Texas Victim Services Association   A professional organization for Victim Service Providers
 
 
 
 
 

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TVSA Spring 2021 Newsletter

The mission of TVSA is support, education, and recognition for victim service providers.

Texas Victim Services Association

Newsletter
Spring 2021

TVSA Honors National Crime Victims' Rights Week


In This Issue

 


In This Issue

Message from the Executive Director

President's Column

Membership Matters

Spring 2021 Elections

Texas Victim Friendly Initiative (TVFI) 

Professional Development and Training Committee

Board of Directors

Welcome New Members

Supporting TVSA Through Amazon Smile

Thank You Donors

Board Spotlights

Volunteer Spotlight

Save the Date

Board of Directors

President
Brooke King, MA
Austin

President-Elect
Rose Luna, MSLC
Austin

Secretary
Misty Biddick, MS
Belton

Treasurer
Jessica Serrano, MPA
Plano

Region A Coordinator
Vacant

Region B Coordinator
Julie Jesperson, BA
Austin

Region C Coordinator
Jennifer Sterling, LCSW
Arlington

Region D Coordinator
Stacey Manigold, MS
The Woodlands

Region E Coordinator
John Dominguez, BA
El Paso

Region F Coordinator
Angela Luna, BA, NACP
Corpus Christi

At-large Member
Mary Breaux, PhD
Huntsville

At-large Member
Cortney A. Franklin, PhD
Huntsville

At-large Member
Lacy Hensley, LMSW, MA
Fort Worth

At-large Member
Amanda Elkanick Oder, BS
Austin

Ex Officio

Executive Director
Natacha Pel
áez-Wagner, M.Ed.
Austin

We welcome the following new members who have joined TVSA this quarter:

Kathy Broussard, Austin

Kortney Estep, Bellville

Megan Humphrey, Austin

Charlotte Hypolite, Pasadena

Cassie Janish, Bellville

Jack Manigold

Lavzia Matthews, Amarillo

Angelica Meza, Edinburg

Denise Murski, Bellville

Ellen Peveto, Cleburne

Sarina Rios-Scamardo, Edinburg

Jessica Seymour, League City

Glyn Sloan, Groesbeck

Maritza Vasquez

New Agency Members:

Abigail's Arms Cooke County Family Crisis Center, Gainesville

Ginger Johnson

Yvonne Knowland

Maria Najera

Rosina Salsman

Brighter Tomorrows, Irving

Isabel Camacho

New Members of Communities in Schools, Southeast Harris and Brazoria County Agency Membership:

Joseph Garza

LaToya Jordan

New Member of Hand Up Network Agency Membership: 

Hannah Massenburge

New Member of Travis County District Attorney's Office Agency Membership:

Neva Fernández

And a special welcome to our newest lifetime member!

Isela Marin, Mission

Supporting TVSA Through AmazonSmile

Now when you shop on Amazon, your purchases will support TVSA! Through AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of every eligible purchase to TVSA. 

How to shop and spread the word:

1. Visit Amazon through TVSA's unique link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch-74-2889588

2. Share TVSA's unique link on social media.

Shoppers that use the generic smile.amazon.com link are asked to select one of over a million organizations to support. Be sure to use and share our unique link, so shoppers can skip the selection process and give to TVSA!

This quarter we wish to recognize and thank our supporters whose donations and in-kind gifts have supported the prize drawings for our Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance students in the Class of 2021:

Proforma Printing and Promotional Products

Dr. Michelle Richter, St. Edward’s University 

Texas Association Against Sexual Assault

TVSA Board Members and Staff:

Dr. Mary Breaux

Dr. Cortney Franklin

Brooke King

Angela Luna

Rose Luna

Stacey Manigold

Natacha Peláez-Wagner

Jessica Serrano

Board Spotlights

Dr. Mary Breaux, PhD

Dr. Mary Breaux currently serves as a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Victim Studies at Sam Houston State University and as Director of the Crime Victims’ Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Master of Arts in Human Resources and Management, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership. Her background includes work in community relations and engagement, family, adult and protective services, case management training and human resources in victim services programs, research, and community social diversity. She is published in peer-reviewed journals and has contributed to book chapters. She was recently elected to another term as an at-large member of TVSA’s Board of Directors and is currently serving on the program review team for the 2021 biennial training conference.  “With my diverse educational background, experience, and commitment to serving victims directly and indirectly, I feel that I can enhance the needs of the TVSA organization and board.”

Stacey Manigold, MS

Stacey Manigold serves as the Region D Coordinator on the Board of Directors and was recently re-elected to her second term of service. A long-time TVSA member and an alumna of our advanced academy in management and leadership, Stacey presently serves as an advocate with BCFS Health and Human Services. Her professional experience includes work with many diverse populations of victims in various settings, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving and family violence organizations. Stacey holds a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and is LCDCi licensed.

“I appreciate the opportunity of being elected as the Region D Coordinator serving the Beaumont, Houston, and College Station areas. This opportunity allows me to work with other professions within the community to better serve and take care of the victims who need help. If we don’t stand up for the victims, then we don’t stand for much.”

Volunteer Spotlight

This issue we especially wish to thank our volunteers who gave of their time for our practice sessions for our first ever virtual Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance, to help us be fully prepared to host an online academy for our class of 2021:

Gloria Barrett
Austin Independent School District (ret.)

Jasmine Chavira
Sam Houston State University

Sarah Corbett-Imeny
Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice – Victim Services Division

Alyssa Linares
Sam Houston State University

Lisa Lynn
Sam Houston State University

Nicolis Ortiz
Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice – Victim Services Division

Mary Targonski
Cecil Community College Maryland

All listings below are for virtual events.

Annual Membership Meeting
May 6, 2021, 12-1 PM CT

Biennial Training Conference
August 17-18, 24-25, 2021
Registration will open in early summer.

Upcoming Regional Meetings

Region B Meeting
May 12, 2021, 12-1 PM CT

Region F Meeting
May 19, 2021, 10-11 AM CT

Region D Meeting
May 19, 2021, 12-1 PM CT

Region C Meeting
May 21, 2021, 12-1 PM CT

Region E Meeting
May 21, 2021, 12-1 PM MT


Message from the Executive Director

By Natacha Peláez-Wagner, M.Ed.

Every year, millions of Americans are affected by crime and Texas, as the second most populous state in our country, naturally accounts for a large number of crimes. As victim service providers, we know that many crime victims will need ongoing care and resources. April 18–24 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), a time to celebrate the progress achieved, raise awareness of victims’ rights and services, and stand with our families, neighbors, friends, and colleagues whose lives have been forever altered by crime. The theme of this year’s NCVRW is a simple, yet powerful one: Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities. Every day we, as crime victim services professionals, go to our workplaces, we resolve to reach out, listen, and support the victims we serve as they press forward on a path to recovery. We commit to better supporting victims by earning and building their trust through service delivery in a trauma-informed manner and working to ensure our organizations and agencies from where they seek services are “victim-friendly” spaces where they can feel safe and nurtured. And we engage our communities in response efforts by building collaborative partnerships, so those we serve can receive the continuum of care and the supports they need. This National Crime Victims’ Rights Week let us all show victims they are not alone by recommitting ourselves to TVSA's vision of the delivery of a full range of consistent, high-quality, professional services to crime victims, their families, and our communities here in Texas.

