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FY 2017 VOCA Victim Assistance Formula

Grants to USA Government Agencies
for Crime Victim Assistance Programs

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

Deadline Date:

07/18/17 5:00 PM ET deadline for GMS registrations; 11:59 PM ET deadline for applications


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Grants to USA state and territory government agencies to support crime victim assistance services. This program generally supports services that address the psychological, emotional, and physical needs of crime victims. The services provided aim to support victims in stabilizing their lives, help victims to understand and participate in the criminal justice system, and restore a measure of security and safety for the victim.

Program-Specific Information:

OVC recognizes that while states and territories have the sole discretion for how grant funds will be spent, they must meet the requirements of VOCA, the Victim Assistance program rules, and the DOJ Financial Guide. States and territories determine which organizations will receive subgrants. The increased Crime Victims Fund allocation, however, provides an opportunity to address long-standing challenges to reach and serve all crime victims, address staffing concerns in the field, and allow states and territories to fund programs that otherwise would not receive funding.

Additionally, crime victims often face numerous barriers to accessing services. OVC’s Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report found that services are often unavailable, inadequate, or difficult to access. For underserved victims and marginalized populations— including boys and young men of color, American Indian and Alaska Native victims, victims with disabilities, older victims, victims in detention settings, youth and women who are victims of human trafficking, undocumented immigrants, people with limited English proficiency, and individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer or questioning (LGBTQ)—access to services can be particularly challenging. Access to services for these victims can be curtailed by a host of complicating factors such as social isolation, fear of stigma, poverty, jurisdictional issues, geography, immigration status, mistrust of the criminal justice system, abuse by a family member or caregiver, homelessness, and cultural, language, and communication obstacles. VOCA sets, as a priority, funding for a broad category of underserved victims and marginalized populations. OVC encourages states and territories to fund organizations that serve previously underserved victims and marginalized populations to increase their access to appropriate services. Each state or territory grantee may use its own criteria for determining the method for identifying “previously underserved” crime victims.

The increased funding for FY 2017 will result in increased administrative funds, which offer states and territories an opportunity to revise their data collection technology to comply with OVC’s updated data collection and performance measurement requirements. It also provides an opportunity to conduct strategic planning. The victim services field reports that ad hoc planning is ineffective to achieve long-term, system-wide goals. Strategic planning is necessary to develop collaboration among service providers throughout a state or region and to support coordinated responses to deep-rooted problems. This coordinated planning process should unite state agencies, victim assistance coalitions, other stakeholders and allies who advocate for or serve victims, and subrecipients to maximize resources and avoid duplicative efforts. OVC encourages states to develop strategic plans on a state and/or regional basis, and to conduct surveys and needs assessments to determine further service gaps.

The OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) is available to provide comprehensive training, technical assistance, and other in-person and online support to assist the victim services field in building its collective capacity to serve crime victims. OVC TTAC can assist with strategic planning, needs assessments, and subgrantee training. OVC TTAC also customizes training and technical assistance to fit the specific needs of victim service organizations and maintains a diverse network of skilled consultants to support capacity-building programs and activities.

The OVC VOCA Administrators Mentoring Program is designed to assist and support state administering agency personnel in developing and retaining the critical knowledge and skills required to successfully operate and manage a state or territory VOCA compensation or assistance program. OVC provides funding for training and technical assistance to cover the costs associated with sending a mentee state administrator to a mentor state administrating agency, or vice versa, to help develop their skills, knowledge, and abilities. Administrators may seek assistance in developing financial and program manuals, planning and organizing statewide training, establishing program standards, implementing and/or upgrading advanced technologies, utilizing administrative dollars, streamlining the application process, developing needs assessments, developing public-private partnerships, providing outreach to unserved and underserved populations, and monitoring subgrantees.

OVC will continue to provide the opportunity for you to discuss issues and challenges, both programmatic and financial administration, with your program specialist and OVC management.

OVC issued the final rule for its VOCA Formula Victim Assistance Grant Program on August 8, 2016. The final rule provides clarity and allows more flexibility in the programs that states and territories are able to support, such as expanded forms of legal assistance and services to incarcerated victims, as well as VOCA-funded projects to support transitional housing.

Goals, Objectives, and Deliverables:

Funds under this program shall be used by states and territories to support eligible crime victim assistance programs that provide direct services to crime victims with the following exception: states and territories may retain up to five percent of their total grant for administrative and training purposes. All states and most territories receive an annual VOCA victim assistance grant. Each state, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico receive a base amount of $500,000. The territories of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and American Samoa each receive a base amount of $200,000. Additional funds are distributed to states and territories based on population according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Evidence-Based Programs or Practices:

OJP strongly emphasizes the use of data and evidence in policy making and program development in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. OJP is committed to:

-Improving the quantity and quality of evidence OJP generates
-Integrating evidence into program, practice, and policy decisions within OJP and the field
-Improving the translation of evidence into practice

OJP considers programs and practices to be evidence-based when their effectiveness has been demonstrated by causal evidence, generally obtained through one or more outcome evaluations. Causal evidence documents a relationship between an activity or intervention (including technology) and its intended outcome, including measuring the direction and size of a change, and the extent to which a change may be attributed to the activity or intervention. Causal evidence depends on the use of scientific methods to rule out, to the extent possible, alternative explanations for the documented change. The strength of causal evidence, based on the factors described above, will influence the degree to which OJP considers a program or practice to be evidence-based. The OJP website is one resource that applicants may use to find information about evidence-based programs in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181796

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

OVC expects to make up to 56 awards in accordance with VOCA.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Each state, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico receive a base amount of $500,000.

The territories of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and American Samoa each receive a base amount of $200,000.

Term of Contract:

The performance period for these grants will be October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands are eligible to receive an annual VOCA victim assistance formula grant.

Eligible agencies that receive VOCA victim assistance formula grant funds must meet the eligibility requirements specified in VOCA, 42 U.S.C. § 10603 (b).

Under this solicitation, OVC will award each eligible state and territory victim assistance program an annual grant to support eligible crime victim assistance programs in that state or territory. Eligible crime victim assistance programs are those that are “operated by a public agency or nonprofit organization, or a combination of such agencies or organizations or of both such agencies and organizations, and provide services to victims of crime,” and that meet the other requirements set out in 42 U.S.C. § 10603 (b)(1).

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants must register in the OJP Grants Management System (GMS) prior to submitting an application under this solicitation. All applicants must register, even those that previously registered in GMS.

All registrations are due by 5:00 PM eastern time on July 18, 2017, and applications are due by 11:59 PM eastern time on July 18, 2017.

All applicants must acquire a unique entity identifier (currently, a DUNS number) and a registration with SAM.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Access the OJP Grants Management System (GMS) here:

For technical assistance with submitting an application, contact the Grants Management System Support Hotline at 888-549-9901, option 3 pr

For assistance with any other requirements of this solicitation, contact your designated OVC Program Specialist at 202-307-5983.

CFDA Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)