U.S. Department of Justice: Justice for Families Program
The Grants to Support Families in the Justice System 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 domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, or in cases involving allegations of child sexual abuse. The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is interested in funding projects that take a coordinated approach to helping families victimized by domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking as they navigate the justice system. Funding may be used for the purposes below:
- (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.
- (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.
- (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) non-offending 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. In addition, a project in which the primary focus is on providing civil legal assistance is not appropriate for the Justice for Families Program.
- (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: Most awards will be in the range of $450,000-$600,000. OVW estimates that it will make up to 25 awards for an estimated $11,000,000.
Eligibility: States, units of local government, courts (including juvenile courts), Indian tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, legal services providers, and victim service providers.
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