VII. OVC Training Initiatives and Technical Assistance
OVC has implemented several initiatives to support VOCA State Administrators in conducting high-quality training conferences and in meeting other needs. These initiatives include the Conference Support Training Initiative, the One Percent VOCA Option, the Trainers Bureau, and Action Partnerships with Professional Organizations. If you would like additional details about these or other initiatives, please contact OVC.
Conference Support and Training Initiative
Through the Conference Support and Training Initiative, OVC provides funding on a competitive basis to support statewide and regional conferences. Since the inception of the Conference Support Training Initiative in FY 1993, OVC has awarded $571,843 in support of 47 conferences, providing training for more than 10,300 attendees. OVC expanded the initiative in FY 1995 to include victim assistance training at national conferences of allied professionals.
* State and Regional Conferences.
State conferences support statewide efforts to provide training and technical assistance to State and local victim assistance providers and allied professionals. A portion of the training workshops must be devoted to Federal crime victim issues such as bank robbery, bias/hate crimes, white collar crimes, and crimes occurring on Federal lands or in Indian Country.
Regional conferences provide regional training for victim assistance providers, program managers and advocates, crime victims, law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and other professionals who work with crime victims. These conferences facilitate the exchange of relevant information and training, the coordination of victim assistance services, and the development of interstate agreements.
* National Conferences.
The third component of the initiative involves training at national conferences sponsored by medical, mental health, legal, and law enforcement communities, as well as the clergy and other professionals. These training tracks involve general and specific victim-related topics such as understanding the trauma of crime victimization, providing services to homicide survivors, crisis intervention, and advocacy.
One Percent VOCA Option
VOCA State administrators have the option of earmarking a portion of their VOCA victim assistance grants for conducting statewide and/or regional state training(s) of victim services staff. The maximum amount permitted for this purpose is one percent of the State's grant.
Each training activity must occur within the grant period, and all training costs must be obligated prior to the end of the grant period. The VOCA funds used for training must be matched at 20 percent, cash or in-kind, and the source of the match must be described.
Through the Trainers Bureau, OVC provides training and technical assistance to victim assistance programs and other agencies that deal with crime victims to address specific administrative and programmatic issues. Skilled trainers conduct workshops at conferences, seminars, and other training events, and professionals provide onsite technical assistance to address significant operational problems and needs. See Appendix F for a Trainers Bureau fact sheet that describes the process.
Action Partnerships with Professional Organizations
This new OVC initiative encourages the development of partnerships with national professional and membership organizations representing the various professional groups of medical, mental health, legal, and criminal/juvenile justice personnel, as well as the clergy and other allied professions.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
There are certain stipulations regarding the use of Federal funds for conferences and training programs. Following are the questions most frequently asked about OVC initiatives and the corresponding answers:
Question 1: What is program income?
Answer: Any income directly generated as the result of grant-sponsored conferences is considered program income. Program income can only be used for allowable project purposes, either as supplemental income or match.
Question 2: What are some of the different types of grant-related activity that generate program income?
Answer: Registration fees are often used to finance various features of conferences. All revenues generated from registration fees must be put back into the project. Examples of allowable activities that may be supported with registration fees include speakers and consultants, conference sites, conference materials, working lunches, and award dinners.
Question 1: Where should the conference be held?
Answer: Some conference planners may believe that conferences must be held at "fun" locations so participants will attend. The lure of lively nightlife or of great golf or a beach should not outweigh consideration of cost and travel practicalities when planning a conference. Although it is possible to find excellent off-season rates and accommodations at popular vacation resorts and cities, before you make a selection we encourage you to do a rigorous and honest comparison of the time, travel, and subsistence costs.
Question 2: Should grantees consider hotel rates?
Answer: Each year, the Federal Supply Service, General Services Administration, publishes Federal travel regulations that include the maximum per diem rates. Grantees are required to negotiate a Government rate for the conference hotel rooms. Numerous hotels offer the Federal Government per diem rates. The applicable government rate for the city where your conference is being held is available from your OVC grant monitor.
Grantees must contact OVC and provide justification to receive approval of rates not within the Government allowance.
Question 1: Should grantees track attendance at conferences?
Answer: An effort should be made to track attendance after the initial registration. Participants should be encouraged to attend workshops and sign in.
Involvement With Other Agencies
Question 1: Should grantees involve other agencies when planning OVC-supported conferences?
Answer: There are several agencies that should be involved in the planning process.
a. It is essential that the United States Attorney's Office be involved in the planning of OVC-funded conferences. To ensure that the needs of victims of Federal crimes are served through OVC-supported grants, all selected State and regional applicants are required to include their respective victim-witness coordinator from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the conference planning process.
b. To maximize the benefit of the statewide and regional training conference, it is recommended that the conference sponsors include the following parties in the planning process: State victim compensation and assistance administrators; victim assistance service providers; representatives from private, nonprofit organizations such as State coalitions on sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse; military bases and Indian reservations; and national victim organizations.
c. Grantees are also encouraged to utilize the OVC Resource Center (OVCRC). OVCRC serves a broad constituency of persons and organizations with professional, academic, and advocacy-related interests in the welfare of crime victims. OVCRC also provides information support to professional conferences, training programs, and commemorative activities, such as the observance of National Crime Victims Rights Week. OVCRC has an array of resources to respond to these and other requests, including fact sheets, information directories, topical information packages, reading and referral lists, topical data base searches, videotapes, and CD-ROM. Highly trained information specialists are available to answer your questions by phone.
Question 1: Must grantees display the OVC logo on final products?
Answer: Grantees are required to prominently display the OVC logo on the cover page of all final products produced under OVC-funded Federal grants. Grantees also are encouraged to use the OVC logo on conference manuals and promotional brochures. Camera-ready logo art work will be provided to all grantees.
Question 2: Must grantees display the funding source on products?
Answer: Any publications, written, visual, or sound, except for press releases, newsletters, and issue analyses, whether published at the grantee's or government's expense, shall contain the following statement: This project was supported by Grant No. ______ awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The grantee may also want to include the following statement: The Office for Victims of Crime is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Question 3: Must grantees submit a copy of the final product to OVC?
Answer: Grantees must provide OVC a disk in WordPerfect format for the text of any final reports, publications, etc., and the master tape for any video products developed with or in response to any grant funds awarded to the organization by OVC. Grantees should also forward a final copy of brochures and manuals to OVC.
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