LimeCulture was asked to facilitate two ISVA Focus Groups run by the Home Office on 19 and 26 October. The purpose of the focus groups was two-fold:
- Firstly, to give ISVAs the opportunity to share their experiences, suggestions and ideas and
- Secondly, to give the Home Office the opportunity to hear how the role of the ISVA is developing and to hear the challenges and successes faced by the ISVAs themselves.
The Home Office ran 2 focus groups, one held in Manchester and one held in London. Both were excellent, with interesting discussions and ideas being shared by the people who do this important role. Although ISVAs often operate in difficult and challenges situations – providing support to some of the most vulnerable people in our society- the passion and committment to their clients was clear. All want to do the best they can for their clients and provide the support that is needed.
The discussion themes were targeted and the focus was on 4 main areas:
- ISVA service provision: is it consistent across the country?
- How can ISVAs be supported to carry out their roles effectively?
- How can we ensure ISVA services are managed and monitored effectively?
- How can we ensure that the training and development needs of ISVAs are met?
There were lively discussions from ISVAs at both focus groups, with lots of suggestions and ideas being put forward on how to professionalise the role and improve and increase the standards of service provision for children and adults. It was great to hear the views of these frontline professionals who are working so hard to improve the response to sexual violence up and down the country.
LimeCulture was thrilled to be part of the focus groups and it was a privilege to meet such inspirational people, doing such inspirational roles. The role of the ISVA should not be underestimated or undervalued. These professionals have a critical role in improving the response to sexual violence.
LimeCulture would like every victim of rape or sexual assault to have access to ISVA support if they want it or need it…..if only there were more ISVAs!
Kings College London and LimeCulture will be hosting a national conference for ISVAs on Thursday 25 April 2013. Further information about “Knowledge and Network: An Event for ISVAs’ will be available soon.