The Family and Children’s Trust Fund (FACT) was created by the General Assembly in 1986 as a public-private partnership to raise funds for the prevention and treatment of family violence, including child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse and neglect. FACT is governed by a Board of Trustees, appointed by the Governor, to raise and distribute funds for family violence prevention and treatment efforts, as well as to promote public awareness of family violence issues across the Commonwealth. The Board of Trustees is vested with statutory authority to:
- Encourage public awareness activities concerning child abuse and neglect and violence within families
- Administer and disburse funds to partner organizations
- Encourage and accept gifts, contributions, bequests, or grants in cash or otherwise from any source, public or private, to carry out the purposes of FACT
- Monitor the use of funds to ensure the accountability of recipients of the funds
- Engage in fundraising activities to expand and promote FACT
- Advise the Department of Social Services, the Board of Social Services, and the Governor on matters concerning programs for the prevention of child abuse and neglect and family violence, the treatment of abused and neglected children and their families, and other such issues related to child abuse and neglect and family violence as identified by the Commissioner
- Communicate to the Departments of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Corrections, Criminal Justice Services, Education, Health, and Juvenile Justice, other state agencies as appropriate, and the Attorney General activities of the Board of Trustees related to efforts to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect and violence within families
FACT is primarily funded by direct donations from public and private sources, revenue from the sale of the KIDS FIRST license plates, and voluntary donations on state income tax returns. Since 2003, FACT has raised approximately $2.5 million to support local programming efforts to prevent and treat family violence across the Commonwealth. Currently, FACT provides funding to support 19 local projects and programs, including but not limited to programs that offer parenting education classes, shelter services, outreach and counseling services, services for child exposed to domestic violence, services for underserved populations, and hotlines services.
FACT will strive to reduce incidences of family violence in Virginia through support of community-based initiatives, public awareness and collaboration.
FACT will provide for the support and development of services for the prevention and treatment of family violence in Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Social Services provides administrative support and technical assistance to the FACT’s Board of Trustees, who, as gubernatorial appointees, are private sector volunteers who represent a range of skill and expertise in the human services field. The Department provides a full-time position for FACT’s Executive Director, and the Department’s Commissioner serves as a permanent member of the Board of Trustees.
History of Children’s Trust & Prevention Funds
Beginning in the early 1970s, child maltreatment prevention efforts began to gain momentum across the country. While there was new and exciting energy underway, it was difficult for states to set aside funds that specifically focused on the prevention of child abuse and neglect. When budgets were strapped, key leaders oftentimes targeted prevention funds rather than cutting treatment services. Even with the establishment of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), prevention funds remain below the amount of funding required to fully support child maltreatment prevention strategies across the country.
As a result, as early as the 1980s, states began establishing children’s trust funds as a way to ensure funds for prevention would be available to local communities. In Virginia, key leaders decided to establish a trust fund for both children and families. Thus, the Family and Children’s Trust Fund was established in 1986.
To learn more about the history of children’s trust and prevention funds, click here.