BUCKS COUNTY – June 11, 2020 – State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) announced the award of $120,000 in grant funding through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) to two organizations in Bucks County. The Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA) was awarded $100,000 through the Children’s Advocacy Center Advisory Committee (CACAC) funds. The Bucks County Public Defender’s Office will receive $20,000 through the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee (CJAC) Capital Case Indigent Defense Program Funds.
“Both NOVA and the Bucks County Public Defender’s Office provide vital assistance to some of the most vulnerable residents of Bucks County,” Sen. Santarsiero said. “The CACAC grant will enable NOVA to continue their important work of advocating for children and families in need. I was also pleased to see that funds will be going to the Public Defender’s office to assist with the legal cases of indigent clients through the CJAC grant.”
“The award from PCCD will allow NOVA to expand on the exceptional forensic and counseling services that we provide to children who are the victims of sexual abuse and their families, said “Penny Ettinger, Executive Director of NOVA. In particular, we will expand our forensic interview services through the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) and specialized trauma- counseling for children who have yet to disclose their abuse directly to an adult but where there is significant concern that the abuse has occurred. NOVA is the comprehensive victim services organization in the county. The CAC is a multi-disciplinary partnership with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, the County Children and Youth Agency, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, and local law enforcement.”
“This is the first time the Bucks County Public Defender has received an award of funding from PCCD, and we appreciate their approval of our request,” said Ann Russavage-Faust, Chief Public Defender for the agency. “We currently have two pending capital cases and will be putting this award to immediate use on these cases.”
NOVA’s programs serve residents across Bucks County, with offices in Jamison, Perkasie and Fairless Hills. For more information about NOVA, visit their website.
The Bucks County Public Defender’s Office represents indigent defendants in all phases of criminal defense, mental health, and domestic relations proceedings. For more information about the Bucks County Public Defender’s Office, visit their website.
The CACAC seeks to promote prevention, treatment, and justice for victims of child sexual abuse and child abuse through children’s advocacy centers and multidisciplinary investigative teams throughout the Commonwealth. To learn more about the CACAC, visit the PCCD website.
The CJAC supports a comprehensive strategy to reduce crime that prioritizes evidence-based policy and practice at every stage of the Commonwealth’s justice system. To learn more about the CJAC, visit the PCCD website.