Crisis Intervention, Support, and Advocacy
VIAP's Trauma Response Team is typically our first point of contact with victims and family members. The trauma response team remains on call 24/7 and reports to the Emergency Department for any violent penetrating injury. The team works to provide emotional first-aid in the ED, with the main priorities being crisis intervention, safety planning, and providing essential resources and information to victims and families.
Following initial crisis intervention and stabilization, every victim and all known family members are assigned a violence intervention advocate, a family support advocate, and a mental health clinician through BMC's closely partnered program, the Community Violence Response Team (CVRT).
Violence Intervention Advocates
Following crisis intervention and support, victims are assigned a VIAP advocate and a CVRT mental health clinician, with coordination of care occurring between the two programs. Violence intervention advocates foster a safe and productive relationship with victims through regular contact and assistance.
- Being a resource and advocate to the victim during their time in the hospital and beyond
- Providing emotional support as the victim navigates physical and psychological recovery from their injury and trauma
- Working to address needs, including the attainment of essential goods, transportation assistance, housing, legal support, employment, education, and connecting to additional community support and resources
Family Support Services
The impact of violence reaches beyond the person directly injured, and families also need and deserve support. A family support advocate is assigned to any identified family members of victims. Family support advocates provide services and support at every step of one's journey through the implications of violence on loved ones. Advocates help family members better support their loved ones in recovery when possible, but also ensure they are caring for themselves, tending to their own needs, and have their own opportunity to heal and receive distinctive services.
- Liaising between family and hospital staff to advocate for the family and ensure proper communication is maintained
- Providing a safe space filled with compassion to allow families to process their emotions and grief
- Working to address a range of needs, including access to basic necessities, housing, legal support, and personal wellness
- Connecting families to community organizations/services to further assist with needs and support
- Homicide support, including end of life services and referrals to additional supportive organizations
Case Management & Community Resources
Ongoing case management includes assistance with:
- Medical Insurance
- Primary Care Physicians
- Financial Assistance (food stamps, victim's compensation, and SSDI)
- Housing Applications
- Legal Support
- Education and Job Training Programs
- Life Skills Training (financial literacy and effective communication)
- Recreational and Wellness Programs
Home Visiting Nurse
Following discharge from the hospital, a registered nurse is available to travel once per week to the homes of victims of violent injury. This service was implemented to address barriers to follow-up care and reduce the rate of rehospitalization for victims of violent penetrating injury.
- Redressing wounds and providing extra medical supplies
- Offering medical evaluation and education on wound care
- Support in navigating follow-up appointments