Victim Support Europe: Webinar on the impact of Covid 19 on victim services
It was a real pleasure to take part in a webinar hosted by VS Europe at the end of last week and to talk a little about our recent survey of victim service providers in England and Wales. Many of the concerns and views raised by our own respondents seem to be replicated across Europe: having to change significantly the way people engage with services; new working methods for staff and volunteers; greater and more creative use of technology and remote engagement with victims and colleagues in other agencies; additional concerns among victims about personal safety. These, and other issues were clearly identified in our online survey (Covid 19 Survey Summary) and it was good to hear that colleagues have been working hard, and creatively, to make sure vital services are maintained during the crisis.
There is a real sense among colleagues that we need to understand and learn more about the impact of this crisis and what it might mean for the future planning, resourcing and delivery of victim services. The assumption that we might simply go back to the status quo ante is one that all of us need to question: Just because things worked, or appeared to work before, does not mean that they will again or, indeed, that even if they do they can’t be done better. As well as challenge we also have opportunity to learn and develop.
Victim Support Europe will be offering a summary of the session from last week and it will form an important part of how we learn more to help shape our plans in the future. We at Supporting Justice are also keen to help the sector learn the key lessons needed and, as well as identifying the challenges presented, also make the most of the opportunities generated. To that end we are looking for sponsorship to carry out more detailed and rigorous research into the impact of Covid 19 and how we can have confidence that our future service delivery for victims and witnesses continues to improve.
We have prepared a short paper that outlines the approach we would like to take and will happily share this with you if you would like to know more or, potentially, be able to offer help to fund the research. If you are interested to learn more please get in touch with David Kenyon (firstname.lastname@example.org).