Ministry of Social Development – Court Support pilot evaluation 2018 – 2019
Malatest International was contracted by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) to evaluate the 12-month Court Support pilot service delivered by Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation Charitable Trust (Auckland HELP). The pilot service aimed to support victims/survivors of sexual violence going through the criminal justice system by providing psychosocial support to address their emotional, mental, spiritual and social needs. The pilot sat within the broader suite of services that MSD funded for victims of sexual violence.
A mixed-methods evaluation was designed and implemented, which included:
- Interviews with provider staff (including the Court Support counsellor delivering the pilot), criminal justice stakeholders and Court Support clients to determine the impact of the service
- Quantitative analysis of de-identified administrative data from Auckland HELP’s case management tool and client feedback forms.
The evaluation team also worked closely with Auckland HELP to improve their case management and reporting systems to enable more effective continuous improvement processes.
The evaluation found that the Court Support service model filled a gap in client service provision within the criminal justice system. It provided trauma-care and client-focused support alongside tools and strategies to help clients manage at times of heightened anxiety, depression and low levels of wellbeing. Criminal justice stakeholders reported the service was valuable as it reduced pressure and enabled them to work more effectively in their roles.
The evaluation supported the continuation of the Court Support pilot. Demand and need for the service exceeded capacity. Key elements of an effective Court Support service model were identified to inform the expansion of the Court Support pilot.
More information on this project and a copy of the report can be found here: https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/work-programmes/initiatives/family-and-sexual-violence/specialist-services/court-support-service.html