Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs)
Prior to 1 April 2019, the PCC grant funded two organisations separately to provide county ISVA service coverage. However, in order to provide consistency in service provision, manage increasing demand effectively and ensure value for money, the PCC went to market in early autumn 2018 to commission a county wide ISVA and SV service.
The scope of the service is to deliver ISVA, Child Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (CISVA) and SV support services. All aspects of the service work with victims who have experienced rape or sexual violence, irrespective of whether they have reported the crime to the police, when the crime took place or the position of the case in the criminal justice system.
Please find below an explanation of the three elements of the service:
• An ISVA provides independent support, advocacy and impartial advice and information. This might include explaining available options, such as reporting to the police, accessing Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) services or providing information on other services such as health. They do not provide the specialist services, but co-ordinate support and activity based on the needs of the individual.
• A CISVA carries out the same functions as an ISVA, but specifically supports those aged 18 and under who have experienced rape or sexual violence. They also work with the family or carers to ensure the wider support network is equipped to help the individual cope and recover.
• The SV support services provide specialist bespoke support collaboratively with the ISVA. This could include specialist counselling, crisis intervention, therapeutic services or support for particular groups such as males, LGBT, children, and those with learning disabilities and mental health needs.
The service has a clear set of delivery standards, which consist of the following:
• Delivery of an independent, impartial and flexible service that is responsive and tailored towards the individual’s needs, risk, circumstances and that this support enables informed choices.
• Ensure that strict professional boundaries are understood and maintained and that those accessing the service clearly understand the services remit and that support is not ‘open ended’.
• That support is person centred and not a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
• Delivery of a service model which can adjust to changing demands, needs and risks.
• That the service is free of charge and confidential, unless risk overrides this requirement.
• That those accessing the service are treated in a respectful, sensitive and professional manner, without discrimination at any time.
• That the service is accessible/and available to all, including vulnerable and hard to access communities.
• That support is available and appropriate for specific groups such as male victims, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT+), (British English) black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), those with learning disabilities and mental health needs.
• That full consideration is given to the geography of Kent to ensure that support is delivered in a location suitable for the individual, whilst not comprising risk or confidentiality.
• That the option to deliver preventative messages to help prevent repeat victimisation and improve community awareness are considered and developed.
• That the service is delivered collaboratively with partner agencies and other services to ensure access to other appropriate services.
• That accurate, impartial support and information is provided to enable the individual to make informed choices, which may include reporting to police or pursuing a criminal justice outcome.
• That the views and engagement of interested parties, such as service users and partner organisations are sought in the development and delivery of the service.
The contract was awarded in December 2018 to Family Matters. They began delivering the service on 1 April 2019. It is a three year contract with the option to extend yearly for a further three years.
The service is monitored against the delivery of the following overarching outcomes:
• Improved health and wellbeing
• Better able to cope with aspects of everyday life
• Increased feelings of safety
• Better informed and empowered to act
• Quality and satisfaction with support provided
The total annual value of the contract is £450,000, and payments are made on a quarterly basis.
It is a requirement of the specification that the service evolves through the lifetime of the contract. This is to ensure that it is able to respond effectively to new and emerging trends and working practices.