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Yurok Youngest Opioid Victims Assistance (YOVA) Project

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $738,470)

OVC’s mission is to enhance the Nation’s 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 Yurok Tribe will adapt the Fostering Healthy Futures Program (FHF), an evidence-based program designed as a preventive intervention for traumatized preadolescent youth shown to improve mental health outcomes for Yurok children aged 6–11 who are victims of the opioid crisis. The one-on-one mentoring that is at the core of FHF is congruent with traditional Yurok family behavior and will form the basis for a comprehensive, culturally appropriate, community-driven, multidisciplinary support system for child victims of the opioid crisis. The program will use RiteTrack, a customizable database, to manage data from the tribal and local superior courts, law enforcement, Indian Child Welfare services (ICW), Child Protective Services (CPS), TANF, and the schools to build and implement a feedback system for continual assessment of the needs of the children in the program. A Social Worker (SW) will provide one-on-one mentoring to each child for 2–4 hours per week for 9 months. Volunteer elder mentors and cultural teachers will mentor children under the supervision of the SW. Twice annually, family events will be held where relatives of the victims will be invited, facilitating relationship building with extended family and giving victims the opportunity to share what they have learned. All staff and consultants working with the children will be trained using the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMSHA’s) Trauma-Informed Approach and adhere to SAMHSA’s six key principles of a Trauma-Informed Approach.

Date Created: September 25, 2018