U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime has awarded L.A. CADA a grant to provide direct services to children and youth who are crime victims as a result of the Nation’s addiction crisis.
Under this program, a young victim of the addiction crisis is:
- A child or youth, from newborn to 18 years-old
- A victim of any kind of crime (child abuse or neglect, physical or sexual assault, domestic or family violence, DUI, DWI, etc.)
- Impacted by the addiction crisis
Note: A crime does not have to be reported to police for the victim to be eligible.
Direct Services include:
- Providing information about services available
- Referral to specialized evidence-based, trauma-informed victim services for children and youth
- Advocating on behalf of the victim
- Accompaniment to meetings, hearings, appointments
- Medical services including treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome
- Emotional support on-scene of a substance overdose or drug-related offense where a young victim is present, as well as continued support after the incident
Note: The grant extends support and services to the child involved, but also their caregivers, whether they be parents, kin, foster families, or friends.
To this end, L.A. CADA is establishing a Youth Team whose members will:
- Reach out to referral sources
- Establish a screening process
- Educate all staff to create awareness
- Establish a “warm” line through CENS
- Establish a “hot” line for afterhours response
- Develop a protocol for responding to crises situations
- Provide therapy, counseling, case management, advocacy
Note: Currently, the Team consists of Dakota Brown with Caryl Lark as grant overseer. Much work remains to be done; the first order of business will be to expand the team! This is an exciting project and deserving of our best, most concerted effort.