President's Column

By Brooke King, M.A.

Last spring, I started my column with “The Coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to rethink how we live, work, play, and support each other. These are challenging times and I hope you’re giving yourself grace as we all attempt to navigate these unchartered waters.” Though I am grateful that there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel, I never imagined that a year later we would still be navigating life around the pandemic.

Our director, Natacha, our TVSA staff, and our regional coordinators have worked diligently over the past year to ensure we continue providing you support, quality educational opportunities, and space to connect with others in your regions during our regional meetings. I know these opportunities are not the same as our in-person chances to connect and learn together but we have worked hard to make them just as impactful. At TVSA we remain committed to creating a space for victim service providers to learn, share, and network. Thank you for your commitment to the families you work with, strengthening your community, and to TVSA. As I complete my two terms as TVSA board president in May, I wish to close this message to you by saying that being your president has truly been a humbling experience.

 

By Brooke King, M.A.

We have Regional Coordinators for Region B (Julie Jesperson), C (Jennifer Sterling), D (Stacy Manigold), E (John Dominguez), and F (Angela Luna). If you are interested in filling the open coordinator positions in Region A please reach out to myself and Natacha. We would love to have all regions covered!!

We hope you have been able to attend a regional meeting, but if you have not we encourage you to make time to attend an upcoming one. We are committed to provide you support and opportunities for staying connected in your regions. As the Membership Chair and Board President, I urge you to contact your Regional Coordinator with any ideas you have that will support you or your agency needs. Whether you may have thoughts, desire a virtual regional training, or want to provide support to a virtual social do not hesitate to contact us. We are always looking for opportunities to spread the word about the benefits of joining TVSA and keeping you connected to each other!

News from the Regions:

Region A (Panhandle - Amarillo/Lubbock/Wichita Falls): Coordinator: Vacant. Please contact us if you are interested in serving as Region A Coordinator! 

Region B (Central-Austin/Waco/San Antonio): Coordinator: Julie Jesperson, TDCJ Victim Services Division, Julie.Jesperson@tdcj.texas.gov (512) 406-5920. Region B held its March meeting virtually. The meeting was a round-table discussion regarding resiliency, self-care, and wellness. The group discussed what self-care means to each of us, how it is often hard to make the time for it in our busy lives, and shared how we do (at least some of the time) find the space and energy to actually practice resiliency and care for ourselves. We discussed practical, real-world answers to self-care questions and had a fruitful, engaged discussion regarding real-world ideas and practices for self-care and resiliency.

It was a great conversation, and it was wonderful seeing everyone who attended the meeting. I look forward to connecting with everyone at our next meeting on May 12, 2021.

Region C (Northeast - Dallas/Fort Worth/Tyler): Coordinator: Jennifer Sterling, University of Texas at Arlington Police Department Victim Services, jennifer.sterling@uta.edu; (817) 272-9254. Region C had an awesome March meeting learning about the Henderson County HELP Center and all of the work that they do to serve victims in East Texas. Our next regional meeting will be on May 21. Please do not hesitate to let me know if there are any topics or organizations that you would like to highlight in our region.  

Region D (Southeast - Beaumont/Houston/College Station): Coordinator: Stacey Manigold, BCFS Health and Human Services, SM1016@bcfs.net; (832) 948-3841. I had the opportunity recently to hold a regional meeting with a great group of professionals who share the passion, diligence, and hard work to ensure education and safety to people who have been victimized. Several topics were discussed and led by our guest presenter, Indrani Goradia of RAFT Cares, such as resources for victims and resiliency for those working with victims. Staying connected during this pandemic is difficult though many advocates have pushed forward through continued networking and working hard for the victims in our region. As we move forward with our regional meetings, our goal will remain to uphold our Texas Code of Ethics as victim advocates. Our next region D meeting will be held on May 19. Also, we are holding a membership drive, with two gift cards valued at $50 each, for the two members recruiting the most fully registered new members. It is my desire to build up our membership in region D. 

Region E (West - El Paso/Midland/San Angelo): Coordinator, John Dominguez, El Paso County Attorney’s Office Victim Services; JohDominguez@epcounty.com; (915) 303-6069. As the board member representative for Region E, I held a virtual meeting in March with a special presentation from Ms. Laura Moreno, Victim Assistance Specialist with the Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Division for West Texas and New Mexico. She discussed the different many ways HSI assists victims of crime. Afterwards, we had a round table talk with our attendees/TVSA members to discuss the future goals for region E. Our next regional meeting is scheduled for May 21, 2021.

Region F: (South-Corpus Christi/Laredo/McAllen): Coordinator: Angela Luna, Victims' Assistance Coordinator at Nueces County Juvenile Justice; Angela.Luna@nuecesco.com; Direct Line (361) 562-6019, Office (361)855-7303. Welcome to Region F South Texas. Our advocates in Region F are amazing. We started the year highlighting our agencies and the work we do. In January, Ana Sanchez Brown, a Community Educator from the Purple Door, shared with us about her agency. The mission of The Purple Door is to empower the community and those affected by domestic violence and sexual assault to transition to a safe and healthy environment. They also service the following counties: Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kennedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio, and San Patricio. In March, we got to meet Brenda Escobar, Victim Coordinator with the Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department. She shared with us about their new VOCA counseling program and the work they are doing to provide counseling services, free of charge, to victims up to the age of 18.

Come join our next meeting on May 19th when we hear from Brenda Fuentes of the Domestic Violence Unit of the Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s Office.


Spring 2021 Elections

By Brooke King, M.A., Nominating Committee Chair

As your President and Nominating Committee chair, I am excited to announce the results of our 2021 board elections. The following individuals were elected to serve a two-year term on the TVSA Board of Directors, 2021-2023, and will be installed at our annual membership meeting on May 6th:

  • Rose Luna, President (Austin)
  • Julie Jesperson, Region B Coordinator (Austin)
  • Stacey Manigold, Region D Coordinator (The Woodlands)
  • John Dominguez, Region E Coordinator (El Paso)
  • Dr. Mary Breaux, At-Large Member (Huntsville)
  • Lacy Hensley, At-Large Member (Fort Worth)

I hope you will all join our annual membership meeting and help me congratulate and thank Rose, Julie, Stacey, John, Mary, and Lacy for their time and dedication to TVSA! Congratulations again, TVSA is lucky to have you all!

Texas Victim Friendly Initiative (TVFI): Surveys rate agency "victim-friendliness"

By Torie Camp, M.Ed., TVFI Program Specialist

An important tool incorporated into the TVFI program is the TVFI Staff Survey. Administered at baseline, mid-year and year-end, the survey measures staff knowledge, attitudes, and practice related to trauma-informed care (victim-friendliness!).  A 25-item, online and anonymous survey, the TVFI staff survey is designed to give insight on what staff know and how much they prioritize trauma-informed care.

