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Resources for Coordinators: The Logistics Guide

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Logistics Guide Section 1: Getting Started
Logistics Guide Section 2: Managing an Interagency Analysis Process
Logistics Guide Section 3: The Complexity of Life Circumstances and Social Standing


This Logistics Guide is intended to offer behind-the-scenes planning and organizational support for conducting a successful Safety Audit. While some sections will be of interest to anyone involved in designing an Audit, the primary audience for this Guide is an Audit Coordinator assigned to overseeing the process from start to finish—from obtaining agreements with agencies to gathering information and preparing recommendations. It is intended to help Audit Coordinators manage the details of the operation—the “logistics.”

The Logistics Guide is a companion piece to other materials that help you prepare for your role as an Audit Coordinator:

  •  The Story of Rachel (4-minute DVD) dramatically depicts the events set in motion by one battered woman’s call to 911. It helps deepen a Safety Audit team’s understanding of the complex relationship between battered women and the systems they turn to for help. Order Here.

  • The Safety and Accountability Audit Informational Video (14-minute DVD) provides an overview of the Safety Audit method, along with commentary from practitioners around the country who participated in the process. Order Here.

  • The Praxis Safety and Accountability Audit Tool Kit (manual with 4 DVDs) is the basic guide to the Audit method and its process of gathering and analyzing data. The Tool Kit’s templates, illustrations and worksheets outline the Safety Audit’s philosophical underpinnings, clarify the data collection steps and methodologies, and provide a knowledge base for the team’s work. Order Here.

  • Text Analysis as a Tool for Coordinated Community Response: Keeping Safety for Battered Women and Their Children at the Center (manual) guides a coordinated community response team through a process of examining the gaps between the safety needs of battered women and how an institution has organized its workers through “text” to respond to domestic assaults. It provides Safety Audit Coordinators with a more detailed understanding of how to approach text analysis.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         PDF Icon Guide (1.7 MB)    
  •        PDF Icon Appendices (7.5 MB)   
  • The most direct, hands-on preparation for an Audit Coordinator is to attend one of the annual week-long Safety Audit Institutes Event InformationIf attending an Institute is not possible, the materials listed above will be essential reading and will help give you a solid footing.

Logistics Guide Section 1: Getting Started

You may be involved in the early planning stages of your community’s decision to conduct a Safety Audit; or, as with many Coordinators, you may come in after many key decisions have been made. Regardless, you should be well-grounded in the methodology and be able to articulate the Safety Audit process to agency administrators, practitioners, and community members. Building buy-in and support will be a big part of your job—early on, and throughout the process.The following tools fit a variety of situations, from writing a grant to fund a Safety Audit, to explaining what it is and helping to ground the work in a common philosophy.

Word Icon Getting Started with the Safety Audit Process: Assessing Your Community’s Needs 
Word Icon Sample Safety Audit Grant Proposal
Word Icon Safety and Accountability Audit Overview
Word Icon Safety Audit Overview—adapted by a community to a court Safety Audit
PDF Icon Establishing a common philosophy: Introduction from The Praxis Safety and AccountabilityTool Kit 

Careful planning is critical to a successful Safety Audit. It contributes to a “transparent” process where everyone understands the focus and scope of the project and their respective roles. 

Word Icon Roles: Audit Coordinator, Audit Team, and Audit Consultant
Word Icon Audit Coordinator Job Description
Word Icon Planning Worksheet
Word Icon Audit Coordinator’s Activity Checklist
Word Icon Forming the Safety Audit Question: Guiding Principles
Word Icon Sample Safety Audit Questions
Word Icon Sample Data Collection Timeline—Intensive Week Approach
Word Icon Sample Data Collection Timeline—Biweekly Team Meetings

A key role of most Safety Audit Coordinators is negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each participating agency that describes the process and clarifies roles and responsibilities. You will also draft an Audit team confidentiality agreement that sets a framework for how information will be collected, analyzed, and released beyond the team.

Word Icon Template: Memorandum of Understanding
Word Icon Template: Audit Team Confidentiality Agreement

Logistics Guide Section 2: Managing an Interagency Analysis Process

A well-balanced, prepared, and organized team is at the center of any successful Safety Audit. The following tools will help you think about how to assemble a team with a solid mix of perspectives and skills.

Word Icon Forming the Safety Audit Team: Things to Think About
Word Icon Safety Audit Skills Assessment

In recruiting team members, be prepared to answer questions about the Safety Audit Process, as well as what their involvement might look like, and the time required.

