CLACKAMAS COUNTY

CLASSIFICATION NO. 761
Established 1/09
FLSA: Non-Exempt
EEO: 5

VICTIM ADVOCATE

CLASS CHARACTERISTICS

Under general supervision, to provide assistance to victims of felony and misdemeanor crimes; to act as a liaison between the victim, law enforcement, prosecutors and the community; to provide support and information to victims on criminal justice procedures; and to do other work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

The District Attorney's Office prosecutes crimes committed in Clackamas County and provides legal and support services to ensure expedient criminal prosecutions, child support enforcement and assistance to crime victims. The Victim Assistance Program within the District Attorney's Office provides advisory and advocacy services to crime victims while working to ensure victims have a meaningful role in the criminal justice process.

Incumbents assist crime victims by assessing victims’ needs, providing guidance to victims on the criminal justice process, and by working collaboratively with law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys, other County personnel and community resources to ensure victims’ needs are met. Incumbents carry the responsibility of notifying victims of their constitutional rights. Incumbents independently plan how to accomplish their work within established policies, procedures and guidelines for the program.

The Victim Advocate differs from the Victim Assistance Manager, which has full supervisory responsibility over program personnel, and has responsibility to plan, organize and manage program activities. The Victim Advocate also differs from the Human Services Assistant, which determines client eligibility for social service programs and does not have responsibility to liaison between client, prosecution and law enforcement in preparation for and during prosecution cases.

TYPICAL TASKS

Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Establishes and maintains contact with crime victims throughout the prosecution case, including victim accompaniment from Grand Jury through the sentencing phase of a case; interviews and assesses victim needs, provides crisis intervention, makes victim referrals for counseling, supports groups and services; maintains accurate case files and calendar of case progress to ensure compliance with program policy and requirements.
  2. Assesses the personal safety of crime victims and makes recommendations and referrals to victims to ameliorate situation, which may include assisting victims with restraining order applications, protective stalking orders, vulnerable population protection orders, personal safety plans and other measures as appropriate.
  3. Explains criminal justice system processes and procedures to victims; keeps victims informed of approaching court dates by reviewing upcoming dockets and communicating the information to victims; provides emotional support and reassurance to victims in order to help them stay composed during meetings with prosecutors, law enforcement, and at diversion hearings and court proceedings.
  4. Supports victims in writing their Victim Impact Statements for presentation in court at sentencing.
  5. Helps victims identify financial losses for restitution purposes; helps victims obtain validation of loss amounts through receipts or other methods of verification; organizes and summarizes restitution information in format appropriate for court prior to plea/sentencing dates.
  6. Provides in-person support and re-assurance to sexual assault victims during forensic medical examination; answers victim's questions on examination process; acts as liaisons between hospital, victim and law enforcement.
  7. Assists in recruitment, screening, training and mentoring of volunteer victim advocates.
  8. Makes presentations about victim advocacy to local civic organizations, schools and citizen groups as directed by management; participates in training and collaborative meetings with such groups and organizations.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

Thorough knowledge of: Victim advocacy, criminal justice system procedures and methods; victim rights under Oregon law.

Some knowledge of: Post-traumatic crisis intervention; crime investigation methods and terminology; office methods and procedures.

Skill to: Assist victims in trauma either in person or over the phone while maintaining composure; communicate effectively with people in distress in order to determine their immediate needs; effectively summarize information in written form; establish and maintain effective working relationships with crime victims, social service organizations, law enforcement, District Attorney staff, other County staff and other community groups; operate computer office software and other office equipment; maintain accurate and complete records.

WORKING CONDITIONS

Duties may occasionally require the immediate travel during regular work hours to hospitals, police stations, schools or crime scenes with law enforcement to establish victim contact. May involve exposure to victims who are in crisis as a result of emotional and or physical trauma.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Must successfully pass an extensive background investigation including national fingerprint records check.

Must pass a pre-employment drug test.

Driving is required for County business on a regular basis or to accomplish work. Incumbents must possess a valid driver's license, and possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.

MINIMUM RECRUITING STANDARDS

Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.