinator to be reimbursed. We will do the best we can to find the best fare with the best connections to make your travel as comfortable as possible.
Your hotel accommodations and all conference meals will be billed directly to EVAW International or Carleton University.
Applicants attending the conference in Ottawa will be reimbursed a flat rate of $50/day for a maximum of four days for all incidental costs. Parking is available for $13.80 per day. An airport shuttle to the Lord Elgin is available for $20.00 round trip.
In San Diego, the Holiday Inn on the Bay is only minutes from the San Diego International airport and there is a free shuttle service. Attendees will not be reimbursed for rental cars or taxi services.