A Copy of an Email Sent by Kathrina S. Peterson, OVC Deputy Director, on February 26, 2020
Happy Wednesday Everyone,
I hope your 2020 is off to a good start. Below, you will find updates on various OVC/OJP topics. Once again, don't be scared by the length! This is like a menu; pick and choose what strikes you.
VOCApedia: The most recent update to VOCApedia includes 25 questions we received in December 2019 and January 2020. The next update will be in March 2020.
You will see that OVC/OJP provides a revised answer to the question, “Can VOCA funds be used to pay for processing medical evidence, such as for sexual assault evidence collection kits (SAECKs)?” (Under “Allowable Expenses”). Upon further analysis, we have determined that using VOCA funds for processing medical evidence is not allowable. We provide further explanation in VOCApedia.
The new answer is effective as of February 24, 2020. Obligations for SAECK expenses that were incurred before February 24, 2020, will be considered allowable. If you have any questions about this issue, please contact Joel Hall, [email protected].
2020 Solicitations: We are excited that several OVC solicitations specifically relevant to Assistance and Compensation Administrators have posted, and more will be posting very soon.
- FY 2020 State Victim Liaison Project: closes April 9, 2020. OVC held an application webinar on February 20, 2020, and more than 130 people attended;
- FY 2020 Crime Victim Compensation Program Assessment: closes April 20, 2020. OVC anticipates making up to 6 awards of up to $350,000 each. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on March 5, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html;
- FY 2020 Targeted Training and Technical Assistance for VOCA Victim Assistance and Compensation Administrators: OVC expects to issue up to two for a total of $5 million. The application webinar date will be announced when the solicitation is released;
- FY 2020 VOCA Victim Compensation Fellow: OVC anticipates making one award up to $400,000. The application webinar date will be announced when the solicitation is released; and
- FY 2020 VOCA Victim Assistance and Compensation Formula Solicitations: Coming soon! Once OVC receives all outstanding victim compensation certification forms, we can determine the 2020 allocations. We will then post the formula solicitations.
New PMT Resources: We are releasing the Performance Measure Dictionary and Terminology Resource, which creates a single location to find definitions of terms used across the OVC performance measures for Victims of Crime Act Victim Assistance and Victim Compensation grantees, as well as Transforming Victim Services grantees. It includes terms related to: demographics, victimizations, victim services, and victim compensation expense types, among others.
We are also releasing the Victim Assistance Prorating Strategies for Subgrantees resource, which clarifies situations when subgrantee data might be prorated and offers options for prorating subgrantee data before PMT entry. Fellow administrators reviewed these resources before publishing, so we hope you will find them helpful. These resources are attached to the email and will be available on OVC's VOCA Administrator's website.
Monitoring Toolkit: The new monitoring new toolkit for VOCA Victim Assistance Administrators, which was created with input of fellow assistance administrators, is now available. We are happy to work with you in applying the toolkit to your state. Please contact your OVC program manager for more information. The Monitoring Toolkit has been added as a new tab on the MyVOCA site on the OVC TTAC website. MyVOCA Resources is a password-protected portal for use by State Assistance and Compensation Administrator staff. If you need any assistance with your credentials to enter that site, please contact Kathleen Demro at [email protected].
OVC TTAC Outreach: The SCAD Team asked OVC TTAC to contact all VOCA Administrators (compensation and assistance) so that we can better understand how each office is structured. I attached the questions to this email for your reference. This outreach began with MA on February 10, 2020, and will continue until each office is contacted. Thank you in advance for your time. The information helps us better understand how we can more effectively support your offices and efforts.
Meetings: We have several upcoming meetings:
- The inaugural Compensation Steering Committee meeting will be held online this Friday, February 28, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. e.t. The purpose of these meetings is to identify pressing issues impacting the compensation program, and provide an opportunity for ongoing dialogue between compensation administrators and OVC. The Committee is currently comprised of approximately 10 compensation administrators;
- The VOCA Victim Assistance Regional Meeting for VOCA Victim Assistance Administrators is scheduled for June 8–10, 2020, in New Orleans. We just received approval for this yesterday! More details from OVC TTAC to come; and
- The VOCA Victim Assistance & Compensation Annual Training Conference is tentatively scheduled for August 10-13, pending confirmation from OVC/OJP. More details to come.
OVC Staffing Updates: We have had exciting staff developments at OVC, and are expecting more. First, Darlene Hutchinson is now the Senior Victim Affairs Advisor to the Office of Justice Programs' Office of the Assistant Attorney General, where she is advising OJP on victims' issues. Do not fear! Darlene is still actively involved with our office, and we are thankful that she will be working with us on projects like the Compensation Advisory Committee.
Gary Barnett was named the OVC Acting Director on an interim basis. For those of you who have met Gary, you will be happy to know that he will be moving to the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. President Trump recently announced his intent to appoint Jessica Hart, with DOJ's Office of Legislative Affairs, as OVC's permanent Director.
The SCAD Team is breathing a sigh of relief because we are anticipating additional program managers. We are currently posting for an Associate Deputy position, open to the public. Please share this posting with anyone you think may be interested. Finally, I am beyond thrilled to have been selected as the Deputy Director of the SCAD team (I shed my “Acting” title). I am so happy to continue working with each of you as we at OVC enhance our efforts to support the states in the critical delivery of victim services and compensation to crime victims.
Tribal & Rural Outreach: Last but not least, OJP has been visiting states to raise awareness about rural and Tribal funding opportunities from our different offices. We presented in: Helena, where the MT Board of Crime Control's Natalia Bowser and Kelly Welsh hosted the first and very successful outreach session; Bismarck, where I had the pleasure of meeting with the ND Department of Public Safety's Amy Voracheck and Tyler Spomer, who lead ND's assistance and compensation programs; St. Paul/Minneapolis, where Cecilia Miller and Tricia Hummel with the MN Office of Justice Programs hosted the outreach presentation; and many other cities and towns. Before the MN event, Cecilia introduced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katie Sullivan and me to Cornerstone, a statewide victim service provider (picture follows). We learned about the innovative services Cornerstone offers, including a 24/7 Call Center, Day One, that provides domestic violence survivors with real-time assistance and facilitates simultaneous information sharing throughout the state to deliver immediate, coordinated, and responsive services. If you are interested in OJP visiting your state, please let us know.
And, as always, please let us know if you would like to meet or grab coffee when you are in the D.C. area. We are very excited that we will be meeting with Guam in March.
Many thanks for your dedicated work in supporting crime victims.
State Compensation and Assistance Division
Office for Victims of Crime
DOJ and MN OJP site visit to Cornerstone: Pamela Maldonado, Victim Advocacy Program Manager at Cornerstone; Katie Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, OJP; Cecilia Miller, Grants Director, MN OJP; Katie Colleen Schmitt, Director of Programs at Cornerstone; Meg Schnabel, Executive Director at Cornerstone (left to right).