This staff survey is in addition to the organizational self-assessment which is completed by the agency’s victim friendly workgroup during a separate two-hour working meeting at the outset of the year-long TVFI process.

Across the six current pilot sites this year:

85.5 % of staff indicated a strong interest in creating a more victim-friendly agency.  

This high level of interest creates a strong foundation for needed changes. Instead of spending time convincing staff that being victim-friendly is a good idea, the agency can get right to work.

38.5% of staff rated their agency as very ‘victim-friendly.’

While being victim-friendly is the goal of the TVFI program, lower scores on this item indicate room to grow.

The scores will evolve as the six pilot sites continue through the 12-month TVFI program.

“I enjoy reviewing these scores and hearing about the progress the pilot sites are making,” said TVSA Executive Director Natacha Peláez-Wagner.

Ms. Wagner also made an observation during the most recent Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance.  An instructor outlined best practices for agencies that included comparing one’s own agency to the Office for Victims of Crime Model Standards. Doing so would allow a program to see what areas of the program are already strong and which have room for growth and improvement.

“That is exactly the mission of the TVFI program, commented Ms. Wagner. “Being grounded in the OVC Model Standards, Texas’ Constitutional Victims’ Rights, and the TVSA Code of Ethics, the TVFI organizational self-assessment and staff survey tools provide a structured process for victim service agencies to determine their own path forward in becoming even stronger and more victim-friendly.”

TVFI’s goal is to create a more welcoming experience for victims at agencies across the state of Texas. The Texas Victim Friendly Initiative is meant to inspire and support organizations to improve their interactions and response to victims. Not only is that good for victims, but when victims’ needs are recognized and respected, victims are more likely to seek and participate in services, including the criminal justice system.

Who are the six pilot sites?

  • Collin County District Attorney’s Office (Plano, TX)
  • St. Mary’s University Police Department (San Antonio, TX)
  • Manor Police Department
  • Winnsboro Police Department
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
  • Abigail’s Arms (Gainesville, TX)

The next application window for the TVFI program will open in October or November 2021, contingent upon funding.  If you are interested in receiving notification regarding TVFI application dates, please email: info@txvsa.org.


Professional Development and Training Committee 

As many of you know, the oldest and still most popular of TVSA’s programs and services in its close to 25 years of operations is our statewide training conference. Every two years, professionals from across all victim services disciplines join us for a week of outstanding training sessions on South Padre Island, where we also practice self-care through various networking and bonding activities in relaxing settings. After much deliberation, our board and staff reached consensus that, yes, we would hold the conference this year as slated, while realizing that this year’s setting would have to be a virtual one.

That said, we are committed to providing the same high-quality training you have come to expect from our conferences. The pre-conference will have its usual start, with our three-hour ethics class, on the afternoon of August 17th, with Derrelynn Perryman, LCSW, MSSW, who always provides an engaging and instructive session.

The official conference opening and plenary session will take place on the morning of August 18th, followed by our program of workshops in four tracks: Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities; Equity and Justice; Innovations in Victim Services: Pandemic and Beyond; and Management and Leadership in Victim Services. Workshops will be scheduled across three dates: the 18th, the 24th and 25th. We have scheduled the conference on dates over two consecutive weeks to support you in minimizing online fatigue, understanding that, since you will be attending the conference remotely, you will also need time to tend to workplace and family responsibilities.

Registration will open in early summer and will be announced through our social media, website, and direct emails. We hope to see you virtually in August!


 

THE TEXAS VICTIM SERVICES ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER IS PUBLISHED QUARTERLY. Please forward articles, announcements, shout outs, job openings, training information, reviews, information and other items of interest to info@txvsa.org. Be sure and let us know if your email changes.

Copyright © 2021 Texas Victim Services Association. All rights reserved.

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TVSA Winter 2021 Newsletter

The mission of TVSA is support, education, and recognition for victim service providers.


        
          
          

Texas Victim Services Association

Newsletter
Winter 2021

TVSA wishes everyone a happy new year!


 

In This Issue

 

Message from the Executive Director

President's Column

Membership Matters

Six Agencies to Participate in Texas Victim Friendly Initiative (TVFI)

Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance

Professional Development and Training Committee

Board of Directors

Welcome New Members

Supporting TVSA Through Amazon Smile

Board Spotlights

Volunteer Spotlight

Save the Date

Board of Directors

President
Brooke King, MA
Austin

President-Elect
Rose Luna, MSLC
Austin

Secretary
Misty Biddick, MS
Belton

Treasurer
Jessica Serrano, MPA
Plano

Region A Coordinator
Vacant

Region B Coordinator
Julie Jesperson, BA
Austin

Region C Coordinator
Jennifer Sterling, LCSW
Arlington

Region D Coordinator
Stacey Manigold, MS
The Woodlands

Region E Coordinator
John Dominguez, BA
El Paso

Region F Coordinator
Angela Luna, BA, NACP
Corpus Christi

At-large Member
Mary Breaux, PhD
Huntsville

At-large Member
Cortney A. Franklin, PhD
Huntsville

At-large Member
Lacy Hensley, LMSW, MA
Fort Worth

At-large Member
Amanda Elkanick Oder, BS
Austin

Ex Officio

Executive Director
Natacha Pel
áez-Wagner, M.Ed.
Austin

We welcome the following new members who have joined TVSA this quarter:

Maribel Arredondo, Corpus Christi

Janine Keith, Cleburne

Alisa McDonald, Bryan

Jennifer Radcliffe-Jones, Kingsville

Kathleen Ratajczak, Conroe

David Scott, Longview

Patricia Strickland, Pflugerville

New Member of The Parris Foundation Agency Membership:

Daniela Colburn Prado, Houston

New Members of Hand Up Network Agency Membership: 

Mariah Abernathy, Tyler

Itzel Diego, Tyler

Dixie Hester, Tyler

Jennifer Wheeler, Tyler

New Members of Hope Rising Agency Membership:

Lidya Kushner, Brenham

Kathleen McGaugh, Brenham

Shandra Reed, Brenham

Ashley Vargas, Brenham

Supporting TVSA Through AmazonSmile

Now when you shop on Amazon, your purchases will support TVSA! Through AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of every eligible purchase to TVSA. 

How to shop and spread the word:

1. Visit Amazon through TVSA's unique link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch-74-2889588

2. Share TVSA's unique link on social media.

Shoppers that use the generic smile.amazon.com link are asked to select one of over a million organizations to support. Be sure to use and share our unique link, so shoppers can skip the selection process and give to TVSA!


Board Spotlights

John Dominguez, BA, Region E Coordinator

John Dominguez presently serves as the Victims Coordinator in the El Paso County Attorney’s Office Juvenile Unit. John holds an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice. He began his tenure in victim services at the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office, where he worked for over 14 years in the Special Crimes and Family Violence units. He then transitioned to the County Attorney’s Office, where he has worked as Victims Coordinator for the Family Violence Unit, the Criminal Unit, and, presently, the Juvenile Unit.  

