Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $708,279)
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, Gaston County will partner with multiple entities to provide integrated referrals and services for children of the opioid crisis. A Therapeutic Center will be developed in a church-donated child-friendly space. Partner agencies will make referrals to the Therapeutic Center for children needing services to two licensed clinicians who will serve at least 50 children per year. Services of the Therapeutic Center will include: supervised visitation; therapeutic foster care services; direct therapy services for opioid-impacted children with no insurance; and counseling for children removed from homes because of home substance abuse. Children whose parents receive substance abuse treatment and children whose parents were assigned by the court to outpatient substance abuse treatment will also be served. The goal of the project is to support victims as they heal from the impact of crime and substance abuse.