Since 1989, the Federal Crime Victims Division within the Office
for Victims of Crime (OVC) has provided funding to American
Indian tribes through the Childrens Justice Act (CJA) Partnerships
for Indian Communities grant program. These funds are used to
help tribes develop, establish, and operate programs to improve
the investigation, prosecution, and handling of child abuse cases,
particularly cases of child sexual abuse, in a manner that limits
additional trauma to the child victim.
The goal of the CJA grant program is to improve the capacity
of existing tribal systems to handle serious child abuse cases
by developing specialized services and procedures that address
the needs of American Indian child victims. The program focuses
on developing strategies to handle cases of child sexual abuse,
from the initial disclosure through investigation and prosecution
to case resolution.
OVC currently supports up to 25 grants annually. Each grant
requires an in-kind match to encourage tribal investment, thereby
promoting the tribes ability to establish a program that
can endure when OVC funding is no longer available. The in-kind
match can be in the form of staff time, facilities, office space
and utilities, employee details or loans, and agency partnerships.
Hard match, or cash, is allowable in lieu of an in-kind match.
Eligible applicants are federally recognized Indian tribes
and tribal organizations. Grant awards are limited to tribal
organizations as defined in the Indian Self-Determination and
Education Assistance Act (Public Law 93638, 25 U.S.C., Section
450b). Awards may also be granted to nonprofit organizations
that provide services to American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Training and Technical Assistance
OVC seeks to ensure that all tribal programs are provided the
training and technical assistance necessary to help them implement
successful programs. A training and technical assistance (T&TA)
component is available for tribes that receive funding through
the CJA grant program. The recipient of the T&TA award provides
comprehensive, skills-building training and technical assistance
to CJA grantees to help them develop, establish, and operate
projects designed to improve the investigation, prosecution,
and overall handling of severe child physical abuse and child
sexual abuse cases. The T&TA project team conducts a survey
of all CJA grant projects to determine training and technical
assistance needs, categorizes and establishes priorities for
training, and develops a comprehensive T&TA delivery plan.
Based on the survey results, the T&TA team arranges individual
onsite program reviews and/or regional training sessions at which
experts are available to offer more indepth training. In addition,
ongoing telephone technical assistance, resource materials, and
specialized cluster meetings or other training and technical
assistance are provided when requested.
Activities Funded Through CJA
- Establishment, expansion, and training
for multidisciplinary teams.
- Revision of tribal codes to address
child sexual abuse.
- Provision of child advocacy services
for children involved in court proceedings.
- Development of protocols and procedures
for reporting, investigating, and prosecuting child sexual
- Improved coordination that minimizes
the number of child interviews.
- Enhanced case management and treatment
- Specialized training for prosecutors,
judges, investigators, and other professionals who handle
child sexual abuse cases.
- Development of procedures for establishing
and managing child-centered interview rooms.