In early December 2019, the Drug Endangered Children’s Initiative team traveled to Washington D.C. for the BJA/OVC Grantee Meeting: The Opioid Crisis and the Nation’s Youth. The grantee meeting gathered recipients of Bureau of Justice Assistance and Office for Victims of Crime grants together share best practices and learn from experts.
The BJA/OVC Grantee Meeting included a showcase where groups from across the country displayed posters summarizing their projects. Kati Mapa, Clinical Advocate for the Drug Endangered Children’s Initiative, created an informative and visually stunning poster for the Plymouth County project.
The two-day grantees meeting afforded an opportunity for the Drug Endangered Children’s Initiative, operating in Plymouth County, to connect with other Massachusetts grantees. Wayside Youth & Family Support Network’s project Children Impacted by Substances (CIS) is working in Framingham and City of Worcester Division of Public Health’s project Trauma Informed Response to Youth Victims of Crime is serving central Massachusetts. The Massachusetts grantees were able to share challenges, successes and ideas for future collaboration. One of the things the three groups hope to do is coordinate training opportunities to maximize resources.
While in the Washington D.C. area, the Drug Endangered Children’s Initiative was able to meet with several of the legislative offices representing Plymouth County. Senator Ed Markey met personally with the team. Staff of Congressman Bill Keating and Senator Elizabeth Warren also took time to meet with the Drug Endangered Children’s Initiative and learn more about the project.
The Drug Endangered Children’s Initiative team took lots of ideas and inspiration home from the BJA/OVC Grantees Meeting and are looking forward to next year’s meeting.