To ensure that the board appropriately carries out its outreach efforts, it should define the specific procedures to accomplish its action strategies for outreach and establish quantitative measures to evaluate the effectiveness of its outreach efforts.
In 2013, the Restitution Fund reserve was stable enough to continue to pursue an aggressive outreach program that had been placed on hold from 2009. The Comprehensive Outreach Plan was updated with new statistics and implementation began. The strategies and tactics created were designed following extensive research that involved; demographics and crime statistics statewide, application data collected at CalVCP, input from Joint Power agencies, stakeholders, law enforcement and marketing professionals. Furthermore, the Plan also called for the development of a baseline account of the public awareness of the program in order to measure success in future years. The updated version provided 8 primary objectives:
1. Develop metrics, awareness surveys and statistical analysis to target and evaluate communications activities.
2. Provide outreach to underserved and vulnerable populations.
3. Educate and partner with California first responders
4. Strengthen partnerships with victim service programs
5. Provide members of the legislature with information on CalVCP
6. Conduct outreach for key awareness months
7. Provide digital Outreach
8. Enhance media relations
The baseline survey was conducted in February 2014 and all aspects of the Plan are being implemented including, media relations, advertising, public service announcements, community outreach, advocate and partner outreach as well as legislative outreach. All aspects of the audit recommendations are met and fulfilled.
The Board's outreach efforts continue to be consistent with the current Comprehensive Communications and Outreach Plan. The Board recently developed and began implementing an updated 2013-2015 Strategic Communications and Outreach Plan that encompasses reaching underserved and vulnerable audiences throughout the State in an effort to raise awareness of CalVCP and its services. The plan calls for developing a baseline measurement to evaluate outreach effectiveness by capturing quantitative data on program awareness levels pre and post campaign efforts. Furthermore, the Board is leveraging funds received from a Federal Office of Victims of Crime grant to better identify underserved victims, define gaps in services and examine more innovative means to reach and educate victims of crime to the services offered by the State program. The Board expects to meet the deadlines provided in the Federal agreement of the grant by early 2014.
As noted in previous progress reports, the board has substantially complied with this recommendation. The board's Comprehensive Communications and Outreach Plan identified metrics to establish benchmarks for awareness levels, prioritized projects and targeted underserved populations. The remaining element of the recommendations that has yet to be fully implemented is the performance survey to establish a baseline from which the board may accurately measure its goals. As previously noted the board had planned to contract with a vendor in 2010 but postponed plans due to budget constraints related to the condition of the Restitution Fund. During this difficult economic climate where all but necessary spending is restrained, our plans to conduct a formal performance survey remain on hold. We will continue to conduct our outreach efforts including using tools such as social and digital media and will actively seek feedback from stakeholders and advocates as to the success of these efforts.
†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year or subsequent to one year.
*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.