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Serving the Underserved: Improving Program Impact By Successfully Identifying & Assessing Needs of “Underserved” Populations. Aleese Moore-Orbih and Purvi Shah, Senior Consultants & Activists, Women of Color Network
Aleese Moore-Orbih and Purvi Shah, Senior Consultants & Activists, Women of Color Network
The Women of Color Network (WOCN), a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) is a national grassroots initiative dedicated to building the capacity of women of color advocates and activists responding to violence against women in communities of color. Through trainings, technical assistance, and advocacy, WOCN helps foster women of color in the advancement of their anti-violence work and leadership. The mission of the Women of Color Network (WOCN) is to provide and enhance leadership capacity and resources that promote the activities of women of color advocates and activists within the Sovereign Nations, the United States and U.S. Territories to address the elimination of violence against women and families.
WHO WE ARE
WHY WE ARE HERE
Be able to list concrete action steps for enabling stronger program impact with underserved populations
42 U.S.C. 13925(a)(33)(as amended by P.L. 113-4, Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization of 2013)
Geographic location, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, underserved racial and ethnic populations, special needs e.g., language barriers, disabilities, alienage status, or age…
is innovation in Identification, Outreach and Service
The term “underserved” represents a wide spectrum of needs. Expanding and enhancing our understanding and approach to include the 3-Tier definitions (Un-served, Underserved, and Inadequately Served) enables us to specify historical or emerging systemic and societal or population-based disenfranchisement, then respond more precisely to these needs and barriers with effective services and advocacy.
This category is designated for those populations who are so marginalized that they are not reached at all. This is also indicative of those populations who are emerging and who are not yet visible in our services or who are there in very small numbers.
Populations in this category are those who are growing in number in our services and have minimal access; but who need more services and approaches that meet their specific needs; therefore they remain ‘under’-served.
Inadequately Served Populations:
This category speaks to those historically marginalized communities who may be highly visible or even overrepresented in number, but who are still in need of improved quality of services that will help address cyclical challenges their populations face such as “one-size fits all” strategies that disregard specific disenfranchisement and culturally-specific experiences.
What is the Impact?: Avoid a “one-size-fits-all” approach to reaching all survivors
The 3-Tier System framework enables us to distinguish specific needs across populations in order to more effectively shape service and advocacy strategies and responses. In particular, this approach offers a closer attention to demographics, the needs of small and emerging populations, and ways to form and sustain direct productive partnerships to ensure community connections and respond to the varied needs of diverse populations.
The process of increasing and improving effective and collaborative relationships and partnerships with CBOs serving culturally-specific communities will also greatly increase everyone’s capacity to provide effective and relevant victim services that specifically work to end violence against women and families in ALL communities.
Reaching out to other STOP Administrators to learn from and share best practices and successful methods on identifying, reaching, and including 3-Tier populations and CBOs.
What Opportunities do You See?
Step 6: Utilize Technical Assistance: Draw upon the expertise of national, state, or local technical assistance providers to assist in your efforts.
Step 7: Build Up Your Resources: Develop a library of relevant and culturally sensitive information on barriers/challenges, promising practices, and case studies/tips for supporting survivors from marginalized communities.
Step 8: Get Ongoing Education: Continue seek out and participate in any needed skills-building opportunities and relevant trainings to increase your knowledge of reaching and serving marginalized populations.
Step 9: Build Capacity: Develop and implement a plan to improve your capacity to work with CBOs serving 3-Tier System communities, and to raise the capacity of the CBOs write and submit winning grant applications and to successfully administer federal funds for their programs.
Contact WOCN Lead Consultants:
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