CHICAGO—October 26, 2017. Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) Executive Director John Maki today announced the agency received a $500,000 federal award to help children and youth suffering from trauma.
The U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime’s (OVC) Vision 21 Award will be used to develop a coordinated statewide plan to serve children and youth who have been directly victimized or exposed to violence in their homes, schools, or communities.
“As one of just two states that received the Vision 21 award, we are honored that the Office for Victims of Crime chose to invest in Illinois,” said Executive Director Maki.
Unaddressed trauma can contribute to mental, physical, and developmental consequences for children and adolescents. While a host of systems exist to respond to these issues, states are challenged to effectively communicate and collaborate.
This award will bring together a coalition of government agencies, victim service providers, law enforcement personnel, health services practitioners, educators, and criminal and juvenile justice stakeholders who will work to strengthen early trauma identification practices and enhance system responsiveness through a 15-month strategic planning process.
The group will identify areas ripe for improvement and set goals for the agencies and service providers. Particular emphasis will be placed on strengthening communication and collaboration, expanding service practices that are trauma- and evidence-informed, and creating a single trauma screening tool for use by service providers across Illinois.
“This award reflects the decades of work that stakeholders inside and outside of government have done to establish a trauma-informed work force and outcome-driven system for children and youth impacted by trauma and victimization,” said Dr. Colleen Cicchetti, Clinical Director of the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition.
“The Vision 21 Award will help the State of Illinois and its providers ensure that victimized children and youth don’t fall in the cracks that often exists among disparate systems of care,” said Billie Larkin, Executive Director of the Children Advocacy Centers of Illinois.
Subsequent annual grants of $500,000 over five years will be available to Illinois from OVC to support its statewide implementation of the plan.
ICJIA is dedicated to improving the administration of criminal justice through work in the areas of grants administration, research, analysis, policy and planning, and information systems and technology. Visit www.icjia.state.il.us.