Developing Policies and Programs

Domestic violence services that are designed for adult survivors may not resonate with young people. The key to reaching youth is creating youth-informed and youth-centered help services, prevention programs and opportunities for activism. Check out our Trailblazers for some inspiration!

The first step to developing successful programs is creating a policy foundation. Clear, concise school and organizational polices provide guidance for staff and volunteers, shape the institutional approach to violence prevention, and create a climate of healthy, respectful relationships. 

Guides and Manuals

Strengths & Needs Assessment Guidance (PDF) will assist youth-serving organizations in conducting a comprehensive strengths and needs assessment, identifying community assets, gaps in services and resources and stakeholder perspectives on interventions and responses, treatment services, prevention, and victim safety. This resource was originally developed for OVW STEP Program grantees.

Youth Services Policy Development Tool outlines the key elements in building comprehensive, coherent and youth survivor-centered organizational policies, including which policies a project team should have, why those policies are important and how to develop those policies effectively. This resource was originally developed for OVW Youth Services Program grantees.

Policy Assessment Worksheet will assist you in assessing your school’s (or your partner school's) current policies relating to dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking.

Framework for Developing School Policies to Address Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking will assist schools and school districts in developing comprehensive policies addressing healthy relationships and abuse intervention and response. The guide also offers ideas and examples for developing procedures that are responsive to the needs of all student survivors. This resource was originally developed for OVW STEP Program grantees.

Guide to Strategic Planning (PDF) covers the next steps in program planning after conducting a comprehensive community strengths and needs assessment. This resource was originally developed for OVW Consolidated Youth Program grantees.

Issue Briefs and Fact Sheets