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Victim care officer Witness support officer

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Victim care officers support people who’ve been affected by crime.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £25,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You could start this job by volunteering with a victim or witness care organisation, like Victim Support

You’ll need to be over 18 and have a caring nature and non-judgmental attitude. 

You’ll need 1 to 2 years' voluntary experience before being considered for paid work.

You could also move into this job after gaining experience in a related area, like working with vulnerable adults in a community setting, counselling or the justice system.

You’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Victim Support has more information about becoming a victim care officer.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent communication skills, including telephone skills
  • the ability to work effectively with clients, colleagues and external agencies in complex and demanding situations
  • the ability to give support and guidance
  • problem solving skills and creativity to find solutions for clients
  • a motivated and organised approach, with the ability to work to tight deadlines

3. What you'll do

You’ll help and support people coming to terms with the aftermath of a crime.

Some clients won’t have spoken of their feelings before and may experience distress, confusion, guilt, or anger. These feelings may be directed at you.

You’ll visit clients at home or support them over the telephone.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • listening carefully and with sensitivity
  •  reassuring clients that the events were not their fault and their reactions are normal
  •  assessing clients practical and emotional needs, and arranging or directly giving them support
  •  providing an objective viewpoint, possibly including information on legal processes
  •  making sure that clients have access to other relevant services and agencies
  •  ensuring appropriate confidentiality

The practical support you give may include getting a personal attack alarm for someone who feels unsafe, or arranging for a Police Community Support Officer to visit.

You may also be involved in training and supervising volunteers.


4. Salary

Starter: £16,000 to £20,000

Experienced: £21,000 to £25,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week, including evenings and weekends.

You’ll spend some time travelling between offices or clients.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a senior victim care officer, unit or area manager, with responsibilities for a number of centres, staff and volunteers. 

You could also move into witness care, with a greater focus on the legal and judicial system and making sure witnesses attend court.

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Last updated: 13 September 2018