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FY2004-05 Strategic Plan

COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN

 

2004-2005 Strategic Plan

BUDGET

 

I. Goal(s)

1. To minimize the impact of the budget cuts to the Violence Against Women Programs (VAW), particularly those providing direct services.

2. To redefine priorities for policy programs and staff based on significant staff and budget cuts.

 

II. Resources

The budget objectives require a great deal of preparation and follow through, as well accuracy with particular attention to timelines and deadlines. Due to the loss of a full-time accounting staff position, we have had to rely on part-time support from Administrative Services.

 

The Commission and the Department have had to re-think the priorities of the work they do and have asked staff to take on additional responsibilities and absorb new roles. In November of 2004, the DOSW reviewed the San Francisco Charter and wrote up a three year plan to comply with the duties mandated by the City andCounty of San Francisco [Appendix A]. This process allowed staff to focus their energies on the most important aspects of the Mission of the Commission and the Department.

 

Commissioner: President of the Commission, Andrea Shorter

Staff[1]: Executive Director Emily Murase

 

Charter Requirements:

This work meets the following areas of the San Francisco Charter:

33.4 (a), 33.4 (h), 33.4 (i), 33.4 (l), 33.5, 33.6

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

 

I. Goal(s)

Specific goals include the following:

1. To develop a city-wide CEDAW training for all City departments.

In accordance with a resolution sponsored by the Mayor when he served as a Supervisor, all City Departments are asked to conduct a gender analysis of cuts as part of the budgeting process. We must ensure that City departments are trained to do so.

2. To issue a gender parity report on City employment.

The last gender parity report was issued in 1998. CEDAW requires that gender parity data be collected in order to better inform policies that address hiring, retention, and promotion in the workforce.

3. To assist the Mayor's Office of Community Development and the Department of Recreation and Park to develop a gender equity program for youth.

As part of new legislation that mandates gender equity in local recreation and athletic program for youth, the Team-Up Foundation has offered a grant of up to $50,000 to the City and County of San Francisco to develop a gender equity program for youth.

 

II. Resources

In 1998, San Francisco became the first municipality to pass an ordinance reflecting the principles of the United Nations Convention to Eliminate all Forms of Discrimination Against Women Ordinance. The DOSW is mandated to implement the principles of this human rights treaty by addressing gender inequities and discrimination against women and girls within the provision of City services, employment, economics, and health. The DOSW facilitates the work of the CEDAW Committee, composed of other City departments, including the Human Rights Commission, the Controller's Office, the Department on Public Health, the Department on Aging, and the City Attorney's Office as well as interested community members. This year, we will convene regular meetings of the committee to implement the Five-Year Action Plan.

a. Staff/Fiscal Resources: 1 PTE + Executive Director

b. Additional Required Resources: Provided that we can rely on the continued cooperation of participating agencies, none anticipated.

 

Commissioner: Angela Williams

Staff: Policy Analyst Carol Sacco, Executive Director Emily Murase

Charter Requirements:

This work meets the following areas of the San Francisco Charter:

33.4 (d), 33.4 (e.3), 33.4 (e.4), 33.4 (h), 33.4 (i), 33.4 (j), 33.4 (o), 33.5, 33.6

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN PROGRAMS (VAW)

 

I. Goal(s)

1. Conduct a post-mortem on the FY2004-2005 grants process with grantees.

The authorization of funds occurs every three years with a reapplication process occurring in each of the following two years. This year we conducted two RFQ processes. On November 8, 2004, we held a meeting with our funded agencies to solicit feedback on this year's grants process. This enabled us to identify lessons learned in order to improve procedures for the next funding cycle.

2. Initiate a review of the VAW Program to be concluded by June 2005.

Although the bulk of the Department's budget is allocated to the VAW Program, a comprehensive review has never been conducted. Within the limitations of existing resources, we will review and evaluate our current methodology for evaluating the success of programs we fund.

3. Convene a Grantees Conference in Spring 2005 to review preliminary findings of the program review, solicit feedback, and provide training to facilitate capacity building among grantees.

