Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Funding Reductions

  • January 22, 2021

OCVA is providing an update on federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding, as we know many of you may be hearing about reductions in federal VOCA funds through the media and through victim service coalitions.

Please keep in mind that there are still many unknowns, but we can share the information we have that may be helpful in your planning.

Washington state has experienced three years of significant decreases in the federal VOCA award. While there has been some impact to grantees, many have not experienced a steady decrease in funding. This is because OCVA uses an administrative process where we take a three-year average of the federal award amount to determine the amount of funding we have available to obligate. This has helped us to mitigate the peaks and valleys of the federal funding cycle, and create more stable funding at the local level.

As we continue to weather current and potential reductions, our plan is to reduce or eliminate some of the competitive funding opportunities that have been newly created over the past few years. This allows our state to maintain our existing network of basic victim services. This funding strategy has been in place since the development of the VOCA plan, and is supported by our state coalitions and associations.

For now, please anticipate the following changes in the coming state fiscal year:

  • OCVA will not be releasing another Services for Victims and Survivors: A Funding Initiative to Address Unmet Needs competitive grant application
  • OCVA will not be releasing another Service Enhancement and Expansion for Current Programs competitive grant application

We know that these are important funding opportunities that have helped to develop new approaches to victim service work. We are talking with coalitions about how to carry forward some of those lessons, and how to best use the resources we do have available.

OCVA also wants to share that we do not anticipate reducing existing VOCA-funded executed grants. For example, if you currently have a Service Enhancement and Expansion for Current Programs grant, you can anticipate the full amount of funding awarded will be available. And please note that this funding opportunity will not be offered during this upcoming state fiscal year, so there will not be an opportunity to apply for these competitive funds again after the end date of the current grant.

We are still not clear on what the future VOCA funding amounts will be. Check OCVA’s grants and funding page for current open funding opportunities.

If you have additional questions, please contact OCVA@commerce.wa.gov

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