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VOCA increases grant to Family Advocacy Center to expand trauma focused treatment and homicide bereavement programs

July 22, 2015

The Family Advocacy Center (FAC) at Baystate Children’s Hospital has been granted an increase in their three-year award from the Victims of Crime Act to expand their Trauma Focused Assessment and Treatment and Homicide Bereavement Programs.

The Family Advocacy Center – a nationally-accredited Child Advocacy Center (CAC) serving children, families and communities of Western Massachusetts affected by child abuse, domestic violence, and/or homicide – has long been a recipient of VOCA funding through the Massachusetts Office for Victims Assistance.

The three-year grant, originally $600,000, was increased to $1.2 million.

The VOCA-funded programs at the Family Advocacy Center include the Trauma-Focused Assessment and Treatment Program (ATP) and the Homicide Bereavement Program (HBP).

“Our VOCA grant proposals were very forward looking in their design. The creative, state-of-the-art therapy, and support funded by VOCA helps community members traumatized by violence, abuse, homicide and vehicular homicide, to heal, find meaning in their experiences, and enter the future with a better chance at success and happiness,” said Dr. Stephen Boos, medical director, Family Advocacy Center.

“At the same time, the grants allow the Family Advocacy Center to develop the next generation of specialists, extending our impact beyond the region and beyond the duration of the grant itself. The significant support that the FAC receives from Baystate Health, and our VOCA grants, is a high return investment in the future of our community,” he added.

The Trauma-Focused Assessment and Treatment Program’s goal is to improve access to and coordination of services for children and their families who have experienced child abuse, sexual assault or exploitation, or witnessed violence. Children and families served reside in Hampden County or surrounding areas. ATP provides culturally sensitive, comprehensive assessment of treatment needs, advocacy and coordination of services for children and families after a forensic interview, a child abuse medical assessment, or after receiving a call on the intake hotline. Also provided under the ATP program are evidence-based, trauma-focused individual and family therapy, as well as group therapy for children and non-offending caregivers.

The Homicide Bereavement Program’s (HBP) main goal is to provide individualized, coordinated, evidence-based trauma and grief-focused mental health services to co-victims of homicide and vehicular homicide in Western Massachusetts. Free services include: culturally sensitive needs assessment, individual and group trauma and grief focused therapy, crisis counseling, peer support, information and referrals, court and criminal justice support and advocacy, as well as activities for transforming pain into meaning-making and healing. Services are available for child, adolescent and adult co-victims in English or Spanish.

Baystate Family Advocacy Center is located at 50 Maple Street in Springfield. It is an accredited member of the National Children's Alliance, a member of the Massachusetts Children's Alliance and the National Children's Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN).

To make an appointment for Therapy Services at the Baystate Family Advocacy Center: call the Central Intake Office at 413-794-5555.

For other services or information about the FAC, call 413-794-9816.