Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $687,749)
OVCs mission is to enhance the nations capacity to assist crime victims and provide leadership in changing 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 this solicitation 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 the result of the opioid crisis. Projects selected under this solicitation will support service providers in expanding their current scope and expertise to ensure that children and youththe most vulnerable victims impacted by the opioid crisisare supported as they heal from the impact of crime and substance abuse.
With this award, the University of Maryland Baltimore will use grant funding to establish the Baltimore Network of Early Services and Treatment (B-NEST) to improve the quality of care for young victimsbirth to 5affected by the opioid crisis by embedding trained community health workers and Community Response Teams into a more seamless response. Baltimore City has been plagued with the highest rates of opioid overdose among all urban cities nationwide, soaring rates of neonatal abstinence syndrome, and tragic rates of severe and fatal maltreatment among infants and toddlers. This program will strengthen and align responses across community partners, including early intervention, early education, social services, behavioral health and addiction programs, law enforcement, and community-based agencies. (CA/NCF)