+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 10-23S

Victim Services Delivery Model

February 23, 2023
Expiry Date:
March 1, 2026
Active Status:
Northern Sunrise County
4 - Northern
Community Services
Sent to Government
Vote Results:

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta is planning to shift the governance and delivery of victim services to a four-zone model in March 2024; and

WHEREAS the four-zone model will replace the existing local victim services governance and program delivery model; and

WHEREAS the unique needs of communities within these new zones may not be addressed; and

WHEREAS stakeholders were not given the opportunity to discuss the boundaries of the new zones even though the Recommendations on Victims Services – Report to Government (Report) identified that any model should recognize the unique need in each area; and

WHEREAS under the four-zone model, decision-making and service delivery approaches in smaller communities may be eliminated or modified to meet the needs of larger communities within each zone; and

WHEREAS this decline in services for lesser populated areas could disproportionally affect rural Alberta; and

WHEREAS many communities will be without representation on the new zonal boards, which will further limit their ability to address the unique needs of each community; and

WHEREAS the regionalization of many other professions in Alberta has not resulted in improved service provision for clients; and

WHEREAS the new zoning model could result in significant volunteer and staffing challenges, due to the large area that a single regional manager would oversee; and

WHEREAS the funding and delivery of victim services could be downloaded to municipalities under the new zoning model; and

WHEREAS Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) has taken the position that the current model of service delivery is effective for a large percentage of the population; and

WHEREAS the Report asserted that most stakeholders prefer to maintain the current model with increased funding levels; and

WHEREAS the Report did not document any problems with the current service delivery model, nor did it identify any existing gaps in services; and

WHEREAS the Report advised that “victims’ needs should be the number one priority” yet victims have not been given the opportunity to provide input as to what their needs are; and

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta has not done its part in assisting those few communities that have been struggling in their effort to provide victim services;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) advocate to the Government of Alberta to maintain the current model of victim services program delivery and instead provide direct assistance to the small number of communities that are struggling to operate under the current model and have insufficient services for victims; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that RMA advocate to the Government of Alberta for more consistent funding for the current model and the development of an approach for more consistent regional collaboration and information-sharing within the current model.

Member Background:

The existing model of Victim Services Units (VSU) has worked well for 30 years engaging local board members, local volunteer advocates and local staff from their respective communities. These local police based VSUs have always had huge support from the police and their communities and are appreciated for the quality one-on-one service they are able to give victims of crime and tragedy in their communities. With the very small percentage of problems that have arisen within these current VSUs, there was never any real effort from the Government of Alberta to resolve any conflict issues. Instead, these isolated problem areas were left to deteriorate. In the past (10 years ago) a team of two provincal representatives would come to the VSU with a problem and conduct a program review to identify and resolve  issues. These communities should receive the help they need, without resorting to zonal model that penalizes every other VSU that was operating effectively.

RMA Background:

RMA has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.

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