When a contract came up for two victims’ services case workers for the local RCMP, Deborah Joyce said it just made sense for the Family Resource Centre to take on the work.
The Family Resource Association (FRA) and Oceanside RCMP partnered to get Oceanside RCMP Victim Services program back up and running after it was suspended for several months in 2017.
With the ongoing support of the Regional District of Nanaimo, The City of Parksville and the Town of Qualicum Beach, the victim services program can ensure victims of crime and trauma are properly supported, according to a news release from the Oceanside RCMP.
Joyce, the CEO of the FRA in Parksville, said facilitating the victim services program seems like a good addition to the FRA services.
Joyce said the FRA already has 17 different services in place, such as counselling, and case workers from other agencies have referred clients to the FRA for services. Joyce said even the previous group that had the victims’ services contract with the RCMP would refer clients to the FRA.
“We thought, ‘Well, we’re a really good match because we serve those people anyway,’” Joyce said.
The relaunch of the victim services program in late 2017 follows the suspension of services in May, 2017. The Family Resource Association, Joyce said, took on the contract in September of 2017 and had hired two case workers by December.
Joyce said victim services is an essential service for every community.
“For many people, that early intervention, that contact with somebody, is the difference in how they’re going to recover,” she said.
The new case workers’ primary focus will be helping victims of crime and working with community partners to ensure the victims are supported.
Joyce said the two new case workers could potentially work with victims of robberies, car accidents and physical assaults such as a purse snatching. The workers offer crisis intervention by providing immediate trauma support, emotional support, practical assistance and referrals to other helping agencies.
Within the RCMP, victim services have become an integral component of the policing services provided to the citizens they serve in British Columbia, according to a release from the Oceanside RCMP.
For further information or to access victim support services, please contact the Oceanside Detachment Victim Services Program at 250-954-2277. For additional information, contact VictimLINK, a provincial toll-free victim support line at 1-800-563-0808.
— with files from Oceanside RCMP