Component: Victim Services

Legislation: Ministry of Community and Social Services Act

Service description

The Province provides funding to the Recipient for the delivery of the Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario (VCAO) Program.

The Recipient will deliver the VCAO Program using trained staff and volunteers, who will provide victim-centred support and culturally-relevant services, in collaboration with other community service providers, to individuals affected by crime and tragic circumstances.

Upon receiving a request from police or another VCAO service provider, the Recipient will deploy crisis responders to provide immediate, on scene assistance.

Victims may also access service via self-referral, or referral from another service provider.

Once the Client's needs are assessed, VCAO Program staff or volunteers will provide information and referrals to relevant community services. In most cases, the support provided by the VCAO Program is short-term in nature. Vulnerable victims, as determined by an assessment, are eligible for enhanced support.

People served

The VCAO Program serves individuals affected by crime and tragic circumstances. Children under 16 years of age require consent/permission from a parent or guardian.

Program/service features

The VCAO Program will be delivered in accordance with the most up-to-date version of the VCAO Program Standards and the most up-to-date version of the Victim Quick Response Program+ (VQRP+) Standards.

Specific service provided

The Recipient is responsible for the delivery of services/activities to Clients living in the catchment area. The menu of services offered by the VCAO Program includes

  • 24/7 assistance when requested by police or an agency with which the VCAO Program has a protocol
  • practical assistance needs assessment
  • referrals to relevant community and government support services
  • support to assess Client eligibility and assist them to collect documentation to apply to the VQRP+
  • safety planning provision of information
  • enhanced support, particularly for survivors of human trafficking and other
  • vulnerable populations community support sessions; and client follow-up

Program goals

The goals of the VCAO Program are

  • To provide early assistance and support, information and referrals to individuals affected by crime and tragic circumstances, both in-person or remotely
  • To reduce the likelihood of further harm by helping a Client identify and address safety issues and
  • To help Clients identify their needs and concerns and develop strategies to address them

Ministry expectations

Community liaison/development

The Recipient will work with local police services and community service providers to develop a process for referrals of victims of crime to the VCAO Program.

The Recipient will implement protocols with local organizations and communities serving children and youth, racialized individuals, members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and Indigenous people to ensure that victims receive wraparound supports and are able to access supports from their service provider of choice.

Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario (VCAO) Alternative Victim Service Provider (AVSP)

Legislation: Ministry of Community and Social Services Act

Service description

The Province provides funding to the Recipient for the delivery of the Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario (VCAO) Program - Alternative Victim Services (AVSP) Site.

The Recipient will deliver VCAO AVSP using trained staff and volunteers, who will provide victim-centred support and culturally-relevant services, in collaboration with other community service providers, to individuals affected by crime and tragic circumstances. Upon receiving a request from police or another VCAO service provider, the Recipient will deploy crisis responders to provide immediate, on scene assistance.

Victims may also access service via self-referral, or referral from another service provider. Once the Client's needs are assessed, VCAO AVSP staff or volunteers will provide information and referrals to relevant community services. In most cases, the support provided by the VCAO AVSP is short-term in nature. Vulnerable victims, as determined by an assessment, are eligible for enhanced support.

People served

The Program serves individuals affected by crime and tragic circumstances. Children under 16 years of age require consent/permission from a parent or guardian.

Program/service features

The VCAO AVSP will be delivered in accordance with the most up-to-date version of the VCAO Program Standards and the most up-to-date version of the Victim Quick Response Program+ (VQRP+) Standards.

Specific service provided

The Recipient is responsible for the delivery of services/activities to Clients living in the catchment area. The menu of services offered by the VCAO AVSP includes

  • 24/7 assistance when requested by police or an agency with which the Recipient has a protocol
  • practical assistance needs assessment
  • referrals to relevant community and government support services
  • support to assess Client eligibility and assist them to collect documentation to apply to the VQRP+
  • safety planning provision of information
  • enhanced support, particularly for survivors of human trafficking and other vulnerable populations
  • community support sessions client follow-up and
  • counselling to survivors of sexual assault, over the age of 16, who identify as; women, non-binary, Two Spirit, genderqueer and intersex, where publicly-funded
  • counselling services do not exist and the individuals are not eligible for emergency counselling through VQRP+

Note: Survivors of sexual abuse who identify as men will be referred to the Support Services for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Program.

