National Office strategic plan 2005-2008 - Being a learning organisation
Victim Support is recognised as a world leader in developing innovative services to victims and witnesses and in campaigning for victims' and witnesses' rights. But social changes demand that we constantly seek new ways of helping victims and witnesses. For example, recruitment of volunteers may become harder in some areas as people become more 'cash rich and time poor'. Meanwhile, the Government is increasingly placing the criminal justice system at the centre of services to victims. We recognise that the criminal justice system can only provide help to the very small minority of victims whose cases proceed to court and that our own services must extend more widely.
a. Continue to improve our performance as a learning organisation that is flexible, innovative and able to adapt by reviewing our services and structures regularly and taking action where needed.
This, by definition, is a continuing objective. We shall improve our procedures for planning, implementing and monitoring plans by:
- identifying and responding to our own individual and collective learning needs
- seeking out and responding to new information, initiatives and experience within and beyond the organisation
- recording and disseminating lessons that have been learned
- reviewing and complying with an annual planning diary (produced in year one)
- systematically reviewing our own practices and structures.
b. Improve our ability, through research and the involvement of service-users in planning, to establish 'what works' in supporting victims and witnesses.
In year one, we shall:
- establish how evidence of 'what works' can be routinely collected in day-to-day practice to augment the data that we will collect by research
- identify a means by which information from Q&S inspections can be routinely captured and used in service development work
- work to ensure that this information is available to inform the production of learning materials.
By year three, we shall:
- be able to demonstrate that a service user perspective is incorporated in all our research and service development work and that all service development work is based on sound evidence of 'what works'
- have developed the service map as a means by which members can keep each other informed and updated about effective practice in local initiatives.
c. Extend our campaigning and policy work beyond criminal justice towards social policy. This is so that we can press for improvements in the extent to which social policy recognises the impact of crime on victims, and provides for their needs.
In year one, we shall consult members, victims and witnesses and produce a comprehensive list of social rights and a review of criminal justice rights.
By year three, we shall have brought the social and criminal justice rights to the attention of the relevant government department or agency and the Commissioner and achieved support in principle for them all.
d. Find new ways of attracting volunteers to Victim Support. This will include offering different styles of volunteering that are more flexible in terms of time commitment, and providing opportunities for people who are employed full time to use volunteering with Victim Support as a means of developing their careers.
In year one, we shall:
- promote the national volunteering strategy, including the AGIS project in volunteer recruitment
- identify specific career development opportunities for potential volunteers and establish partnerships with appropriate training and employment agencies.
By year three, we shall have increased the range of volunteering roles and opportunities, in keeping with changing socio-economic patterns and demands.
e. Review and prioritise our service delivery in the light of information about service needs and the resources available to meet them.
In year one, we shall produce proposals for developing a service need prioritisation tool.
By year three, we shall have:
- developed and piloted a service need prioritisation tool
- revised the core service review to ensure that the definition and scope of our service is up-to-date.
f. We will establish innovative ways of providing support which are responsive to the changing lifestyles of the people we support.
In year one, we shall initiate research into ways of providing services to young victims.
By year three, we shall have implemented new methods of providing support to young victims and shall have explored the possibility of extending and adapting this type of provision for adults.
g. Working closely with other organisations to develop innovative practice in supporting victims and witnesses. By innovating, we will also enhance our public profile because innovation generates media interest.
In year one, we shall:
- involve other partner organisations in service development groups and research project steering groups
- develop our expertise in managing the nature of their involvement
- actively seek opportunities to establish joint research projects with other organisations such as the recently completed research project with NSPCC into the experience of young people giving evidence. This will be tied in with anticipated joint bids for service provision in response to government generated tendering opportunities.
- participate in Skills for Justice activities promoting the interests of victims and witnesses and Victim Support.
By year three, we shall have enhanced Victim Support's profile as an organisation that works with other reputable charities to develop innovative and effective work with victims and witnesses. Through the involvement of other agencies, our service delivery will have improved.