Building a State Victim Assistance Academy—Vermont's Experience
April 2008
JAC (Judith Ann Cernese) Patrissi
Printer-Friendly Version

Related Publications

Related Links
(Web site links disclaimer)

Electronic Document Only
This document [NCJ 221684] is available online only.

OVC Resource Center
Toll Free: 1–800–851–3420
TTY: 301–947–8374

OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center
1–866–OVC–TTAC (1–866–682–8822)
TTY: 1–866–682–8880

Office for Victims of Crime logo
Office of Justice Programs Seal

The Office for Victims of Crime is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.


Message From the Director

OVC's State Victim Assistance Academies advance the knowledge and skills of victim service professionals. This bulletin provides information and resources to support the successful creation of an SVAA by describing the development of Vermont's Victim Assistance Academy under the Victim Services 2000 Grant.

From 1998 to 2004, OVC supported the development of the VVAA through its VS2000 Grant, a demonstration project that focused on a strategy to support community implementation of comprehensive, collaborative victim services. The VS2000 mission and goals guided all development phases of Vermont's academy.

Project Strategy
Applicants must demonstrate commitment from the state's victim assistance and compensation program offices to help develop an academy and also from an accredited college or university to host and promote that academy.

    One-Day Collaborative Planning Meeting
    The project mission was drafted, advisory and coordinating responsibilities were determined, ideal member agencies were identified, and other components of the project were decided.

    Establishing an Academy Format Suitable for Vermont
    Political and geographical realities were among the considerations in determining the best format for the academy.

    Finding an Academic Partnership That Works
    The appropriate academic partner was decided and a plan for accreditation formed.

    Collaborative Curriculum Subcommittee
    The subcommittee assigned a number of training hours to suggested topics, created a logical sequence for the topics, and reviewed the list of recommended trainers.

    Working With the Advisory Group
    The advisory group oversaw academy development, recommended initial policy, and adopted and implemented issues and quality control.

    Working With Trainers
    Trainers, primarily experts involved in initiatives funded by the Violence Against Women Act or Victims of Crime Act, participated in individual or group preparation and as a group provided feedback on their training.

    Quality Support
    The academy was strengthened in specific ways based on the pilot project's feedback and a postcompletion evaluation was designed.

    Adapting the Text
    Reviewers recommended by the Curriculum Subcommittee and the Advisory Group review text and add relevant statutes, best practices, and supplementary materials on an ongoing basis.

    Recruiting Participants
    Participants comprise a well-balanced mix of professions that have contact with victims of crime, such as members of the Vermont's Victim/Survivor of Crime Council, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Parents of Murdered Children, and rape crisis and battered women's shelters support groups.

    Logistical Arrangements
    Lodging, food, and other options are chosen to optimize cost savings.

    Planning for Sustainability
    Participants who work on Victims of Crime Act and Violence Against Women Act grants plant the seed for talks with fund administrators concerning the future use of grant dollars.

Lessons Learned
Lessons learned include project planning, implementation, and sustainability that could benefit other states interested in establishing their own victim assistance academies.

About the Author

Sample Documents, Worksheets, and Other Resources