Initiative to help child victims of crime

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a new initiative to help child victims of crime. Funded by grants from the federal Victims of Crime Act, DeWine is setting aside at least $25 million to fund children’s programs.

“It is critical that crime victims have access to comprehensive care and services, and that includes services for our youngest, most vulnerable victims,” DeWine said. “We want to help ensure that kids who experience trauma receive the care they need.”

Attorney General DeWine called on organizations across the state to submit innovative ideas for programs in areas such as: Providing comprehensive services to child victims of physical or sexual abuse; Addressing mental health issues in children who have experienced trauma; Providing trauma-informed care training to interested Ohio schools; Helping children whose families are struggling with substance abuse; Researching the impact of child abuse, neglect, and other adverse childhood experiences; Locating safe, trauma-informed living environments for children.

Organizations should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to learn more about VOCA grants or to submit a proposal.

The federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), signed into law in 1984, established an account known as the Crime Victims Fund, which is financed by federal settlements, fines, and penalties. States apply each year for the federal grant and then award VOCA funds to eligible public and nonprofit organizations.

In Ohio, the Attorney General is responsible for administering the state’s VOCA grants. The state was awarded $117 million for fiscal year 2018-2019, an increase of more than $30 million from the previous year. The initiative Attorney General DeWine announced today will ensure funding for programs serving child victims in Ohio.