Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $478,413)
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 project will use a three-pronged intervention approach to turn the tide of the methamphetamine scourge afflicting Buffalo Countys youth. A masters level licensed mental health counselor will serve at three southernmost school districts within Buffalo County, where incidents of opioid drug abuse are beginning to co-occur with the entrenched methamphetamine crisis. School-based mental health intervention would be available during the regular school and summer school periods. The second component is an in-home, family-based intervention, Functional Family Therapy, which combined with trauma healing Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools, works to decrease negativity often characteristic of at-risk youth due to opioid crisis crime victimization. The third element of this multipronged approach addresses a shortage in available, nonabusing, sober, nurturing adult role models often present within families of child crime victims. Mentoring services will be provided to fill this gap.