Clearfield Co. Seeking Grant to Provide Safe Connections Center

CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County is seeking over $400,000 in federal funding to provide a safe connections center.

On Tuesday the commissioners approved submitting a grant application and requesting $402,555 through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women, Justice for Families Program.

The program was part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The purpose was to improve the response, both in the civil and criminal justice systems, to families that have a history of sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking and allegations of child sexual abuse.

Once funded, the county would partner with the League on Social Services to provide the day-to-day operations of a safe connections center. It would also permit for civil legal assistance through Mid-Penn Legal Services, according to Lisa Kovalick, community development specialist.

Other local program partners include Judge Paul E. Cherry, Community Action Crossroads Project, PASSAGES Inc., Child Advocacy Center of Clearfield County, Mid-Penn Legal Services, Clearfield County Children & Youth Services and the Clearfield County Office of Planning and Community Development.

Kovalick said the center would provide services, which include: safe, supervised child visits and exchanges, as well as civil legal assistance for victims of sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking and cases involving child sexual abuse.

She added that the center would be located in the central part of the county in order to provide the most security. However, due to the county being a rural area with limited transportation options, the program would assist with gas stipends for travel to and from the center.

In other business, the commissioners:

  • approved the competitive quotes for court reporting services and authorized the chairman to execute contracts as to form once received from the solicitor.
  • approved an agreement with Forensic Pathology Associates.
  • approved a linkage agreement with Brookville Behavioral Health Inc.
  • approved the appointments of Gerry Hatcher and James Sedgwick to the Clearfield County Planning Commission.
  • proclaimed January as National Mentoring Month at the request of Jenna Dixon of the Children’s Aid Society’s Youth Mentoring Program.
  • approved the hiring of Paul Dunlap, fiscal operations officer/Children & Youth Services, effective Jan. 2.
  • approved the employee transfers of Marguerite Johnson, Department Clerk II/Register & Recorder to Deputy Register & Recorder, effective Jan. 2, and Shawn Burkhart, Adult Probation Supervisor to Director of Probation Services, effective Jan. 3.
  • approved the bills as presented by the Controller’s Office.
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