29 Nov, 2018

The first in this year’s series of reports on ‘How to Ensure Quality of Victim Support Services?’ that we prepared for the World Bank in Serbia is now online

To support Serbian authorities to develop quality standards for victim support services the MDTF JSS in partnership with Victim Support Europe prepared this report. The proposed standards should be acceptable to and seen as valuable by different stakeholders from policy makers to NGOs and the judiciary.

Why do we need to introduce the standards for victim support services?

The number of services supporting victims of crimes has increased over recent years. In part, this is due to organisations responding to victims who want to access support, but is also a result of the drive by commissioners to ensure equitable services are provided in their local communities. As services for victims are developed, it is crucial that they are able to meet the specific needs of their clients.

Who benefits from the report?

Existence of quality standards is important for victims themselves, since support services are often subject to scrutiny. Victims should be assured of the quality of the services they are accessing.

Referral organizations can find it useful to be able to easily identify organizations to which they can send victims, with confidence in the quality of the service offered.

Governments and donors can find it valuable to be able to easily assess the qualifications of an organization when funding is being allocated.

In addition, given the specific vulnerabilities of victims of crimes, it is a priority that the service should be of the required standard as to avoid further traumatisation and re-victimisation.

The Report requires informed decision making by Serbian stakeholders to decide which path to take in the adoption of the proposed standards. Whether these criteria will be adopted, or other priorities will be set; whether standards will be imposed through a governmental instrument or adopted by victim support providers; whether they will be controlled through a rigorous system of licensing or through a softer approach of study visits, evaluations and internal regulation – all very important –are decisions to be taken by interested parties in Serbia.

Read the report online.