The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced grant awards totaling almost $105 million to protect children from exploitation, trauma and abuse, and to fund improvements in the judicial system’s handling of child abuse and neglect cases.
“The promise of a bright future for our children requires us to work closely with our partners across the country, and across all levels of government, to keep our kids safe,” said OJP Deputy Assistant Attorney General Maureen A. Henneberg. “Many of our most critical investments are in programs that combat child exploitation and abuse and help find missing children, and we are proud to support the dedicated professionals who are performing this vital work.”
These awards will provide law enforcement officials, child advocates and service providers the means to protect children from violence, 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 to ensure that professionals working with impacted young people have the tools they need to be successful.
“Children should be allowed to live, grow, learn and thrive in environments that are supportive and nurturing, but many are deprived of that opportunity by threats to their health and safety,” said Administrator Liz Ryan of OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). “By delivering these resources to the professionals who devote their careers and lives to protecting children, we are making good on our commitment to the well-being of America’s young people.”
Grants from OJP’s OJJDP are distributing millions of dollars to local, state and Tribal jurisdictions throughout the United States, the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia to support child protection efforts.
Below is a list of programs designed to protect children from exploitation, trauma and abuse, and to fund improvements in the judicial system’s handling of child abuse and neglect cases. Descriptions of individual awards can be found by clicking on the links.
- OJJDP is awarding $6.2 million under the Strategies To Support Children Exposed to Violence Initiative, which provides funding for communities to develop coordinated and comprehensive community-based approaches to help children and their families who are exposed to violence build resilience and prevent future youth violence and delinquency. An additional $715,087 will support training and technical assistance.
- OJJDP is awarding $38.7 million to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to enable the Center’s operations and provide 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.
- OJJDP is awarding $4.4 million to support 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.
- OJJDP will award $31.2 million under the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program to conduct forensic examinations and to investigate and prosecute technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation throughout the United States. An additional $3.6 million under the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force National Training Program will support training to Internet Crimes Against Children task forces and affiliated federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies in the areas of investigation, forensics, prosecution, community outreach, officer wellness and capacity building. Additionally, $3 million under the Strengthening ICAC Technological Investigative Capacity Program will help increase the technological investigative capacity and associated training of law enforcement, prosecutors and other professionals nationwide to combat child sexual abuse material and online child sexual exploitation, including cases of child sex trafficking.
- OJJDP is awarding $2.6 million under its Supporting Effective Interventions for Youth With Problematic or Illegal Sexual Behavior Initiative, which provides funding to communities to develop intervention and supervision services for youth with problematic or illegal sexual behavior, and to provide treatment services for their victims and families and caregivers.
- OJJDP is awarding $5 million under the Victims of Child Abuse Act Regional Children’s Advocacy Centers Training and Technical Assistance Program to support four regional centers that enhance and support the development, expansion and continuous quality improvement of multidisciplinary teams, local children’s advocacy centers and state chapter organizations responding to child abuse and neglect cases. Additionally, $750,000 is being awarded under its Victims of Child Abuse Act Tribal Children’s Advocacy Centers Training and Technical Assistance Program to support federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native communities in improving investigative responses and treatment services for victims of child abuse and their families by developing coordinated and comprehensive community-based approaches.
- OJJDP is awarding $2.7 million under the Victims of Child Abuse Act Training and Technical Assistance for Child Abuse Prosecutors Program, which will fund a national training and technical assistance program for attorneys who are involved in the criminal prosecution of child abuse to enhance the effectiveness of the investigation and prosecution of such crimes.
The awards announced above are being made as part of the regular end-of-fiscal year cycle. More information about these and other OJP awards can be found on the OJP Grant Awards Page.
The Office of Justice Programs 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 strengthen the criminal and juvenile justice systems. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.