The Virginia HEALS model of service delivery was developed as part of the Linking Systems of Care (LSC) for Children and Youth statewide demonstration initiative, supported by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). Two reports, the Vision 21: Linking Systems of Care OVC’s Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report and the Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence both found that our Nation’s children and youth continue to experience crime and victimization at alarming rates, that these young victims remain underserved, and that the systems charged with caring for them provide fragmented and ineffective responses for children and their families.
OVC wants to learn what is needed to bring healthcare, child welfare, justice, and other systems together to coordinate and align efforts to ensure a timely and seamless response to young victims, their families, and caregivers no matter the system of entry.
This multicomponent demonstration LSC project intends to:
- identify and promote healing for victims of crime,
- provide or coordinate prevention and intervention services to youth and families experiencing trauma and victimization, and
- build capacity within communities to meet the needs of youth exposed to violence.
Federal support for the project began in January 2015 and will conclude in March 2021. In addition to support provided via the cooperative agreement between the Virginia Department of Social Services (the funded agency) and the Office for Victims of Crime, extensive training and technical assistance is provided by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.