Hennepin County SMARTeam
Hennepin County Sexual Assault Multidisciplinary Action Response Team
The SMARTeam Story
In December 2009, SVC received support from the Minneapolis Foundation to form a Sexual Assault Multidisciplinary Action Response Team (SMART) in Hennepin County—the largest county in Minnesota with approximately 1.2 million residents. SVC convened the first SMARTeam meeting in August 2010 and has continued to meet monthly, rotating meeting sites among team member agencies. The team uses the national eight-step protocol process, based on the book Improving Response to Crime Victims: An 8-Step Model for Developing Protocol, by Anita Boles and John Patterson also used by other Minnesota based multi-disciplinary teams. The Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA) provides technical assistance through the Sexual Violence Justice Institute (SVJI).
Since 2010, the team has undertaken and completed the first steps of the 8-step model process including: (1) Inventory of Existing Services, (2) Victim Experience Survey, and (3) Community Needs Assessment (CNA). The CNA was published and released in fall of 2014 with the support of prominent figures such as the Mayor of Minneapolis and the Hennepin County Attorney. In 2015, the team worked to collaboratively write a set of grounding statements and philosophies represented in this text. During the spring of 2016, the team underwent the difficult and rewarding process of protocol development. Through numerous edits and extensive work with internal and external community partners, the team proudly produced the Hennepin County protocol in 2017, completing step 4.
With growing awareness of the systemic issues involved in sexual assault cases throughout our state, we continue to work collaboratively to find holistic solutions for a victim-centered Hennepin County response.
Community Needs Assessment - 2014
The pages of this Community Needs Assessment reflect findings from the first three steps of this cycle. The team surveyed victims/survivors and responders and held informational group interviews with victims/survivors, law enforcement, and prosecuting attorneys, and heard from dozens of key responders throughout Hennepin County to understand the system response and assess gaps in service, communication, and gauge victim/survivor satisfaction.
For more information, contact the Team Coordinator.
Hennepin County SMARTeam
Hennepin County Protocol - 2017
The Community Needs Assessment (CNA), released in October 2014, reflected the SMARTeam’s findings from the first phase of the development cycle and was used as the guide post for the team when writing “The Sexual Assault Response Protocol” over the last two years. For details of the Team’s research, please see Chapter 3 and the Appendices of the CNA.