APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
This Commitment to Action will have a three-phased approach. Phase I involves gathering all of the critical facts in defining the organization's lessons learned and best practices. Voices will also examine other incidents of mass violence to look for similarities and differences in how support was handled, both short and long-term. This will take up to 12 months. Phase II will take the outcomes of this work and will take six months to actually build the support framework. Phase III will consist of creating the dissemination plan and will take six months. Voices will develop a comprehensive rollout plan to ensure the most impact nationally.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
Voices commitment's goal is to better equip communities nationally through an 'Enhanced Support Model' framework. There are four objectives to achieve the goal for this effort:
To document Voices history, lessons learned, best practices, infrastructure, and processes;
To document and compare short and long-term support in other incidents of mass violence;
To develop a support framework and
To strengthen service providers' knowledge and skills through a national dissemination plan
In Phase I (months 1 - 12) Voices will assemble the information needed for a comprehensive framework. Our staff will work in conjunction with two graduate students and one Social Work PhD student whose task will be leading the Voices research and analysis efforts. Also, we will thoroughly examine the long-term support in other incidents of mass loss.
In Phase II (months 13 - 18), the PhD candidate will work with Voices staff to develop the deliverable, a suite of lessons learned, best practices, methodology, and a step-by-step approach to tuning an existing model to be more effective in both short-term and long-term support. The PhD will review other published documents which were created in response to other mass casualties.
Key framework elements include:
Processes and procedures for immediate and short-term response ; Hand-offs from immediate to short-term and short-term to long-term services; Defining who is the 'client' - and their needs; Technology needed to enable support model; Support services that would be most impactful; Community partnerships ; 'Enhanced Support Model' that takes programs and support to the community; Sustainability
Phase III (months 19 - 24) will be gathering all facts on historical mass violence incidents, identifying similarities and differences, packaging a support framework that is actionable for communities nationally, testing, and finalizing the support framework. Voices will lead the national rollout and seek appropriate partners.
There is a gap in providing short and long-term counseling and mental health services for victims of mass violence for a variety of reasons, including limited understanding of their unmet needs and scarce resources due to lack of funding. Consequently, services provided by public and private sector organizations are scarce - and where they do exist, the models that are set up are not conducive for victims to reach out for support. It also appears that the overall mission and time-limited mandate of federal agencies to provide services restricts available funding sources. Voices of September 11th believes a shift in the current paradigm is critical to better serve the short and long-term needs of victims' families by providing programs that meet their evolving needs over the long-term, such as commemoration and memorial services. A key aspect of Voices' outreach and enhanced support model connects the immediate and short-term response by having a long-term vision for a unified database, website, and a broad range of support services.