What Are Digital Services?
“Digital services” describes the use of technology-based tools such as online chat and text messaging, video calls and communications, and mobile phones and devices to provide support services to program participants of anti-violence programs. Many anti-violence programs have already been considering how to expand their digital support services to supplement in-person and hotline support services and the COVID-19 outbreak has hastened that review. The resources below are for anti-violence programs that offer support for women, children and youth experiencing domestic violence.
The information in this toolkit has been adapted for Canada, specifically, British Columbia, from and in cooperation with the Safety Net Technology Project at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, United States.
Using Technology to Support Program Participants During Public Health Crises & the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Use of Digital Services Technology to Support Program Participants During a Public Health Crisis
- Digital Services Communication Platforms: Comparison Chart for BC’s Anti-Violence Programs [Updated]
Programs should assess their current readiness to provide digital services and develop policies and procedures that will ensure effective services that are centered on informed consent and the safety and privacy of women, children and youth. This worksheet and the following resources will assist with this assessment.
- National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV): Assessing Readiness for Digital Services: Worksheet
- OPC and OIPC BC: Is a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Program the Right Choice for Your Organization? Privacy and Security Risks of a BYOD Program
In choosing a digital services platform, programs should consider which type of digital tool is best suited to the support services your program provides and how using that platform may enhance your support services and ensure the safety and privacy of the employees and the program participants. This vendor checklist will help your program to compare the many vendors that exist in Canada and elsewhere and choose one that suits your program. A trial period with the selected vendor will help to ensure that it is the right fit for your program.
- National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV): Selecting a Digital Services Vendor: Checklist
Promising Practices for Digital Service Delivery
These guides inform the use of digital tools to ensure the safety and privacy of the program participants and employees.
- Anti-Violence Program’s Guide to Phone Communications
- Anti-Violence Program’s Guide for Mobile Phone Use
- Anti-Violence Program’s Guide for Texting
- Anti-Violence Program’s Guide for Using Email
- Anti-Violence Program’s Guide for Online Chat and Messaging
- Anti-Violence Program’s Guide for Video Communication
Agency Use of Technology Policy Template Guides
The following BCSTH templates are designed for anti-violence programs to use and adapt to develop their own set of policies.
- Anti-Violence Program’s Guide for Employees Using Mobile Devices
- PEACE Program Use of Technology Policy Template Guide
- Use of Technology Policy Template Guide for BC’s Transition Housing and Supports Programs
- BCSTH Legal Toolkit: General Information about Legal Issues and Court Matters in British Columbia
- BCSTH PEACE Program Template: Informed Consent for Digital Support Services
Resources for Women Experiencing Violence
- OIPC BC: Privacy Breaches: Tools and Resources
- OIPC BC: Tips for Public Bodies and Organizations Setting Up Remote Workspaces
- BCACC: Remote Counselling and Privacy-Law
- OIPC BC: Contemplating a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program? Consider these tips
- NNEDV (National Network to End Domestic Violence) Digital Services Toolkit: available in English and Spanish
- The Canadian non-profit Tech Soup compiles information on products and technology for non-profits, including discounted software licenses and hardware, technology training for staff, and resources. Tech Soup provides general support to non-profit organizations and their day-to-day program operations.
- OIPC BC: Understanding Consent and Notification
- BCSTH: Considerations for Anti-Violence Programs Using Technology During The Covid-19 Pandemic
- BCSTH: Considerations for Anti-Violence Programs Starting an Online Chat and Text Crisis Line
- BCSTH: Online Communication Training for Anti-Violence Workers
© 2020 BC Society of Transition Houses, Technology Safety Project.
This online toolkit, or any portion thereof, may be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever as long as acknowledgment to the BC Society of Transition Houses is included in the product.