 

II. Resources

Through its Violence Against Women (VAW) Program, the DOSW funds 20 community agencies that conduct 25 domestic violence programs for the City and County of San Francisco . Services fall into five categories: 1) shelter services, 2) crisis services, 3) transitional housing, 5) intervention/advocacy, and 6) prevention, education and training. Our priority this year is to protect funding for these services and to work closely with the funded agencies to guarantee that quality services are being provided to clients.

a. Staff/Fiscal Resources: 1 FTE + Executive Director

b. Additional Required Resources: At $1.7 million, nearly 3/4 of our entire budget is allocated to this program. Because it is such a key part of our operations, we have requested $45,000 in carry-forward monies to pay for an outside consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of the VAW Program. While the Budget Office granted the Department's request for these monies, we have had to earmark them for cuts as part of the Department's budget contingency. Without the carry-forward monies, we will do our best with existing resources, but without the concentrated focus required of such an exercise, the outcome will be less than ideal and not have the validity of an outside review.

 

Commissioner: To be assigned.

Staff: VAW Grants Administrator (acting in the position is Senior Policy Analyst Caroline Donnola), Executive Director Emily Murase

Charter Requirements:

This work meets the following areas of the San Francisco Charter:

33.4 (a), 33.4 (e.5), 33.4 (h), 33.4 (l.1), 33.4 (l.2), 33.5

JUSTICE AND COURAGE PROJECT

 

I. Goal(s)

1. To improve the collaboration between City and community agencies through training and outreach.

On October 25, 2004, the Department partnered with the California Alliance Against Domestic Violence (CAADV) to provide a free training: Technology and Internet Safety: Issues for Survivors and Advocates. This free training was open to both City and community agencies and provided a crucial opportunity to come together to talk about how issues such as stalking can be tackled effectively by the City and community partners. Approximately eighty participants attended this training and found it extremely valuable.

2. To secure funding for Justice & Courage Projects

The Justice and Courage Oversight Panel has recommended that the Department pursue funding for the following three projects.

a. A safety and accountability audit

Cities such as St. Louis , Knoxville , and Colorado Springs have undertaken a cutting edge approach to evaluating the criminal justice system as it relates to domestic violence in their respective cities by employing a safety and accountability audit. This innovative approach, pioneered by veteran domestic violence advocate Dr. Ellen Pence of Praxis International, requires a systematic, not episodic, evaluation of the institutions and practices that surround the handling of domestic violence cases from beginning to end. Implementing a safety and accountability audit in the City and County of San Francisco would be a major undertaking, involving roughly $300,000 to complete. We will be seeking federal funding from the National Institute of Justice.

b. Training collaborative

The Justice & Courage Oversight Panel has determined that domestic violence training among criminal justice agencies is a high priority, given the fact that virtually all agencies, with the exception of the Police Department, have had their training budgets eliminated. As a result some agencies are out of compliance with legally mandated training requirements. As an innovative way to deal with this crisis, the Oversight Panel has recommended the creation of a Domestic Violence Cross Training Institute that would deliver training on domestic violence to all criminal justice agencies in a common forum. Given the City's severe budgetary constraints, funding for the collaborative would be sought from the philanthropic community.

c. An evaluation of batterer's programs

Dr. Joanne McAllister who has over 10 years of experience in the development and evaluation of prevention and intervention programs for domestic violence offenders has submitted a proposal to extend her research to examine batterers programs employed by the City and County of San Francisco. This study would have national significance because it proposes to examine, for the first time, those who do not complete batterers programs and efforts to track non-compliant offenders.

3. Complete the requirements and design document for the domestic violence module of JUSTIS and monitor its implementation.

JUSTIS is the database warehouse that will enable information sharing among criminal justice agencies. In August 2004, the Department completed the requirements and design document for a domestic violence module intended to demonstrate the effectiveness and benefits of the JUSTIS system. In order to monitor timely implementation of the module, the Department requested and was granted voting membership on the JUSTIS Governance Council.

4. Filipina Advisory Council

The Justice and Courage Oversight Panel voted to establish a Filipina

Advisory Council. The Filipina Advisory Council will advise on domestic violence issues in the Filipino community and will report back to the

Oversight Panel on its findings.

