Activity Spotlight on…
Disaster Mental Health and Post-Crisis Counseling Support Following Mass Violence
Requester/Organization Supported: City of Virginia Beach, Department of Human Services
Type & Dates: Two 6-hour trainings | September 27 and October 4, 2019
Description: As a result of the May 31, 2019, shooting in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the city of Virginia Beach requested training for local mental health providers on effective strategies for mass violence intervention. The trainings included an overview of mass violence and disaster mental health; the differences in concepts and interventions relative to the treatment of other potential traumas; strategies, such as Psychological First Aid; lessons learned from the Virginia Tech mass shooting; resilience and post-traumatic growth; and self-care for providers. Approximately 300 mental health providers representing the local community, government programs, and providers in private practice attended the two trainings.
Implementation: The consultants worked with staff from the Virginia Beach Community Services Board, Virginia Beach Department of Human Services to create the training curriculum. The consultants drew on their expertise in disaster mental health and responding to mass violence incidents, such as the Boston Marathon bombing, shootings at Virginia Tech, Las Vegas, and Orlando, and many more, to develop the curriculum. The two trainings were promoted to local mental health providers who received CEUs for attending the trainings.
Results: Participants learned about framing mass violence treatment interventions as a long-term effort and the benefit of Psychological First Aid for the overall community. Eighty percent of the participants indicated they would share the information with their colleagues. Some participants said they would develop a new manual for disaster practitioners in their area, and they would introduce Psychological First Aid to their agency. The training resulted in an increased number of mental health providers who are better equipped with the unique skill set needed to work with individuals after a mass violence incident.
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VIEW + January–March 2020
CLOSE + January–March 2020
Requester/Organization Supported: Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
Type & Dates: Delivered a 1-day training in three locations across Virginia on May 7, 8, and 10, 2019. The training focused on the elements of trauma-informed leadership and how to incorporate those elements into the organization.
Description: The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services Victim Services Team requested two consultants to deliver a 1-day training at three different locations. Followup technical assistance to be provided to participants via a series of conference calls on implementing elements of the trauma-informed leadership training. Approximately 90 executive directors and program managers at subgrantee organizations from across the state attended.
Implementation: The consultants worked with the requester to develop curriculum content and followup materials. They then facilitated 1-day trainings at three sites, providing an overview of trauma-informed leadership so participants could apply the leadership skills in their own organizations. Lastly, the consultants led three 1-hour conference calls, scheduled 30, 60, and 90 days after the onsite trainings, to provide technical assistance and followup support to participants as they implemented trauma-informed leadership in their organizations.
Results: Attendees were able to learn from each other. The presenters offered ample time and opportunity for the attendees to hear ideas from others and make professional connections. The presenters balanced theoretical foundations and practical applications appropriately. This balance allowed the attendees to have both a framework in which to understand the topic and the practical knowledge they could readily apply. It was important for this training to offer that balance, and the presenters did that successfully.
VIEW + October–December 2019
CLOSE + October–December 2019
Understanding the Importance of Program Evaluation
Requester/Organization Supported: Wyoming Division of Victim Services
Type & Dates: A 4-hour workshop and two 1-hour followup technical assistance webinars | May 8, 2019 (workshop), and June 12–13, 2019 (technical assistance webinars)
Description: The Wyoming Division of Victim Services received a 4-hour workshop on program evaluation for VOCA subgrantees at the 2019 Grantee Meeting in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The workshop addressed the importance of program planning and evaluations in driving effective service delivery. Training participants were offered followup technical assistance to discuss implementation of program evaluation and provide ongoing assistance. Approximately 70 subgrantee representatives, including victim advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, tribal service providers, administrators, and health care providers attended.
Implementation: The consultant was highly skilled at delving into the specifics of program evaluation, the basic components and structure of program evaluation, and was able to achieve a lot in a short period of time, including what shapes a successful evaluation, creating measureable objectives, and using the results to inform organizational growth and capacity building. Through the consultant's focus on why program evaluation is important for victim services, she was able to generate significant interest among the participants in developing their own program evaluations, which was the goal of the event's hosts.
Results: Participants expressed a renewed awareness of the topic and a greater sense of understanding around program evaluation. In discussions after the meeting, participants shared their interest in conducting a program evaluation, exploring their options, and considering their goals for an evaluation. The requester anticipates seeing programs apply for funds to conduct program evaluations in the coming year. Many participants expressed a desire to participate in the additional training time that was offered via webinar. The remote TA sessions provided an opportunity to learn more about the topic for those interested. Participants had time between the training and the remote TA to think about the topic, how it would work for their agency, and identify questions they might not have considered during the training. Twenty-three participants (33 percent of the original in-person participants) attended the two followup technical assistance webinars.
VIEW + July–September 2019
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New Mexico Leadership Institute
Requester/Organization Supported: New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs
Type & Dates: In-person, capacity-building and leadership training | February 4–7, 2019
Description: The New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs requested a training on leadership on February 4–7, 2019, in Gallup, New Mexico. The Leadership Institute provides skill-based training to assist participants in becoming more effective leaders of teams, workgroups, or organizations. The training focused on how to inspire and motivate staff, lead change, and foster innovation. It provided skills and knowledge for new and seasoned victim service leaders who provide or have provided direct services to victims to build capacity within victim-serving agencies.