Word Icon Audit Team Job Description Template - Concentrated process
Word Icon Audit Team Job Description Template - Extended process

It is critical that Audit Team members approach the work with a spirit of curiosity and respect, with a positive “Audit attitude.” Provide a copy to each team member and emphasize proper etiquette throughout your work together.

Word Icon Safety Audit Etiquette

A key part of preparing the team is making available to them background information about relevant laws and policies, each agency’s case processing flow chart, blank forms, team member name and contact information, agency locations and directions, and schedules. This material is assembled in a “site book” or “briefing book.” The contents vary depending on the Audit scope and question. You will need to identify and collect the laws, policies, forms, and other material for the site book.

Word Icon Audit Team Site Books
Word Icon Sample Policy Checklist
Word Icon Sample Statute Checklist

Before you choose an Audit schedule and timeline, plan ahead for the types of data that need to be collected relative to the Audit question or area of assessment. While not comprehensive, the following tool will help you plan where to observe work practices, who to interview, and what texts to analyze.

          Word Icon Sample Data Collection Lists (new resource as of Oct 2013)

Deciding upon a timeline and structure for completing activities in an Audit is a crucial step and is dependent upon your community’s ability to dedicate time and attention. Communities typically use an intensive week of data collection, debriefing, and preliminary development of gap statements or an extended data collection period conducted over a period of weeks or months. The following documents provide sample structures for data collection task assignments under either timeline.

         Word Icon Sample Assignments - Intensive Week (new resource as of Oct 2013)
         Word Icon Sample Assignments - Extended (new resource as of Oct 2013)

Those who will be observed or interviewed by the team may be unfamiliar with the Audit. Create a customized version of this information sheet that is specific to your project. Ask Audit team members to leave a copy with practitioners who have been selected for interviews and observations. This tool can also be used for providing information to other community members about the work of the Audit team.

          Word Icon Sample Audit Informational Sheet (new resource as of Oct 2013)

The culmination of your team’s work is articulating specific recommendations for improving the way your system responds to victims of violence. No matter the format your final report takes—be it an informal working document or a formal publication—facilitating a process of bringing together everything you have learned requires tact, organization, and attention to detail. These supportive documents are resources for this process.

Word Icon Debriefing Notes Template
Word Icon Final Audit Team Debriefing Meeting – Sample Agenda #1
Word Icon Final Audit Team Debriefing Meeting – Sample Agenda #2
Word Icon Final Debriefing Worksheet
Word Icon Findings At-a-Glance Template
Word Icon Sample Findings At-a-Glance 


Logistics Guide Section 3: The Complexity of Life Circumstances and Social Standing

Looking for the gaps between battered women’s lived experiences and what institutions provide is at the core of a Safety and Accountability Audit. Peoples’ lives are complex and the factors that reinforce or diminish safety and risk are also complex. Because there is no single, universal battered woman and no universal batterer, a Safety Audit has to be alert for one-size-fits-all kinds of responses and pay careful attention to the complexity of life circumstances and social standing.

The Story of Rachel DVD is one part of focusing attention on this complexity. Material in the Safety Audit Tool Kit is another piece. As an Audit Coordinator, be very familiar with the introductory section of the Tool Kit and its “foundations.” Make poster-size versions of the following key graphics and use them as reference points in the training and every team debriefing.  

Take time to challenge your assumptions about “culture” and the interconnection of aspects of culture, life circumstances and social standing, and institutional response.

  •  Assessing Social Risks of Battered Women, Radhia A. Jaaber and Shamita Das Dasgupta
  • Culture Handbook, Sujata Warrier, Marissa Dagdagen, ed.,Family Violence Prevention Fund, 2005 – Available for free at  Focus groups and other discussions with women are also key tools in making visible institutional responses to the complexity of their lives, and how those responses can enhance or diminish safety. Focus groups can be a reflection of how well the Safety Audit sponsoring agency is connected with and trusted by the community. In other words, difficulty in organizing focus groups can signal a lack of connection and trust. It can also be an opportunity to build and reinforce those connections. The following series of documents provide basic information about planning and conducting community focus group discussions, particularly with battered women. It includes a planning checklist, sample flyers, sample questions, and facilitator’s notes. They were compiled by Jane Sadusky, Jane M. Sadusky Consulting, LLC, a Praxis International Technical Assistance Partner.
You would never conduct a focus group in front of the entire Audit team, but you will report back the key themes and questions raised in discussions with women.

Safety Audit methods have been used to explore aspects of institutional response in distinct communities, with specific attention to how that response accounts for culture and identities.

Consult the following organizations for information and resources. Seek out their counterparts in your own community or state.

  • Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence:
  • Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community:
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