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Standards for Victim Assistance Programs and Providers

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2003
130 pages
Based on the work of the National Victim Assistance Standards Consortium, this report presents three sets of standards: Victim Assistance Program Standards, Competency Standards for Victim Assistance Providers, and Ethical Standards for Victim Assistance Providers.
The standards are intended as a resource for victim service practitioners, programs, and communities. Although formal regulatory boards do not govern the field of victim assistance, there is a growing trend among the States toward greater standardization of training and practice. The standards developed by the Consortium and presented in this report are informed by national, State, and local perspectives, as well as by government, private, and nonprofit providers. The standards are guidelines for the promotion of competence and ethical integrity of providers as well as the quality and consistency of program service. The report first presents a framework for the standards. These sections contain a working definition of victim assistance that identifies the roles and work settings for victim assistance providers and helps to define the scope of application for these core standards. A section on guiding values for victim assistance describes aspirational goals to guide victim assistance providers toward ideals of practice. This is followed by the presentation of the standards. Victim Assistance Program Standards identify ways of documenting and administering services to ensure quality, responsiveness to community needs, and accountability of service programs. The Competency Standards for Victim Assistance Providers constitute a set of outcome guidelines to be reached through a variety of means. The Ethical Standards for Victim Assistance Providers identify behavioral expectations of victim assistance providers based on core values for the field. Guidelines are provided for implementing the standards, and sample assessment tools are included for evaluating performance based on the standards. Resource materials encompass promising practices in professional development, a directory of credentialing programs, a directory of related standards, professional development resources, and citations for publications used in the development of the standards.

Date Published: May 1, 2003