Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $35,000)
The purpose of this project is to assist States in developing effective strategies for establishing State Victim Assistance Academies (SVAA) - planning for an SVAA that provides comprehensive, academically-based, fundamental education and training for victim service providers, victim advocates, criminal justice personnel, and allied professionals who routinely interact with victims of crime. The Family Services of Rhode Island, Inc., will plan the State Academy for Rhode Island and Roger Williams University's Justice System Training and Research Institute is the academic partner.
The overall goal for Family Services of Rhode Island, inc., in their first SVAA (planning) year is to improve outcomes for victims of crime by establishing a State Victim Assistance Academy (SVAA) to enhance the capacity of entry level staff of victim assistance agencies and first responders to assess and provide appropriate, effective and coordinated services and treatment for victims of crime or violence.
Specific SVAA objectives are to:
1. Meet with OVC and other SVAA grantees to share planning strategies, clarify implementation issues, and receive initial training;
2. Have a planning/steering committee meeting monthly;
3. Have organized working groups within the committee to address major topics
4. Identify and outreach to the full range of programs within Rhode Island that provide services to victims;
5. Establish an advisory or focus group of representative victims and families that can inform the planning process at regular intervals;
6. Provide an opportunity for victims and other victim service providers to testify before the working group or full steering committee on needs and recommendations;
7. Complete a comprehensive assessment of existing training and resources available to diverse victim service providers and determine gaps and needs for additional training;
8. Determine what training is critical and appropriate to a 40-hour program for entry level victim services providers;
9. Determine a priority selection criteria for Victim Service Academy admission and establish an admissions selection subcommittee;
10. Complete a plan for implementation of a Victim Service Academy
11. Establish a balanced, comprehensive, professional training opportunities for entry level victim service providers throughout Rhode Island; and
12. Develop educational and social opportunities within the VAA system for victim service providers to network with providers from other agencies to explore opportunities for collaboration and improve coordination of efforts on behalf of victims.