ACF, IHS Awarding $21M To Support Tribal Family Violence Victims

October 14, 2015 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

family-love-1141764Strong families are vital for the success of our society. Far too many have been victims of family violence. Therefore, as part of National Domestic Violence Prevention Month, it’s promising to see that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and Indian Health Service (HIS) are combining to provide about $21 million in grants to support tribal domestic violence victims and organizations in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

The ACF grant funding, awarded under the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, will go to 136 tribes and tribal organizations serving 274 tribes in 27 states. The funds will help strengthen tribal responses to domestic violence and emphasize public awareness, advocacy, and policy, training and technical assistance. According to ACF, tribal domestic violence programs funded last year under the act served 30,860 victims of domestic violence and their children in their programs; answered 86,203 calls for crisis counseling and requests for shelter and other services; and provided 5,274 education and prevention presentations to 89,441 adults and youth.

IHS will award funds to 56 projects to increase access to health services and build the capacity of American Indian and Alaska Native communities to provide prevention, intervention and treatment services to American Indians and Alaska Natives who have experienced domestic or sexual violence. The grants are part of a new phase in the Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative, which previously funded 65 health programs in a five-year demonstration project to expand outreach and increase awareness of domestic and sexual violence, and expand services to victims and communities.

“These new awards dramatically expand our efforts to provide community based, culturally appropriate services for domestic and sexual violence,” said IHS Principal Deputy Director Robert G. McSwain. “American Indian and Alaska Native communities have called on IHS for more support to prevent domestic and sexual violence. The IHS Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative funding represents a commitment to address these critical services.”

These programs have proven successful in the past, and we anticipate they will continue to offer much needed assistance for the tribal recipients.

In a related matter, the ACF in today’s Federal Register proposed to revise regulations applying to the Family Violence Prevention and Services programs to update existing rules to reflect statutory changes and update procedures for soliciting and awarding grants.

Let us know what you think about this grant funding and if you think it will provide enough assistance for these tribal communities.

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