Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault

3030 Merle Hay Road

Des Moines, IA 50310

www.iowacasa.org

Email: membership@iowacasa.org

Phone: 515-244-7424

© 2019 by the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault (IowaCASA)  |  Grievance & Complaint Policy 

Certification

IowaCASA's Victim Advocate Certification Program

What is certification? IowaCASA’s Victim Advocate Certification Program establishes confidentiality for individuals providing sexual abuse services in the State of Iowa.

 

As direct experience working with survivors of sexual abuse is a required part of the process, only paid and volunteer staff of IowaCASA’s member programs are eligible for certification through this program.

 

Professionals who work with survivors in their everyday work are welcome to attend trainings for their own professional development, but are not eligible for certification. 

 

Email onlinetraining@iowacasa.org for more info.

How do I become a Victim Advocate?

A Victim Counselor certification is generally for employees, interns, or volunteers who work directly with sexual assault survivors at a victim service program. 

Iowa code 915.20A requires 20 hours minimum training for any staff or volunteer who provides services to sexual assault survivors. Please refer to the following flow chart for training and direct service requirements:

Employee or Volunteer who will work directly with survivors at a Victim Service Programs
VICTIM COUNSELOR TRAINING: Provided by the victim service program or IowaCASA. Consists of minimum of 20 hours of training. Must include 10 hours of in-person practical skill building, per IowaCASA standards.
DIRECT SERVICE HOURS: Minimum of 15 hours of direct service before advocate can receive certification. Consists of any in-person, face-to-face, or over the phone client assistance.
CONSULTATIONS: Advocates must document one consultation per month for 6 months. Consultations must be with a Certified Sexual Abuse Advocate with at least 1 year of certification. Consultations can occur in person, over email, or over the phone. 
Individual agencies issue and provide certificates for victim counselor privilege. 
EVERY YEAR you need 2 hours of approved continued education
EVERY YEAR you need a total of 20 hours of direct service
EVERY YEAR you need TWO consultations*
EVERY TWO YEARS your certification must be renewed. Click here for online renewal form.
*Consultations must be done by a Certified Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, or Sheltering Advocate who has at least one year of certification.

How do I become an Advanced Sexual Assault Advocate?

Per IowaCASA standards, an advocate who is working directly with sexual assault survivors MUST be advanced certified within ONE year of their hire date. Volunteers and interns are NOT required to receive Sexual Assault Certification, but can if desired. We do offer regional Sexual Assault Certification training, which requires two or more agencies with a minimum of 15 attendees. Click here to request a regional training. 

Please refer to the following flow chart for training and direct service requirements:

Advocate has received Victim Counselor Certification
SEXUAL ASSAULT ADVANCED TRAINING PART 1: Two day training provided twice a year at IowaCASA's office in Des Moines.
SEXUAL ASSAULT ADVANCED TRAINING PART 2: Two day training provided twice a year at IowaCASA's office in Des Moines.
CONSULTATIONS: Advocates must document one consultation per month for 6 months. Consultations must be with a Certified Sexual Abuse Advocate. Starts after Victim Counselor requirements.
DIRECT SERVICE EXPERIENCE: Minimum of 40 hours, which can include the 15 hour requirements for Victim Counselor.
APPLY FOR CERTIFICATION: Requires proof of Victim Counselor Training, Sexual Assault Advanced Training 1 & 2, and signed Supervisor Form. Click here for Advocate Application Form. Click here for Supervisor Form.
WOO HOO! YOU ARE AN ADVANCED SEXUAL ASSAULT ADVOCATE!
EVERY YEAR you need 10 hours of continued education
EVERY YEAR you need a total of 20 hours of direct service
EVERY TWO YEARS your certification must be renewed from the date of issue. Click here for online renewal form.

Request a regional

certification training

Victim service programs can request IowaCASA trainers to facilitate part or all of the Advanced Certification Training in their region. 

For IowaCASA to perform an off-site training, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have at least two agencies in the region or surrounding region(s)

  • Must have a minimum of 15 trainees made up of staff and/or volunteers

  • Must reserve a venue fit for a minimum of 35 participants, with preference to venues with media systems and refrigerators for medication and breast milk storage

  • Must provide IowaCASA with a contact person for the venue.​

Online Application Forms for Advocates

Certified Sexual Abuse Advocate Application > click here

 

Certified Renewal Application > click here

Continued Education Training Approval Form > click here

Documentation for Advocates

Code of Ethics for Victim Counselors > click here

 

Iowa Victim Counselor and Certified Sexual Abuse Advocate Training & Certification Manual > click here

IowaCASA Service Standards for Comprehensive Sexual Assault Programs > click here

Policies & Procedures

Complaint Policy and Process > click here

Grievance Policy and Process > click here

Language Access Policy and Procedures > click here

IowaCASA Service Standards for Comprehensive Sexual Assault Programs > click here