With such an expanse of victim service providers in the UK, it is essential that victims know about and receive the support and care they are entitled to and that the providers deliver on this. But what does good victim care look like? Below are the top five provisions that Supporting Justice see as vital when assessing what good victim care should look like.
Taking the first step to access a support service can be a very difficult decision. Any barriers faced by victims can provide a reason to turn back. Therefore, it is vital that victims know about the services available to them and find them easy to access, at a time and in a way that’s right for them.
The key elements of an effective needs assessment are: that it allows the victim to identify their own needs; it is done at an appropriate time; regularly reviewed as needs change over time; it allows the breadth of needs to be identified; and good recording keeping and information transfer.
Victims should be treated by everyone in the process with dignity, respect and empathy. Victims should, wherever possible, be asked about decisions that affect them and professionals should be sensitive to victims wishes and how decisions are made.
Support is likely to include information, emotional support and practical help. Victims should feel that they have an element of choice in their support and should feel empowered by their supporter to consider and make decisions. Actions should be put in place to address identified needs, including referral with consent to other support services. Victims should feel that the support they have received has been of a good quality, has met their expectations and they are satisfied.
Victims should feel confident that those who are supporting them take safety seriously and will protect them from harm as far as possible within the scope of the service. This includes treating their information carefully and observing confidentiality. It also includes ensuring victims can access the service safely.