Our program is funded by the Victims of Crime Act, which is part of the reason why we collect your monthly advocacy reports. We have to account for the time spent providing services to the victims of crimes. The act was passed in 1984, and is actually a really amazing concept! It is funded through fines, penalties, and forfeitures collected from persons convicted of offenses. Then the money is given to organizations like ours who help the victims of crimes. Transferring the money from criminals to victims - how cool!
Now, the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund was created by this act, too, and it is another way the money is given to victims of violent crimes. Rather than funding organizations, the money can be sent directly to the victims, themselves. Again, this is for violent crimes, but that does include child abuse and domestic violence. The victim may receive up to $200 per week for lost wages due to the crime if it occurred prior to 08/08/2015, and for crimes after 08/08/2015 they may receive up to $400 per week. It covers up to $5000 in funeral expenses, $2500 in counseling, and up to $250 for loss of person property seized by police - again, for what is a direct result of the violent crime.
There are conditions, though. The victim must file a claim within 2 years of the crime, and in the case of foster care, a claim cannot be filed until the case is closed. This is because the state has custody and is already responsible for expenses related to the crime. One government program will not encroach upon another, in this case.
But, that doesn't mean we are off the hook! VOCA does require that we give the brochures to the victims and let them know the program is available. We suggest doing this when the case is closing, though you can definitely let them know ahead of time. Not enough people know about it, so very few people are using it.
We have brochures in the office, but you can also read more at: http://dps.mo.gov/dir/programs/cvc/guidelines.php
Contact us if you have any questions!