“My service with TVSA and the board of directors, means that I have been given the trust, chance, and the responsibility to lead my region. This opportunity allows me to collaborate with other great professionals within the victim service profession. Nevertheless, it takes a group of dedicated advocates to ensure that victims of crime are protected and given the right for fair justice.

Julie Jesperson, BA, Region B Coordinator

Julie Jesperson serves as a Programs Manager for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Victim Services Division (TDCJ-VSD). Julie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with over 20 years of experience working with victims and survivors in the criminal justice system. In her current position, she manages TDCJ-VSD’s Crime Victim Clearinghouse, Texas Victim Assistance Training (TVAT) Academy, and the Victim/Offender Mediation Dialogue programs.

“Thank you for this opportunity! I ran for a position on the board of directors and was elected last year as an at-large member, then there was an opportunity to fill a vacated seat as the Region B Coordinator. I am grateful for this opportunity as I am really enjoying our Region B meetings and I especially love getting to know so many of my fellow TVSA members. Life brings us so many unexpected opportunities and we can never predict how great those unexpected opportunities can turn out. Thanks again!”

 “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it…” – Eckhart Tolle.

Volunteer Spotlight

Sean Ramsey

Sean Ramsey has been volunteering with TVSA for the past three years in various consulting and technical support roles. Initially, he volunteered his services to help us with data analytics, allowing us to drill down into our database and information systems to conduct more in-depth analyses, with an aim of providing us information to better serve our victims services professionals. His time and expertise in this area were invaluable to our board and staff for planning, and in helping to inform aspects of our five-year strategic planning process we were engaged in at that time. He is currently serving on our Ad Hoc IT Work Group and has helped in large part with our internal technology assessment as we plan for increased virtual programs and services both during the pandemic and beyond. We are especially grateful for Sean’s donation of a membership in a nonprofit technology community organization, enabling us to access additional tools to leverage technology to further TVSA’s mission. For this reason, Sean is not only our spotlighted volunteer this issue, but also our Donor of the Quarter!

Sean is an entrepreneur at heart, working for over twenty-five years in the world of Austin software startups. His experience and his passion for mission led him to pivot from the private sector to nonprofit work over seven years ago, with a special interest in helping nonprofits become more data-driven. He served as the Director of Technology at the Livestrong Foundation where he managed a team of technologists and digital marketing specialists during a period of rapid transition. In 2017, he left Livestrong to start Fortafy www.fortafy.us to help nonprofits maximize the value of Salesforce by providing certified Virtual Salesforce Administrators who take ownership of organizations’ Salesforce database and related technologies. In addition to Fortafy, Sean co-founded Philanthroforce in 2020, with the mission of disrupting the ways in which nonprofits search for, evaluate and hire nonprofit consultants to create a more equitable and inclusive environment. Philanthroforce had its soft launch in October 2020 and is already the largest repository of nonprofit consultants in Texas. Sean can be reached at sean@fortafy.us if you are interested in learning more about his organizations.

Region C Meeting
January 29, 2021, Virtual

Region D Meeting
March 3, 2021, Virtual

Region B Meeting
March 10, 2021, Virtual

Region F Meeting
March 17, 2021, Virtual

Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance
March 24-May 5, 2021, Virtual
*Application closes on January 25, 2021

Annual Membership Meeting
May 6, 2021, Virtual

Biennial Training Conference
Summer 2021, Virtual


Message from the Executive Director

By Natacha Peláez-Wagner, Executive Director, M.Ed.

Happy new year! As we enter into 2021, we do so knowing we will embrace continued challenges, professionally and personally, as we weather the continued pandemic, and what may lie ahead.

In looking back at 2020, I am in awe of how all of you in the victim services community faced your service provision challenges head on and continued to serve those Texans and others in our state who were victimized, and who still needed your support and services regardless of pandemic obstacles and restrictions. Boldness and creativity are paramount in this environment: boldness at making services available at some risk to personal health and safety, and creativity at adapting to new ways of caring for victims through virtual and alternate means. At TVSA, we remain committed to supporting you in your efforts, by continuing to provide you with the support, education, and recognition you need and deserve. Our virtual regional meetings are providing an opportunity for you to share information and referral resources with colleagues in your local areas. Our upcoming fifth annual Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance in management and leadership will occur virtually this year, enabling another class of students in their professional growth and skill development for better service delivery. Our Texas Victim Friendly Initiative pilot project is in its second year, working now with six pilot sites to assist them in becoming more victim-centered and trauma-informed. And I am happy to announce that our conference will indeed take place this year, virtually, but with our full commitment to provide you with the same level of training quality you have come to expect from our past conferences. At all these events we celebrate and recognize you, so often the unsung heroes of the criminal justice system, who make a difference in so many victims’ lives.

Our board and staff continue to work on plans to expand our program and service offerings for our members and colleagues in the state. Watch for emails and future newsletter issues, where we will unveil some new opportunities for further engagement with your professional association!

If you are not yet a member, consider joining TVSA, your professional association. For more information or to join, please go to http://txvsa.org/page-918668.

We are a non-profit, tax-exempt organization, and appreciate any and all support! To make a donation to TVSA, please go to http://txvsa.org/page-837451.

Thank you!

President's Column

By Brooke King, M.A.

I hope this newsletter finds you all safe and in good health after the Texas “blizzard” of 2021.

2020 was a challenge at its best and overall overwhelming. It was full of unprecedented events and presented various hardships to our families and communities. We endured isolation, loss, and the challenge of balancing our roles as caregivers, providers, and support systems. As we start a new year, I know that this pandemic is not in our rearview mirror, but I am hopeful. Hopeful for what we will accomplish based on our accomplishments while confronting the pandemic; hopeful that we are heading toward a period where we can safely be together; but overall, I am hopeful for what 2021 will bring.

Together we will face 2021 as a united profession, with our eyes toward the future and a focus on how we can continue to provide unsurpassed supports to the victims we work with. Your role is critical for supporting our community members on their worst days, so I want to start 2021 with a resounding thank you. Thank you for the work you do on behalf of victims and for doing so with compassion. I am glad we are starting this new year together. Stay safe and take care of yourselves and each other.

 

By Brooke King, M.A.

We hope you have been able to attend a regional meeting, but if you haven’t we encourage you to make time to attend an upcoming one. We are committed to providing you with support and opportunities for staying connected in your regions. As the Membership Chair and Board President, I urge you to contact your Regional Coordinator with any ideas you have for support your, or your agency’s needs; if you have thoughts for a virtual regional training; or want to provide support to a virtual social. We are always looking for opportunities to spread the word about the benefits of joining TVSA and keeping you connected to one another!

News From the Regions:

Region A (Panhandle - Amarillo/Lubbock/Wichita Falls): Coordinator: Vacant. Please contact us if you are interested in serving as Region A Coordinator! 

