Job Specification

Position Title:
Victim Witness Services Worker - Designated Bilingual (English-French)
Job Code:
03521 - Executive Officer 1 B/U
Job ID:

Purpose of Position :

To assess the needs of victim/witnesses of crime and provide a full range of services, including needs assessment, crisis intervention, information, emotional support and/or referrals, during their involvement in the criminal justice system up to disposition of criminal court proceedings. To participate in stakeholder networks and participate in public education in order to promote the Victim/Witness Assistance Program [V/WAP] and promote the needs and rights of victims/witnesses within the criminal justice system and community organizations.

Duties / Responsibilities :

In the Victim/Witness Assistance Program [V/WAP], the position provides information, support and assistance to victims/witnesses of crimes and advocates on their behalf.
• Manages and coordinates assigned caseload by: reviewing Crown files and referrals from police and community agencies; establishing and maintaining contact with clients from inception to disposition of criminal cases, assessing and evaluating client service needs, preparing a service plan and providing appropriate services.
• Acts as liaison between clients and community agency personnel, government organizations, Crown Counsel, and police to advocate for the needs/interests of clients, to provide information on services and assistance, to improve clients' understanding of and participation in the criminal justice process, and to facilitate the provision of services to support clients' individual needs.
• Discusses safety concerns and options with clients. Provides emotional support, and crisis intervention to traumatized and high risk clients according to V/WAP Policy and Procedure Manual.
• Assesses needs and abilities of clients to determine requirements and provide appropriate services [e.g., conducting courtroom preparation, advocating for and arranging use of testimonial aids, etc.] and accompanies most vulnerable clients during court proceedings, as approved by the Manager.
• Provides assistance to clients regarding purpose and intent of documentation such as Victim Impact Statements and Criminal Injuries Compensation Board applications.
• Maintains communication and consultation networks with members of the Justice Sector and community agencies to promote the goals and objectives of V/WAP and facilitate the provision of effective client services.
• Participates in projects and committees as assigned, as a representative of VWAP, and contributes to the successful completion of projects, identifies local community services or services gaps relevant for V/WAP client support and contributes to the development of processes and procedures for community services.
• Participates in public educates activities (e.g., speaking engagements with stakeholder groups) to provide information on the role and mandate of V/WAP and victim's issues through both formal and informal presentations.
• Maintains assigned caseload according to the timelines and procedures established by the V/WAP Program Policy and Procedure Manual; prepares and maintains confidential case files and keeps detailed case notes; prepares a range of correspondence, reports and forms [such as Victim Input Forms] related to client services and updates information as required.
• Co-ordinates the compilation and preparation of relevant information for statistical reports to support information and planning requirements for the Manager, Regional and Corporate Offices.
• In the absence of the Manager, provides technical expertise to the Program operations as assigned, responds to urgent requests for information from Corporate Office, Regional Office, and the local Crown Attorney's Office and alerts back-up Manager to critical issues impacting on Program operations.
• Provides supervision, training and development, and assignment of work to students and/or volunteers.
• As a member of the V/WAP team, identifies gaps in services/procedures for victims/witnesses and provides input, suggestions and ideas on improvements to protocols, procedures and processes respecting effective operation and administration of the Program.
• Perform other duties as assigned.

Staffing and Licensing :

For Designated Position Only: Oral French Language Skills at Advance Level

Knowledge :

Knowledge of the criminal justice system, issues pertaining to victims of crime [specifically domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, homicide, death related cases, etc.]; knowledge of relevant legislation governing victims of crime, court operations, procedures and protocols, in order to provide relevant information, assistance and guidance to clients throughout the legal proceedings, to assist clients to make effective decisions, to encourage their participation in the legal process. Knowledge of risk assessment and safety planning, to assist clients to identify safety concerns and develop plans to access services. Knowledge of crisis response and intervention, to respond appropriately to clients in crisis, who may have been traumatized by the crime. Knowledge of services provided by community agencies to arrange appropriate referrals for clients, to foster co-operation in service provision, and to build effective partnerships and educational networks. Knowledge of OVSS mandate and programs, Victim Bill of Rights, V/WAP policies and procedures to provide services to clients and to interact with stake holders. Knowledge of program database systems to input, locate, update and retrieve information and to maintain comprehensive case records. Knowledge of computer software to develop correspondence, reports and presentations. Knowledge of the practices and procedures of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Personal Privacy Act to provide non-confidential verbal and written information in response to verbal or written inquiries from clients, justice sector and service providers.

