Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $300,000)
OVCs mission is to enhance the Nations capacity to assist crime victims and provide leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime. OVC achieves this mission, in part, by administering discretionary award programs supported by the federal Crime Victims Fund to develop innovative training and technical assistance, and to provide direct services to improve the overall quality of victim assistance. The purpose of the FY 2018 Enhancing Community Responses to the Opioid Crisis: Serving Our Youngest Crime Victims is to address an urgent gap in crime victim services related to the opioid epidemic and to expand upon existing or establish new programs to provide services to children and youth who are victimized as a result of the opioid crisis. The overarching goal of this program is to support children and youth who are crime victims as a result of the opioid crisis by providing direct services and support to these young victims at a community or jurisdictional level.
With this award, the Gratiot County Child Advocacy Association will implement a 3-year initiative to strengthen Gratiot Countys response to children victimized by crime as a result of the opioid crisis and substance abuse. Home to the Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition (GCSAC), the Childrens Advocacy Center of Gratiot County (CAC), Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council of Gratiot County (CAN), Child Advocacy is the only agency in the State of Michigan with all four of these critical programs under one roof. The agency will build on a robust history of community collaboration to analyze data and trends that define local opioid and substance abuse issues, develop systems to track and identify existing and emerging issues as they relate to children and youth who are victims of crime related to opioid and substance abuse, and facilitate the coordination of agencies and groups to provide direct services and support to those victims. Child Advocacy will: analyze the communitys existing response capacity, identifying gaps where they exist and proposing mechanisms to fill those gaps; develop and disseminate resource materials to increase awareness and generate service referrals; provide direct services to victims and service and support referrals to appropriate agencies; collect, analyze, and report data from local partners; lead community education and information dissemination efforts; communicate and coordinate with the selected national-level training and technical assistance provider on best practices in service provision and education efforts; and enhance the existing multidisciplinary response to include children and youth who are crime victims as a result of opioid and substance abuse.