Children's Justice Act (CJA) Forensic Interview Equipment Grant

The Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is the administering agency in receipt of the federal Children’s Justice Act (CJA) funding granted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Child and Family Services. The purpose of CJA is to support initiatives to improve the assessment, investigation and prosecution of child abuse and neglect cases in a manner that limits additional trauma to the child and family.
 
DCJS is pleased to announce the availability of CJA funds in a competitive solicitation for Forensic Interviewing Equipment Grants to support the expansion of child friendly forensic interview access in the Commonwealth. Virginia jurisdictions with child abuse multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) that are actively developing Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) or CAC satellite centers may apply for funds to purchase electronic equipment necessary to conduct and record child forensic interviews in a dedicated, child friendly interview space. NOTE: This grant is not available to existing CACs which are not expanding to serve un-served areas in Virginia.
 
Research has shown that the child abuse MDT/CAC model is the best practice for a collaborative, coordinated community response to child abuse and neglect investigations. The highest standards for MDT/CAC practice are outlined in the National Children’s Alliance (NCA) Standards for Accredited Members: http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/ncas-standards-accredited-members. The NCA standards state that the purpose of a forensic interview is to obtain information from a child about abuse allegation that will support accurate and fair decision making by the MDT within the criminal justice, child protection, and service delivery systems. Forensic interviews are conducted in a manner that is developmentally and culturally sensitive, unbiased, fact-finding, and legally sound by a selected, supervised, and appropriately trained professional.