The Standing Committee on Grants awards the Civil Legal Assistance to Families Victimized by Domestic Violence Grant (Domestic Violence Grant) and the Civil Legal Services to Kinship Care Families Grant (Kinship Care Grant) annually. Established in 1999, as the Judicial Council Domestic Violence Committee, the Committee was originally charged with awarding the Domestic Violence Grant. In 2017, the Committee’s charge was expanded, allowing the Committee to oversee additional grants. In 2019, the Committee awarded the first Kinship Care Grants.
Domestic Violence Grant funds are used to provide civil legal services to persons victimized or threatened by domestic violence. Such legal assistance helps with immediate needs through protective orders or orders for custody and child support, and also includes legal assistance with such issues as access to credit and bank accounts, housing, public benefits, employment and other consumer and financial problems that must be resolved to achieve safety, stability and economic security. Grantees are non-profit legal services organizations providing civil legal services to domestic violence victims. The amount of grant funding available has varied, with as much as 2.5 million dollars being appropriated in the past.
Kinship Care Grant funds are used to provide civil legal assistance to kinship care families. Such legal assistance helps keep at risk children out of the foster care system and supports them in homes by providing holistic civil legal representation. Legal services can help secure legal custody, financial benefits, healthcare support, educational support, and safe housing. Eligible grantees for these funds are non-profit corporations with at least ten years of experience providing kinship legal services or similar civil legal services in the state.
Both the Domestic Violence and Kinship Care Grant are awarded statewide. The grant application cycles open annually in April.