In 2005 the Foundation set up an inter-agency group whose remit is to proactively advocate for the improved delivery of medium to long term assistance to those affected by critical incidents (including terrorism). This group, named CIRAG (Critical Incident Response Advisory Group), is a confederation of voluntary, charitable and statutory organisations specialising in the planning for and care of people who have been involved in a critical incident and who are suffering the trauma that is an outcome of such an event. The group membership includes: British Red Cross, Combat Stress, Cruse Bereavement Care, Victim Support, Emergency Planning Society Human Aspects Group, Ministry of Defence (MoD), Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and trauma specialists.
One of the first pieces of work undertaken by CIRAG was to provide advice to the Government’s Humanitarian Assistance Project Board, headed by the DCMS, the department with responsibility for the aftercare of victims of major incidents. The Foundation, through CIRAG, created a ‘Timeline of Needs’ identifying the range of needs and the short, medium and long term impact following a critical incident. This included needs beyond psychological and physical, which are the most obvious needs and the ones most focused on by responding organisations. The Timeline of needs was based on the findings of the Foundation’s 2003 Needs Analysis and updated to include experiences of the other group members.
The main points were that victims have a variety of needs that should be met and a holistic approach must be taken. There should also be consistency, as the quality of immediate response impacts on the medium and long term recovery of victims/survivors.
The CIRAG timeline of need was featured in the 2010 Government guidance on Humanitarian Assistance. The CIRAG Timeline of needs is used extensively in the Foundation’s critical incidents work.