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Justice for Families Program

Grants to USA Nonprofits and Agencies to Enhance
Services for Victims of Domestic Violence and Assault

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Justice - Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/08/19 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations, government agencies, courts, legal services, and victim service providers to enhance services available to those affected by domestic violence and gender-based assault. Required registrations must be completed before applying.

The Grants to Support Families in the Justice System program (referred to as the Justice for Families Program) was authorized in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013 to improve the response of the civil and criminal justice system to families with a history of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, or in cases involving allegations of child sexual abuse.

The program supports the following activities for improving the capacity of courts and communities to respond to families affected by the targeted crimes: court-based and court-related programs; supervised visitation and safe exchange by and between parents; training for people who work with families in the court system; civil legal services; and the provision of resources in juvenile court matters.

OVW Priority Areas:
In FY 2019, OVW is interested in supporting the priority areas identified below. Applications proposing activities in the following areas will be given special consideration.

1. Reduce violent crime against women and promote victim safety. Applications meaningfully addressing purpose area 5(a) (34 U.S.C. § 12464(b)(5)(A)) as a way to reduce violent crime and promote victim safety will receive special consideration.

2. Increase the response to victims of human trafficking. To receive special consideration under this priority, applicants must identify how they will improve the response to trafficked victims of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking and address the unique needs of these victims. In order to enhance a coordinated community response to trafficked victims, the JFF Program encourages applicants to include mental health and substance abuse professionals as non-funded project partners.

3. Increase efforts to combat stalking. To receive special consideration under this priority, applicants must clearly identify how they will meaningfully engage in efforts to combat stalking.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178273

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

OVW estimates that it will make up to 15 standard awards and 3-7 comprehensive awards.

Estimated Size of Grant:

This program typically makes awards in the range of $550,000 for standard projects and $650,000 for comprehensive projects.

Term of Contract:

The grant award period is 36 months. Generally, the award period will start on October 1, 2019.


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are limited to: states, units of local government, courts (including juvenile courts), Indian tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, legal services providers, and victim service providers.

Eligible entities for this program are:

1) States, meaning any of the states and the District of Columbia, and except as otherwise provided, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

2) Units of local government, meaning any city, county, township, town, borough, parish, village, or other general purpose political subdivision of a state.

3) Courts (including juvenile courts), meaning any civil or criminal, tribal, and Alaska Native village, federal, state, local or territorial court having jurisdiction to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, including immigration, family, juvenile, and dependency courts. This does not include
prosecutors’ offices.

4) Indian tribal governments, meaning a tribe, band, pueblo, nation, or other organized group or community of Indians, including any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation (as defined in, or established pursuant to, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)), that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.

5) Nonprofit organizations, meaning an organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code.

6) Legal services providers, meaning entities that provide legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; including private nonprofit entities, law schools, bar associations, and organizations that receive Legal Service Corporation funding. This does not include for-profit organizations.

7) Victim service providers, meaning nonprofit, nongovernmental or tribal organizations or rape crisis centers, including state or tribal coalitions, that assist or advocate for domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking victims, including domestic violence shelters, faith-based organizations, and other organizations, with a documented history of effective work concerning domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Nonprofit Organization Requirement – 501(c)(3) Status: Any entity that is eligible for the Justice for Families Program based on its status as a nonprofit organization must be an organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of that Code. See 42 U.S.C. § 13925(b)(16)(B).

Nonprofit Organization Requirement – Offshore Accounts: Any nonprofit organization that holds money in offshore accounts for the purpose of avoiding paying the tax described in section 511(a) of the Internal Revenue Code is not eligible for a grant from the Justice for Families Program.

Required Partnerships All applicants for the Justice for Families Program must include formal partnerships with both 1) a domestic violence or sexual assault victim service provider and 2) a court. If a court is the lead applicant, it must have a domestic violence and/or sexual assault victim service provider as a project partner. If a domestic violence and/or sexual assault victim service provider is the lead applicant, it must have a court as a partner. If the lead applicant is neither a domestic violence and/or sexual assault victim service provider nor a court, it must have a partnership with both a domestic violence and/or sexual assault victim service provider and a court. Applications that do not meet this requirement will not be eligible for Justice for Families Program funding and will be removed from consideration.

Activities that Compromise Victim Safety and Recovery and Undermine Offender
OVW does not fund activities that jeopardize victim safety, deter or prevent physical or
emotional healing for victims, or allow offenders to escape responsibility for their actions.

The activities listed below are out of the program scope, and they will not be supported by this program’s funding:

1. Research projects (This does not include program assessments conducted only for internal improvement purposes. For information about DOJ regulations on research involving human subjects, see “Research and Protection of Human Subjects” in the Solicitation Companion Guide).
2. Mediation in cases where sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking is an issue (except where law mandates).
3. Therapeutic visitation.
4. Parent education programs.
5. Individual, group, and family counseling.
6. Telephone and/or virtual (e.g., Skype) monitoring.
7. Supervised visitation and exchange services unrelated to domestic violence, dating violence, child sexual abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.
8. Legal representation in child protection cases, except for cases in which the legal services are provided to a victim of domestic violence and the proceedings relate to or arise out of the abuse or violence committed against the victim.
9. Legal representation in child sexual abuse cases, except for cases in which the legal services are provided to nonoffending parents and relate to family matters, including civil protection orders, custody, and divorce, and in which the other parent is represented by counsel.
10. Criminal defense of victims charged with crimes.
11. Support of law reform initiatives, including but not limited to litigation

The activities listed below are unallowable, and costs for them must not be included in applicants’ budgets:

1. Lobbying
2. Fundraising
3. Purchase of real property
4. Physical modifications to buildings, including minor renovations (such as painting or carpeting) without prior approval by OVW through the submission of a detailed Grant Adjustment Notice
5. Construction without prior approval by OVW through the submission of a detailed Grant Adjustment Notice

Food and Beverage/Costs for Refreshments and Meals: Generally, food and beverage costs are not allowable. OVW may approve the use of grant funds to provide a working meal at a meeting, conference, training, or other event, if one of the following applies:

1. The location of the event is not in close proximity to food establishments, despite efforts to secure a location near reasonably priced and accessible commercial food establishments.
2. Not serving food will significantly lengthen the day or necessitate extending the meeting to achieve meeting outcomes.
3. A special presentation at a conference requires a plenary address where there is no other time for food to be obtained.
4. Other extenuating circumstances necessitate the provision of food.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Pre-Application Information Session

OVW will post a pre-recorded Pre-Application Information Session on its website for entities interested in submitting an application for this program. Listening to this session is optional.

Interested applicants who do not listen to the pre-recorded session are still eligible to apply. The session is tentatively scheduled to be available by November 20, 2018 on the OVW website:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (E.T.) on January 8, 2019.

To submit an application, all applicants must obtain a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) Number, and register online with the System for Award Management (SAM) and with To ensure sufficient time to complete the registration process, applicants must obtain a DUNS Number, and register online with SAM and with immediately, but no later than, December 18, 2018.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to email a Letter of Intent by December 18, 2018. This letter confirms that the applicant has registered with SAM and Submitting a Letter of Intent will not obligate a potential applicant to submit an application. Interested applicants who do not submit a Letter of Intent are still eligible to apply.

Notification: OVW anticipates notifying applicants of funding decisions by October 1, 2019.

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Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

(202) 307-6026

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)