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FY 2017 Developing Future Victim Specialists for Indian Country

Grants to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits and IHEs to
Assist Students Seeking Careers in Victim Services

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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:

08/09/17 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA nonprofits, for-profits, and IHEs to foster a workforce to provide services to American Indian and Alaska Native victims of crime. The purpose of this program is to ensure that services are available in hard-to-staff locations and positions. Selected grantees will operate a structured program linking interested students to victim service internship opportunities.


The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is committed to enhancing the Nation’s capacity to assist crime victims and provide leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime. OVC fulfills its mission, in part, by improving the skills, knowledge, and abilities of crime victim service providers and allied professionals who provide services and support for victims, or who help ensure that victims are aware of their rights and able to exercise those rights.

Through this solicitation, OVC seeks to further cultivate a workforce focused on providing services to American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) victims in hard-to-staff positions and locations. By identifying and training prospective victim service professionals in the early stages of their post-secondary education and career, tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) victim service programs will hopefully have an easier time filling victim service positions in remote Indian Country and Alaska Native locations.

Program-Specific Information:

One major issue facing BIA and some tribally based victim service providers is that they are often unable to hire and retain qualified victim specialists and advocates that serve victims in remote Indian Country or Alaska Native locations.

There is little to no research available on best practices for recruiting and retaining victim service professionals specifically for Indian Country and Alaska Native communities. However, for the victim services field in general, it is known that “partnerships between universities and community providers are promising in their ability to improve fragmented service systems through coordination, streamlining, and capacity building [including workforce development].” Practices from other fields such as education and healthcare provide valuable insight about how to recruit and retain staff for positions in rural and other hard-to-staff areas. For example, in education, there is evidence showing that it is easiest to fill positions in rural locations when the staff have interpersonal connections to the location and have similar backgrounds to the service population. In addition, nursing professionals have successfully implemented internship and other workforce development programs in rural and hard-to-staff areas by recruiting and developing students that live and attend school in those communities. In many cases, these initiatives eventually resulted in steady or decreased staff turnover rates, decreased vacancies for critical positions, and a larger, educated, and more engaged workforce. Through this initiative, OVC seeks to have a similar long-term impact on the tribal victim services workforce.

Successful applicant(s) will work to identify students in relevant disciplines that are interested in victim service positions specifically serving tribal communities. Applicants will create a victim service internship program that will identify students in relevant fields (e.g., sociology, social work, psychology) to serve in victim service positions either with a BIA- or tribally based victim service program. Applicants are responsible for creating and proposing the structural and administrative makeup of the program, which will include things like the process for identifying and selecting students, setting requirements for the program, and addressing privacy issues associated with interns serving in direct service positions. Applicants are also responsible for working with their BIA district or a local tribally based victim service program to place students in internship or practicum experiences for credit or pay. Each grantee is also expected to complete an evaluation of their program, which can be done in partnership with another organization. Applicants must include the cost of program evaluation in their grant proposals.

Goals, Objectives, and Deliverables:

The goal of this project is to begin developing victim service professionals that will serve AI/AN victims in locations that are often remote and where positions are often hard to fill. The goal is to reach interested college and university students that are already living and attending school in these areas. If recruitment of needed professionals begins early with students that have the right educational background and are already familiar with a location or service area, it will be easier to fill and retain staff in much-needed victim service positions.

In support of the goal above, the successful applicant(s) under this solicitation will be expected to accomplish the following objectives:

1. Establish and administer a structured program that links students interested in victim service careers (and studying relevant disciplines) to internship opportunities with either a BIA- or tribally run victim service program. Applicants are encouraged to include incentives for students, including, but not limited to, a stipend, course credit, or priority consideration for future employment opportunities.

2. Provide any necessary guidance and training to students participating in the program.

3. Evaluate the program, assessing (among other things) the impact that the interns have had on the victim service program and the community served; and the number of interns who, at the end of the internship program, actually pursue (or plan to pursue) a career in providing victim services for tribal communities after graduation.

The successful applicant will be expected to complete the following activities in order to accomplish the objectives noted above:

1. Establish a relationship between a victim service program and an organization that will refer current post-secondary education students to work as interns. (For example, if the applicant is a university, then the university is the organization referring students to work as interns. In this case, the university must establish a relationship with a victim service program that will provide internship opportunities for their students.)

2. Identify victim service program staffing needs, decide how student interns could address these needs, determine the number of interns necessary, and develop job descriptions for the student interns.

3. Develop a list of criteria that students must meet in order to be selected as interns.

4. Determine what program requirements the intern must meet in order to successfully complete the internship program. (Examples may include a class project, privacy and confidentiality training, etc.)

5. Identify, recruit, and hire students that meet the necessary criteria.

6. Provide training and other necessary support to the student interns. Training and support needs will be identified by the grantee.

7. Evaluate the program to determine the impact that the student interns have had on serving victims of crime, and suggest areas of improvement for the program. The results of the program evaluation could potentially be used to inform recruitment and workforce building practices for other victim service programs in Indian Country.

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#: 181818

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

OVC expects to make up to three awards.

Estimated Size of Grant:

OVC expects to make awards of up to $450,000 each.

Term of Contract:

OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2017.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are limited to institutions of higher education (individually or as a consortium, and including tribal institutions of higher education), federally recognized Indian tribal governments (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior), and nonprofit and for-profit organizations (including tribal nonprofit and for-profit organizations) with connections to both tribes and to institutions of higher education that educate students pursuing degrees in fields relevant to victim services (e.g., sociology, social work, psychology). Applicants must demonstrate the knowledge and experience necessary to identify and work with college/university students and tribal, local, and/or federal victim service programs, either in or serving Indian Country.

For-profit organizations (as well as other recipients) must forgo any profit or management fee.

OVC welcomes applications under which two or more entities would carry out the federal award; however, only one eligible entity may be the applicant. Any others must be proposed as subrecipients. The applicant must be the entity that would have primary responsibility for carrying out the award, including administering the funding and managing the entire project. Under this solicitation, only one application by any particular applicant entity will be considered. An entity may, however, be proposed as a subrecipient in more than one application.

OVC may elect to fund applications submitted under this FY 2017 solicitation in future FYs, dependent on, among other considerations, the merit of the applications and on the availability of appropriations.

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants must register with prior to submitting an application. All applications are due by 11:59 PM eastern time on August 9, 2017.

OJP urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the application due date, in order to allow time for the applicant to receive validation messages or rejection notifications from, and to correct in a timely fashion any problems that may have caused a rejection notification.

Every applicant entity must comply with all applicable System for Award Management (SAM) and unique entity identifier (currently, a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number) requirements.

SAM registration and renewal can take as long as 10 business days to complete. A DUNS number is usually received within 1-2 business days.

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Contact Information:

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

For technical assistance with submitting an application, contact: Customer Support Hotline:
800-518-4726 / 606-545-5035

For assistance with any other requirements of this solicitation, contact:

Yolanda Curtis Gibson, Victim Justice Program Specialist

CFDA Number:


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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