Develop a SART
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Create the Agenda

To maintain efficiency and encourage interagency participation, include agenda items that deal with all SART disciplines.

Tips to help meetings remain purposeful include the following:3

  • Provide agendas with goals for the meeting that are clear, concise, and measurable.
  • Include sufficient time for each agenda item.
  • Distribute the agenda and supporting information at least 1 week before the meeting.
  • Begin each meeting by reviewing any items remaining from the previous meeting.
  • Foster continuity from one meeting to the next by reminding team members of where they are in the process.
  • End each meeting with a summary of the next steps needed.

A clear agenda can reinforce your SART's purpose and foster collaboration. Add suggested times for each item on the agenda to help you move the discussion along. The meeting facilitator can bring an annotated agenda with notes about who will guide each section, what process will be used, and any other notes to ensure that team members move smoothly through each agenda item.

Maintain a consistent agenda format to help your SART keep its sense of direction and momentum, and conclude your meetings by setting a date for the next meeting (if meetings are not already prescheduled).

Promoting Teamwork

Many teams have found that joint training fosters teamwork. Team members who train together may find opportunities to discuss issues of mutual concern, both in the training itself and during breaks. Spending time together away from the immediate and constant demands of the office allows the team to focus on how it functions. Moreover, team members hear the same information, which improves their shared understanding of the challenges they face in their response to sexual violence and their ability to find solutions to those challenges.

Although not essential, social activities can strengthen your team. Simply combining lunch with a team meeting can serve this social purpose. Some teams sponsor picnics, awards banquets, and other activities to reinforce good working relationships.

Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Forming a Multidisciplinary Team To Investigate Child Abuse, 2000.