The mission of Victim Care is to train, support, and make resources available to Chaplains, Counselors and laymen in order to equip them for the sensitive area of serving and assisting the needs of victims through law enforcement and emergency management agencies; and to prepare them as Victim Chaplains, Responders or Volunteers to be spiritual shepherds to the hurting by presenting divine truth and serving as a reminder of God by their presence.
The Purpose of Victim Care Association is:
- To provide a professional association for Victim Chaplains, Victim Responders, and Victim Volunteers
- To prepare an army of Victim Chaplains, Responders and Volunteers of all denominations to go out among people to provide comfort in critical situations, and to take the presence of God into every situation.
- To prepare Victim Chaplains, Responders and Volunteers for the role of caregiver for as long as it takes.
- To prepare Victim Chaplains, Responder and Volunteers to be the primary responders to serve with deployment groups throughout the country.
- To train and mobilize nationwide to serve in the specialized area of victims’ needs as Victim Chaplains, Responders or Volunteers serving anytime, anywhere for as long as it takes.
- To establish a presence in every state and every law enforcement agency for meeting the specific needs of victims of crime.
- To establish a presence in every state emergency management system for meeting the specific needs of victims of disaster.
- To create public awareness of the need for spiritual volunteers to be trained as Victim Chaplains, Victim Responders and Victim Volunteers in times of crisis.
Victim Care Association was established in 2001 following the terrorist attacks in New York City to provide Victim Chaplaincy training for those who desire to serve victims of crime and disasters. The organization, under the direction of Dr. H. Norman Wright, board chairman, has served with Victim Relief Ministries in providing training for VRM response volunteers. Victim Care introduced a new and exciting program to provide Victim Chaplain and Crisis Response training for those who desire to serve victims of crime and other disasters.
There are military chaplains, hospital chaplains, police chaplains, industrial chaplains, prison/jail chaplains, retirement center chaplains, and many other types of chaplains, but, until this Chaplaincy program was developed to specifically meet the unique needs of those who have been victimized, there was not a Chaplain for the victim.
Victim Chaplains work directly with Police Departments and other agencies ministering to the victims of crime and their families, as well as other disasters such as the terrorist attacks in New York, natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ike. Victim Chaplains are trained to deal specifically with individuals and families who have been traumatized by victimization, whether it is by crime, disaster or terrorism.
One crime victim was reported saying to a counselor, “Most everyone that was involved in the crime received the necessary assistance to help them cope with what happened. The offender got ministered to by a jail and prison chaplain; the offenders family received counseling and assistance; the officers who were at the scene were debriefed by a Police Chaplain and their families were offered counseling. Then I asked my husband, what about us?”
There were several recommendations from a recent state crime victim focus study that is relevant to Victim Chaplaincy training. The first was to develop a standardized curriculum for the Chaplaincy services to be provided. Next was to establish a minimum guideline for qualifications of Victim Chaplains. Then, there was the need to develop a certification process and standards for Victim Chaplaincy training. Victim Care Association has already developed this type of distinctive curriculum and has been providing training for clergy and laymen since 2001 to respond to those interested in serving and assisting in victim emergencies.