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Continuing Education

VSS offers a variety of continuing education classes for professionals. From emotional wellness, to identity theft, legal advocacy, victim rights, and more.

Additionally, we offer workshops for clients and community members.

For more information, please contact Julie Thomas at 425.252.6081 or Julie@VictimSupportServices.org

Victim Support Services Informational Session – Free

This short presentation provides professionals a firm understanding of Victim Support Services’ role in supporting crime victims on their road to recovery and through the criminal justice process once a suspect has been arrested.

Core Victim Services Academy: Pre-qualifying for Washington State – $125

This 40-hour training qualifies participants to be victim advocates in Washington state. Additionally, through the NACP, the training makes participants eligible to be accredited nationally on four levels – provisional, basic, intermediate, and advanced.

The VSS Core Advocate Training covers victim advocacy in seven tracts which include: professionalism, victim rights, victim trauma, communication skills, resources, cultural and spiritual advocacy, and the legal system (both criminal and civil). Once participants complete the training, they have a solid foundation of information, skills, and tools to provide advocacy and support services to victims of all crime types.

System Based and Community Based Advocacy – 90 minute class, $20 per person

This 90-minute class provides a complete overview of the fundamental differences and similarities in the two types of advocacy services. A firm understanding of how each type of advocate can assist victims of the crime will result in victims getting comprehensive, wrap-around services that meet all their complex needs. When system and community advocates work in harmony, victims are more likely to participate in the criminal justice process effectively and find a new normal after the devastating effects of victimization.

First Response: Law Enforcement Training – 90 minute class, $20 per person

This class is specifically geared toward law enforcement personnel. The class will provide an overview of victim service agencies and how they can effectively partner with law enforcement to support victims and educate them around the investigatory process. Law enforcement personnel will also learn about how trauma affects the brain and memory abilities of victims.

Victims: A Primer for Helping Professionals – 2 hour class, $20 per person

This class for social service, medical, mental health, and first responder providers, is designed to assist these helping professionals in understanding the effects of trauma, crisis, and victimization on the clients they serve. Working with crime victims in a social service, medical, or mental health setting creates additional challenges, and adds complex dynamics to processes and solutions to comprehensive care.

Companioning Through Grief – 6 hour class, $75 per person

Through the use of the Companioning Model for grief support, participants will learn how advocates and laypersons can effectively support individuals in grief with special attention being paid to the survivors of homicide.

Cultural Competency – 2 hour class, $20 per person

Advocates work with victims from diverse backgrounds. Today, populations in a small community are comprised of people from every corner of the world and every type of population. To adequately provide comprehensive services to all victims, advocates need a firm foundation of how to approach all victims while not excluding any or creating artificial barriers based on racial, socio-economic, gender, or any other identities.
This class begins with basics regarding culture, identity, and universal beliefs. Participants work to understand family of origin issues which they bring with them to the advocacy work they do. Interactive activities help them fit these personal cultural beliefs and practices into their daily work as victim advocates.

Legislative Advocacy – 1 hour class, $20 per person

Participants in this class will learn how an idea becomes a bill then becomes law. Legislative advocacy refers to efforts to influence the introduction, enactment, or modification of legislation. The most common means of legislative advocacy is direct lobbying, which entails contacting a legislator, sharing your views on an issue, and asking him or her to vote a specific way on a bill.

Emotional Wellness and the Helping Professional – 2 hour class, $20 per person

This class is specifically geared toward helping professionals who work with clients in crisis, clients who may have experienced trauma, or professionals who, in the course of their duties, are exposed to trauma of some kind.
Participants will learn in an interactive and fun environment how to take care of themselves during their work-day, which will aid in reducing the risk of vicarious or secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, burn out, stress, adrenal fatigue, and a host of other issues directly resulting from being exposed to others’ trauma.

Resources for Advocates – 2 hour class, $20 per person

One of the biggest challenges that victim advocates face on a daily basis is finding adequate, appropriate, and successful resources for the clients they serve. Resources exist but can be hard to find. This class will teach victim advocates about existing resources, both local and national, how to uncover hard-to-find specific resources, and how to do effective web-based searches for resources.

Suicide Assessment – 2 hour class, $20 per person

Most persons who are suicidal access suicide hotlines, however, occasionally they will connect with an advocate on a crime victim hotline instead. This 2-hour class is designed to assist the hotline advocate with assessing the risk to the caller, providing the skills to intervene, and resources with which to connect suicidal callers.
Hotline advocates are not therapists or counselors and need to possess very specific skills in responding to those contemplating suicide. While, in the course of their careers, they may rarely connect with someone choosing death over life, each contact is a matter of life and death and advocates should always be prepared to respond appropriately and help the caller choose to live.

Critical Incident Response to Mass Violence – Free

Victim Support Services responds to incidents of mass violence and will come to schools, workplace locations, community groups and events, and debrief/education/crisis intervene. VSS has a long history of responding to these kinds of tragedies, and staff are highly trained to assist in recovery efforts in the aftermath of these events.

Expand the Response: Connecting Disciplines ~ Healing Victims – $299 per person

Connecting criminal justice, law enforcement, advocacy, social service and mental health professionals who respond to crime victims. This three-day conference connects those who work with general crime victims in an effort to create more comprehensive response to victims and seamless networking among the disciplines. Join us in learning how to more effectively assist crime victims. Network with others in your field from across the state and country.