This is the third installment of the Best Practice Assessment series. Click to read “What is the Best Practice Assessment?” and “Step One: Organize & Prepare”.
Once each ICCR team has decided their focus, solidified additional members, and assigned a coordinator, they are ready to begin mapping.
Mapping is a core component of the BPA process. This step helps the team develop a clear, visual roadmap of the current system’s actual (not ideal—that comes later) response to domestic violence cases, as well as:
- How domestic violence cases are taken up for official action
- How practitioners are prepared and guided in their response
- How practitioners identify the context and severity of abuse
- When and how practitioners are linked with other community partners
Working together with a consultant from Praxis International, the team maps out every step of their chosen systemic response. For example, if the team is focusing on Emergency Communications, the map will begin the moment a person calls 911 and end with the moment the dispatcher hangs up the call. A focus on Prosecution Charging Decisions begins with the case landing on the prosecutor’s desk and ends with the charge being filed.
Once complete, the team’s map provides a detailed guide to current practices and becomes a point of reference when discussing case files later on. The map centers the work of the BPA team by providing a visual of where the system is working efficiently and where it can be improved. Beyond the BPA itself, the map can also be an excellent tool for training practitioners or explaining a complex and confusing system to survivors.
Click on the below images for examples of completed maps.
Mapping is a large undertaking, but it often ends up being the team’s favorite part of the BPA experience! ICCR fellows have been amazed to see how much truly goes into their system’s response; it is validating for those who are responsible for executing the mapped process and eye-opening for other team members who may not have previously understood everything that goes into, for example, the patrol and investigation response.
In upcoming issues, we will dive deeper into the remaining steps of the BPA process:
- Step 3 – Review Case Records and Policies
- Step 4 – Conduct Survivor Focus Groups
- Step 5 – Develop Findings and Recommend Changes
- Step 6 – Write the BPA Report
- Step 7 – Building the CCR