National Office strategic plan - Developing our partnerships

We will confirm Victim Support as the lead organisation for victims and witnesses whose role includes mobilising community resources. This means that we will not always provide a service ourselves, where another local organisation is better placed to meet victims' and witnesses' service needs. We also need to strengthen our involvement with statutory partnerships such as local criminal justice boards. Through this, we can continue to have a real influence on local as well as national policy towards victims and witnesses at a time when government is taking a more active role in setting priorities for work with victims and witnesses. We will focus on improving our involvement in partnerships by:

a. Ensuring that, where our resources allow it, we are involved in local and national partnerships concerning services to victims and witnesses, such as domestic violence and hate crime forums.

In year one we shall:

By year three, we shall have increased our portfolio of partnerships with other appropriate agencies, in being responsive to new and established needs.

b. Continuing to work closely with our colleagues in Victim Support Scotland to ensure consistent services and policies throughout the UK.

In year one, we shall re-establish regular United Kingdom and Ireland liaison meetings.

By year three, we shall have developed and implemented at least four joint initiatives.

c. Introducing opportunities and developing provisions for associate membership so that other organisations working with victims and witnesses can be more closely associated with Victim Support. This is a powerful demonstration of commitment to partnership that will enable us to support our partners while helping them to monitor their standards of service delivery.

In year one, we shall consult key partner groups and our members with a view to developing detailed proposals for associate membership for smaller charities providing specialist services to specific groups of victims.

By year three, we shall have developed comprehensive policies, criteria and guidelines relating to both national and local associate membership for large and small, voluntary, private and statutory organisations.

d. We will define our role and the services we will offer and be active in local criminal justice boards, local strategic partnerships and crime and disorder reduction partnerships, so that Victim Support has a central role in their work and we are well-placed to take up any funding opportunities.

In year one, we shall complete initial negotiations about our relationship with local criminal justice boards and, using good practice information from members, issue guidance to our members about their continuing or future role. We shall also have reviewed our current and potential relationship with CDRPs and issued guidelines to our members.

By year three, we shall have established Victim Support as an active partner, with a defined role, in these or any additional or alternative local or regional partnerships which are relevant to our work.

e. We will work with local criminal justice boards to inform their work in identifying organisations that provide appropriate services to victims and witnesses.

By year three, we shall have:

f. We will seek to work with a range of national organisations on joint campaigns for the rights of victims and witnesses.

In year one, we shall identify potential partners and make initial approaches to them all.

By year three, we shall have collaborated with as many relevant organisations as possible.

g. We will do preparatory work with selected local and national voluntary organisations to enable us to join together as consortia for the provision of services that are subject to competitive tender.

In year one, we shall continue to develop our partnership with the NSPCC and other children's organisations in the provision of services to young witnesses.

By year three, we shall have established a range of partnerships and we shall have produced written guidance for members on partnership work.

h. We will continue to co-operate with partner organisations in Europe and beyond for the purposes of promoting the rights of victims internationally and also the development of services in our own and other countries.

This, by definition, is a continuing objective. We will be involved with at least one EU project and will be applying for others, each of which will have timed work plans and targets which should be incorporated into our work plans.

The current CEO will retire as chair of the European Forum in May 2005, but responsibilities for managing the accounts and Company Secretary duties will continue. Other managers may have to increase their involvement in international development work during the induction period of the new CEO.

We shall contribute to learning and development initiatives in the European Forum for Victim Services and re-establish sustainable relationships with partners and maintain our role as a full contributor to international work.

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