Miami-Dade County, Department of Human Services, Miami, FL

The Coordinated Victims Assistance Program

Abstract: The Coordinated Victims Assistance Center (CVAC) has been in existence since October 2008 as a one-stop center for victims of domestic and sexual violence and their dependent children; however, prior to the Center's opening, victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault sought assistance at the Domestic Violence Intake Units, the State Attorney's Office, the local shelters, non-for-profit organizations, and at many other agencies in the community. Victims were involved in many processes and needed to travel to numerous different locations, which required money for transportation, parking, and child care. In addition to the financial burden, the lack of resources and knowledge prevented victims/survivors and their families from seeking further assistance in order to achieve freedom from the abuse.

Thus, CVAC was created to eliminate the barriers faced by victims. CVAC is currently comprised of 33 onsite partners, who collectively offer a total of 33 services to the community. CVAC created a central assessment protocol and system, which allows the intake staff at the Center to evaluate the needs of clients as it relates to the onsite partners/services and to the approximately 20 off-site partners/services that collaborate with CVAC. At the Center, we offer free onsite assistance with regard to many aspects of the clients' lives, from therapy to vocational classes. CVAC offers a coordinated service delivery model that is client centered.

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