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Legal Aid of West Virginia's Lawyer in the School Critical Communities Project Expansion

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Past Project Period End Date
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $638,975)

OVC’s mission is to enhance the nation’s 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 America’s Drug Crisis to support direct services to children and youth who are crime victims as a result of the nation’s addiction crisis.

This award made to Legal Aide of West Virginia is funded under OVC FY2020 Enhancing Community Responses to America’s Addiction Crisis: Serving Our Youngest Crime Victims. Legal Aid of West Virginia will employ an innovative, collaborative, school-based service model known as LAWYER IN THE SCHOOL in Cabell, Wayne, Taylor and Preston Counties. The goal of LAWYER IN THE SCHOOL is to provide legal help to caregivers of children victimized by the opioid crisis by hosting legal clinics onsite in high-need schools and accepting referrals from school staff and partners. By reaching opioid crisis impacted families in schools and via school referrals, LAWYER IN THE SCHOOL addresses civil legal issues critical to stabilizing the lives of child victims in a holistic manner.

Legal Aid lawyers are uniquely capable of navigating complex systems, and their expertise is critical, as part of a broader community collaborative, to family stability and support fundamental to young crime victims’ recovery process. LAWYER IN THE SCHOOL offers caregivers of opioid crisis impacted children the chance to talk to a lawyer for free in a safe, familiar place. Legal assistance may range from advice and information to help filling out forms to court representation. Children who are victimized by the opioid crisis and their caregivers face numerous civil legal issues, such as: domestic violence; child custody, guardianship or adoption; accessing public benefits; eviction and other housing issues; and barriers to employment.


Date Created: October 22, 2020