Since 1989, the Federal Assistance Division of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) has used the Children’s Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities (CJA) grant program to provide funding to American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities for improving their ability to manage serious child abuse cases.
The CJA grant program’s goals are twofold: To help AI/AN communities develop strategies for handling cases of child sexual abuse from initial disclosure through investigation to prosecution and case resolution and to assist in the creation of specialized services and child-friendly procedures for reducing further trauma to AI/AN child victims.
OVC provides ongoing funding to support CJA initiatives. During a competitive award cycle, grantees submit applications for peer review and award consideration. During a noncompetitive cycle, continuation funding is made available to award recipients for program implementation. All funding for the CJA program is based on an applicant’s submission and performance and is contingent on the availability of funding for the fiscal year. Each grant award includes a requirement that the grantee match the award by either a cash or in-kind contribution.
Eligible applicants are federally recognized Indian tribes and nonprofit tribal organizations. These awards will be limited to tribal organizations as defined in the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, Public Law 93-638, 25 U.S.C., § 450(b). Under this provision, the definition of “tribal organization” is the recognized governing body of any Indian tribe, to include any legally established organization of Indians that is controlled, sanctioned, or chartered by such governing body, or that is democratically elected by the adult members of the Indian community to be served by such organization, and that includes the maximum participation of Indians in all phases of its activities.
- Establishment or expansion of multidisciplinary teams and training for team members.
- 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 abuse cases.
- Improved coordination that minimizes the number of child interviews.
- Enhanced case management and treatment services.
- 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.