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SAFE Child Advocacy Center Mental Health Services Enhancement

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $600,000)

This program furthers the Department's mission by providing cooperative agreements for enhancement and expansion of Children's Advocacy Centers (CACs) to organizations that OJJDP designates. The purpose of this program is to increase the coverage and capacity of CAC services in Alaska for child victims of abuse. Mental health is a core component of a CACs multidisciplinary team (MDT) response to child abuse cases. The Southeast Alaska Family Evaluation (SAFE) CAC, a program of Catholic Community Service, will expand its services to include a mental health clinician with training in and who delivers trauma-focused, evidence-supported, mental health treatment in Juneau, Alaska. This will ensure that appropriate services are available and accessible in a timely manner for child clients and family members regardless of ability to pay. A trained mental health clinician participating in the SAFE CAC's MDT response to child abuse allegations and case review process will also assure that the child's treatment needs and mental health can be monitored, assessed, and considered as the MDT makes case decisions. The SAFE CAC will recruit, hire, and provide training in an evidence-based treatment modality for a mental health professional in order to reduce the impact of trauma and the risk of future abuse for the children and families served through the CACs multidisciplinary response to child abuse allegations. Through this project, the SAFE CAC will also increase the number of children and families receiving trauma-informed, evidence-based treatments when a disclosure of abuse or medical evidence of sexual or physical abuse is present. The child, nonoffending caregiver, and all family members affected by the allegation will be offered mental health services. Having a licensed and trauma-informed certified mental health clinician on staff allows for greater access and availability of services, ultimately allowing more children and families to heal and reducing or eliminating the risk of future abuse. CA/NCF

Date Created: October 22, 2020