Program goals

The goals of the VCAO AVSP are

  • To provide early assistance and support, information and referrals to individuals affected by crime and tragic circumstances, both in-person or remotely
  • To reduce the likelihood of further harm by helping a Client identify and address safety issues and
  • To help Clients identify their needs and concerns, and develop strategies to address them

Ministry expectations

Community liaison/development

The Recipient will work with local police services and community service providers to develop a process for referrals of victims of crime to the VCAO AVSP.

The Recipient will implement protocols with local organizations and communities serving children and youth, racialized individuals, members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and Indigenous people to ensure that victims receive wraparound supports and are able to access supports from their service provider of choice.

Reporting requirements

Service data on ministry funded expenditures will be reported on at an Interim and Final stage. Please refer to your final agreement for report back due dates and targets. Quarterly service data will be reported through supplemental reports to the ministry.

Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario (VCAO) Exit Route

Legislation: Ministry of Community and Social Services Act

Service description

The Province provides funding to the Recipient for the delivery of Exit Route.

The Recipient will deliver Exit Route using trained staff, who will provide specialized victim-centered, trauma-informed and culturally-appropriate support to victims/survivors of human trafficking and intimate partner violence.

People served

The Program serves victims/survivors of human trafficking and intimate partner violence. Children under the age of 16 require consent/permission from a parent or guardian unless they are assessed to be mature minors.

Program/service features

The Recipient is responsible for the delivery of services/activities to participants living in the catchment area (City of Toronto). Exit Route services that overlap with Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario (VCAO) Program will be delivered in accordance with the most up-to-date version of the VCAO Program Standards and the most up-to-date version of the Victim Quick Response Program+ (VQRP+) Standards.

Delivery of Exit Route services to participants who are victims/survivors of human trafficking and under the age of 18 will be coordinated with the Toronto Children at Risk of Exploitation (CARE) Unit.

Specific service provided

In addition to the services offered through the VCAO Program, the following services will be offered

  • System Navigation – The Recipient will assist victims/survivors of human trafficking and intimate partner violence to navigate various services and practical
  • supports to address their needs. This navigation will include facilitated linkages to community agencies instead of just straight referrals
  • Counselling Support - The Recipient will immediately connect victims/survivors of human trafficking and intimate partner violence to a qualified counsellor within the Recipient's organization to provide them with crisis intervention counselling and emotional support
  • Enhanced Follow-up - The Recipient will proactively follow-up with victims/survivors of human trafficking and intimate partner violence a minimum of two times, to ensure that connections are working with other supports and to continue to support them with any ongoing needs, including assisting them to transition to longer-term services within their community

Program goals

The goals of Exit Route are

  • To enhance access to support services and reduce service barriers for victims/survivors of human trafficking and intimate partner violence through the provision of system navigation services
  • To increase collaboration among policing and other justice and community partners to improve supports for victims/survivors of human trafficking and intimate partner violence and
  • To reduce the likelihood of further harm and increase the likelihood of victims/survivors leaving their trafficker(s) or abusive partner by providing wraparound supports to victims/survivors of human trafficking and intimate partner violence

Ministry expectations

Community liaison/development

The Recipient will have victim services workers embedded into select Toronto Police Services Units and Divisions, including the Human Trafficking Enforcement Unit, so that on scene assistance can be provided to an increased number of victims/survivors of human trafficking and intimate partner violence, or in the immediate aftermath at the local police station.

The Recipient will focus on building more collaborative relationships in their community, particularly with organizations that serve Indigenous and racialized communities. For Victims/survivors of human trafficking and intimate partner violence from Indigenous and racialized communities, the Recipient will work with organizations serving these communities to implement alternative ways, other than through the police or at police stations, for community members to access service.

The Recipient will network with existing community and court-based services, as well as the Toronto CARE Unit when appropriate, providing support to victims/survivors of human trafficking and intimate partner violence to strengthen those relationships and to ensure that the organizations are working collaboratively, without service duplication, to provide wraparound supports to these victims/survivors.

Reporting requirements

Service data on ministry funded expenditures will be reported on at an Interim and Final stage. Please refer to your final agreement for report back due dates and targets.

Quarterly service data will be reported through supplemental reports to the ministry.

Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario (VCAO) Online Training Initiative

Legislation: Ministry of Community and Social Services Act

Service description

The Province provides funding to the Recipient for the administration of the VCAO Online Training Initiative.

The VCAO Online Training serves VCAO service providers in Ontario to enable service providers to better identify the needs of victims of crime and to provide support for these victims to address their diverse and unique needs.

People served

The VCAO Online Training serves VCAO service providers in Ontario.

Program/service

Specific service provided

The Recipient will be responsible for the administration of the VCAO Online Training Initiative, which includes

  • Entering into a Partnership Agreement with the legal entity, (currently Dual Code Inc.), that hosts and maintains the VCAO online training for VCAO service providers in Ontario (the "Host"), which will enable service providers to better identify the needs of victims of crime and to provide support for these victims to address their diverse and unique needs
  • Providing administration support, as needed, to facilitate VCAO service providers access to the training
  • Follow-up with the Host should any issues or concerns arise Ensuring the Host completes any reporting required by the Province
  • Notifying the Province in a timely manner should there be any serious occurrences in relation to the online training, including system outages that cannot be remedied within a reasonable period of time and
  • Ensuring the following conditions are met by the Host as part of the Partnership Agreement
  • The previously developed English and French online training modules are maintained on the existing platform and website, which is accessible for persons with disabilities
  • Access and support to the existing VCAO online training is provided for up to 5,000 users from VCAO service delivery organizations
  • Materials are accessible and any necessary adjustments are made to address any technical or accessibility barriers
  • There is password-protected access to the system for users
  • A daily back up of online training data is maintained on a daily basis and any lost or damaged data is restored to the extent of the latest backup
  • There is an online resource available for users to assist with any technical issues that may arise
  • The system is available to users with at least 99.9% availability (excluding scheduled maintenance downtime where notice is provided to service providers)
  • Systems are monitored 24/7
  • System outages are addressed immediately, 24/7, including notifying users of outages
  • Standard technical support is provided to the administrators at each VCAO site via tickets submitted via email or the web 24/7. Technical issues will receive the following response times based on their priority
  • Blocker or Critical - These requests are addressed immediately, 24/7/365
  • Major - Response is as soon as possible, within four business hours (Mon-Friday, 9am-5 pm EST, excluding statutory holidays)
  • Minor - Response time is as soon as possible, within 1 business day Trivial - Response time is as soon as possible, within 3 business days
  • The Recipient is notified in a timely manner should there be any system outages that cannot be remedied within a reasonable period of time

Program goals

The goals of the VCAO Online Training Initiate are

  • To enable VCAO service providers in Ontario to better identify the needs of victims of crime and to provide support for these victims to address their diverse and unique needs

Reporting requirements

Service data on ministry funded expenditures will be reported on at an Interim and Final stage. Please refer to your final agreement for report back due dates and targets.

On an annual basis the Recipient will provide the Province with specific reporting in relation to the VCAO Online Training Initiative, to be completed by the Host, which will include:

  • Data regarding, the number of people/agencies that access and complete training; and
  • Statistics from the online user satisfaction surveys

Victim Quick Response Program+ (VQRP+)

Legislation: Ministry of Community and Social Services Act

Service description

The Victim Quick Response Program+ supports direct victims, their immediate family members, and witnesses in the immediate aftermath of violent crimes by providing short-term support with essential expenses in order to lessen the impact of the crime, enhance safety, and meet immediate practical needs arising from the commission of the crime.

People served

VQRP+ funding is available to assist victims, their immediate family members and witnesses (hereinafter "victims") of eligible crimes. Applicants to the Program are required to meet the eligibility requirements as set out in the VQRP+ Standards ("Standards").

VQRP+ is a program of last resort for victims who lack access to personal resources for the requested VQRP+ support or expense and who do not have any available private or public sources of assistance. Before a victim is eligible to apply for VQRP+, the Recipient is required to exhaust referrals to available community resources.

