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A Complete Guide to Establishing and Operating a Victim Assistance Academy

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2018
64 pages
Compiled by the Resource Center of the State Victim Assistance Academy (SVAA), this guide assists U.S. states and territories in developing or refining their SVAAs.

Given the diverse and dynamic field of services for crime victims, there is a critical need for comprehensive training and education for public-sector and private-sector providers of crime-victim services, criminal justice personnel, and allied professionals. The foundational, interdisciplinary training and education provided by SVAAs ensures that all crime victims and survivors will receive culturally relevant, trauma-informed services that provide safety, support healing, and promote justice. The first chapter of this guide provides information and resources that guide those who are planning and developing an SVAA. The second chapter provides guidance in cultivating partnerships with academic institutions, which is a critical asset for academies. An academic partner is important in conducting evaluations of an academy's performance in achieving its goals and in facilitating curriculum design, faculty and student support, and the provision of classroom and residential space. The third chapter focuses on developing an academy's curriculum, as it provides information and resources in the basics of developing the curriculum for the academy. Topics addressed in this chapter are clarification of the vision for the curriculum, foundational concepts for curriculum development, curriculum content, the promotion of professional resiliency during the academy, curriculum planning considerations, when to seek curriculum review, and credentialing and credit. The fourth chapter focuses on the development of a mentoring program as a component of the academy. Mentoring facilitates the professional development of academy attendees by reinforcing what is learned in the academy, broadening professional networks of academy participants, and improving their resilience. Other chapters address student selection; academy operations, logistics, and faculty; evaluation and performance mechanisms; and financial management. A 19-item bibliography

Date Published: May 1, 2018