Region B (Central-Austin/Waco/San Antonio): Coordinator: Julie Jesperson, TDCJ Victim Services Division, https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/divisions/vs/vomd.html; (512)406-5924: I hope this finds you safe and well. I would like to extend a welcome to new and renewing members. 

Region B held its November meeting virtually. Mary McCaffity, Deputy Director, TDCJ Victim Services Division joined us and shared information about changes to Chapter 56 and Chapter 56A in the Code of Criminal Procedure. We also had a group discussion about outreach to counties and potential members in Region B and what current members would like to see from future virtual meetings. 

Our January meeting was a round-table discussion regarding how we can overcome pandemic related obstacles and make our best effort to continue to provide services to victims and survivors. As your Region B Coordinator I led the discussion with Michelle Navarro of the Texas Crime Victims Clearinghouse at the TDCJ Victim Services Division, sharing examples of modifications to how some services are provided within the Texas Crime Victims Clearinghouse and the Victim Offender Mediation Dialogue program in the time of COVID. Then we had a group conversation where we shared some of challenges and some of the successes in providing direct services to victims and survivors during the pandemic. It was a great conversation and it was great seeing everyone at the meeting. I am looking forward to connecting at our next meeting on March 10, 2021.

Region C (Northeast - Dallas/Fort Worth/Tyler): Coordinator: Jennifer Sterling, University of Texas at Arlington Police Department Victim Services, jennifer.sterling@uta.edu; (817)272-9254: We held a meeting in November, where our guest presenter was Derrelynn Perryman, a TVSA member and past president of the TVSA board of directors. Derrleynn spoke about her present service on the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, and its relevance to victim services in our state. Our next meeting on January 29th will feature a presentation from Sandy Hennip, Executive Director of UnBound Fort Worth, who will be speaking about UnBound's new drop-in center for youth, The Underground.

Region D (Southeast - Beaumont/Houston/College Station): Coordinator: Stacey Manigold, BCFS Health and Human Services, SM1016@bcfs.net; 832-948-3841: I had the opportunity recently to hold a regional meeting with a great group of professionals who share the passion, diligence, and hard work to ensure education and safety to people who have been victimized. Several topics were discussed, such as resources for victims of human trafficking. Staying connected during this pandemic is difficult though many advocates have pushed forward and continued networking and working hard for the victims in our region. As we move forward with our regional meetings our goal will remain to uphold our Texas Code of Ethics as victim advocates. Our next region D meeting will be held Wednesday March 3rd from noon -1 P.M.

Region E (West - El Paso/Midland/San Angelo): Coordinator, John Dominguez, John Dominguez, El Paso County Attorney’s Office Victim Services; JohDominguez@epcounty.com; (915) 303-6069: The new year has arrived, and as a board member for TVSA and the regional coordinator for region E my goal is for victim coordinators/professionals to be cognizant of the benefits of being part of TVSA/members. TVSA allows members to be involved in the organization, both statewide and at the regional level. Members are given the opportunity to learn and network with others around the state, to share what projects their agencies are working on, to better serve victims of crime. TVSA takes pride in the leadership and the work we do and supports and recognizes us as victim advocates and professionals! Our region is now meeting every other month; our next region E meeting will be held in March.

Region F: (South-Corpus Christi/Laredo/McAllen): Coordinator: Angela Luna, Victims' Assistance Coordinator at Nueces County Juvenile Justice; Angela.Luna@nuecesco.com; Direct Line (361)561-6019, Office (361)855-7303: In November we held a meeting where we heard from Special Agent Heath Hardwick, Victim Services Coordinator of the Child Exploitation Unit, Homeland Security Investigations, on combating online harassment and cyber crimes. Our most recent meeting this month hosted a presentation from Ana Sanchez-Brown of The Purple Door, on the services offered in the coastal bend region to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Region F is also currently engaging in a membership recruitment challenge this month, with an incentive prize donated by HEB for the person who brings in the most new members to TVSA! For more information about the membership drive, please contact me, your Region F coordinator at my contact information listed above.

As we reach for resolutions to improve ourselves in 2021, I cannot help but hope for the same within region F. Let us make this the year for increased membership and networking throughout South Texas. Happy New Year!


Six Agencies to Participate in Texas Victim Friendly Initiative (TVFI)

By Torie Camp, M.Ed., TVFI Program Specialist

Six agencies, selected from a pool of thirty-one applicants, have been selected to participate in TVSA’s newest project, the Texas Victim Friendly Initiative. These agencies will serve as pilot sites for the 12-month quality improvement program.

“We are honored and enthusiastic at being selected to participate in the Texas Victim Friendly Initiative,” said Chief Ryan Phipps of the Manor Police Department.  “This agency is committed to serving victims of crime to the best of our ability. We’ll be working hard to make sure we will be designated as a ‘Victim Friendly Agency.’

The cornerstone of the TVFI process is an Organizational Self-Assessment. Designed to measure an organization’s environment, policies and practices related to victim care and interactions, the self-assessment reflects best practices of trauma-informed care, Texas Crime Victims’ Rights and Office for Victims of Crime model standards.

Once the Self-Assessment is completed, organizations are supported through a 12-month period of coaching and technical assistance in the areas identified by the organization as highest priority. At the end of the 12 months, organizations are eligible to be designated as a Victim Friendly Agency. 

Funding for the pilot project was received from the Governor’s Public Safety Office. “We are grateful to the Governor’s Office for their confidence in this initiative,” said TVSA Executive Director Natacha Peláez-Wagner. “With their backing we look forward to improving care for victims by supporting and strengthening the strong work of victim service professionals and organizations in Texas.”

Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance

By Rita Flores, BA, TAAVA Planning Committee Chair

Since 2016, the Texas Victim Services Association has trained over 200 victim service professionals through its comprehensive leadership development training program, the Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance in management and leadership (TAAVA). These victim service professionals represent the next generation of leaders committed to supporting victims and creating safer communities.

In its fifth year, TAAVA brings together victim service professionals to develop and enhance their leadership and management skills in a highly engaging learning community. This year, TVSA will release a new curriculum designed specifically for TAAVA and delivered by seasoned leaders in the victim services field. The Academy aims to offer content to strengthen and enhance leadership skills while also create space for victim service professionals to form a lasting professional network.

The next academy will kick off on Wednesday, March 24, and be held in a weekly online series through May 5. The academy is open to current and aspiring program managers/supervisors and recommended for victim service providers from both systems-based and community-based programs. Participants should have at least three years of experience as a victim service provider. This year's class is capped at 60 students. Applications close on January 25th. For additional information or to apply: http:/txvsa.org/event-4107151


Professional Development and Training Committee 

By Amanda Elkanick Oder, BS, Committee Chair

Happy New Year! We are very excited for the opportunities that TVSA will be offering to you this year. Our committee and board have been busy planning our upcoming calendar to ensure that the virtual trainings that we will be offering will also provide the same level of excellence and engagement as our in-person trainings. Although nothing can compare to the networking events in person, we are confident that the expertise comprised within our network will provide a fresh perspective and address the unique barriers that victims are currently facing during this pandemic along with cutting edge ways advocates and professionals across the state have found successful in meeting these needs in innovative ways.

