Enhancement of Victim Advocacy - PowerPoint Presentation

Enhancement of Victim Advocacy
Enhancement of Victim Advocacy

Enhancement of Victim Advocacy - Description

May 10 2016 Why revise the DVOMB Victim Advocacy Standards What prompts the DVOMB to revise Standards Consistent feedback from stakeholders that something isnt working New research Victim safety and victim rights ID: 810652 Download


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Enhancement of Victim Advocacy

May 10, 2016


Why revise the DVOMB Victim Advocacy Standards?


What prompts the DVOMB to revise Standards?

Consistent feedback from stakeholders that something isn’t working

New research

Victim safety and victim rights


Feedback We Received

Advocates reported needing more clarification, guidance and direction on their role

Some of the previous advocacy standards weren’t clear

Reports from many different professionals that some advocates were too minimally trained (15 hours not adequate)

Confusion about whether the advocate should be someone working for victim services in the community


Victim Safety

Is The Priority Of The Standards

This includes protecting victim information

Having qualified advocates

Reminding the MTT to think about victim issues



to know information that can help keep them safer

How do these revisions make things better for victims?


What has changed?

-Advocate qualifications

-Required consultation and coordination

-More detail on confidentiality

-Dual roles

-Guidance on advocate role

-Documentation and record retention


What is your current practice?

Just How Different is This?


Treatment Victim Advocate Qualifications



Advocate Qualifications

Was 15 hours of training enough?

New Requirements:

Two Levels of qualification

Training and experiential hours

Continuing education

Peer consultation recommended

Entry Level

Fully Qualified

Advocates have time to work toward Fully Qualified level


Entry Level Advocate Training Hours


For new advocates: complete the 30

hours of training


to starting experiential hours


minimum of 30 initial hours of training in domestic violence to include:

victim advocacy, domestic violence dynamics, victimization and safety planning

The remaining 30 hours of training required for Fully Qualified Treatment Victim Advocate shall be achieved within the first yearRefer to Training Resources Handout


Entry Level Advocate Experiential Hours

70 hours of experience working with domestic violence victims (employment, volunteer work, or internships)

The remaining 70 experiential hours required for a Fully Qualified Treatment Victim Advocate shall be achieved within two years.


Entry Level Advocate

Peer Consultation: is strongly encouraged

The COVA or NOVA basic certification shall be applied for by the end of the


year of working as an entry level treatment victim advocate


Fully Qualified Advocate

Basic certification from the COVA Colorado Advocate Certification Program (CACP)



National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) National Advocate Credentialing Program


There is a fee to apply


Fully Qualified Advocate Training and Experience

COVA requires


60 training hours, and 140 direct service hours

DVOMB requires that the COVA or NOVA electives be focused on some of the following:

Confidentiality, safety planning, co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse, sexual assault, elder abuse, DVRNA, MTT, DVOMB Standards, domestic violence offender issues, domestic violence offender treatment competencies, risk/lethality assessment, and special victim and offender populations

NOVA requires


Completion of 40 hours Introductory Advocacy training;

A minimum of 20 hours of Basic Specialty training for

each area of specialty;

A minimum of 3900 hours (2 years) verified experience



Renewal of COVA or NOVA certification every 2 years

Advocates provide certification to providers

Continuing Education:

COVA – 32 hours every two years


COVA Process for Certification

Training certificates are required within the most recent five (5) years

Please keep all certificates from trainings

If you do not have documentation of experiential hours or work history, verification can be provided by an employer, supervisor or contractor



Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance

Where to apply: Coloradocrimevictims.org

Look for the Basic certification (at a minimum)


will be an addendum for DVOMB

Treatment Advocates for focused electives


July (will also be posted on our website)




Required Consultation and Coordination



Information Sharing Requirements of Treatment Providers (7.05 II.)

Provide victim contact information, if available, from the offender intake to the Treatment Victim Advocate as soon as it is available (Offender cannot be forced or used to provide this info)

Prior to the offender beginning treatment

, Treatment Providers shall provide

at a minimum:

1. Victim contact information

2. Victim and offender relationship status,

3. Whether children are involved

4. Offender’s group or individual treatment day and time

5. Confirmation that the release is signed by the offender to contact the victim

6. The offender’s initial level of treatment and risk factors from the DVRNA

7. Status of protection order (civil order, criminal


8. Police report on the current offense


Information Sharing Requirements of Treatment Providers (7.05 II.)

