National standards set to boost status of independent sexual violence advisers

Training body Skills for Justice has announced plans to boost the profile of independent sexual violence advisers.

The advisers support families affected by domestic abuse and under plans outlined by Skills for Justice are to be subject to a nationally agreed set of standards of good practice for the first time.

The standards, which will be published in the autumn, aim to improve training for advisers, help develop new courses and qualifications, and give the profession more credibility.

Skills for Justice employer services director Lesley Dunlop said: “These nationally agreed standards will provide a crucial benchmark of good practice, so that services can then be delivered at a local level, based on the specific needs of people in our communities who need appropriate support.”

A Skills for Justice spokesman added: “This will also be good for families as it lays out a national level of competency that they can expert from this service.”

But the charity Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse has warned that independent domestic violence adviser services are facing severe cuts and at risk of closure.

Its poll of eight services found that two are at risk of losing all their funding with others facing cuts of between 50 and 25 per cent.