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Developing a broad understanding of the resources in the community and identifying gaps in services is one of the first steps for any Linking Systems of Care stakeholder team. Once resources have been mapped and gaps have been identified it is important for stakeholder groups to create a concrete plan of action for 1) recruiting identified resources to the project; 2) working together to address the gaps; and 3) identifying strategies for building deeper collaborations and seamless service between and among resources.

Identifying Resources

When defining resources the Linking Systems of Care stakeholder teams should think about resources broadly. In any community there are many victim-serving entities from local grassroots organizations, to churches, to state-level agencies. In order to provide individualized, coordinated services to victims most effectively, the Linking Systems of Care team should identify and partner with as many of these entities as possible. Keep in mind that the children and families served by the Linking Systems of Care project will have many needs and it is important to identify non-traditional, supportive places for victims to turn to including food pantries, support groups, social clubs, etc.

In addition, Linking Systems of Care stakeholder groups should be specific about how they define the boundaries of the community. Many of the sites in the demonstration project selected specific areas or regions within which they would link systems of care and expanded the boundaries of the project over time.

A Community Map is a great visual tool to use to: 1) identify all of the different domains in the community, and 2) create a list of specific programs within each domain that may be helpful to children and youth exposed to violence and their families and caregivers. The Community Map can form the basis for a service provider directory. Linking Systems of Care Coordinators should plan to re-visit the community resource mapping exercise periodically to ensure that the information remains up-to-date and that as new resources are developed they are incorporated.

Community resource mapping isn’t a one-time event for a Linking Systems of Care group. Instead, stakeholder teams should plan to revisit their resource map frequently. This process will help illustrate the depth and breadth of the collaborative resources within the project, strengthen collaborations between resources, and help identify new resources.

Downloadable Worksheets & Templates