Important dates to Remember:

Wednesdays from March 24- May 5 TAAVA Academy 
Applications close on January 25, 2021.

Biennial Training Conference
Summer 2021, Virtual

Upcoming Regional Meetings
March 2021, Virtual



 

THE TEXAS VICTIM SERVICES ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER IS PUBLISHED QUARTERLY. Please forward articles, announcements, shout outs, job openings, training information, reviews, information and other items of interest to info@txvsa.org. Be sure and let us know if your email changes.

Copyright © 2021 Texas Victim Services Association. All rights reserved.

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TVSA Fall 2020 Newsletter


The mission of TVSA is supporteducation, and recognition for victim service providers.
 

Follow TVSA: 


 
Newsletter
Fall 2020

Old Baldy, Garner State Park


T


IN THIS ISSUE
 
Message from the Association Director

President's Column

Membership Matters

Texas Victim Friendly Initiative (TVFI)

TVSA and CVR Research Survey Results

Board of Directors

Thank You Donors

Supporting TVSA through Amazon Smile

Save the Date

Mental Health Texas Website Redesign and COVID-19 Support Line

Welcome New Members

Professional Development and Training Committee

Board Spotlight

Volunteer Spotlight
 

Board of Directors
 

President

Brooke King, MA

Austin

President-Elect

Rose Luna, MSLC

Austin

Secretary

Misty Biddick, MS

Belton

Treasurer

Jessica Serrano, MPA

Plano 

Region A Coordinator

Vacant 

Region B Coordinator

Julie Jesperson, BA

Austin

Region C Coordinator

Jennifer Sterling, LCSW

Arlington

 

Region D Coordinator

Stacey Manigold, MS

The Woodlands

Region E Coordinator

John Dominguez, BA

El Paso

Region F Coordinator

Angela Luna, BA, NACP

Corpus Christi


At-large member
Mary Breaux, PhD
Huntsville


At-large member
Cortney A. Franklin, PhD
Huntsville

At-Large Member
Lacy Hensley, LMSW, MA
Fort Worth

Ex Officio

Association Director
Natacha Peláez-Wagner, M.Ed.
Austin





Donor of the Quarter

Rose Luna, MSLC


This quarter we wish to recognize Rose Luna for her longstanding support of TVSA, and particularly her generosity during the COVID-19 months. Rose is president-elect of TVSA and has served on the board of directors as an at-large member for two terms, including service on the executive committee and as fund development chair. She is also presently chairing our ad hoc IT work group. As CEO of the Texas Association on Sexual Assault, Rose is a shining example of selfless service, giving to TVSA while working full-time at the helm of another statewide non-profit. She exemplifies all the best in collaborative partnerships, and we thank her for her many years of supporting TVSA as a financial and in-kind donor, as well as with her personal time and talent!

To make a donation to TVSA, please click here: http://www.txvsa.org/page-837451


Supporting TVSA Through AmazonSmile

Now when you shop on Amazon, your purchases will support TVSA! Through AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of every eligible purchase to TVSA. 

How to shop and spread the word:

1. Visit Amazon through TVSA's unique link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch-74-2889588

2. Share TVSA's unique link on social media.

Shoppers that use the generic smile.amazon.com link are asked to select one of over a million organizations to support. Be sure to use and share our unique link, so shoppers can skip the selection process and give to TVSA!



Region D Meeting

November 17, 2020, Virtual

Region F Meeting

November 18, 2020, Virtual

Region E Meeting

December 04, 2020, Virtual

Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance

Wednesdays, weekly 
March 24-May 5, 2021
Virtual

Annual Membership Meeting

May 6, 2021, Virtual

Biennial Training Conference

Summer, 2021, Virtual
Dates to be announced soon

Mental Health Texas Website Redesign Live

The Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council (SBHCC) through the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is pleased to announce the redesign of the Mental Health Texas website, mentalhealthtx.org

This website is a resource to help people locate mental health and substance use disorder services, get information about common mental health conditions and social services, and find crisis hotline services. The website also includes mental health resources related to COVID-19.

If you have any questions please email mentalhealthtx@hhsc.state.tx.us.

COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line

The COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line (PDF) offers COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. Call 1-833-986-1919 to reach a mental health professional. Individuals who identify themselves as frontline workers may call the support line for referral to Virtual Support Groups for Frontline Workers in Texas (PDF) where they will have the opportunity to speak with their peers about the mental health effects of helping others during the pandemic.  






Message from the Association Director




By Natacha Peláez-Wagner, M.Ed.

The fall is upon us now, and so is the realization that the current Coronavirus environment is here to stay for longer than many of us can estimate or plan for with any certainty. That said, TVSA continues its work to serve our victim services professionals in Texas.

As we settle into delivering our programs and services through a virtual model, we are extremely pleased with the reception that our regular virtual regional meetings have received. Our regional coordinators are all holding meetings every other month, allowing you to connect with your local area colleagues to support one another, through sharing information and resources for serving crime victims during the pandemic. We also are able to directly share with you current TVSA news and information. We encourage you to attend your regional meetings and to invite others to join you at our Zoom meetings.

We have recently completed our curriculum for our Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance (TAAVA) in management and leadership, and just as quickly are now pivoting to adapting it for a virtual academy. We are also preparing to launch our Texas Victim Friendly Initiative (TVFI) pilot project this fall, which is featured in more detail in our Resources column in this issue. And our board ad hoc work group on information technology is actively working to assess our current IT infrastructure and capacity for delivering virtual trainings, along with making plans to address additional needs we may have in these areas.

I wish to thank all those of you who have renewed your membership to TVSA or joined us for the first time this year. We remain primarily a grassroots organization and your support through your membership dues allows us to continue meeting our mission of support, education and recognition to victim services providers in our state. If your membership has lapsed, we encourage you to consider supporting us at this time when other means of fundraising during COVID-19 have become difficult to unavailable. And we invite new members, always. It is you, the people, who make TVSA, through your attendance at our trainings, your active participation in our working groups, our committees, and through your service on our board of directors. We deeply appreciate all of you who are giving of your time and talent to work with us during these challenging times!

To make a donation to TVSA, please click here: http://www.txvsa.org/page-837451.

President's Column

 



By Brooke King, M.A.

There are still some things COVID-19 has not changed or been able to cancel: the cooler weather brought on by the change of the season and welcoming the deliciousness of pumpkin spice are two that immediately rise to the top for me as I embrace the fall.

We all know the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges, but it also presented us with an opportunity to encourage innovation and reimagine what supports to victims could look like; ensuring every Texan has access to justice and the supports they may need to not only survive the pandemic but come out thriving, in light of facing the unimaginable. 

