History of FACT
The Family and Children’s Trust Fund (FACT) was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1986 as a public-private partnership to raise funds, increase awareness and advise on policies for the prevention of family violence, including: child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse and neglect. FACT is the only organization in Virginia that addresses family violence and trauma across the lifespan.
Mission & Vision
FACT will amplify community programs and initiatives focused on the prevention and treatment of family violence and the protection of children through funding and awareness.
FACT envisions a world in which no one in Virginia experiences family violence and all children are safe.
FACT believes that capacity building and public understanding is key to preventing and treating the vast spectrum of child abuse, neglect, and family violence throughout Virginia. In order to effectively address these issues, we commit to support organizations, programs, and communities dedicated to treatment, prevention and intervention efforts, as well as serve as a central source of knowledge about child abuse, neglect, and family violence. This includes promoting collaboration, prioritizing innovation, and increasing awareness around family violence across the life span and the protection of children.
The FACT Board of Trustees, gubernatorial appointees, are private sector volunteers who represent a range of skill and expertise in the human services field. 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
The Virginia Department of Social Services provides administrative support and technical assistance to the FACT’s Board of Trustees. The Department provides a full-time position for FACT’s Executive Director and a part-time position for FACT’s Senior Research Associate. Additionally, the Department’s Commissioner serves as a permanent member of the Board of Trustees.
FACT is primarily funded by direct donations from public and private sources, revenue from the sale of the KIDS FIRST license plates, voluntary donations on state income tax returns, and a small portion of the proceeds from Virginia Casinos.
For over 35 years, FACT has provided funding for hundreds of programs focused on preventing and treating family violence. Since 2012, FACT has been supporting the Trauma-Informed Community Network movement with financial and technical support.
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.