Results-Oriented Victim Services
Kelly Graves, Nelson Lim  -  2016/3/30
What needs to be done to help build collaboration between providers and researchers?
1.  Kelly Graves
 If we think about the core concepts of trauma-informed care as they relate to victim services, we can use these as guideposts for how to build collaborations among providers and researchers. These include the need to have a mutual respect for the unique role of each partner, trust, choice, and sharing of power. The bridge between practice and research can only be effectively built and sustained when these elements are in place. There is a great resource that expands on these ideas at:
We are aware that many victims do not seek services or even report crimes, are there any studies available which show how we can do better to promote victim services and engage more victims of crime?
1.  Kelly Graves
 The title of the article is: "The impact of community-based outreach on psychological distress and victim safety in women exposed to intimate partner abuse."
2.  Grace
 Do you have a title of this study by DePrince et al. (2012) ?
3.  Kelly Graves
 DOJ put out a position paper entitled, “The Importance of Understanding Trauma-Informed Care and Self-Care for Victim Service Providers.” This document says that in order to effectively engage people into victim services, they have to have a level of safety and trust in the provider. These are the hallmarks of trauma-informed care. So, to engage people into victim services, the services must be embedded within a trauma-informed framework. In addition, victim services require a coordinated community response of both advocates and therapists. Research by DePrince et al. (2012) documents that community-based advocacy improved victim outcomes relative to system-based referrals. This tells us that a coordinated response is needed to be the most effective.
4.  Nelson Lim
 The best available data support your observation about crime victims and their utilization of services. Most of the studies I am familiar with are about this gap in utilization. I am not aware of a rigorous study that suggests ways to narrow this gap. I have heard potential explanations in formally talking to practitioners in the field. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and OVC are supporting the development of data collection infrastructure to gather information to answer a way to bridge this gap. I will ask my more knowledgeable colleagues to confirm my observations. I will update this based on their input. Please check back in a few days.
What good online resources are available that provide information that is accessible for providers?
1.  William
 Anything on violence against women would be appreciated. We work for an organization that specializes in serving DV and sexual assault victims, but also work with victims of human trafficking.
2.  Nelson Lim
 Could you please give us more information about what type of resources you are seeking and what type of providers you are? We can compile a list for you.
3.  Kelly Graves
 Could you say a little bit more on what resources for what specific topic? Thanks!
reference 2016/17state of Florida legislative questionnaire mandates VOCA Grant recipients to provide performance measures. Do you have any suggestions as we already provide monthly and quarterly reports detailing activity. Thank you
1.  Donna
 thanks that's helpful
2.  Donna
 We are utilizing the following: listing process for monitoring Criteria used to evaluate activities and/or services- listing quality assurance surveys. Explain how proposed objectives will be measured.
3.  Kelly Graves
 Yes not being able to use the target numbers does create a different approach. In those cases, you may want to look at what you expect to see from the target numbers. So, if you expect to serve 100 people, what is it that you are doing that you expect to see change? If you expect to see increased engagement in services, for example, then you can have "Increase in Service Engagement" as an outcome.
4.  Kelly Graves
 The performance measures can vary widely depending upon the specific focus on your project. There is a list of sample measures by focus area that can be found here: ACCEPTABLE OUTCOMES.pdf These may provide you with a few leads on what types of measures would best fit your specific project.
5.  Grace
 I am also in Florida. The Legislature has tasked the VOCA administrator with providing "documentation of improvement in quantity and quality of services provided; and performance measures and outcomes" for each VOCA grantee before it will release the increased funds. We are working with rape crisis centers to craft their performance measures in order for them to receive funding. Do you have any recommendations for performance measures or examples from other organizations?
6.  Donna
 Thank you for your assistance! We were told that we cannot use our target numbers in our VOCA Grant which makes it difficult.
7.  Kelly Graves
 Legislators will be more likely to attend to and understand the information presented if it is in a format that they are used to seeing. Use the information from your monthly/quarterly reports and cut and paste the relevant information into the specific template that your legislative body requests. If the Performance Measures are different, I would indicate that in the report that you provide to them, but also take note that you may want to add these specific measures into your evaluation strategy moving forward - if you have the data that the legislators are looking for, you will be more likely to get a favorable response in the event that you ever have to go to the legislative body for programmatic or financial assistance.
Dr. Lim, When do you anticipate the results of the National Census of Victim Service Organizations to be released? Thank you.
1.  Nelson Lim
 Thank you so much for asking this question. We just completed the pilot test for the survey design. We are revising the survey instrument and procedures based on what we have learned in the pilot. We will be sharing some notable information we got from the pilot study. I would like to thank VSPs who participated in our pilot study. Without their input, our pilot study would not be possible. Please keep an eye out for announcements. We are excited about launching the National Census of Victim of Service Providers in near future.
What are the best resources and research on best practices for results-oriented DV victim services?
1.  Kelly Graves
 In addition, a very practical, hands-on guide can be found at this link that may provide some additional direction:
2.  Nelson Lim
 There are a lot of references and guides related to evidence based practices in providing services to vulnerable populations including crime victims. The movement to bring evidence to inform services has grown a lot in recent years. I would recommend a text book that I use at Penn's Fels Institute. The book is "Program Evaluation: An Introduction to an Evidence-Based Approach" 6th Edition (2015) by David Royse, Bruce A. Thyer, Deborah K. Padgett. This is a general textbook. I would also recommend more targeted book for victim service field like "Quality Victim Advocacy: A Field Guide" by David Voth. I am sure there are many others in the field that are equally good.
are you aware of any studies on the impact of victim services after a mass violence event? thanks
1.  Kelly Graves
 OVC has produced a toolkit on this topic (see ). If we look at the impact of victim services specifically, research tells us that they generally increase even when the person is not directly involved in the event. For example, after 9/11, victim service utilization rose exponentially even if the person was not directly onsite or connected to a victim. This implies that “victim” is a relative word. Check out Victim service utilization after a mass violence event can often lead to what is called “post-traumatic growth” in the field.
2.  Nelson Lim
 I have a few friends who specialize in this type of victim services. I will contact them to gather information for you. Please check back in a few days.
What are some of the best tools available that can be utilized to assess the needs of our clients so that we can better assist them in achieving their goals while working with our agency?
1.  Nelson Lim
 Thank you so much for the additional information. I can ask my colleagues who are more knowledgeable about this particular types of VSPs. But I still need more contextual information. For example, location of your agency, types of services, the underlying logic linking your services to the victims, etc. I am sorry to be so general. I resist offering "best tools" and "best practices", because I believe they can misleading and in some cases harmful.
2.  Johanna
 Thank you for your response! I should have specified the type of clients we work with. Our agency works with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and stalking. I do agree that any tool utilized should be specific to the agency using it.
3.  Nelson Lim
 I would answer this question in general terms, because each VSP is unique in its own way. The best approach is to start with a robust logic model of the services that are offered by the VSP. The development of the logic model include a step to conduct a gap analysis (or analysis of the needs). Usually, this will involve collecting information from both the needs of the victims and available services already being offered. The methodology of collecting information should be tailored to a specific VSP. You can tell that I am not a big fan of generalized tools and "best practices." I believe that it is difficult to identify "best practices" without context.
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