TOPEKA — The Great Bend-based Family Crisis Center has been awarded more than $92,000 in grants to provide services for victims of crime, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Monday. Word of the awards came as welcome news to center Executive Director Joanne Wondra.
“We are so very blessed to receive this type of funding,” she said. “We have so much need for the services our agency provides here in Barton County as well as 11 other counties.”
The center covers Barber, Barton, Comanche, Edwards, Kiowa, Ness, Pawnee, Pratt, Rush and Stafford counties. The Dell Hayden Memorial Child Advocacy Center housed in the Family Crisis Center covers Barton, Pawnee, Rush and Stafford counties.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the awards were made from the Protection from Abuse Fund, State Crime Victims’ Assistance Fund and State Crime Victims’ Assistance Fund for Child Abuse and Neglect.
“Overall as we apply for more and more grants to allow us to offer these services I just hold my breath until they are approved,” Wondra said. “As always, we are humbled by and grateful for any grants and donations we receive.”
The grant funding breaks down as follows:
• $19,750 to support the Child Advocacy Center Family Advocacy project, which provides long-term supportive services, comprehensive and culturally relevant advocacy to non-offending caregivers and children who are both referred to and walk into the agency.
• $14,818 to provide advocacy, support and referrals for non-offending caregivers and children who are referred for services.
• $57,706 to provide quality comprehensive services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, their families, agency management and administrative oversight.
“The CAC as a model fosters the best outcome for a child to disclose their abuse in a friendly trauma informed environment,” Wondra said. “These funds have helped us expand to open a CAC in our Pratt office to cover the southern counties as well as we already cover the northern counties.”
Sadly, the domestic and sexual violence program has seen an escalation in the numbers of those it is serving, she said. So grant funding is needed for direct services to men, women and children. “Organizations across Kansas do great work every day to support victims of crime,” Schmidt said. “We are proud to support these organizations through the victims services grant programs.”
The Protection from Abuse Fund is funded by State General Fund appropriations, marriage license fees, county court costs and municipal court assessments. The SCVA Fund is funded through the remittance of applicable fines, penalties and forfeitures from clerks of the district courts. The State Crime Victims’ Assistance Fund for Child Abuse and Neglect is funded through county court costs, municipal court assessments and State General Fund appropriations.
This year, the attorney general’s office awarded more than $2.5 million in grants to local and state crime victim assistance organizations. More information on the grant programs and the full list of award recipients is available on the attorney general’s website at www.ag.ks.gov.