Risk & Needs Assessment Tool for ISVAs

Safety and Support AssessmentRisk and need identification and management are an essential element   of the ISVA role. Effective support from an ISVA will include an awareness of their client’s overall needs as well as an awareness of the degree of risk that they may face or present to themselves and/or others.

In Autumn 2016 LimeCulture CIC was awarded funding from the Home Office Support for Victims and Survivors of Sexual Abuse (SVSSA) Fund to develop a Risk and Needs Assessment Tool for use by all ISVAs working across England and Wales to support victims and survivors of sexual violence.

The Safety and Support (SAS) Assessment has been developed specifically for use by Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs)

The benefits of using the SAS Assessment will be wide-ranging for clients, individual ISVAs, ISVA Managers, ISVA Services (at an organisational level) and Commissioners.

How the SAS Assessment has been developed?
The development of the Safety and Support (SAS) Assessment has included learning from existing and other risk & needs assessment tools (e.g. drug & alcohol, domestic violence and mental health) as well as consultation and feedback from more than 50 ISVAs (and their Services) to assist in the design of the tool.

The SAS Assessment has been trialled by 5 Pathfinder services to identify any specific implementation issues as well as establish the effectiveness of the SAS Assessment, ensuring it is fit for purpose and meets the needs of ISVA’s and their clients.

LimeCulture provide a series of regional workshops during March 2017 (Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Peterborough, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol, Brighton and London ) as well as additional workshops for Commissioners and ISVA Managers ( Birmingham and London) in May 2017,  to support the implementation of the SAS Assessment. 

Safety and Support (SAS) Assessment
The SAS Assessment is a domain-based assessment that allows the ISVA to identify their client’s individual risks and needs (without prescribing a form of words or imposing a checklist).

It allows ISVAs to more robustly identify, monitor and manage the individual risks and/needs of their clients over time

There are 14 domains included in the SAS Assessment (including personal and individual requirements, harm from others, health and medical, employment & education, risk to services & professionals and professional judgement)

Given the fluidity of risk, it recommended that the SAS Assessment is used by the ISVA at every contact with the client. A full SAS Assessment is suggested at the initial meeting, then reviewed at each contact with the client (with a focus on the domains where risk and/or need is identified). It should be reviewed in full at scheduled intervals throughout the journey of support provided by the ISVA.

The SAS Assessment allows the ISVA to draw up an individual and tailored Safety and Support (SAS) Plan to meet all of the client’s risks and needs, and provides clarity about the nature of support the ISVA will provide.

Implementation of the Safety and Support (SAS) Assessment
The SAS Assessment and Support Plan templates and accompanying toolkit can be downloaded at no cost using the links below. The templates can be customised and amended to include service specification, commissioning or management requirements.

Inclusion on IT systems 

  • DPMS - Rape Crisis England and Wales have confirmed that it will be uploaded to DPMS in August.
  • Oasis - Oasis has confirmed that it will be uploaded at the end of June
  • Paloma - Modus Soteria - SAS Assessment has been uploaded and are currently testing it before alerting their users. We expect this to be ready soon.

If you use another system and would like us to liaise with them on your behalf, please do let us know if we can be of assistance.

For more information about the Safety and Support Assessment please email becky.dewdney-york@limeculture.co.uk