Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $713,669)
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 Nez Perce Tribe will establish the My Relatives ('inhimiyu'nm) Project. Deliverables include the first-time establishment of a residential, clean living, comfortable, and child-friendly home on the Nez Perce Reservation to serve drug-affected infants and children and their mothers. The home will be established in Lapwai, Idaho, the seat of the Nez Perce Tribe, using the nationally recognized Oxford Model, which is based on independent living for caregivers and their children, peer support, outside support services, and a strong level of responsibility and self-reliance. Mothers will be expected to manage the household cooperatively with a shared budget and to use a portion of their earnings or income toward its maintenance. Children and youth will receive mental health evaluations from accredited providers to determine the best means of meeting their needs, as well as ongoing behavioral health assessments as needed. Transportation will be provided for child and youth victim needs. A half-time Project Coordinator and a full-time My Relatives Caseworker will be hired specifically for the My Relatives Project. They and other CPS and Social Services staff will receive professional development training in Working With Substance Abuse Families, White Bison Program, and child forensic interviewing to provide heightened sensitivity and support to victimized children and their caregivers.