Skills :

Crisis response/intervention skills, needs assessment skills, analytical and problem solving skills to apply Program policies, relevant legislation and guidelines in analyzing clients' needs, to assess clients' immediate risks and determine the level of crisis intervention/service needs/safety plans, to consider various alternatives and to select and apply the best plan of action to meet unique needs. Organizational and planning skills to manage a large caseload independently, to prioritize work in an environment of demanding multiple deadlines, Problem solving skills to resolve issues relating to clients services and recommend resolution of contentious issues to the Manager Interpersonal skills, judgement, initiative, tact and diplomacy to work independently with community agency representatives, court administration, Crown Counsel and to make recommendations to Crown based on observations/information provided by clients, to raise breaches or resolve service problems with appropriate personnel while maintaining effective and productive relationships with clients and service providers. Analytical and reasoning skills to recommend service improvements and to foster co-operation of service providers in implementing new or enhanced services. Consultation and communications skills to provide information to clients, and to testify during court proceedings. Judgement, communication skills and empathy in order to deal with clients who are in crisis and in highly emotional states, to communicate and advocate with members of the Justice Sector and community agencies on behalf of the clients while maintaining clients' privacy interests and disclosure parameters. Written communication and presentation skills to write reports, correspondence and case file summaries and to prepare presentations and participate in public speaking engagements and in the development of educational and promotional Program information. Interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively within a team environment. Valid Drivers License as required by the location of the job.

Freedom of Action :

Works in a team environment under general direction of the Manager, V/WAP, and in accordance with established policies, procedures and internal V/WAP Program Policy and Procedural Manual and Ministry/Government guidelines and directives, the position has latitude for independent decision making in co-ordinating and conducting activities related to assigned client cases. Advice and guidance is provided by the Manager in the event of critical or contentious issues. The position exercises judgement in: managing assigned cases, assessing clients' individual needs, providing relevant guidance and information, selecting and initiating contact with appropriate community agencies, government organizations and services for referral purposes; relying upon Manager's input in the event of unusually complex or problematic cases preparing victims/witnesses for court proceedings and in advocating and liaising with Justice Sector personnel and community agencies from inception of the criminal case to final disposition; recording accurate and factual information in client case files; accurate representation of V/WAP at informational/educational presentations and for accurate and relevant communication with clients and Justice sector contacts; assisting in training of new staff and training and supervision of students and volunteer workers and for provision of accurate and timely guidance to Program staff during Manager's absence when assigned; and advising/alerting/referring critical issues, breaches and other information as raised/provided by clients to Manager, police, Crown Counsel, community agencies and government organizations. Matters not covered by policy, protocol or highly contentious/publicized issues are discussed with and or referred to the Manager and or Crown Counsel. Work is reviewed for progress and results by regular caseload review of statistical information or through complaints from the clients, Crown Counsel, police or agencies. Errors in provision of effective guidance, referral and safety planning to clients, in selection of community resources, and/or inability to recognize situations that place the client in crisis or at risk have direct impact on the safety and well being of clients and their families, especially children, and may create service interruption and crisis situations and may result in clients' unwillingness to participate in and delays in criminal proceedings and negatively impact the credibility of the Program and government services. Errors in neglecting to convey safety information to the Crown via victim input may result in information not being included on bail and/or probation conditions which could jeopardize victim safety and/or safety of their children. Errors in courtroom orientation, documentation and legislative interpretation could result in misinformed clients and potentially jeopardize the outcome of criminal proceedings. Errors in consultations with Crown Counsel, police and delays in notification of relevant information/breaches and inaccurate case management input into case tracking systems could negatively impact criminal proceedings and the disposition of the cases.

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