Victim Centred Approach Fund

Apply to the Victim Centred Approach Fund.

Information for applicants 


Underpinning the VCAF is a new vision for victims, developed by the SG for the purposes of this fund. We want organisations that receive support from VCAF to contribute to achieving this vision:

  • victims will be treated with fairness, compassion and in a trauma informed manner in which their safety and well-being is a priority.
  • victims will have access to consistent, appropriate and timely information and support.
  • victims will be able to understand their rights, have confidence that these rights will be upheld and be able to participate effectively.

VCAF Priorities

Funding will be awarded through the VCAF to ensure that collectively services provided by successful applicants will help achieve this vision through delivery of the following priorities.

Applicants are required to demonstrate how the services they provide, or propose to provide, can contribute towards delivery of one or more of these priorities.

Priority 1 - Victims will have access to practical and emotional support, regardless of: whereabouts in Scotland they live; the nature or severity of the crime; whether it has been reported; or what stage of the justice journey they are at.

We want to ensure that, regardless of geographic location, victims and witnesses can access the support they need. The nature of the crime and whether it has been reported should not matter in the provision of support. Support should also be available before, throughout and beyond any engagement with the justice process.

Priority 2 - Victims will have access to joined-up services that are inclusive and accessible to all, are trauma-informed, provide streamlined support, and reduce the need for victims to recount their experiences to several different organisations.

We want to ensure that organisations are providing compassionate services which complement each other, are joined-up, simplify the landscape for victims and, wherever possible, reduce the need for people to have to revisit their experiences and recount them to several different organisations.

Priority 3 - Families bereaved by crime committed in Scotland or abroad will have access to specialist practical and emotional support. 

We want to ensure that families bereaved by murder or culpable homicide in Scotland have access to specialist support.  This includes help with practical tasks, such as access to financial assistance and arranging a funeral, and emotional support, such as counselling or trauma therapy. We also want to ensure that families bereaved by a crime committed outside Scotland are able to access specialist support to help with issues such as translation, repatriation and other complexities which often accompany such cases.

Priority 4 - Victims / survivors of gender based violence will have access to consistent and specialist criminal justice advocacy support. 

We want to ensure victims of gender based violence can access dedicated advocacy support to help with issues such as: safety planning, liaising with specialist services; getting updates on the progress of their cases; information about special measures; attending and support in court; and emotional support throughout the process.

Priority 5 - Adult victims of human trafficking and/or slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour will have access to support and assistance.

We want to ensure that support is available for potential victims of trafficking to help them recover and rebuild their lives and deliver the Scottish Government’s statutory duty to provide support to adult victims of human trafficking and exploitation.

Note, that since 1 April 2018, Scottish Ministers must provide support and assistance as required by the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 and subsequent secondary legislation.  Support and assistance may be provided to victims in connection with (but not limited to) the following: Accommodation: Day to day living; Medical advice and treatment (including psychological assessment and treatment); Language translation and interpretation; Counselling; Legal advice; Information about other services available; Repatriation. The VCAF will enable these statutory obligations to be met; and provide the opportunity for additional support where agreed.

Under this priority, applicants must have in place an effective call out service for use by first responders, including Police Scotland, covering a 24 hour period, seven days per week, 365 days per year.

Applicants may find it useful to refer to the Trafficking Survivor Care Standards published by the Human Trafficking Foundation.

VCAF long-term outcomes

Through funding organisations to provide services that collectively help us work towards delivering the VCAF priorities set out above, we want to achieve better long-term outcomes for victims.

Applicants are required to demonstrate how the activity they are doing, or propose to do, can help to achieve one or more of these long-term outcomes, noting that this will depend to a degree on the circumstances and needs of those being supported.

We will work with successful applicants to help develop a set of short to medium-term outcomes as a bridge between funded activities and achievement of the long-term outcomes. We have provided some examples of possible short to medium term outcomes.

Long Term Outcome 1: Victims have improved health and wellbeing

Examples of possible short-medium term outcomes - 

Improving mental health. Examples include coping better with trauma; reducing stress, anxiety and depression; and increasing confidence, independence and resilience.

Improving physical health. Examples include improved access to healthcare services (including sexual health) and reduced substance misuse.

Long Term Outcome 2: Victims feel safer

Examples of possible short-medium term outcomes - 

Examples include reducing the risk of re-victimisation or re-trafficking and improving victim perceptions of their own safety and support with safety planning. These might be particularly relevant for victims of violent crime.

Long Term Outcome 3: Victims feel better informed

Examples of possible short-medium term outcomes - 

Examples include victims knowing more about the support available to them, as well as about developments in criminal justice system processes (where relevant).

It is not the job of victim support organisations to affect criminal justice system outcomes. However, many do play an important role in supporting victims during their contact with the criminal justice system.

Long Term Outcome 4: Victims have an improved experience of the criminal justice system / process

Examples of possible short-medium term outcomes - 

Examples include, victims better understanding their rights, being able to participate effectively in the process and feeling supported and informed about developments in their case.

Victims leading fulfilled lives and, as far as possible, returning to the lives they had before the crime, where appropriate.

Long Term Outcome 5: Victims are able to rebuild their lives

Examples of possible short-medium term outcomes - 

Examples include returning to work or education, finding housing, receiving financial support, such as a successful compensation claim, reducing social isolation, and improving relationships with others.


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