Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $930,000)
The Arizona Child and Adolescent Survivor Initiative (ACASI) currently provides wraparound services to 128 child survivors of intimate partner homicide (IPH) and their new caregivers. These children are exposed to the death of a parent, usually their mother, and the loss of the other parent, usually their father, either to suicide or incarceration. Such children comprise an acutely traumatized population with long-term complex needs.
The project, known as ACASI+ will enhance ACASI by extending wraparound services to Arizona children and their new caregivers exposed to near lethal intimate partner violence and abuse (IPV/A), and other family killings occurring within the context of severe IPV/A, sexual competitor killings, and IPV/A-related suicides. These wraparound services include advocacy (legal, court, social services, civil rights), emotional support, counseling, case management, material support, mentoring, and peer group support. ACASI+ will focus on high-poverty areas (especially parts of Coconino and Gila counties) or persistent-poverty counties (Apache, Navajo, Graham, and Santa Cruz) where the need for the services is great. The program will introduce a range of community violence intervention (CVI) strategies, build on strong existing relationships with law enforcement and criminal justice, social service, and advocacy partners, and be guided by a multidisciplinary team that includes a planning team.
Primary activities will include introducing CVI strategies, building a network of multiagency professionals to develop a blueprint for addressing the broader problem of children exposed to violence, and building greater trust between law enforcement and the community regarding violence prevention. Products will include a data file of strategic community outreach stakeholders, case identification, tracking, and outreach strategies, marketing materials and community presentations, ACASI+ policies, procedures and practices, an ACASI+ website, and curricular tools for caregivers to support child survivors,
Deliverables will include comprehensive services directed at healing, economic re-stabilization, justice, and safety for child survivors and their new caregivers. These are: crisis intervention, client intakes, emotional support and case management, mental health services, facilitation of child survivor and caregiver peer support groups, mentoring, help obtaining economic support and benefits, victim compensation and/or restitution, and helping clients understand and participate in the criminal and civil justice systems. The principal beneficiaries will be children exposed to violence and their new caregivers. However, other beneficiaries will include other youth exposed to violence with whom community intervention strategies will work with through the multidisciplinary team.