Voices’ Blog

Funding Community Networks through the Family & Children’s Trust Fund

Posted:  -  By: Chlo'e Edwards

adult and child holding hands

According to our KIDS COUNT Data Center, 20 percent of children in Virginia have experienced two or more ACEs. ACEs can shape the course of children’s health and development over a lifetime. While 20 percent of Virginia’s children experience two or more ACEs, Black children experience almost double that rate. Racial trauma is the ongoing result of racism, racist bias, and exposure to racist abuse. Virginia’s 27+ Trauma-Informed Community Networks (TICNs) recognize, respond, and work to prevent re-traumatization to foster resiliency in communities.

The Family and Children’s Trust (FACT) Fund is the only organization in Virginia that addresses family violence and trauma across the lifespan. FACT is governed by a Board of Trustees, appointed by the Governor, to raise and distribute funds for family violence prevention and treatment efforts across the Commonwealth. Their priorities include child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse and neglect.  FACT is the only public and private entity that has committed funding to Virginia’s trauma-informed community networks. There are over 27 networks across the state, but FACT only has enough funding to support the operations of 6 community networks.

In 2020, HB4, which was championed by Delegate Knight was a bill related to the regulation of Casino gambling. It required a small portion (0.02%) of future casino revenues to be allocated FACT. These funds would dedicate future revenue to FACT, but would not address the current need of communities due to amount of time it would take to establish revenue.

In November 2020, FACT created a small funding stream for 2 cohorts of 5 to receive $5,000 emergency grants to provide economic supports to the community. However, this only covered less than half of the networks that exist across the state in different localities.

During the 2021 General Assembly Session, Delegate Betsy Carr is championing the proposed budget amendment in the House for $300,000 FY22 for FACT (Item 356#1h). The amendment adds $300,000 in FY22 to support trauma-informed community networks across the state to develop best practices and to continue to fund emergency services to respond to families’ needs.

We encourage you to send an email to the budget committees to encourage them to vote to #FundPrevention.

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