In addition to the MTT communication and decision requirements

; the Treatment Provider is responsible for providing

information to the Treatment Victim Advocate throughout treatment (at a minimum):

1. Offender Absences

2. Changes in Offender Risk

3. Violations of offender contract


Guidelines for Treatment Victim Advocates Regarding Communication

and Consultation with the Provider (7.05 III.)

Regardless of victim involvement, advocates have a responsibility to communicate with the Provider

Information that the victim does not want communicated to provider is kept confidential. (exceptions)

If the victim gives permission to share info with the provider…

If the victim does not want information shared…


Transition to New Advocate

Provider and outgoing advocate ensure coordination of victim advocacy services between the outgoing advocate and the new advocate


Required Provider Consultation/Coordination

Obtain the input of the Treatment Victim Advocate for MTT meetings, and scheduling of MTT meetings.

The purpose is to obtain the Treatment Victim Advocate’s expertise and perspective, not necessarily specific victim information.

Keep Treatment Victim Advocates informed regarding pertinent issues during treatment.






Explain Confidentiality (Reference 7.07)

Advocates explain the benefits and limitations of confidentiality to the victims they assist (reference 7.04 I.C.1.)

Advocates have a responsibility to take steps to protect victims’ privacy and safety

Informed consent to a release of information


Exceptions to victim confidentiality 7.07

Reporting of suspected abuse or neglect of children and at risk elders

Advocates have a responsibility to report whether they are mandated reporters or not


Dual Roles

Treatment Victim Advocates shall not have a dual role with her/his Treatment Provider,

the offender

or the victim.


Dual Roles 7.03 VIII.

How is that defined?

Cannot be in another relationship with the

Provider (such as a spouse or relative)

Cannot also be working in other therapeutic or

case management capacities with the domestic violence offenders or victims within the same treatment agency

The Treatment Victim Advocate shall not also be the therapist for the victim




Guidance to Advocates on their Role

All contact with victims is intended to be victim driven and based in empowerment theory


Initial Contact with Victims 7.04

Timing is determined by the Advocate

Advocates may need to find recent contact information for victims through avenues such as: the probation department, law enforcement agency or the district attorney’s office

(but not social media)

Inform the victim of the information that can be provided during advocacy contacts



Contact with Victims-Reporting Abuse

Explain informed consent and mandatory reporting obligations:

Reporting of suspected abuse or neglect of children and at risk elders


All Treatment Victim Advocates have a responsibility to report and shall report suspected abuse or neglect of children or at risk elders whether or not they are legally mandated to report. C.R.S. 19-3-302, C.R.S. 26-3.1-110

b. Advocates shall inform victims of this upon initial contact and as appropriate during victim contacts.

c. Advocates shall inform the Treatment Provider when a report has been made.


Advocacy Contacts with Victim

Need to include:

A brief explanation of who the Treatment Victim Advocate is and why they are making contact

Explanation of confidentiality, including limitations

Exploration of whether or not the victim wishes to be contacted including how.

Social media or similar electronic/digital communication avenues are not appropriate ways to contact victims, as confidentiality may be jeopardized.

Overview of the domestic violence offender treatment process

General domestic violence information, including warning signs and risks

Any concerns about safety the victim may have

Referrals & resources


Discretionary Areas of Victim Contact

Advocates can determine whether to provide the following information on a case by case basis:

Offender status in treatment, group location, time, discharge, etc

Information on protection orders

Safety planning

Duty to warn


being checks


Check in



MTT 7.06

Advocate and provider responsibilities on MTT

Please refer to Section 5.0



and Record Retention



Documentation – minimal is key

Confidential victim information shall be kept in a locked file separate from the offender file


Access should be limited to advocates or to the Treatment Provider on a “need to know basis”.

Password protect electronic files

A victim shall be allowed access to her/his own information and be provided copies to her/him of her/his records upon request, and after doing adequate safety planning with the victim.


Record Retention

Advocates shall ensure that victim records are kept confidential.

Records of confidential victim information should only be maintained as long as is necessary to meet the victim’s needs.


Check in



Contact Information

Did you know? There’s a DVOMB web page just for advocates?

Where can you find the Revised 7.0 Victim Advocacy Standards




: sharon.behl@state.co.us

Website: http://dcj.dvomb.state.co.us

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