Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $9,997,946)
OVC released the Vision 21: National Resource Centers for Research, Evaluation and Reaching Underserved Victims Solicitation in response to recent increases in funding made available to Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) agencies in FY 2015 and FY 2016. Given these significant increases in funding, OVC is interested in providing dedicated support to ensure VOCA-funded agencies and organizations are able to maximize use of these funds. The resource centers established through this solicitation will provide valuable training and technical assistance (TTA) to increase the capacity of VOCA agencies to use data-driven decision-making as they make funding decisions, boost their ability to monitor program performance, improve their ability to integrate evidence-based practice into the programs they fund, and enhance their ability to identify and serve underserved victim populations in their jurisdiction. The solicitation sought applications in two purpose areas to obtain the desired TTA resources Purpose Area 1 (PA1): Victim-Related Research and Evaluation and Purpose Area 2 (PA2): Reaching Underserved Victims.
With its PA2 award, the Vera Institute (Vera) will establish a resource center to provide dedicated TTA that expands the field's capacity to provide culturally and linguistically specific, trauma-informed, and accessible victim services that successfully identify, reach, and meet the needs of underserved communities. Vera will assemble a consortium of over 40 agencies with leading experts on underserved crime victims, key stakeholders in the crime victims field, and technical experts to create and support the Resource Center. The TTA resources planned includes expert guidance and advice through phone and in-person visits, a national conference, regional trainings, online learning opportunities, resources on evidence-based practices, public awareness and outreach materials, and incentives for victim services to spur innovative approaches to reaching underserved victims and adopt existing approaches that work.