As frontline support you have maintained a connection to survivors, assisted them in coping with the impacts and stress brought on by their victimization that has been compounded by living through a pandemic, and served as a connector to other support services in your community.

I appreciate your commitment to the victims in your communities and hope you feel supported by TVSA. You are all in our hearts and minds as we continue to create connection, education and recognition opportunities for you. Take care of yourselves and each other. 



By Brooke King, M.A.
Membership Committee Chair

We currently have regional coordinators on our board for regions B (Julie Jesperson), C (Jennifer Sterling), D (Stacey Manigold), E (John Dominguez), and F (Angela Luna). If you are interested in filling the open coordinator position in Region A (panhandle region) please reach out to myself and Natacha.

We hope you have enjoyed and taken advantage of the TVSA meetings that occurred over the past few months in your regions and hope they provided you the opportunity to stay connected and share resources within your regions. As the Membership Chair and Board President, I urge you to contact your regional coordinator with any ideas you have; support you, or your agency need; if you have thoughts for a needed virtual regional training; or want to provide support to a virtual social. We are always looking for opportunities to spread the word about the benefits of joining TVSA and keeping you connected to each other!

Regional Updates:

Region A (Panhandle - Amarillo/Lubbock/Wichita Falls): Coordinator: Vacant. Please contact us at director@txvsa.org if you are interested in serving as Region A Coordinator! 

Region B (Central-Austin/Waco/San Antonio): Coordinator: Julie Jesperson, Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Victim Services Division; julie.jesperson@tdcj.texas.gov; Office: (512) 406-5920; Cell: 512-970-5162. Region B held its first ever virtual meeting via Zoom in September. Meeting hosts Julie Jesperson and Mike Jones, Region B TVSA board members, discussed outreach to counties in Region B that are underrepresented or unrepresented in our membership and what current members would like to see from future virtual meetings. We also talked briefly about the revised TVSA Code of Ethics. We held our next meeting on November 16th and TDCJ-Victim Services Division Deputy Director Mary McCaffity spoke on changes to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 56.

Region C (Northeast - Dallas/Fort Worth/Tyler): Coordinator: Jennifer Sterling, University of Texas at Arlington Police Department Victim Services; Jennifer.sterling@uta.edu; (817) 272-9254.  Region C had a great end of September Lunch & Learn Mixer with TVSA board member Lacy Hensley of One Safe Place in Fort Worth, to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We talked about the serious implications of strangulation and local ordinances that are going into place surrounding it, followed by current program updates and events in other attendees’ agencies. We held another Zoom mixer event on November 13th. Region C member and past TVSA board president Derrelynn Perryman spoke about her service as a crime victim advocate on the Texas Board of Criminal Justice.

Region D (Southeast - Beaumont/Houston/College Station): Coordinator: Stacey Manigold, BCFS Health and Human Services, sm1016@bcfs.net; 832-948-3841: For Region D I plan to continue my outreach to local advocacy agencies that are working with victims of crime. I have been reaching out to the Texas Forensic Nurse Examiners and sexual assault nurse examiners and law enforcement at Precinct 4 and 3 for the constables’ offices.  I have also been working on reaching out to lapsed members to invite them back to TVSA. Our next virtual meeting is November 17, 2020 from 12 p.m.- 1 p.m. We hope to see you there!

Region E (West - El Paso/Midland/San Angelo): Coordinator, John Dominguez, El Paso County Attorney’s Office Victim Services.   JohDominguez@epcounty.com; (915) 303-6069: Region E held its first virtual meeting on September 25th. I had the opportunity to meet with some great people who share the passion, diligence, and hard work to ensure education and safety to people who have been victimized. Some great topics were discussed in our meeting, such as how other areas in this region in our vast area stay connected, especially during this difficult time (COVD-19). I have to say, technology has allowed us to have the capabilities to stay connected with other people in our workplace and other agencies and being able to network and collaborate together. As we move forward, with our regional meetings TVSA is providing the support and leadership  needed to spearhead our goals and succeed in our region. Our next meeting is scheduled for Friday, December 4th, from noon to 1:00 p.m. mountain time. Please join us!

Region F: (South-Corpus Christi/Laredo/McAllen): Coordinator: Angela Luna, Victims' Assistance Coordinator, Nueces County Juvenile Justice.   Angela.Luna@nuecesco.com; direct line (361)561-6019, Office (361)855-7303: People are always searching. We search for acceptance, understanding, a place to belong, a community, a family. Membership in TVSA is exactly that – FAMILY.  When you join TVSA, you are introduced to a community of advocates, victim service providers, and like-minded, inspired individuals that genuinely want to help victims of crime. When you join TVSA, you build a collective identity of what is good and what is just. When you join TVSA, you are family. Region F held its first virtual meeting on September 4th, and our next one is scheduled for 10:00-11:00 a.m. on September 18th. I am looking forward to meeting more advocates in South Texas’ Region F at this next meeting!

To join TVSA, or to renew your membership, please go to http://www.txvsa.org/page-837452

Resources

Texas Victim Friendly Initiative (TVFI)

By Torie Camp, TVFI Program Specialist



The Texas Victim Friendly Initiative, the Texas Victim Services Association’s newest project, is a quality improvement program targeted at helping law enforcement agencies, prosecutors’ offices and non-profit advocacy organizations become more trauma-informed. 



The initiative has its roots in the premise that an organization that works with victims should do no harm to victims.  With that premise, TVSA asked a simple question:  What if every organization that works with victims was a welcoming and ‘friendly’ place for victims?  With that question, TVFI was born.

The cornerstone of the TVFI process is the TVFI Self-Assessment. Designed to measure an organization’s environment, policies and practices related to victim care and interactions, the self-assessment reflects best practices of trauma-informed care, Texas Crime Victims’ Rights and Office for Victims of Crime model standards.

The Self-Assessment addresses the following key areas:

  • Leadership and Governance
  • Policy
  • Physical Environment
  • Cross-Sector Collaboration
  • Victim Interventions and Interactions
  • Training and Staff Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Crime Victims’ Rights

Once the Self-Assessment is completed, organizations are supported through a 12-month period of coaching and technical assistance in the areas identified by the organization as highest priority. At the end of the 12 months, organizations have the opportunity for TVSA certification as a Victim Friendly Agency. 

“The Texas Victim Friendly Initiative fulfills an important component of TVSA’s mission: recognition of the outstanding work of victim service providers in Texas,” said, Natacha Peláez-Wagner, TVSA Director. “To be sure, any agency that is certified as a Victim Friendly Agency has outstanding victim service providers.”  

While other certification and licensing programs exist, TVFI’s focus on trauma-informed care sets it apart. This focus provides solutions to some of the challenges faced by victim serving organizations: victims will make contact once, but then stop engaging with the agency; victims do not tell us everything, are not always completely honest; staff is unfamiliar with signs and symptoms of trauma; organizations are missing opportunities to provide trauma-informed care and improve case outcomes.