 

II. Resources

In 2002, the Commission released a groundbreaking report titled Justice and Courage Report: A Blueprint for San Francisco's Response to Domestic Violence. The reportrepresents an in-depth review of City policies and procedures within the criminal justice system and calls for improved responses to prevent domestic violence homicides, including the creation of an Oversight Panel to monitor the response. The Justice and Courage Oversight Panel convened for the first time in October 2002, and initiated four working committees as part of the Justice and Courage Project. Currently, Commissioner Dorka Keehn and Supervisor Fiona Ma Co-chair the Oversight Panel.

a. Staff/Fiscal Resources: 1.0 FTE

b. Additional Required Resources: The overarching goal of the Justice and Courage Project is to prevent domestic violence homicides and to create a national model in domestic violence response. The Department has not been allocated any additional budgetary support from the City and County of San Francisco for this work (the current FTE allocated for this function is paid for with a federal grant to the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice). This lack of budgetary support from the City has become problematic as new domestic violence homicides have arisen. Without the full implementation of the projects listed above, substantive change to the City's response to domestic violence is unlikely. In addition, criminal justice agencies are not sufficiently staffed (for example the Domestic Violence Response Unit in the San Francisco Police Department) to fulfill the requirements of the Justice and Courage Report. Finally, the Department's loss of the Deputy Director will seriously impact this work given her key role in leading this project.

Commissioner: Commissioner Dorka Keehn

Staff: Senior Policy Analyst Caroline Donnola, Justice and Courage Coordinator Justine McGonagle, Executive Director Emily Murase

Charter Requirements:

This work meets the following areas of the San Francisco Charter:

33.4 (a), 33.4 (b), 33.4 (f), 33.4 (h), 33.4 (l.2), 33.5, 33.6

 

GIRLS

 

I. Goal(s)

1. To promote April 28, 2005 as Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day City-wide.

2. To identify potential members for a Girls Issue Committee and plan the first meeting for 2005.

 

II. Resources

The holistic work of the Commission and the Department incorporates policies for both women and girls. Through the work of CEDAW, VAW Grants, Justice & Courage, policy is developed around both women and girls in combating violence, access to services, etc. The work developed in this area of the Strategic Plan focuses solely on girls.

 

Commissioner: Andrea Shorter

Staff: Carol Sacco

Charter Requirements:

This work meets the following areas of the San Francisco Charter:

33.4 (a), 33.4 (e.7), 33.4 (l.1), 33.4 (l.2), 33.4 (p), 33.5

HEALTH

 

I. Goal(s)

1. To work with City agencies and other Bay Area organizations to emphasize the importance of domestic violence as a health issue.

2. To educate the Commission, the Department, Partner Agencies, and members of the public about women's health concerns, e.g. breast cancer, heart disease.

 

II. Resources

The Commission realizes the importance of health in the lives of women, especially those victims of domestic violence. The Department, due to staffing constraints, has and will continue to utilize existing resources and educate other agencies, including our Partner Agencies (those funded in the VAW Program) about services. In September 2004, the Department sent materials to Partner Agencies informing them of health insurance through the City and County of San Francisco 's San Francisco Health Plan which offers three plans to meet the needs of no- and low-income families and individuals.

 

Commissioner: Commissioner Marks

Staff: Executive Secretary Bernice Casey, Executive Director Emily Murase

Charter Requirements:

This work meets the following areas of the San Francisco Charter:

33.4 (a), 33.4 (c), 33.4 (e.3), 33.4 (h), 33.4 (l), 33.4 (p), 33.5

SUMMARY

The primary work of the Commission and the Department on the Status of Women focuses on improving the status of women and girls in San Francisco through access to services, policy, and monitoring. In the last three fiscal years, the Department has lost three staff members and the positions they held. The importance of the work of the Commission and the Department is crucial to the City and County of San Francisco. As experts in the development and implementation of policies such as CEDAW, the Commission and the Department must be preserved. As other departments which have been impacted by budget cuts, the Department must find new ways to accomplish duties. Each policy area listed in the Strategic Plan needs a full-time staff person. Each Department staff works in multiple areas as well as contributes to the day-to-day issues of running a City department with no full-time permanent support staff. Therefore, the entirety of the work assigned by the San Francisco Charter is impossible to complete. The Commission and the Department must work together to determine what aspects of the primary work can be accomplished throughout the year and have flexibility to meet urgent areas of concern.



[1] The Department does not have enough staff resources to devote one full-time employee (FTE) to each policy piece making up the work of the Commission and the Department on the Status of Women. Therefore, staff must devote partial time to different aspects of the work of the Commission and the Department, while at the same time, addressing the day-to-day tasks of running a City agency. The Executive Director oversees the work done in each area of the Strategic Plan.

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