Applications are accepted from July 1st, 2024 through July 31st, 2024.

Please read the information below to guide your proposal and scope of work.

Thank you for your interest in the CJA program!

Children’s Justice Act (CJA) Task Force is established in accordance with the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and will award grants congruent with the taskforce’s federally mandated responsibility to improve:

  • the assessment and investigation of suspected child abuse and neglect cases, including cases of suspected child sexual abuse and exploitation, in a manner that limits additional trauma to the child and the child’s family;
  • the assessment and investigation of cases of suspected child abuse-related fatalities and suspected child neglect-related fatalities;
  • the investigation and prosecution of cases of child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse and exploitation; and
  • the assessment and investigation of cases involving children with disabilities or serious health-related problems who are suspected victims of child abuse or neglect.

CJA will fund projects focused on research, program development/implementation, or a combination of the two. CJA welcomes a wide array of proposed projects congruent with the mandated responsibility of CJA.

CJA will prioritize proposals that address one or more of the following focal areas, while being congruent with the mandated responsibility of CJA:

  1. Foster Care and High Acuity Youth* in Kentucky
    a. *High Acuity Youth refer to children in DCBS custody that need intensive services for severe behavioral or emotional challenges sometimes paired with physical health issues. The needs of these youth may be so great that no placement or treatment facility can keep them safe. This may lead to them to be “boarded” in a safe place while they are waiting on the right level of services (Lohr, 2022).
  2. Education for frontline workers in Kentucky (i.e. education for new workers, on substance use disorders, from a medical or legal standpoint, Trust-Based Relational Intervention training, education on gender issues and support for LGBTQ+ youth issues and resources, or other identified need).
  3. What are the factors that led Kentucky to move from #5 to #14 in child maltreatment in one year (per the Children’s Bureau’s Child Maltreatment Report and Kentucky Youth Advocates Article)? How do we continue any positive trends or alleviate any negative trends?

The funding range for grant submissions should be between $10,000-$70,000. Please note that CJA will allow for an indirect charge no higher than ten (10%) of direct costs.

Award recipients are required to provide monthly check-in reports, invoices, as well as a final cumulative report.  In addition, awardees will be required to provide at least one live virtual report to the CJA Task Force.

Acknowledgments: Grantees are required to acknowledge that funding was provided by the Children’s Justice Act Task Force on any and all published materials related to the scope of work outlined in their proposal. 

If you have questions about the RFP, please contact Tara Pulaski at  

Eligible Applicants

Any organization may apply for the CJA grant program. The principal investigator (PI) must have a demonstrated ability and appropriate training to carry out the research/program project. The PI must maintain control of the project at all times throughout the award period and is responsible for submitting all required reports to CJA.

If the proposed project includes providing a service to any individual, the individual/entity providing the service must be appropriately credentialed/accredited.

Proposal Format

When you enter the submission portal, you will be prompted to complete the Online Application. Once the application is complete, you will be prompted to enter a proposal in the following format:

Proposals submitted to CJA should include:

  1. Proposal Coversheet
  2. Proposal (limited to no more than seven (7) pages [including references]; limited to no more than five (5) pages for Addendums; All in 12-point Times New Roman), formatted as follows:
  3. Problem Description
  4. Brief Background pertaining to relevant literature
  5. Description of research plan/intervention
  6. Significance of the proposed project
  7. Project goals and objectives
  8. Brief description identifying which of the CJA mandates (see intro paragraph above) your proposal pertains to as well as detail on how the proposed work will meet federal CAPTA requirements (see Areas of Use below).
  9. Brief description identifying which of the CJA focal areas (see intro paragraph above) your proposal pertains to, if applicable.
  10. Copy of evaluation forms/measures
  11. Letters of agreement for all involved agencies/individuals
  12. CVs/Resumes of all involved researchers/service providers
  13. Detailed budget, budget justification, and scope of work. Budget must be submitted using the provided budget template. Download budget template here.

Areas of Use for CJA Grant Funds

  1. Investigative, administrative, and judicial handling of cases of child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse and exploitation, as well as cases involving suspected child maltreatment-related fatalities and cases involving a potential combination of jurisdictions, such as interstate, Federal-State, and State-Tribal, in a manner which reduces the additional trauma to the child victim and the victim’s family and which also ensures procedural fairness to the accused;
  2. Experimental, model, and demonstration programs for testing innovative approaches and techniques which may improve the prompt and successful resolution of civil and criminal court proceedings or enhance the effectiveness of judicial and administrative action in child abuse and neglect cases, particularly child sexual abuse and exploitation cases, including the enhancement of performance of court-appointed attorneys and guardians ad litem for children, and which also ensure procedural fairness to the accused; and
  3. Reform of State laws, ordinances, regulations, protocols, and procedures to provide comprehensive protection for children from abuse, including sexual abuse and exploitation, while ensuring fairness to all affected persons.

CJA funds should be used for programs to reform State systems and improve the processes by which States respond to cases of child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse and exploitation and cases of suspected child abuse- or neglect-related fatalities. This will enable States to more effectively address both the child victim and the offender and to limit additional trauma to the child victim.

CJA funds are not designed to support primary prevention programs or treatment services. CJA funds are to be primarily focused on the front-end, intake, assessment, investigative, and prosecutorial phases of child welfare. Projects selected by a State Task Force should be mindful that funds must be spent to support efforts at this point in a child welfare case.

Examples of CJA-supported activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing curricula and conducting training for personnel in law enforcement and child protective services, as well as health and mental health professionals, prosecutors, and judges. This may include attention to issues of trafficking and exploitation within child welfare.
  • Providing training and information on the importance of high-quality legal representation for parents with child welfare system involvement.
  • Fostering collaboration between the child welfare, legal, and judicial communities to ensure that all parties are held accountable and that reasonable efforts are made to prevent unnecessary family disruption.
  • Evaluating activities, such as trainings, in order to determine specific outcomes, changes in practice, and any related improvements to the systems handling of cases of child abuse and neglect.
  • Establishing or enhancing child advocacy centers and other multidisciplinary programs to serve child victims and their families in order to minimize trauma.
  • Establishing and supporting local and/or State child fatality review teams, including multidisciplinary training, team development, and annual reporting. This may also include supporting efforts to reduce child fatalities among children with current or previous child welfare involvement.
  • Supporting the enactment of laws to improve system response, including allowing the admission of indirect testimony of children into evidence, making the courtroom setting less intimidating to children, increasing the penalties for sexual offenses against children, requiring mandatory sentencing, shortening the trial process and permitting victims to make statements prior to sentencing.