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State of Delaware
Criminal Justice Council

Delaware Victim Assistance Academy

The Criminal Justice Council presents:

Delaware Victim Assistance Academy

The next Foundational DVAA will take place March 17-22, 2024 in Dewey Beach. Apply before 11:59pm on November 7, 2023!


Based on the National Victim Assistance Academy model, the CJC is proud to provide a premier training and education program for new and beginning victim assistance providers that is specific to Delaware, the Delaware Victim Assistance Academy (DVAA)! The 2024 DVAA is supported through multiple funding sources, including state funding, partner agency contributions, and grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime, VOCA-Assistance Grant #15POVC-21-GG-00617-ASSI.

The mission of the Delaware Victim Assistance Academy (DVAA) is to offer standardized training that integrates interdisciplinary, evidence-based knowledge and practice to victim service professionals and allies by providing a space for learning, networking, and applying new skills. Through training and mentorship opportunities, the DVAA strives to develop a community of practice where Delaware’s direct service professionals become more culturally sensitive and inclusive, victim/survivor-centered, and trauma-informed in their work.

 Foundational DVAA Goals

  1. Provide the foundational skills and tools necessary to work with victims and survivors of crime.
  2. Provide information about the victim services field in Delaware to incorporate the history of victim services, as well as local, state, and national resources within the State.
  3. Provide an opportunity for advocates to network and gain professional contacts within the field.
  4. Broaden and strengthen the professionalism and promote sustainability of victim services in the State of Delaware.

What will people learn during the DVAA?

The DVAA curriculum has been curated to provide a broad overview of Delaware Victim Services. National and local experts were consulted in the development phase, and the current group of Faculty Instructors continues to refine the materials to be engaging, relevant, and to foster engagement both during and after the DVAA concludes. Participants can expect to be familiar with some of the topics and share their knowledge and experience. Download a PDF of the 2022 Modules and their and Learning Objectives for a better idea of what a week at the DVAA involves.

Foundational Academy Faculty 

The Foundational DVAA Faculty is made up of established and emerging leaders within the state’s pool of Victim Assistance providers. Areas of expertise range from the history of the Victims’ Rights Movement, to the provision of trauma-informed and victim-centered services, and beyond. DVAA Faculty members generously serve in their roles on a voluntary basis, thanks to the support of their affiliated organizations that recognize the importance of investing in the next generation of Victim Assistance providers.

Who Should Apply?

The Foundational DVAA is designed for victim service providers and allied professionals who have experience of four years or less (0-4 years) in the field. The 2024 Class will include up to 30 applicants.

We encourage all interested individuals who work with victims of crime to attend. This includes paid (full or part-time) staff from a variety of community-based and system-based programs and other allied professionals, such as law enforcement, probation and parole, and corrections. Applicants who serve victims on a volunteer-basis may accepted on a case-by-case basis, but active staff in the field are prioritized.

How do I Apply?

Apply HERE! The application includes personal statements where prospective students are expected to briefly state why they want to attend and how their participation will benefit them, their organization, and their community.

All applications must be received online by the application deadline. No hard copies will be accepted. In order to be eligible for selection, candidates must complete all portions of the application. If this requirement presents a hardship for you or another applicant, contact the CJC Coordinator for appropriate accommodations to submit your application.

All applications are scored and ranked competitively by a review team. Finalists are invited to participate in short interviews before acceptance decisions are made. The review team may invite feedback from applicant supervisors if more than one person applies from the same agency/division.

Once accepted, applicants are asked to provide a signed letter of support from their supervisor/program coordinator. The CJC creates a waiting list if more applicants apply than space is available. Open spots during the cancellation period are offered to the wait list on an as-available basis.

Cancellation Policy

If an accepted applicant cancels after the cancellation deadline and the space cannot be filled, the individual will be billed for the first night of the hotel stay.

DVAA students are expected to attend the Orientation Meeting, complete any assigned homework prior to the Academy, and be present during all official Academy activities. If an accepted applicant goes through the orientation process and withdraws during the Academy without sufficient cause, they will be billed by the hotel for their entire stay. This includes situations where significant class time is missed without cause. DVAA Faculty do not offer make-up assignments, and students who miss scheduled course time will be asked to leave and billed by the hotel for their entire stay.

Health & Safety Precautions

The health and safety of DVAA students and faculty is paramount to creating a safe learning environment. In order to create an in-person learning environment where participants can freely engage with the material and each other, all students should be prepared to comply with federal, state, and/or venue-specific requirements regarding COVID-19 mitigation efforts active during the DVAA. Specific guidance will be communicated to students and faculty prior to the DVAA.

Orientation Meeting

A Pre-Academy Orientation meeting will be held approximately five weeks prior to the start date. This meeting will provide an overview of the expectations, pre-academy assignments, and an opportunity to meet other students and faculty. The exact date, time, and location will be provided to accepted students.

Academy Logistics and Costs

The DVAA is a residential training, meaning that the event will occur over six days and five nights at a hotel located in Dewey Beach. Each accepted student receives a scholarship that covers lodging, breakfast, and lunch for the duration of the training. Dinner meals are not provided, and participants are responsible for those meals and their transportation to and from the Academy. By accepting the invitation to attend, participants must agree to stay all five nights at the selected venue and commit to attending each session in full. 2024 housing costs are supported by funding through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime, VOCA-Assistance Grant #15POVC-21-GG-00617-ASSI. State funds and agency sponsors provide meals.

Certificate of Graduation

Academy attendees who attend, participate in, and successfully complete all learning modules will receive a Certificate of Completion. DVAA Graduates are eligible to apply for a Provisional Level Credential through the National Advocate Credentialing Program. NACP is the credentialing body of the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA).

DVAA Media Items

We encourage interested persons to download the 2024 Academy brochure and apply before the November 7, 2023 deadline.

Previous Academies

Previous DVAAs took place in March 2019, and September of 2021 and 2022.

For the flyer released ahead of the 2022 Academy, visit: 2022 DVAA Flyer

For the flyer released ahead of the 2021 Academy, visit: 2020-2021 Delaware Victim Assistance Academy Brochure

Questions? Contact:
Kathleen Kelley
Criminal Justice Council
Phone: 302-577-8725
Email: KathleenD.Kelley@delaware.gov