The Victim Advocacy Peer Support Toolkit
The training and professional development needs of Victim Advocates working in a CAC have come into sharper focus with the introduction of the 2017 National Children’s Alliance Standards for Accredited Members. Equipping Victim Advocates with the knowledge and skills to effectively shepherd children and families through the years-long investigative and healing processes requires the provision of specialized training, continuing education, knowledgeable supervision, and ongoing support. This Toolkit will guide Victim Advocates and CAC Directors in the establishment of a peer support process, which offers ongoing opportunities for building a community of practice inclusive of professional growth, networking, sharing of resources and research, and self-care.
This Toolkit provides guidelines regarding core components in the development of Victim Advocate Peer Support groups. Recognizing that there is no “one size fits all” process, these guidelines are simply that – guidance, considerations, tips and resources for CACs and State Chapters to use to meet their unique needs and resources.
CACs and MDTs are effective because of the commitment, experience, skill and contributions of all agencies and professionals working in coordination and collaboration toward safety, healing and justice for children and families. The development of a victim advocacy peer support process should similarly utilize a collaborative team approach to ensure its sound implementation and success. We hope that this Toolkit is a significant source of support and guidance in that pursuit.