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Prioritizing

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What to work on first?

Now that you've done your self-assessment you may have uncovered several areas for improvement within your organization. At this point you may become discouraged or overwhelmed by the work ahead. Choosing just one or two areas to work on at a time can help make it more doable. But how do you decide what to work on first?

Adults who work at youth programs don’t do it for the money. You and your staff care a lot about young people. As you become aware of issues in the program, you may want to “fix” everything right away to make things better for the youth quickly.  

Unfortunately, writing policy is not a quick fix. And there isn't one magical policy that will solve every program’s every problem. In this section you will think about how to make decisions about which policies to work on first.

 “At some of our sites we have young teens that are sexually active, so being able to have those conversations with them about sexual health, making healthy decisions, talking about dating violence is becoming an important part of [our] mission. At other sites, generally across the board, we deal with sexual harassment…this is something our girls of all ages, but particularly in high school are dealing with during the school day.” -Youth Program Director, Boston

In working with organizations, we have found that it is best to start working on at most 2 issues – one that is easy and will get you a quick “win” and one that might be more complicated. 

You can start by making two lists:

  1. Issues you could work on based on the assessment process
  2. Criteria to rate each issue against