Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $449,948)
The Developing Future Victim Specialists to Serve American Indian/Alaska Native Victims of Crime Program statutory authorities are 34 U.S.C. § 20103(c)(1)(B) and 34 U.S.C. § 20103(c)(3)(E)(i). Through this program, OVC seeks to further cultivate a workforce focused on providing services to American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) victims in hard-to-staff positions and locations. By identifying and training prospective victim service professionals in, or from, the communities to be served, tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) victim service programs will be better able to fill direct victim service positions in remote Indian Country and Alaska Native locations, and in turn ensure that victims in these locations get the services they need.
Northern Michigan University Department of Social Work (DSW) seeks grant funding to support Walking the Path Together (WPT), a program designed to reduce barriers to hiring and maintaining staff in tribally run victim services programs (TRVSPs) in the rural Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan. WPT has identified two goals to meet the staffing needs of TRVSPs within the region and will use grant funding to support them. Goal 1 is to improve accessibility to advanced education and specialized training by creating a pathway for Native American and other students to achieve 4-year or graduate degrees in social work with specialized knowledge in tribal victim services through collaboration with tribal colleges, community colleges, and other universities in the U.P. Goal 2 is to develop interest and specialized experience in tribal victim services by facilitating short-term, educational internships within U.P. TRVSPs. WPT plans to meet these goals through a collaboration with the DSW, TRVSPs, and institutions of higher education in the U.P. Targeted activities include: recruitment events; facilitation of culturally focused, paid internships within TRVSPs; development of standardized onsite training; holding ongoing training events on tribal land; and collaboration with other institutions to decrease financial and logistical barriers to higher education, specifically degrees in social work. CA/NCF