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How To Use the Standards

Model Standards is intended to serve as a tool for improving crime victim/survivor services by building individual and organizational capacity. Consider your organization’s culture, values, goals, mandated responsibilities, and service needs when determining how to adopt the standards. Gradually incorporate the standards into your organization’s policies and practices in well-planned stages, based on the interests, priorities, and needs of individual programs. Individuals or programs that struggle to meet the standards may benefit from technical assistance, peer mentoring, funding, or other support.

For consistency and ease of reference across the three sets of standards, each set—Program Standards, Competency Standards, and Ethical Standards—is organized into five sections. These include—

  1. Scope of service. These standards address the purposes of service in relation to the broader community, understanding of persons served and service systems, range of competence, representation of services, and compliance with existing laws, regulations, and policies.
  2. Coordinating within the community. These standards address outreach to underserved populations, service accessibility, nondiscrimination, prevention, community education, coordination with other professionals, and advocacy.
  3. Direct services. These standards address interactions and relationships between providers and persons served, as well as the types of services, information, and referrals provided.
  4. Privacy, confidentiality, data security, and assistive technology. These standards address issues pertaining to documentation, confidentiality of data, security of paper and electronic media, and use of auxiliary aids such as computer screen readers, voice synthesizers, or software to assist in accessing computers.
  5. Administration and evaluation. These standards address governance, fiscal management, staffing, training, supervision, and evaluation. For individuals, these standards also address self-awareness and self-care issues.

You can easily navigate between corresponding sections of the three sets of standards using the links provided at the end of each section.

Throughout this e-pub, certain terms are highlighted to indicate that additional explanation can be found in the Glossary and the computer icon icon is used to reference relevant modules of VAT Online. The e-pub also includes brief video clips about Model Standards, and several podcasts that provide expert information on assessing organizational readiness for online services, human trafficking, identity theft, self-care, and technology in victim assistance.


computer iconVAT Online is a free Web-based victim assistance training program that includes training modules on the topics of “Assessing Victim’s Needs,” “Referrals,” and “Collaboration.”