New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department: Children’s Justice Act Funding
The federal Children’s Justice Act (CJA) provides grants to states to improve the investigation, prosecution, and judicial handling of cases of child abuse and neglect, particularly child sexual abuse and exploitation, in a manner that limits additional trauma to the child victim. CJA funding also supports the handling of child fatality cases in which child abuse or neglect is suspected as well as cases involving children with disabilities and serious health problems who are victims of abuse and neglect. To be eligible to receive CJA funds, states must establish an advisory task force. In New Mexico, the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) manages CJA funds, under the guidance of the Children’s Justice Act Advisory Group (CJAAG). CJAAG members represent various disciplines involved in child abuse and neglect, including the courts, prosecutors, law enforcement, child welfare, medical and other services providers, and child advocates.
CJAAG seeks to fund collaborative projects. To comply with the intent of this federal funding, the project must be designed to improve the handling of civil and criminal child abuse cases. Funding can be used to:
- Improve the investigation, prosecution, and judicial handling of cases through training, education, data and quality improvement, and/or development of process and protocol
- Provide education and/or training programs focusing (but not limited to) on medical forensic response to child sexual abuse cases, human trafficking, domestic violence response, etc.
- Reduce additional trauma to the child victim
Project examples include: develop policies and procedures for a multi-disciplinary team, training (case workers, attorneys, medical staff, law enforcement, etc.), and development of child fatality review teams.
Amount: A total of up to $49,000 is available, per project. Funding will be granted through a contract with New Mexico CYFD.
Eligibility: Not stated. The CJAAG will give preference to applicants that propose a project designed to endorse collaboration between disciplines involved in child welfare that improve the handling of child abuse cases (i.e., protective services, judiciary, District Attorney Office, community based providers, etc.).
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