Tools & Resources Legal Assistance for Victims Program Legal Assistance for Victims Program FAQs

Legal Assistance for Victims Program FAQs

View the answers to frequently asked questions.

FAQs Related to Staff

Q: What is the difference between a victim advocate and a legal advocate?
A: A legal advocate provides legal advocacy to victims/survivors.  An example of a legal advocate is a court-based advocate who assists with protection orders.  A victim advocate provides services such as safety planning, victim advocacy and crisis intervention.

Please note that FTEs are reported by job function, not job title.  To report a staff that has more than one job function, first calculate the total FTE of that staff person based on how many grant-funded hours they work each reporting period. Then split up their FTE into the staff categories by estimating the percent of their time performing each job function.

Q: Do we report an attorney FTE if grant funds support the supervision of an attorney?
Yes, this attorney’s grant-funded time is reported as an FTE.

Q: If we contract out for attorney services, do we report the attorney as an FTE even though they don’t work at our agency?
Yes, all contracted staff that receive grant funds to conduct grant-funded activities are converted to an FTE value.  Report the FTE value that reflects the percentage of the attorney’s time or salary that is grant-funded, and report the attorney’s grant-funded activities in Section D.

FAQs Related to Training

Q: Are LAV grantees under a 2015 grant prohibited from using VAWA funds for training?
A: Please check with your program specialist.

Q: How do we report law students from a law clinic?
If the law students are receiving grant-funded training, report the students in the training section as pre-professional law students.  In addition, if the students are volunteering in the clinic, report their activities in q.33 located in Section D Victim Services.

Q: What is not reported in Section C1 Training?
A: Section C1 only reflects the training of professionals or volunteers acting as professionals.  Do not report community members, community groups, congregation members, parents, or victims/survivors. Additionally, do not report students unless they are pre-professional, such as medical, legal, nursing, MSW students or police cadets.  In this case, pre-professional students can be reported in the appropriate professional category.

Q: Does section C1 Training and Technical Assistance only apply to pre-2014 grantees?
Yes, this purpose area was removed from the LAV Program in the 2013 Reauthorization of VAWA.  All grants funded in 2014 and later should skip section C1.

Q: Is question 15 a good place to talk about evaluations at trainings?

FAQs Related to Victims Services

Q: Grant-funded non-legal staff doing intakes routinely do safety planning and provide advice about possible legal remedies.  How do we report this?
Report these activities in q.26.

Q: How do we report separate Protection Orders requested for a parent and a child?
A: If both the parent and child are victims, and separate POs are requested, report both in q.27 and both outcomes in q.30.

Q: How do we report a joint Protection Order requested for a parent and a child?
A: If one PO was requested for both the parent and child, then report only one in q.27 and report the outcome(s) in q.30.

Q: If our LAV-funded attorney has an ongoing case at the end of the reporting period, do we report the victim as “served” or “partially served”?
A: In this example, report the victim as served if they received all of the LAV-funded services they requested during the reporting period, even if their case is ongoing.

Q: The LAV grant says we cannot serve “Child sexual abuse cases (under the age of 11)” under LAV.  Question 23 only allows reporting of victims as young as 13 years old.  How do we report victim/survivors aged 11-12?
A: Report those victims in the age 13-17 category and use q.29 narrative to detail the number of victims aged 11-12 that were served.

Q: Can we serve a parent of a child (under the age of 11) who was abused?  This may be helping them get custody of their child or obtaining a protective order, for example.
A: The parent needs to be a victim/survivor of domestic/dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking to be served using LAV grant funds.

Q: If a victim wants to apply for a U-Visa, or another type of immigration matter, and our legal opinion is they do not qualify, how is the victim reported in question 21?
A: In this example, the victim is receiving grant-funded legal advice and not receiving the additional grant-funded services they are requesting because your agency decided the victim does not qualify. Report this victim as partially served in q.21 and report the reason(s) this victim is not fully served in q.22.

FAQs Related to Legal Services

Q: How do we report an immigration case that is filed in one reporting period but then becomes inactive in the next reporting period while we are waiting for a decision?
A: Report an immigration case in each reporting period that you use grant funds to provide assistance. So if a case is inactive during a reporting period and you do not use grant funds to provide other services to the victim, then do not report that victim or that inactive case for that period.

Q: We have an income cap that determines whether or not we can provide someone with legal services.  How do we report a victim in question 21 if we determine that the victim is above the income cap?
A: Report the victim/survivor as partially served or not served (depending on if they received some or none of the grant-funded services they requested) in q. 21.  In q.22, report the reason for not serving or partially serving the victim as “Program unable to provide service due to limited resources/priority-setting”.

FAQs Related to Pro Bono Attorneys / Law Students

Q: What does “mentored” mean in the Pro Bono Attorneys and Law Students section?
A: Mentored” usually implies a level of support and guidance provided to attorneys and law students to ensure competent representation.   This is normally provided by a more experienced attorney.

Q: What does “coordinated” mean in the Pro Bono Attorneys and Law Students section?
A: Coordinated” usually means, for example, that someone is maintaining a database, communicating with potential pro bono attorneys, making referrals, following up regarding case status, etc. This might be done by an attorney or by support staff.

Q: Are the outcomes of cases worked-on by pro bono attorneys reported on the form?
A: If you receive LAV funds to recruit, train, mentor and coordinate pro bono attorneys, then report these activities in q.32.  If LAV-funded staff are integrally involved in the activities of pro-bono attorneys, you may report cases in q.27 and their outcomes in q.30.  Otherwise, you may report the outcomes of cases handled by pro-bono attorneys in q.35.