Starting Victim Services
- Consider whether the victim services program can be built on an existing service or collaboration.
- Initiate discussions with law enforcement agency leaders about supporting an in-house victim services program. Be ready to discuss and provide materials on potential program activities and benefits, needs assessment results, funding ideas, and how the project might be implemented.
- Consider using an interagency advisory committee to guide the effort. Involving community and government agencies in the needs assessment process and program design and implementation sends a message that the goal is to work together to serve victims rather than compete with each other.
- Seek guidance from others around the country who have developed similar programs or can provide expertise on specific topics such as victims' rights, policy development, and collaboration. OVC's Training and Technical Assistance Center can help connect you with experts and programs. In addition, the International Association of Chiefs of Police offers a number of valuable training opportunities.