Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $750,000)
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 San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (SACADA) will coordinate Project Strong Life (PSL), a multiagency, multidisciplinary approach to addressing the needs of children and youth victimized by the opioid crisis. The overall goal of PSL is to intervene and improve the lives of children and youth who have been victims of crime due to the opioid crisis, and to educate the community on the prevalence of victimization and the resources available to address the youths needs, by accomplishing three goals: (1) expand direct care services for children and youth; (2) identify and analyze data to address the gaps and needs of children and youth; and (3)strengthen community partnerships to implement these strategies in the community. PSL will receive referrals from a variety of sources, including child protection services, specialty courts, local schools, first responders, local treatment providers and the Bexar County Joint Opioid Taskforce. Children and youth referred for assistance will receive intensive case management services using a trauma-informed approach, and Trust Based Relational Intervention, an evidence-based, attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children by helping them feel safe, connected, and empowered. PSL staff will also develop and implement materials to increase awareness of the services available through the grant-funded project by disseminating materials to first responders, specialty courts, childrens shelters, treatment facilities, schools, churches and other youth-serving organizations, as well as social media, public service announcements, and other media. Project staff will also provide training to allied professionals, first responders, treatment providers, school administrators, the faith-based community, social service providers and any other provider that might have access to children, youth, or families impacted by the opioid crisis and other substance abuse disorders. The training topics will include understanding addiction of opioids, the negative impact and consequences on the family, strategies to combat the devastation caused, and resources needed to prevent and intervene.