The Victims and Survivors Unit works to raise awareness of, and co-ordinate activity on, issues affecting victims and survivors of our troubled past across the devolved administration and throughout Northern Ireland in general.

Our aim:

  • to ensure that the rights and needs of victims and survivors are given a high priority

The unit has oversight responsibility for the Commission for Victims and Survivors and the Victims and Survivors Service.

Commission for Victims and Survivors

The Commission for Victims and Survivors was established to address the needs of all victims and survivors by ensuring excellent service provision, acknowledging the legacy of the past and building for a better future. The Commission’s aim is to promote the interests of victims and survivors. The Commission is responsible for providing advice to Government on matters affecting victims and survivors.

For more information please visit the Commission for Victims and Survivors website.

Victims and Survivors Service

The Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) is the delivery body for the Strategy for Victims and Survivors (2009). This ten-year strategy focuses on improving services and delivering better outcomes for all victims and survivors. The VSS works both directly for individuals and hand in hand with support organisations to enable and support the resilience, recovery, and wellbeing of all victims and survivors.

The VSS is accountable to the Executive Office in terms of its procedures, activities, and financial responsibilities.

For more information please visit the Victims and Survivors Service website.

Collaborative Design Programme

Together with the Victims and Survivors Service and the Commission for Victims and Survivors, we are currently working to improve the way we deliver services and support. In doing so, we are keen to learn from the experiences and insight of everyone who is involved in this area, from service providers to service users, their families, and support networks.

If you wish to participate in this programme of engagement, please do not hesitate to email the programme team directly via: vscdp@executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk

We held an initial collaborative design workshop on 17 April 2015 in conjunction with the Commission for Victims and Survivors (CVS) and the Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) to help capture initial thoughts on potential design ideas for improving services to Victims and Survivors and identify priorities for further consideration on the following themes:

  • The Victims Support Programme
  • The Individual Needs Programme
  • Mental Trauma Services

To view a short presentation on each of the three priority areas above from OFMDFM, now the Executive Office, VSS and the CVS, please visit the Commission for Victims and Survivors website.

To view a short presentation by Professor Siobhan O’Neill of Ulster University relating mental trauma and the Conflict in Northern Ireland please visit the Commission for Victims and Survivors website.

The key priorities identified by stakeholders at the collaborative design event held on 17 April 2015 are noted below:

Top 3 Priorities identified:

Priority Individual Needs Provision (INP) Provision of services by groups (VSP) Provision of trauma related services
1 Personalised approach/flexibility Eligibility Eligibility/identification of need/assessment
2 Assessment – Triage (permanency of injury) Partnership and Collaborative Working Holistic approach
3 Eligibility Sustainability Use of group expertise

A second workshop was held on 12 June 2015 to explore how we can design better services for victims and survivors on the identified key priority area of “partnership and collaborative working”. 

To view a short presentation on the priority area of “Partnership and Collaborative Working” above from OFMDFM, VSS and the CVS, please visit the Commission for Victims and Survivors website.

To view feedback received on the identified key priority of “Partnership and Collaborative Working” access the link below:

A third series of collaborative design engagement was held on the 17, 18 and 19 February 2016.  The aim of the seminars was to provide an update on the collaborative design programme of work, which included details of the evaluation of the pilot on personalised budgets, caseworkers and assessment process, Victims and Survivors funding programmes for 2016-2017 including the PEACE IV Programme and proposed next steps for the incoming year. 

To view a short presentation of the update on the collaborative design programme of work above from OFMDFM, VSS and the CVS, access the link below:

To view feedback received on the development of the key themes within the victim’s element of the PEACE IV Programme, access the link below:

The Collaborative Design Programme will continue throughout 2016-17 moving towards an improved service delivery model from April 2017 onwards. We will continue with our engagement across the victims sector to help inform this ongoing collaborative programme of work.

Policy on Handling Unacceptable Behaviour from Members of the Public

To view the Victims and Survivors Unit’s policy on handling unacceptable behaviour from members of the public, access the link below:

Contact us

Victims Unit

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