“The Texas Victim Friendly Initiative is meant to inspire and support organizations to improve their interactions and response to victims,” said Brooke King, TVSA Board President. “Not only is that good for victims, but when victims’ needs are recognized and respected, victims are more likely to seek and participate in services, including the criminal justice system.”

TVSA is now seeking applications for the first group of organizations to participate in the Texas Victim Friendly Initiative pilot year. We are looking for law enforcement agencies, prosecutors’ offices and non-profit advocacy organizations who are interested in improving their environment, policies, and practices around trauma-informed care.

Organizations receive:

  • Participation in the TVFI Self-Assessment process.
  • Individualized coaching, technical assistance, and resources on improving victim-centered and trauma-informed care.
  • Opportunity for certification as a Victim Friendly Agency by TVSA.

The pilot will be conducted with six organizations: two from law enforcement, two from prosecution, and two from the non-profit sector. To apply to participate in the pilot please click here: http://www.txvsa.org/event-4044974. Deadline to apply is December 7. For additional information about the project please contact info@txvsa.org

TVSA and CVR Research Survey Results

By Cortney A Franklin, PhD

Thank you to the 130+ of who took part in the TVSA/Center for Victim Research survey this summer. We learned so much from you that will help us focus our efforts to meet your needs in the future.

You told us about the types of products you would like to see, factors that influence your trust in research, and resources you would find helpful. We asked about the format you prefer for research information, and the highest rated formats were one-to-two page brief reports on research, and research webinars.

We asked you how you and your organization use your own data. Here’s what you said:



We also asked about resources – in addition to funding – that would help you partner with a researcher. You told us:


The good news is that there are already some excellent resources available – FREE – from the Center for Victim Research. You can find:

The information gleaned from our survey with CVR will inform our future TVSA victimology research symposiums, and some of our upcoming conference programming as well, to better serve you, our victim services professionals across the state.

For a full summary of the survey results, please click here: http://www.txvsa.org/page-1681880/9349374







 


We welcome the following new members who have joined TVSA this quarter:

Mary Breaux, Huntsville

Rebbecca Freeman, Granbury

Rakesh Ganeriwala, Austin

Karen Gonzalez, Houston

Sam Jaroudi, Katy

Raelene Pace, Lubbock

Valerie Payton, Spring

New Member of Communities in Schools – Southeast Harris County & Brazoria County Agency Membership:

Lisa Odom, Alvin

New Members of the Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone Agency Membership:

Mariza Barrera, Rio Grande City

Joan Garza, Alton

Ilene Salas, Alton

New Agency Members:

Richland Hills, N. Richland Hills, Watauga, & Haltom City Police Department:

Dennise Espeleta

Teresa Koontz

Claire Mullaney

Tom Green County District Attorney’s Office:

Nickie Gotschall

And our newest Lifetime Advocate Member!

Angela Luna, Corpus Christi

Professional Development and Training Committee

As we look ahead to 2021, the board and staff of TVSA, along with the chairs of our Professional Development and Training committee and of our academy planning committee, are assessing how best to deliver our annual academy (TAAVA) and our biennial conference. The conference is our longstanding training we hold the first full week of May in South Padre Island every two years. TAAVA is normally a two and a half day intensive academy for a class of up to 60 students. Its design is interactive and intended to allow for peer relationships to develop that will last beyond the academy itself. Recently the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVCTTAC) held a four-part webinar series for victim assistance academy directors and personnel across the country on transitioning in-person academies to a virtual model. The TVSA academy director, planning committee chair, and curriculum specialist attended the webinars, which provided valuable information on changes to academies during the Coronavirus pandemic.

After much deliberation we have determined that next year’s events will need to be conducted virtually. T
hese events will continue to provide you with the high quality, trauma-informed, victim-centered training and instruction for victim services professionals, by victim services professionals that are the hallmark of TVSA’s education programs. TAAVA will be held in a weekly series on Wednesdays, beginning March 24 and running through May 5th, a schedule most conducive to delivering the course content modules in an online format. The application process will open and be announced shortly. The conference will be held in the summer. Confirmed dates will be announced before the end of 2020. In the meantime, if you are interested in serving on the conference planning committee, or have questions about serving on the committee, please contact 
director@txvsa.org
We will be rolling up our sleeves and getting to work very soon!

Board Spotlight

Jennifer Sterling, LCSW


Jennifer Sterling serves as the founding Crime Victim Services Coordinator in the UT Arlington Police Department. Jennifer holds an undergraduate degree and Master of Science in Social Work. Jennifer is also a therapist, working with victims of trauma in private practice, where she assists victims in their healing journeys.  

Jennifer was re-elected to a new two-year term on the board this year, where she serves as Region C Coordinator for the Northeast/Dallas/Fort Worth/Tyler region. She is also a recurring instructor at TVSA’s annual Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance in management and leadership.

“Serving on the Texas Victim Services Association board is important to me because TVSA provides an important professional fellowship for victim service providers and works as a driving force to continue to grow and give back to the profession.”

Angela Luna, BA, NACP


Angela Luna serves as the Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Nueces County Juvenile Justice Center. Angela holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and is currently working on obtaining her Master of Science in Victim Service Management at Sam Houston State University. She has served Nueces County for five years in her position within the continuum of law enforcement, juvenile court, and corrections. Angela has been a TVSA member for five years and was a presenter at our 2019 training conference. She is also a graduate of our inaugural Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance in management and leadership in 2016. She joined the TVSA board earlier this year as Region F Coordinator, covering the South/Corpus Christi/Laredo/McAllen area, and is our newest Advocate Lifetime member!

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society” — Vince Lombardi — is a favorite quote of Angela’s. And she further states, “I am continuously amazed by the amount of teamwork shown by our board. TVSA works hard for Texas advocates and their victims and I’m so proud to be a part of this organization.” 

Volunteer Spotlight

Suzanne Bradford


Suzanne Bradford has volunteered with TVSA for five years in a variety of capacities. As a career criminal justice consulting professional, working primarily with county jails, she became increasingly interested in victims’ rights issues as part of the justice services continuum. Suzanne is an ally member of TVSA, a membership level for persons who do not work directly with crime victims, but who support the professionals who do.

Suzanne is presently serving on the TVSA ad hoc IT work group, lending her expertise in technology assessment to the team. She also assists TVSA staff with technology support issues and use of software applications. Her assistance “behind the scenes” often allows our staff to conduct their work with much greater ease. We are very grateful to Suzanne for her availability in our times of need, and for always being there with a positive attitude and a smile!






























 
 
 
THE TEXAS VICTIM SERVICES ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER IS PUBLISHED QUARTERLY. Please forward articles, announcements, shout outs, job openings, training information, reviews, information and other items of interest to info@txvsa.org. Be sure and let us know if your email changes.

Copyright © 2020 Texas Victim Services Association. All rights reserved.



TVSA Summer 2020 Newsletter

The mission of TVSA is supporteducation, and recognition for victim service providers.
 

Follow TVSA: 






Newsletter
Summer 2020