The Victim Services Scheme
Victim Support ACT (VS ACT) provides a range of clinical and non-clinical services to individuals who have experienced crime in the ACT. The service recognises the effect of trauma and that trauma informed care is individualised to each person’s needs. It aims to understand the trauma and the impact on the person's life.
VS ACT administers and delivers these services through the Victim Service Scheme. This Scheme is declared to be a health service provider under the Health Records (Privacy & Access) Act 1997, and is governed by legislative frameworks including the Victims of Crime Act 1994,Victims of Crime Regulation 2000 and the Victims of Crime (Financial Assistance) Act 2016.
The multidisciplinary Health Professional Officer team at VS ACT includes Social Workers, Counsellors and Psychologists, which are referred to as Case Managers. VS ACT also contracts a panel of providers, which are made-up of Psychologists, Social Workers, Counsellors, Remedial Masseurs, and Tutors.
The Panel of Service Providers
The Panel of Service Providers (the Panel) is selected either through a procurement process that is generally undertaken every three years (Approved Service Providers) or by direct application outside of the procurement process (Authorised Exceptions). Both processes require applicants to provide proof of their qualifications, professional registration, clinical supervision arrangements, Working with Vulnerable People registration, national Police check, public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance.
In accordance with Regulation 41 (1(a) – (f) of the Victims of Crime Regulation 2000 the Victims Crime Commissioner may approve a person as a service provider only if satisfied that:
(a) The person—
- has qualifications or experience in working with victims and with people from a diversity of ethnic and cultural backgrounds; and
- has experience or knowledge of working in a multidisciplinary team environment; and
- holds an appropriate policy of indemnity insurance; and
(b) If the service to be provided is a health practitioners service—the person is an appropriately qualified health practitioner; and
(c) The person has not been convicted of a serious crime; and
(d) The person is capable of satisfying the requirements of this regulation; and
(e) The person will—
- Undertake continuing education in the provision of services to victims; and
- Conduct an assessment and evaluation of the services it provides and ensure its services are subject to independent review; and
- Deal with eligible victims in a way that gives proper regard to their dignity, worth, independence, cultural diversity and human rights; and
- Provide services of appropriate quality with respect to safety, risk, health and community care outcomes and the interests of eligible victims; and
- Provide services that are consistent with best practice for the particular kind of service; and
- Establish codes of conduct for people engaged or employed by it to promote the highest ethical and professional standards; and
- Ensure premises used by people engaged or employed by it are secure, give eligible victims privacy and comply with occupational health and safety requirements; and
- Take steps to ensure that people engaged or employed by it are familiar with the Human Rights Commission Act 2005; and
(f) The person will not use contact hours for the preparation of reports for use in proceedings.
Once this is verified, the approval process for Approved Service Providers and Authorised Exceptions is completed by the Victims of Crime Commissioner.
The Panel is part of the extended team at Victim Support ACT and is selected for their knowledge and expertise including: -
- An ability to demonstrate a working knowledge of a trauma-informed approach, which recognises the physical, psychological and emotional impact of trauma; and
- Working from a strengths model, as well as a broad range of evidence based interventions to support clients to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.
The Panel work closely with the Case Managers at VS ACT who refer clients for services and provide approval for the number of hours in which services are to be delivered, with regular review and evaluation of interventions being utilised and self reports from the client if they believe that these are assisting their recovery.