Upcoming Grants to Help DV Survivors

October 21, 2021
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I remember a story from a participant in one of our tribal program DV trainings who had worked with a custodial parent who didn’t want to wear a mask during an office intake interview. This training participant offered to go out to the custodial parent’s car to complete the interview and discovered that wearing a mask brought back trauma for the custodial parent of being choked by the other parent. This simple, trauma-informed act may seem small to us, but it was a huge relief for that parent. It’s also a reminder for all of us in the child support program of the difference we can make.

State and tribal child support professionals play an important role in helping individuals in or leaving violent relationships gain the economic security to establish safe, violence-free homes for themselves and their children. While domestic violence crosses all demographic lines, it disproportionately impacts women of color, especially African American and Indigenous women. Creating a just, equitable child support program demands that we take a proactive stance to ensure all parents have safe access to services. OCSE promotes best practices and provides direct training to state and tribal programs. We also collaborate with federal and state DV organizations to increase awareness of what domestic violence looks like in child support caseloads and equip staff to respond appropriately. 

SAVES Center and demonstration sites

In August, OCSE announced upcoming funding opportunities Visit disclaimer page for two five-year demonstration projects: 1) the Safe Access for Victims’ Economic Security (SAVES) Demonstration sites and 2) the SAVES Center. These are both designed to build on OCSE’s current DV work and significantly expand the capacity of child support agencies to respond to domestic violence. SAVES Demonstration sites will develop, evaluate, and implement model practices for safe access to child support and parenting time services. The SAVES Center will provide comprehensive training, technical assistance, research, and evaluation support to state and tribal child support agencies.

These two complementary funding opportunities highlight OCSE’s commitment to:

  • Expand safety for more than four million custodial parents with child support cases who’ve experienced domestic violence
  • Increase access to child support services for those victims who currently are without child support due to safety concerns

More than two-thirds of domestic violence victims report staying in or returning to a violent relationship due to financial need. The child support program can truly make the difference for millions of families between a life of constant threats, intimidation, and physical and sexual violence—and a life that is stable and free of violence. 

Image of Linda Boyer

Linda Boyer, Acting Commissioner

This blog gives the commissioner a forum to communicate directly with child support professionals and other stakeholders about relevant topics. The Commissioner’s Voice is reprinted from the October 2021 Child Support Report newsletter.

Next/Previous Posts