October 15, 2018

Nationwide Victim-Service Data-Collection Efforts Underway

(The pdf for the issue in which this article appears is available for download: Vol. 37, Issue 6.)

 

The National Census of Victim Service Providers (NCVSP) and the National Survey of Victim Service Providers (NSVSP) are nationwide data collection efforts designed by and to be implemented by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), in collaboration with the U.S. Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). BJS is supported by a technical team led by the RAND Corporation, NORC at the University of Chicago, and the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC).

The ABA Commission on Law and Aging’s Senior Attorney Lori Stiegel is an original member of the Project Input Committee for the NSVSP.

The NCVSP and the NSVSP will be conducted in two phases. The NCVSP is the first phase. It is a short census of all victim service providers on the lengthy roster the project team has assembled (approximately 31,000 providers). The goal of this census is to get a clearer picture of the field of victim services. While there are many directories in place, and many lists of organizations serving specific types of victims, they are not all inclusive and many are not routinely updated. This short census will provide a clearer picture of victim service providers in the sample, including where they are based (free-standing, part of a nonprofit, part of a criminal justice agency) and what type(s) of crime victims they are serving.

Using information from the census, BJS will then conduct the NSVSP, a longer survey that will reach a representative number of victim service providers. This longer survey will reveal more about the victims who are receiving services, the types of services they are receiving, the staffing of victim service programs, the types of funding that support these programs, technological capabilities, and range of other information.

By gathering empirical evidence about the work of victim service providers and the extent of unmet need, the NCVSP and NSVSP will allow for justification of current federal funding in a tight budget climate, assessing where limited resources are best served, and demonstrating the need for increased funding.

Current Status of the Survey

The technical team has completed pilot testing of the census instrument. It is anticipated that the full Census of Victim Service Providers will begin in the summer of 2016. Visit http://www.rand.org/jie/justice-policy/projects/nsvsp.html to learn more. ■