Program/service features

  • VQRP+ is a program of last resort. Support is available for: Safety expenses
  • Practical assistance expenses Travel and associated expenses Crime scene clean-up
  • Counselling services, traditional Indigenous health services and associated transportation expenses
  • Expanded supports for survivors of human trafficking and
  • Supports for victims with serious injuries and for families of homicide victims

Program goals

The goals of VQRP+ are to

  • Provide short-term assistance to victims in the immediate aftermath of violent crime
  • Lessen the impact of violent crime through immediate support services to victims of violent crime
  • Increase the immediate safety of victims of violent crime and help to prevent re- victimization

Ministry expectations

The Recipient is responsible for the delivery of VQRP+ services/activities to Participants in the catchment area.

All VQRP+ services will be provided in accordance with the Standards.

Eligibility Assessment

The Recipient will assess the eligibility of a victim to receive VQRP+ assistance in accordance with the Standards.

VQRP+ Application, Assistance and Follow-up

The Recipient will assist eligible victims to submit a VQRP+ application. The Recipient is responsible for submitting a full and complete application on behalf of the victim. The Recipient is further responsible for following up with victims regarding approvals, denials, exceptional circumstance requests, tracking of transportation expenses and change of counsellor requests. In addition, the Recipient will assist eligible victims to obtain the required documentation to apply for serious injury supports, residential treatment for victims of human trafficking and the homicide survivor support. The Recipient is also responsible for obtaining or verifying application information requested by the VQRP+ analysts with the victim, police and/or other service providers in order to assist the analysts to make an eligibility determination.

Submission of Receipts

For approved applications, the Recipient will submit all invoices for the requested expense(s) to VQRP+ for processing. In order to receive reimbursement by the Province, where the expense has already been incurred, the Recipient will submit proof of payment within the required timelines.

Maintenance of Service Providers Lists

The Recipient will maintain an up-to-date list of available service providers in its community. This includes a list of community service providers, such as publicly funded counselling services (e.g., Sexual Assault Centre Program, Support Services for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centres, etc.), where victims can be referred.

The Recipient will also maintain an up-to-date list of private counsellors, who meet the requirements set out in the Standards, for victims who are eligible to receive counselling services through VQRP+. In addition, at least once per year, the Recipient will obtain a minimum of three quotes, where possible, from service providers who provide emergency services in order to ensure that VQRP+ is receiving good value for money.

Outreach and Public Education

The Recipient will engage in activities directed at promoting and raising awareness of VQRP+.

Community liaison/development

The Recipient will work with local police services and community service providers to develop a process for referrals of victims of crime to VQRP+.

The Recipient will implement protocols with local organizations and communities serving children and youth, racialized individuals, members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and Indigenous people to ensure that victims receive wraparound supports and are able to access supports from their service provider of choice. The Recipient will work collaboratively with the service provider of choice and the VQRP+ applicant to determine eligibility.

Recruitment & Training

The Recipient will ensure that staff and volunteers who provide direct services are appropriately trained and supervised, attend all training sessions held by the Province and have the requisite skills and expertise to respond to the needs of victims of crime.

Reporting requirements

All service and financial data will be collected through the VQRP+ OneKey database.

Reporting requirements

Service data on ministry funded expenditures will be reported on at an Interim and Final stage. Please refer to your final agreement for report back due dates and targets.

Quarterly service data will be reported through supplemental reports to the ministry.

Service data nameDefinition

Ministry-funded Agency Expenditures: VCAO Alternative Victim Service Provider (AVSP)

Total ministry-funded expenses for the Transfer Payment Recipient to administer and/or deliver the VCAO program - Alternative Service Provider site in the reporting year (cumulative).

Ministry-funded Agency Expenditures: VCAO Exit Route

Total ministry-funded expenses for the Transfer Payment Recipient to administer and/or deliver the VCAO Exit Route in the reporting year (cumulative).

Ministry-funded Agency Expenditures: VCAO Online Training Initiative

Total ministry-funded expenses for the Transfer Payment Recipient to administer and/or deliver the VCAO Online Training Initiative in the reporting year (cumulative).

Ministry-funded Agency Expenditures: VCAO Victim Quick Response Program + Service Delivery (VQRP+)

Total ministry-funded expenses for the Transfer Payment Recipient to administer and/or deliver the VCAO Victim Quick Response Program+ Service Delivery in the reporting year (cumulative).

Ministry-funded Agency Expenditures: Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario (VCAO)

Total ministry-funded expenses for the Transfer Payment Recipient to administer and/or deliver the Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario program in the reporting year (cumulative).