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Services

Requests for On Scene Assistance:

Victim Services of Algoma will respond on-scene to referrals from police services and other Victim Services programs 24 hours a day, seven days a week for on-scene assistance.  Program staff and/or volunteer crisis responders will provide in-person, on-scene crisis assistance.  A team of two crisis responders will attend each incident. 

Contact will be make with the referral source within 30 minutes of request to attend on-scene being made. 

All Other Requests for Service:

Services to self-referred victims will be provided either by telephone or by appointment to our offices.  If necessary, appointments can take place and an alternate, safe location, if victim would not otherwise be able to access the services. 

Consent:

Victim Services of Algoma will contact victims only where there is a request for service from police, another victim service provider or the victim. In situations where a child is, or is suspected to be a risk, Victim Services of Algoma must notify the Children’s Aid Society as per the Duty to Report a child in need of protection in accordance with the Child and Family Services Act.

Crisis Intervention:

Crisis intervention will most often be provided in the immediate aftermath of a crime or tragic circumstance (up to 72 hours after an incident).  Crisis intervention consists of the following components: deescalating the situation, establishing physical and emotional safety and reinforcing the victim’s ability to make choices regarding possible courses of action. 

Addressing Immediate Safety Concerns:

As part of the on-scene response, Victim Services of Algoma shall address immediate safety concerns: This includes:

  • Supporting victims in securing their dwelling, including arrangements for home safety expense’s such as window and door reports, and changing/installing locks. (Only for Specific Eligible Crimes – not all crimes are eligible)
  • Arranging for emergency accommodation (shelter or other safe location) in cases where safety concerns preclude access to the victim’s home or access to it is restricted by police (Only for Specific Eligible Crimes – not all crimes are eligible)
  • Transporting or assisting with transportation to a safe location
  • Assisting victims in securing a crime-scene clean up service.

Community Support Sessions:

At the request of a community organization, school, police service or any other agency, Victim Services of Algoma shall deliver a community support session for the purpose of raising awareness about common reactions to victimization, coping strategies and available support services for individuals affected by crime or a large-scale disaster. 

Needs Assessment:

A needs assessment shall be offered to victims and crime and vulnerable victims of a tragic circumstance. The purpose of the needs assessment is to inventory the client’s needs as well as any supports and resources for which the client is eligible, and/or the client already has access to.  The needs assessment may include the following:

  • Housing
  • Income Supports and other financial assistance needs
  • Counselling
  • Medical
  • Mental health and addictions
  • Legal (family law, immigration, criminal, etc.)
  • Child care, schools
  • Culturally-relevant supports
  • Non-immediate safety needs
  • Employment supports and
  • Spiritual supports

Victim Services of Algoma will also screen or vulnerability factors for the purpose of establishing whether a victim requires enhanced support. Factors may include:

  • Risk of suicide
  • Literacy
  • Self-harm assessment
  • Previous trauma/victimization
  • Mental health and addictions
  • Whether a support network is present
  • Severity of any injuries suffered
  • Lingual and cultural barriers
  • Homelessness
  • Isolation and
  • Disabilities.


Personalized Referral form or Service plan:

Based on the needs assessment, clients will be provided with referrals to relevant community and government support services through a personalized referral form. The form will contain the name and contact information for each referral.

Safety Planning

All victims of crime are eligible for assistance with a safety plan.

The purpose of safety planning is to empower individuals affected by crime to become aware of and, take measures to enhance, their level of safety.

Victim Services of Algoma will support the victim in the creation of a personal safety plan which will involve the client considering all aspects of his/her environment and daily activity.  The plan will include strategies to reduce the risk of further harm.

Because all situations are unique, there is no one safety plan that can meet the needs of all clients.  There are, however, some core characteristics that all good safety plans share.  A safety plan should include:

  • How to get away if there is an emergency;
  • How to help if leaving is not an option;
  • Where to go if leaving;
  • How to be safe at a new place;
  • How to keep in touch with people who will help;
  • How to keep the children safe;
  • How to keep personal property (important documents, family keepsakes, etc.) safe;
  • How to stay safe in public and at work;
  • How to be safe using social media;
  • Anything else that the client needs to feel they have a viable safety plan. 

Safety plans are not static and need to changes as circumstances change.  The client is the owner of the plan, and once it is created, the onus is on the client, to update it as her/her circumstances change.  Victim Services of Algoma can assist with updating if needed.  Victim Services of Algoma is not responsible for a client’s safety, public safety is the responsibility of the police.

Provision of Information

Victim Services of Algoma will provide clients with basic information relevant to their needs and circumstances.  Each client’s needs (i.e. language barrier) will be taken into consideration when sharing the information (i.e. verbally or through printed material). Subjects include but are not limited to the following:

  • Victims’ Rights;
  • General information on the criminal justice system
  • General information on the family court system
  • Transitional and long-term housing
  • Income supports
  • Compensation programs

Referrals to Community and Government Support Services:

Victim Services of Algoma program is designed to assist individuals affected by crime or tragic circumstances to function independently by helping them identify strategies for addressing their concerns and needs, the referral process involves providing the client with the service contact information.  If the client requires additional support than Victim Services of Algoma shall access the referral service by booking appointments on the client’s behalf and with the clients consent.

Enhanced Support

Victim Services of Algoma will occasionally be required to provide enhanced support to clients to assist them in accessing available services and resources.  Enhanced support will only be provided with consent.  Enhanced support may consist of making telephone calls, assisting with victim fill out forms (Criminal Injuries Compensation, Victim Impact Statements, etc.) sending emails or providing letters to assist a client in accessing services.   Victim Services of Algoma may provide accompaniment to an appointment or meeting if requested and no other support is available (Court, Police, etc.)

Client Follow up

Victim Services of Algoma will provide follow up contact with a victim of crime or tragic circumstance following the first intervention/service.  The purpose of the follow up is to reassess the client’s wellbeing and to ascertain if any ongoing assistance is required.  Clients have the right to decline any follow up from the program.