Implementation: The consultants provided an adapted pilot version of the 11-week blended learning Leadership Institute curriculum to Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) members over the course of 4 days.
Results: The training provided an opportunity for participants to discuss how they can better assist one another. As a result of the training, the participants formed a SART and have since had four SART meetings. The newly formed SART includes law enforcement/sheriff's office, legal aid, sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), child advocacy center, sexual assault services staff, and, most recently, the district attorney's office victim advocate. The meetings addressed SART-specific responses beyond the existing domestic violence and sexual assault task force, including a team of individuals assigned to work with victims of sexual assault specifically. They are also working on clarifying types of cases, jurisdictional issues, building trust and rapport with team members, and other issues that need to be addressed, while working with agencies to build relationships. Each agency contributes statistics at every meeting to help justify the need for funding in grant solicitations. They also assess each agency's operations to identify how they can improve the victim experience (e.g., reviewing forms to ensure inclusivity, particularly for LGBTQ and older adult victims).
Since the training, the current domestic violence and sexual assault task force developed a vision statement to provide more clarity about the direction of the task force. They are working on bringing essential teams to the table that have been missing (e.g., local police department, district attorney's office, and the local domestic violence response organization).
Training participants have a better understanding of the differences in their agencies (e.g., processes, motivators), including how they interact and operate, and that they ultimately share the same goal to support victims. The training helped to cultivate mutual respect across all participants, allowed them to be more connected to the people in the community, and created a safe environment to cover hard topics. The training taught them how to have tough conversations and move forward from them, dispelled fear, and encouraged approachability among the members. As a result, participants were able to have hard conversations with people who had not gotten along very well, and that would not have happened otherwise.
VIEW + April–June 2019
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Advanced Trainer Institute, Train the Trainers To Enhance Their Presentation and Facilitation Skills
Requester/Organization Supported: Ohio Department of Public Safety, Office of Criminal Justice Services
Type & Dates: In-Person, Capacity-Building Training | December 10–12, 2018
Description: The Ohio Department of Public Safety, Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) requested two consultants to deliver a 2.5-day training on advanced training skills in Columbus, Ohio. The Advanced Trainer Institute program trains professionals in victim services to enhance their presentation and facilitation skills.
Implementation: Two OVC Consultants worked with OCJS and its subgrantees, the Ohio Department of Youth Services, the Public Children Services Association, and the Ohio Network of Children's Advocacy Centers, to tailor this training to meet the needs of the participants to improve their presentation skills. OCJS is the recipient of the Improving Outcomes for Juvenile Victims of Trafficking grant and, along with its subgrantees, has responsibility for delivering training to child welfare agencies and juvenile courts within Ohio. An OVC TTAC onsite coordinator from the Human Trafficking Team allowed OVC TTAC to share recommendations and insight on how standard catalog trainings can benefit other OVC Human Trafficking grantees. One consultant was experienced in delivering the Advanced Trainer Institute curriculum specifically, and the other provided expertise on incorporating elements of anti-trafficking information and standards in trainings for the participants.
Results: The training helped to improve the presentation and facilitation skills for subgrantees on human trafficking grants, who have responsibilities for delivering training to child welfare agencies and juvenile courts within Ohio. This training allowed participants to practice their presentation skills and get real-time feedback from the experts. The participants left with a better understanding of their own facilitation skills and where they could improve. The grantees and attendees changed their presentations to include more activities to engage the audience. All of the participants found the group discussions and activities to be the most engaging and helpful parts of the training.
VIEW + January–March 2019
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Riverside Superior Court Vicarious Trauma Program Development
Requester/Organization Supported: Superior Court of California, County of Riverside
Type & Dates: Remote/Virtual Training and Technical Assistance | March 1–September 15, 2018
Description: The Superior Court of California, County of Riverside, requested technical assistance on the development and implementation of an organizational-level vicarious trauma response program for courthouse personnel. The proposed technical assistance would help develop the court's infrastructure and capacity to promote a vicarious trauma-informed organizational culture.
Implementation: The consultant provided feedback on the training materials developed by the Court team, as well as coaching and guidance to the Court team during biweekly conference calls. The consultant discussed the evaluations and related emerging issues along the way. The consultant leveraged the requester's existing tools and processes (EAP, health care plans, etc.) and identified additional tools that would meet its needs. The consultant provided the team with the Vicarious Trauma Toolkit's Vicarious Trauma Organizational Readiness Guide, with guidance about adapting the information as needed for the staff. The consultant also shared multiple options, from online training to more targeted training for leadership. The consultant provided their initial assessment findings to the team in order to identify strengths and gaps and develop priorities and next steps for an action plan.
Results: The consultant's technical assistance helped the requester to address vicarious trauma and to focus efforts on delivering more than a one-time training session. The participants were committed to creating a comprehensive organizational approach to vicarious trauma within their large organization, with a specific focus on initiating and implementing a basic training as a first step. The Court team was very satisfied with the support received, along with the consultant's technical expertise and knowledge. The requester has a solid foundation to build upon going forward and can rely on OVC TTAC for further assistance.