December 2023

Volume 4, Issue 2

From the Desk of the President...

Dear MAWD Members,

As we approach the end of another year, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude that so many people can come together and work towards a common goal of creating better opportunities for people in our communities and state.

This year, like each one before, has presented its own share of challenges, but together, we've demonstrated resilience, adaptability, and an unwavering commitment to our goals. Within each organization, there is no doubt that we have faced our own uncertainties with courage, been required to find innovative solutions, and celebrated victories both big and small.

I am inspired by the sense of community and collaboration that defines MAWD. It is the outcomes of the participants that move us forward and makes our journey meaningful. As we look ahead to the new year, let's carry this momentum forward, embracing new challenges with the same determination. Together, we are building bridges and breaking barriers, one participant at a time.

Stay engaged, stay involved, and let's continue making a difference.

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful holiday season and a prosperous New Year.


Samantha Terry

MAWD President

May your days be Merry and Bright!

Partner Program Spotlight

Department of Social Services 

Victims of Crime Act

The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) is a federal program administered at the state level in Missouri by the Department of Social Services (DSS). VOCA allows Missouri to provide high quality services directly related to the emotional healing and recovery of crime victims.

VOCA aims to:

  • Support the provision of direct services to victims of crime
  • Assist victims of crime as soon as possible in order to reduce the severity of the psychological and emotional consequences of the victimization
  • Demonstrate on-going support for the victim in coping with the impact of the victimization

The VOCA is funded through fines, penalties, and forfeitures collected from persons convicted of offenses, highlighting the importance of the prosecution of criminal offenses:

  • FFY18: $61.8M
  • FFY19: $41.7M
  • FFY20: $30.9M
  • FFY21: $19.2M
  • FFY22: $26.3M

The VOCA Fix was signed into law July 22, 2021 and allowed for funds to be collected under deferred and non-prosecution agreements, which were previously not allowed, potentially increasing the amount of money collected. It also increased payments from 60% to 75% for the State Victims Compensation fund, to allow more money to be available for victims of crime compensation claims, required states to create their own match waiver requirements, and waived match requirements through the pandemic.

The Department of Social Services receives funding from the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the VOCA. The overall Federal Year funding is determined by the DOJ, and the DSS contracts are based on the available funding. VOCA contracts are awarded through a competitive bid process. There are 140 subcontractors in Missouri including:

  • Child Abuse Advocacy Centers
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
  • Coalitions
  • Domestic and Family Violence Organizations
  • Faith- based Organizations
  • Sexual Assault Service Organizations (rape crisis centers)
  • Multi-service agencies
  • Domestic Violence Shelters & Services
  • Prosecuting Attorney Victim Advocates
  • Court or legal based Advocates
  • Mental health service providers/advocates

Victim Services provided include:

· Crisis Counseling/Emotional Support

  • Consoling and talking with the victim at the scene of a crime, immediately after the crime, or at the first in-person contact
  • Meeting the crime survivor in the emergency room, police station, prosecuting attorney’s office, etc.
  • Later in the process at moments when a survivor is experiencing extra distress, such as the anniversary of the event, the first time the survivor or family members see the person in court who harmed them, etc.

· Forensic Interviews

A forensic interview is a single session, recorded interview designed to elicit a child’s unique information when there are concerns of possible abuse or when the child has witnessed violence against another person. The forensic interview is conducted in a supportive and non-leading manner by a trained professional and are remotely observed by representatives of the agencies involved in the investigation (such as law enforcement and child protective services)

· Criminal/Civil Justice System Assistance

  • Accompaniment to criminal justice offices and court
  • Transportation to court
  • Child care or respite care to enable a crime survivor to attend court
  • Notification to crime survivors regarding trial dates, case disposition information, and parole consideration procedures
  • Assistance with victim impact statements

· Assistance in Filing Victim Compensation Claims

  • Requirement for participating subcontractors

· Information and Referral

  • Assisting victims in applying for public assistance such as unemployment benefits, TANF, SNAP, Medicare, etc.

· Personal Advocacy

  • Assisting the crime survivor to recover property that is retained as evidence
  • Intervening with employers, creditors, and others

· Safety Services

  • Intended to restore the crime survivor’s sense of security, including services that offer an immediate measure of safety to crime survivors such as boarding-up broken windows and replacing or repairing locks

· Shelter/Housing Services

  • Short- and long-term housing and related support services to crime survivors and non-offending members of their family following victimization

Useful Links:


Let's celebrate all the Missouri professionals who are currently certified!

Leslie Abram > Joplin

Brandi Aldridge > Springfield

Erica Davis > Hannibal

Damon Hayward > Kansas City

Sondra Huey > Pineville

Amy Kauffman > Joplin

Dana Keller > LaBelle

Cindi Koenneker

MaryAnn Lawrence > St Louis

Keri McKee > Springfield

Laura Miller > Park Hills

Janet Myers > Hannibal

Luereatha Pickens > Kansas City

Melissa Robbins > West Plains

Jill Viehman > Hillsboro

Ruth Whitis > LaBelle

Erica Young > Springfield

About the CWDP

Did you know...

You can download the mobile app, Wild Apricot for Members, to get access to your digital membership card and connect with the MAWD network!


Dana Keller has been elected as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals.

Congratulations, Dana!

We know you will continue to represent Missouri well in your new role!


OWD Summit

The Office of Workforce Development hosted its annual OWD Summit, October 25-27. This year’s theme was Together Everyone Achieves More. Our focus was training for Veteran Representatives, Supervisors, and Compliance with a special presentation from Modern Warrior. Modern Warrior is a narrative experience that chronicles the story of US Army veteran, Jaymes Poling, and his journey.

Apprenticeship Missouri Summit

The Office of Workforce Development hosted its 6th annual Apprenticeship Missouri Summit in the St. Louis area on Tuesday, November 14 in celebration of National Apprenticeship Week. This year’s theme, Moving Missouri Forward Through Apprenticeship, highlighted different ways registered apprenticeship, including pre-apprenticeships, are being used as a workforce solution. Sessions featured apprentices in early child care and construction trades occupations and leaders directly operating registered apprenticeship. The Summit also highlighted two of Missouri’s financial investments into registered apprenticeship, House Bill 417 Intern/Apprentice Tax Credit and the Fast track Workforce Incentive Grant.  

To learn more about apprenticeship opportunities in Missouri, click one of the buttons below! 

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