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Achieving Excellence: Model Standards for Serving Victims and Survivors of Crime

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2016

This e-publication with accompanying video presentations provides guidelines and suggestions intended to assist victim service providers and program administrators improve the quality and consistency of their responses to crime victims.


The standards are presented under three broad areas: those that address program components, those that address staff competency, and those that pertain to the ethics of staff work activities. The program standards provide recommendations for guidelines, policies, and procedures that victim-serving organizations should have in place, including ways of documenting and administering services. Program standards describe what should be accomplished by the program. It is the responsibility of each program to decide how it will achieve each standard. Program standards should promote thoughtful program-specific and community-specific consideration of quality service delivery. Each program standard consists of a statement and a commentary. The competency standards describe core competencies that are needed to deliver quality victim services. These competencies are common to a number of types of victim assistance providers and are intended to apply to a broad variety of victim services settings. For each of these standards, there is a statement and discussion of "elements," which, taken together, equate to the required competency. The ethical standards identify behavioral expectations for victim assistance providers based on core values of the field. They are intended as guidelines that apply to a range of issues that may be encountered and addressed in the daily provision of victim services. The ethical standards apply only to the victim assistance provider's work-related activities, which include activities conducted while the service provider is acting as a representative of the victim service program. Each of the ethical standards consists of a statement and a commentary that includes narratives and examples.

Date Published: August 1, 2016