The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner wants to know how to spend his money across the region and is consulting on commissioning delivery mechanisms. The consultation finishes on 31 May 2013.
The link to the consultation survey is here: http://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/consultation/victims-commission-consultation/victims-commission-consultation-survey
This is a summary of the options and Coventry Women’s Voice’s partner organisation, Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centres’ response. Their preferred option was 2.
The Victims Summit produced three options:
Option 1 – a West Midlands wide structure, led by Victim Support in consultation with other VCSE sector organisations
This approach maximises the capacity and capability of an established organisation, Victim Support, which already has a commissioning process in place. It allows the skills of partner organisations, working with a shared agenda, to make decisions on an informed basis about the needs locally. This would also ensure that the lead agency (Victim Support) uses both the market place and service users working together to define the issue, understand need, and develop a service model based on service requirements.
Option 2 – a West Midlands wide structure comprising VCSE organisations, but with no lead organisation
This grouping would operate as described above but with no lead organisation. Representation would come from the VCSE sector across the seven local authority areas. This has the potential to maximize the capacity and capability of existing organisations but a mechanism would need to be found for establishing membership of the group and setting up processes and procedures for commissioning.
Option 3 – Procurement via new in house commissioning team set up by the Police and Crime Commissioner
This would require the Police and Commissioner to establish a commissioning structure which does not currently exist. This option potentially does not make use of existing capacity, skills and expertise that exist within Victim Support or other VCSE sector organisations. The latter potentially continuing with commissioning as a result of funding that they may receive from other sources thereby duplicating commissioning structures.
Tell us your thoughts about the name of such a group, how and by whom representation should be determined, and the role and nature of such a group.
CRASAC (Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre)Response
- Representation must come from groups that cover the diversity of victim groups and support the diversity of the population of the West Midlands. The commissioning process needs groups that know and understand the specific issues of victims e.g. BME groups, women only groups and disability groups for organisations to have faith in the process and therefore the commissioning cannot be led/administered by one organisation. The commission should use the structures that already exist across the West Midlands to nominate appropriate representation e.g. West Midlands Sexual Violence Providers Consortium.
- The role of the group is to harness the authority and expertise of the Voluntary and Community Sector organisations and present a West Midlands-wide structure that can share best practise, innovation and recognise the gaps in provision based on a relationship of trust and a unified response. Specialist sector organisations are experienced and successful at working in partnership.
- We believe it is essential that the PCC should provide the secretariat support; organise meetings, invitations, minutes etc. If it is another organisation then by default they will become the ‘lead’, whether in reality or perception.
Commissioning framework and delivery options – which do you prefer?
CRASAC Response: Option 2: West Midlands wide structure of VCSE organisations but without a lead organisation.
Please explain the reasons behind your preference
- Presents a pluralistic model which works well for our client groups can present in a chaotic manner and too frequently ‘burn bridges’ with organisations. People need second chances.
- Also allows for the inclusion of research expertise or expertise (e.g. Disability rights, specialist women’s sector or other specific client groups), even if they do not provide frontline services.
- Most clearly supports the diversity of the population of the West Midlands and of the Voluntary and Community Sector. The Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations are clearly sites of authority and expertise and should be at the centre of the PCC structure.
- Presents a broader benefit to the Voluntary and Community Specialist Organisations of a West Midlands-wide structure that can share best practise, innovation and recognise the gaps in provision based on a relationship of trust and a unified response. Specialist sector organisations are experienced and successful at working in partnership. This is more effective than a structure which has by its nature a generalist victim support organisation at its heart.
- Marginalised victims such as those who experience racial harassment or sex workers get lost within a mainstream organisation such as Victim Support. Our experience is that victims will be face the all too common negative myths and stereotypes that exist elsewhere in society that centre on victims of sexual and domestic violence.
- We believe there is a clear conflict of interest for Victim Support who are or are perceived to be direct competitors of many of the Voluntary and Community Specialist Organisations. It is inappropriate that a direct competitor takes on this role in administering the commissioning process.
- Despite the measures that Victim Support may well attempt to put in place to combat any actual conflict of interest, the perception of a conflict of interest will remain and which will undermine trust in the process. Without the trust of the broad range of organisations that work with victims this structure cannot/will not work.
- The commissioning process needs groups that know and understand the specific issues of victims e.g. BME groups, women only groups and disability groups for organisations to have faith in the process and therefore the commissioning cannot be led/administered by one organisation.
- Option 3 has a huge negative of the cost, which takes resources away from victims and survivors, plus it does not make use of the skills and expertise contained in the VCSE sector.
Please feel free to use our response to inform your own and respond to the survey here by 31 May 2013 http://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/consultation/victims-commission-consultation/victims-commission-consultation-survey