SORC Toolkit Module 1: Structuring System Change
Published Mar 19, 2014, Status Offense Reform Center, Vera Institute of Justice
Transforming a juvenile justice oriented status offense system – one that is likely complex and has been in place for decades – into one that is community-based, family-focused, and service oriented can be difficult. Questions commonly raised by state and local officials looking to make such changes include: Who should be involved? What should our new system look like? And, most critical, how will we know if it’s effective?
To help address these and many other questions, the Status Offense Reform Center (SORC) has developed A Toolkit for Status Offense System Reform. The purpose of the toolkit is simple: to provide the guidance and tools you need to create—outside of the juvenile justice system—an approach for responding to and serving youth charged with status offenses in the community.
The toolkit is organized into four modules: (1) Structuring System Change (2) Using Local Information to Guide System Change (3) Planning and Implementing System Changeand (4) Monitoring and Sustaining System Change.
Structuring System Change describes how to lay the foundation for productive engagement with stakeholders that leads to action and meaningful system change. Given the complex and often fragmented nature of status offense systems, this module helps you think about who should be involved in the change process, how they should be engaged, and what information will help them along the way.
Step 1: Identify and Recruit Stakeholders describes how to form a working group responsible for assessing current practice, identifying areas of concern, and planning, implementing, and sustaining the change needed to address those areas. Specifically, it offers guidance on how to:
- Recruit a champion
- Leverage an existing group
- Strive for representative membership
- Incorporate youth and family voices
Step 2: Prepare Stakeholders for System Change Work describes how you can help working group members develop a shared sense of purpose for, and commitment to, the work ahead. Specifically, it offers guidance on how to:
- Invite working group members to a launch meeting
- Define the local system
- Identify a facilitator for the working group
- Craft a meeting agenda