OVSS Service Standard | Victim/Witness Assistance Program (V/WAP)
The Ontario Victim Services Secretariat (OVSS) is committed to implementing a new public service standard, as noted below.
Victim/Witness Assistance Program (V/WAP) services are provided on a priority basis to the most vulnerable victims and witnesses of violent crime, such as domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, homicide and hate crime. Families of traffic fatality victims are also eligible. Services begin once police have laid charges and continue until the court case is over.
V/WAP's primary goals are to:
- enhance victim/witness understanding of, and participation in, the criminal court process;
- assist the victim/witness to regain a sense of well-being; and
- ensure coordination of services with community agencies that support victims of crime.
To accomplish these goals, V/WAP staff provide:
- Crisis intervention
- Emotional support
- Case specific information (court dates, bail conditions)
- Court preparation and orientation information
- Needs assessment
- Referrals to community agencies.
The Victim/Witness Assistance Program is committed to the values of acceptance, self-determination and respect for the individual. The cultures of individuals, families, groups and communities must be respected, without prejudice.
Our role is to support victims and witnesses, and to help them receive the information and services they need throughout the criminal court process.
V/WAP staff are provided with information about victims and witnesses through referrals from the police and Assistant Crown Attorneys. Once this information is received, it is the responsibility of V/WAP staff to provide timely services to clients. Therefore the objective is that:
"The program will make efforts to contact clients within 3 business days of referral."
Performance Results 2014-15
In 2014-15, the following performance was achieved:
- 97% of clients were contacted within 3 business days of referral, against a target of 90%. In 2015-16, the target will be 90%.
OVSS Complaint and Redress Process
The OVSS is committed to providing accessible and timely service to our clients. We welcome feedback about meeting our service standards. Please see the contact information below.
Feedback may be provided to the manager of your local VWAP office. If you prefer, or if your complaint cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, the complaint can be forwarded to the Regional Manager responsible for the specific V/WAP site. Complaints will be reviewed and responded to within ten business days using the same means of communication that was used to provide the feedback. All reasonable efforts will be made to resolve the complaint.
700 Bay Street, 3rd Floor
1091 Gorham Street, Suite 208
Central West Region
119 King St. W., 4th Floor
150 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1400
159 Cedar Street, Suite 505
900 Highbury Avenue
The Ontario Victim Services Secretariat (OVSS) is authorized under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, sections 38(2) and 41(1)(b), to collect and use the information provided in your complaint about the OVSS's programs and services. We do this to make sure we are providing the best customer service possible. Some of the information which you provide may be your personal information. We will use this information only to review, investigate and respond to your complaint. We care about protecting your privacy. If you have any questions about the complaint process, please use the contact information above.