Victim Care OfficerJob Description:
Victim care officers support people who've been affected by crime.Job Category:
What you will do:
- make contact with clients following a crime to give practical and emotional support
- carry out an assessment of client’s needs and give or find appropriate help
- give information on legal processes and how long they may take
- go with clients to meetings or hearings
- be an advocate for your client
- liaise with the police and legal services
- arrange for a police community support officer (PCSO) to visit
- help clients to access other relevant services and agencies
- write and update confidential records
- train and supervise volunteers
- knowledge of psychology
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
As well as:
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
- to enjoy working with other people
- customer service skills
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure (adaptability skills)
To become a Victim Care Officer, there isn’t a specific set of subjects that are universally required, but having a well-rounded education can be beneficial. Here are some suggested subjects that can be relevant:
- English Language: Strong communication skills are essential for interacting with victims, writing reports, and providing support.
- Mathematics: Basic mathematical skills are useful for tasks such as record-keeping and managing resources.
- Psychology or Sociology: These subjects can provide valuable insights into human behavior, which can be crucial for understanding and empathizing with victims.
- Criminology or Law (if available): These subjects can give you a foundational understanding of the legal system and victim rights, which is relevant to the role.
- Citizenship or Ethics: These subjects may cover topics related to community well-being, social responsibility, and ethical considerations in providing care and support.
- Health and Social Care: If available, this subject can provide practical knowledge and skills related to providing care and support to individuals in various situations.
You can get into this job through:
- applying directly
A common way into this job is to start as a volunteer with a victim or witness care organisation like Victim Support.
As a volunteer, you will receive training, which will help you to develop your communication and listening skills, as well as the knowledge and understanding you need to support victims.
To volunteer, you normally need to be over 18 and of good character, with a caring nature and non-judgemental attitude. The ability to communicate in a second community-based language could be useful in some situations.
You may need between 1 and 2 years’ experience as a volunteer before being considered for paid work.
You can move into this career if you have experience from related areas, like working with vulnerable adults in social services, a community setting or through counselling.
Experience of working in the justice system, for instance with the police, courts or prisons, would also be useful.
Restrictions and Requirements
You’ll need to pass enhanced background checks
Working Hours and Environment:
You could work in an office or at a client’s home.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
Career Path & Progression:
With experience, you could become a senior victim care officer, unit or area manager, with responsibilities for a number of centres, staff and volunteers.
You could also move into witness care, with a greater focus on the legal and judicial system and making sure witnesses attend court.