Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $449,919)
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.
The Curators of the University of Missouri on Behalf of UMSL (University of Missouri-St. Louis) Child Advocacy Studies Program, in partnership with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF) Social Work Program requested grant funding to develop and implement Project AK-CAST to enhance workforce development in Alaska in the area of tribal victim advocacy. AK-CAST will train and certify frontline victim advocates to be trauma-informed professionals who respond appropriately and effectively to experiences of traumatic stress and maltreatment in children, adolescents, and their families. The program will train and place both current college students and paraprofessionals as interns in victim service programs in Alaska. AK-CAST is built upon the collective strengths of the UMSL virtual Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) program and the UAF Social Work program and field placement network. Working in unison, these programs will identify, recruit, and train three cohorts of six students and paraprofessionals with a recognizable interest in victim advocacy in the State of Alaska. Upon program completion, AK-CAST trainees will receive a nationally recognized Child Advocacy Studies certificate to advance their paraprofessional status or as part of their pursuit of a Bachelor of Social Work at UAF. CA/NCF