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Victim Services & Child Witness Service Reviews

The CIJ is in the final reporting phase of Stage 2 of its review of services for victims of crime, commissioned by Victim Services, Support and Reform within the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

Building on the first stage of the review the CIJ team has been working alongside our partners KPMG to develop a leading practice service model which reflects what victims told us they needed following their experience of crime.

Importantly, the service model recognises that victims of crime are not a homogeneous group and can often present with multiple and complex needs; that there is a need to respond to victims of crime in a holistic way, rather than focusing solely on support to manage criminal justice processes; and that victims of crime need proactive support as they navigate multiple services and systems to ensure they are able to access their entitlements, and that issues and needs are addressed before they escalate and become protracted.

The CIJ team hopes this work will lead to greater investment in victim services and recognition across government that when we intervene early in experiences of victimisation we reduce trajectories of harm – in turn reducing the impact on wider service systems, including the criminal justice system.

In addition to the wider review, we are close to finalising the review of the Child Witness Service (CWS). Working with staff of the CWS, key stakeholders in the criminal justice sector and young people and their families who have used the service, we have developed a program of change that progressively builds on the many strengths of this highly regarded, specialist service. This work was also informed by consultations with other child witness services interstate and overseas and insights gained from the broader Victim Services Review.

Elena Campbell wishes to thank Riley Ellard for her outstanding leadership and initiative shown across this work during 2019, the KPMG team for their invaluable contributions, and Catherine Caruana for her thoughtful and detailed work on the Child Witness Service review, with expert assistance from Consultant Katie Lamb.

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