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A Complete Guide to Establishing and Operating a Victim Assistance Academy

A Complete Guide to Establishing and Operating a Victim Assistance Academy was compiled by the SVAA Resource Center team, together with the Office for Victims of Crime, to assist states and territories in developing and/or refining their State Victim Assistance Academies. Use individual chapters that apply to your work or the handbook as a whole. Because each state and region is different, we have focused on the critical framework elements that we believe are relevant to all academies. 

 

 

CHAPTER 1 - PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

In this chapter you will find information and resources to guide you in the process of planning and developing your academy. Section topics include historical justification of need, communities of practice, leadership, steering committees, and training needs assessments.

 

CHAPTER 2 - PARTNERING WITH ACADEMIA

In this chapter you will find guidelines and information on establishing a successful partnership with an academic institution. Sections explore how to identify your academic partner(s) and the role and function of academic partners.

 

CHAPTER 3 - DEVELOPING YOUR CURRICULUM

In this chapter you will find information and resources to guide you through the basics of developing the curriculum for your state’s or territory’s academy. Sections look at the vision, foundational concepts, and content of your curriculum and also highlight resiliency, planning considerations, and credentialing.

 

CHAPTER 4 - MENTORING

In this chapter you will learn about the goals of a mentoring program, how to choose and orient a mentor to their role, and how to address the emotional impact. Three different models of academy mentorship programs are also introduced.

 

CHAPTER 5 - STUDENT SELECTION

The student selection process can be broken down into four steps, each with its own considerations and tasks. This chapter will examine each of the following: developing specific selection criteria, creating the application and submission process, outreach and recruitment, and crafting a student body.

 

CHAPTER 6 - ACADEMY OPERATIONS, LOGISTICS, AND FACULTY

This chapter covers information on the overall operation of your SVAA including details to consider when planning logistics, recruiting faculty, hiring personnel, and anticipating student needs.

 

CHAPTER 7 - EVALUATION AND PERFORMANCE MECHANISMS

This chapter will walk you through the steps of a training evaluation including identifying the purpose of your evaluation, selecting your evaluation method, designing the tools, collecting the data, and analyzing and reporting the results.

 

CHAPTER 8 - FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

In this chapter you will find information and resources to guide you through the basics of planning for and managing the finances of your academy. Section topics include identifying a funding model, creating a budget and keeping records, diversifying your funds, and sustainability.