Professional Development

Critical Analysis of Victim Assistance

Professional Action to Effect Change

The Critical Analysis of Victim Assistance is a multidisciplinary professional education program that challenges practitioners to critically analyze the process of effecting change in professional practice, organizational policy, and societal responses related to victim assistance. The program is most appropriate for experienced system and community-based practitioners and administrators who are challenged to consider key ideologies, values, and attitudes that influence professional and organizational approaches to service provision.

Registrants are contacted prior to the program to solicit specific issues and problem areas that may help inform program content and application. A problem solving process is introduced as a framework for exploring and analyzing issues and challenges victim assistance, including analysis of the justice system and various allied areas that serve victims from a comprehensive perspective. Participants work collaboratively to explore quality professional practice, efficient and effective organizational programs and policies, and victim sensitive societal responses. This problem solving approach occurs through application exercises that build the knowledge and skills necessary for creating a step-by-step structured action plan that can be implemented post-program to effect change.

Washburn University or Fresno State University offers an optional three (3) undergraduate or graduate academic credit hours for this professional development program at a reduced tuition fee.

Program Information


The following is a general framework of time and content. Schedule is subject to change.

 Day 1

8:15 - 9:30

Transformative Learning for Victim Service Professionals

Introductory session provides overview of course and the challenge of critical reflection and analysis for professional learning. 


9:30 – 11:45

Perspectives of Victimization and Professional Responses

Exploration of key concepts, ideologies or values that underlie the field, and attitudes toward victims.  


1:00 – 2:45


Ecological Perspective of Victimization   

Exploration of supports and barriers using a model that encourages a broader and more holistic understanding of victimization.


3:00 – 5:00

Critical Reflection and Action for Change

Building on the ecological framework, identifying a continuum of resources to effect change, the essentials of formal and informal systems, and understanding a process of change for development of an action plan.


 Day 2

8:15 – 8:45



8:45 – 11:45

Justice System and Victims

Discussion of the major approaches to justice with consideration of the role of the victim and community. Objective is the development of an actionable victim oriented justice system.  


1:00 – 4:00

Allied Systems and Victims

Exploration of mental health, health care, substance abuse, and other systems that may provide direct or indirect service to victims with the objective to develop actionable victim oriented allied systems.  


4:00 – 5:00

Professional Certificate/Academic Credit (optional)

 Day 3

8:15 - 8:45



8:45 - 11:45


Critical Reflection and Action for Change: Developing an Action Plan

Reflecting on concepts, frameworks, knowledge, and skills addressed in the course, participants focus on a specific problem or opportunity and create a detailed action plan action plan for post-program implementation.


1:00– 3:00

Discussions and Next Steps

Collegial discussion of initial action plans, identification of short and long term action items, and developing a framework for continued support for project implementation and program completion. 


Contract Fee

In an attempt to make the program as affordable as possible to the contract organization, the contract fee is a fixed base cost of $5,750 for up to eight participants with an additional $200 assessed for every participant over the base.







This fee covers all program instruction, materials, and support during the second phase. The JCVVS will also provide a program flyer the organization may distribute as hard copy or electronically. Other costs to the contract organization include travel and accommodations for instructors, and minimal on-site copy.

Course Materials

Both a text and a participant guide written specifically for the program are provided, as are other handouts as content supplements.

Online content is also provided before, during, and after the class.

Professional Certificate

This high level learning program also features an optional Professional Certificate in Victim Assistance: Critical Analysis issued by the JCVVS. As a university-based organization, a professional certificate issued by the JCVVS offers a means of recognition which lends legitimacy to the field that continues to emerge as a profession.

The certificate aspect of the program extends the learning event to a period of about four to five months through the use of an online learning management system. The focus of this phase is continued effort on the action plan with regular collegial interaction with program faculty and other participants for continued support for action plan implementation. In addition to these discussions and support, participants submit a status report two months post program with the final product of a professional quality analysis paper that fully describes the problem, the process for action plan implementation, and results. The analysis paper allows participants to demonstrate the knowledge and skills gained from attending the program as well as to contribute knowledge to the field.

To this end, participants are also expected to formally present their topic to a group of colleagues. A practice that has proven to be very rewarding to those who have completed the professional certificate is for the presentations to be conducted at an event sponsored, in whole or in part, by the contracting organization where a representative from the JCVVS can be present and award the professional certificate.               


“The program really helped how I thought and thing about things …. (instructors) did an amazing job … I really enjoyed this class! This is a class that would be great for all advocates and management!”

“I liked the learning environment, the theories discussed, and the facilitators …. I learned so much during this academy and appreciate the opportunity …”

“The hands-on activities truly assisted us in breaking down the process … The program truly sets us up for success with the victims and within the agencies associated with.”

“I enjoyed this class and would refer anyone to it. Not only does it make you think at the agency (level) but it is something that can be used in real life.”