The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced grant awards totaling nearly $141 million to help protect children from exploitation, trauma and abuse, while also funding improvements in the judicial system’s handling of child abuse and neglect cases.
“The Justice Department has a solemn responsibility to help keep young people safe and out of harm’s way,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “These grants provide a wide variety of investigative and trauma-informed resources that will help law enforcement and child-serving professionals address child exploitation and abuse.”
These awards will provide law enforcement officials, child advocates and service providers the means to protect children from abuse and sexual exploitation. Funds will help develop, enhance and strengthen investigative and trauma-informed services to assist youth, while supporting robust training and technical assistance efforts to ensure the professionals working with these youth have the tools they need to be successful.
“Protecting our children, securing their health and well-being, and addressing the trauma that too many young people have experienced are central to our mission at the Office of Justice Programs,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon for OJP. “These grants will give public safety professionals and those who serve our children and youth the tools they need to keep kids safe from harm and put them on the path to a safe and bright future.”
Grants from OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and National Institute of Justice (NIJ) are distributing millions of dollars to local, state and Tribal jurisdictions throughout the United States, territories and the District of Columbia.
Below is a list of funded grants:
Missing and Exploited Children
- Nearly $37 million funds the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), which enables the center’s operations and provides support, technical assistance and training to help law enforcement locate and recover missing and exploited children.
- Another $6 million is being awarded to NCMEC’s National Resource Center and Clearinghouse (NRCC) as part of an interagency agreement between OJJDP and the U.S. Secret Service. The NRCC helps prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation, and provides training and technical assistance to victims, their families and the professionals who serve them.
- About $4.4 million supports the National AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program to help the AMBER Alert network improve law enforcement’s response to abducted children and encourage public participation in their recovery.
Internet Crimes Against Children
- Over $29.5 million is being awarded under the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program to conduct forensic examinations and to investigate and prosecute technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation throughout the U.S.
- Another $3.3 million is being awarded under the National ICAC Training Program to provide core training programs for ICAC investigators.
- About $3 million funds OJJDP’s Strengthening Internet Crimes Against Children Technological Investigative Capacity, which enables ICAC task forces and their affiliates to improve technology that combats child pornography, exploitation and sex trafficking.
Victims of Child Abuse
- Under the Victim of Child Abuse Act (VOCA), more than $21 million funds the Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC) National Subgrants Program in three categories: National Subgrants Program, National Subgrants Program for Victims of Child Pornography and National Military Partnership Program.
- An additional $5 million in continuation funding is being awarded to four organizations via the VOCA Regional Children’s Advocacy Center program. This program supports regional centers that help to establish multidisciplinary teams, local programs and state chapter organizations that respond to child abuse and neglect, and that deliver training and technical assistance.
- Another $2.5 million is being awarded under the Children’s Advocacy Center’s Membership and Accreditation Program, which supports training and technical assistance to implement national standards for CACs.
- Over $11 million is being awarded to help improve outcomes for foster children through the Court Appointed Special Advocates Training and Technical Assistance and Subgrants Program.
- Over $3 million is being awarded for Child Abuse Training for Judicial and Court Personnel to improve the judicial system’s role in child abuse and neglect cases with an emphasis on eliminating prolonged foster care placement.
Children Exposed to Violence and Child Protection
- More than $7 million is being awarded to communities under the Strategies to Support Children Exposed to Violence Program to develop or enhance support services for children exposed to violence and to implement community violence intervention strategies. Funding also supports training and technical assistance for program sites.
- Another nearly $3 million in grants funds Supporting Effective Interventions for Adolescent Sex Offenders and Children with Behavior Problems, which helps communities provide a continuum of intervention and supervision services for adolescent sex offenders, children with behavior problems and treatment services for their victims and families.
- Nearly $900,000 funds the Post-Secondary Education Opportunities for Child Protection Professionals, which supports the training of future mandated reporters and child protection professionals.
- NIJ is awarding about $1.5 million to fund Research to Reduce Trauma for Child Pornography Victims.
Once the awards are made, information about the grantees selected under each solicitation can be found online at the OJP Grant Awards Page.
OJP provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.