‘Call for Tools’: Part 1 of Developing a Bespoke Risk & Needs Assessment

We are pleased to announce that LimeCulture has secured funding to allow us to develop a risk and needs assessment for ISVAs to use with their clients. Once developed and tested, our aim is to make this bespoke tool available (free of charge) to all ISVAs in England and Wales to use in support of their clients.

We have been concerned for several years about the lack of a bespoke risk and needs assessment for use with victims of sexual violence, and we’ve been told by ISVAs that they are concerned that without such a tool they feel unable to properly support their clients. So we want to do something about it to support ISVAs to support their clients more effectively!

Many ISVAs have told us that due to the lack of a bespoke tool they use existing tools (such as those meant to assess victims of domestic abuse) inappropriately to work with their own clients, and therefore they don’t feel that they are picking up the risks to a victim of sexual violence or the needs they may have. Other ISVAs have told us that they have created their own risk assessments in the absence of anything bespoke, but are not always confident that they are assessing the risks adequately or appropriately identifying needs of people who have been sexually assaulted or raped. More worrying is the number of ISVAs who do no risk assessment at all when working with their clients, and it is this that has lead us to prioritise the development of a bespoke risk and needs assessment so that all ISVAs can have access to a bespoke tool to assess risks to their clients, and identify their needs so that ISVAs can be better informed as to what support is required.

The first phase of the project is to assess and analyse the tools that are currently out there, either being used in the UK or in other countries across the globe, to see whether there is anything that can be useful for a bespoke tool for ISVAs. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel and where there are tools already out there that adequately measure risk and/or need, then we’d like to include them in the bespoke assessment for ISVAs. We have already asked colleagues in Australia, Slovenia, and the US to let us know what tools are being used in their countries. We also need to focus on the UK and what tools are being used here. Therefore, the first part of our project is a ‘Call for Tools’ where we are asking all ISVAs to share with us what they currently use to assess risk and/or need. We don’t mind if its been ‘made up’ or is a little informal, or whether its a tool that has been developed by a service or a single professional. We don’t mind if you use an existing tool like the DASH risk assessment (for domestic abuse, stalking and harassment) or GAD7 or PHQ9 or CORE or something similar. We just want to know what you use, and whether it works to identify risk and/or need for victims of sexual violence.

As part of our “Call for Tools’ we are asking the ISVA workforce to email us with information about the tools that they use to measure risk and/or needs for their clients.

We would be grateful if information or the Tools themselves could be emailed as soon as possible to Becky.Dewdney-York@limeculture.co.uk


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