Message From the Director

Although we understand that there is never closure for victims of violent crime and their loved ones, we know that helping victims understand and assert their rights and access needed services is critical. It takes a community to ensure that victims have the support to report the crimes committed against them, assert their rights, and receive the services and compensation to which they are entitled. Social workers identify and assist victims in many community settings, including human service agencies, child welfare and adult protective service agencies, mental health clinics, and hospitals and medical clinics.

Social workers have indicated a need for training in such areas as crime victim compensation, helping victims through the criminal justice process, assisting with victim impact statements, and helping survivors of terrorist actions or multiple shootings. Therefore, it is critical that the victim assistance field work closely with social work educators to develop appropriate and effective training tools for students and practitioners. OVC funded this initiative to fill a critical gap in social workers’ professional and continuing education training.

John W. Gillis, Director

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The Victim Assistance Field and the Profession of Social Work
March 2006