U.S. Department of Justice: Justice for Families ProgramDeadline: January 12, 2017
The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is a component of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The Grants to Support Families in the Justice System program (Justice for Families Program) was authorized in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013 to improve the response of all aspects of the civil and criminal justice system to families with a history of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, or in cases involving allegations of child sexual abuse. The program supports the following activities for improving the capacity of communities and courts to respond to impacted families: court-based and court-related programs; supervised visitation and safe exchange by and between parents; training and technical assistance for people who work with families in the court system; civil legal services; provision of resources in juvenile court matters; and development or promotion of legislation, model codes, policies, and best practices.
Of the eight purpose areas in the Justice for Families Program, five are being solicited in the current funding cycle, listed below. Applicants may propose standard projects or comprehensive projects. Standard projects must include activities under purpose area number 1 or 5. If an applicant is proposing to provide supervised visitation/safe exchange services (purpose area 1), the applicant must also propose activities under at least one additional purpose area. The Courts purpose area (purpose area 5) can be addressed on its own, or in combination with another purpose area. Comprehensive projects include activities under purpose areas 1 (supervised visitation), 5 (courts), and 6 (civil legal services).
- Purpose Area 1: Supervised visitation and safe exchange: Provide supervised visitation and safe visitation exchange of children and youth by and between parents in situations involving domestic violence, dating violence, child sexual abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. Applicants proposing activities under this purpose area must propose activities under at least one additional purpose area for a standard project. This purpose area must be included in a comprehensive project.
- Purpose Area 3: Training for court-based and court-related personnel: Educate court-based and court-related personnel and court-appointed personnel (including custody evaluators and guardians ad litem) and child protective services workers on the dynamics of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, including information on perpetrator behavior, evidence-based risk factors for domestic and dating violence homicide, and on issues relating to the needs of victims, including safety, security, privacy, and confidentiality, including cases in which the victim proceeds pro se. Applicants proposing activities under this purpose area must also propose activities under purpose area 1 and/or 5.
- Purpose Area 4: Juvenile court resources: Provide appropriate resources in juvenile court matters to respond to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault (including child sexual abuse), and stalking and ensure necessary services dealing with the health and mental health of victims are available. Applicants proposing activities under this purpose area must also propose activities under purpose area 1 and/or 5.
- Purpose Area 5: Court and court-based programs and services: Enable courts or court-based or court-related programs to develop or enhance a) court infrastructure (such as specialized courts, consolidated courts, dockets, intake centers, or interpreter services); b) community-based initiatives within the court system (such as court watch programs, victim assistants, pro se victim assistance programs, or community-based supplementary services); c) offender management, monitoring, and accountability programs; d) safe and confidential information-storage and information-sharing databases within and between court systems; e) education and outreach programs to improve community access, including enhanced access for underserved populations; and f) other projects likely to improve court responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This purpose area must be included in a comprehensive project.
- Purpose Area 6: Civil legal assistance: Provide civil legal assistance and advocacy services, including legal information and resources in cases in which the victim proceeds pro se, to: (a) victims of domestic violence; and (b) nonoffending parents in matters: that involve allegations of child sexual abuse; that relate to family matters, including civil protection orders, custody, and divorce; and in which the other parent is represented by counsel. Applicants proposing activities under this purpose area must also propose activities under purpose area 1 and/or 5 for a standard project. This purpose area must be included in a comprehensive project. In addition, a project in which the primary focus is on providing civil legal assistance is not appropriate for the Justice for Families Program and will be removed from consideration.
- Purpose Area 8: Training within civil justice system: Improve training and education to assist judges, judicial personnel, attorneys, child welfare personnel, and legal advocates in the civil justice system. Applicants proposing activities under this purpose area must also propose activities under purpose area 1 and/or 5.
Amount: OVW estimates that it will make up to 18 standard awards and 3-5 comprehensive awards for an estimated $11,000,000. Maximum awards by project type are:
- Standard projects: up to $550,000
- Comprehensive projects: up to $700,000
Eligibility: States, units of local government, courts, tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, legal services providers, and victim service providers.
Notes: An optional letter of registration is due by December 22, 2016. OVW will post a pre-recorded Pre-Application Information Session on its website for eligible entities interested in submitting an application for the Justice for Families Program.