Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $541,300)
OVCs mission is to enhance the Nations capacity to assist crime victims and provide leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime. OVC achieves this mission, in part, by administering discretionary award programs supported by the federal Crime Victims Fund to develop innovative training and technical assistance, and to provide direct services to improve the overall quality of victim assistance. The purpose of the FY 2018 Enhancing Community Responses to the Opioid Crisis: Serving Our Youngest Crime Victims is to address an urgent gap in crime victim services related to the opioid epidemic and to expand upon existing or establish new programs to provide services to children and youth who are victimized as a result of the opioid crisis. The overarching goal of this program is to support children and youth who are crime victims as a result of the opioid crisis by providing direct services and support to these young victims at a community or jurisdictional level.
Opioid addiction in the home is the fastest growing adverse childhood experience (ACE) in Massachusetts, specifically in Plymouth County. In 2017, 2,016 people died of an overdose in Massachusetts, with 147 fatalities in Plymouth County. Of the overdoses in Plymouth County, 70 percent of individuals were aged 2039, often the ages associated with having children. Furthermore, the majority of overdoses (65 percent) are occurring in a home. Unfortunately, far too many children are being exposed to overdosing parents. The Drug Endangered Children Subcommittee of the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force will focus project efforts on bringing awareness to agencies that come into contact with drug endangered children, helping agencies identify drug endangered children, assisting drug endangered children in navigating systems, and providing drug endangered children with direct services. The project will develop a Helping Traumatized Children Learn Manual for each staff member at each school to bring awareness to schools on drug endangered children, what trauma they experience, and how school staff can respond appropriately.