Family Violence Prevention Services Act Programs

CFDA #93.671

FVPSA supports programs that prevent incidents of family violence, domestic violence and dating violence. FVPSA Programs provide immediate shelter, supportive services and access to community-based programs for victims of family violence, domestic violence, or dating violence as well as for their dependents.  States must provide specialized services to underserved populations and victims who are members of racial and ethnic minority populations. Special emphasis is given to the support of community-based projects of demonstrated effectiveness. Shelter Programs must provide the following nine (9) core components:

  1. Safe confidential shelter
  2. 24 hour crisis hot-line
  3. Counseling
  4. Advocacy
  5. Transportation
  6. Community education
  7. Referral
  8. Follow-up
  9. Specialized services to children and to underserved populations

See FVPSA Legislative Authority

FVPSA subrecipients must adhere to all requirements in the  applicable OMB Circulars and Common Rules (Appendix T), the DOJ Grants Financial Guide, the OMB Uniform Guidance, and the 2020 Compliance Supplement.

New Federal Regulations for the Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA) were released on November 2, 2016 and effective January 2, 2017.  Click here  to access the new regulations and to download a pdf copy.  Updates are noted throughout this section of the manual.

Eligible subrecipients for federal and state FVPSA Programs include:

  • Local Public Agencies
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Faith-based Organizations
  • Community Organizations
  • Tribal Organizations
  • Voluntary Associations
  • Partnership of two or more agencies or organizations that include one of the above listed types of organizations and an agency or organization that has a demonstrated history of serving populations in their communities, especially those providing culturally appropriate services.

Tennessee’s Public Chapter 930 and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (Reauthorization 2010)  FVPSA Reauthorizing Legislation, 2010 require that all programs applying for funding meet the following criteria:

  1. Agencies must provide documentation that they have provided shelter or non-residential domestic violence services for at least six (6) months prior to application for funding, and that the funds provided will enable them to establish or maintain a shelter (or other domestic violence program) exclusively for victims of family violence, domestic violence or dating violence and their dependents within a defined timetable.
  2. Agencies must have established policies and procedures for maintaining the safety and confidentiality of the victims and their dependents that they are serving.
  3. Programs must comply with Family Violence Shelter Performance Standards, FVPSA Family Violence Shelter State Standards.
  4. Programs must comply with all Civil Rights Laws and Regulations (see Chapter XXII Civil Rights ) as well the non-discrimination policy referenced in the  Family Violence Shelter State Standards, 0620-3-6-.07 Program Administration (1) “The Program must have a written non-discrimination policy with regard to sex, race, religion, sexual preference, national origin, disability, age or marital status in administering the program and in determining eligibility for the provision of service.” The State Standards go beyond Federal Law in so far as sexual preference is an added category for non-discrimination. The sexual preference language of the Tennessee State Standards is inclusive of the LGBT Community (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender Community);
  5. Programs must comply with Chapters 32 and 33 of the Life Safety Code (NFPA Life Safety Code 2006 Editions),  Applicable Chapters: Life Safety Codes, 2006 Edition and with all other applicable health and safety codes. Visit the NFPA web site to setup an account and view the NFPA Life Safety Code 2006 Edition for the full listing of standards and guides.
  6. The Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPSA) requires all funded programs to adhere to an LGBTQ Accessibility Policy. The intent of this policy is to ensure that the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning shelter program participants are taken into consideration in the subrecipients’ program design. Furthermore, the policy is intended to ensure that programs are safe, inclusive and non-stigmatizing by design and function for the LGBTQ Community. During FY2015, all FVPSA funded programs must have or will put in place within 12 months of the award, the following four conditions of the LGBTQ Accessibility Policy.
    1. Have in place policies prohibiting  harassment based on race, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity (or expression), religion and national origin
    2. Will enforce these policies
    3. Will ensure that all staff will be trained during the award period on how to prevent and respond to harassment or bullying in all forms
    4. Have a plan in place to monitor claims, address them seriously and document their corrective action(s)

See LGBTQ Accessibility Guides for helpful resources for developing appropriate policies and procedures.

The purpose of FVPSA Programs is: (1) to assist nonprofit organizations, local public agencies, approved partnerships, and faith-based organizations in supporting the establishment, maintenance, and expansion of programs and projects to prevent incidents of family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence; (2) to provide immediate shelter, supportive services, and access to community-based programs for adult and youth victims of family violence, domestic violence, or dating violence, and their dependents; and (3) to provide specialized services for children exposed to family violence, domestic violence or dating violence, underserved populations, and victims who are members of racial and ethnic minority populations.

  1. Confidentiality: The address or location of any shelter facility receiving FVPSA funds that otherwise maintains a confidential location shall not be made public, except with written authorization of the person or persons responsible for the operation of the shelter program.
  2. Voluntary Services: Shelter Support Services must never be presented to residents as being mandatory nor should shelter residency be contingent upon residents and their dependents participating in shelter support services. This includes support group, court advocacy, counseling, case management or any other support service offered by the shelter.
  3. Trauma Informed Care: FVPSA funded shelter programs, in their effort to promote social and emotional well-being for victims and their dependents are strongly encouraged to address the impact of trauma on those they serve. The Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children, Youth, and Families, under which FVPSA functions, promotes a trauma-informed approach which “involves understanding and responding to the symptoms of chronic interpersonal trauma and traumatic stress…as well as the behavioral and mental health sequelae of trauma.”  OCJP strongly encourages shelter programs to implement a Trauma Informed Care approach which is now widely recognized across the field as an established best practice for Domestic Violence residential and nonresidential programming.
  4. Grievance Procedures: A Client Grievance Procedure is required for all clients receiving direct services.  The grievance procedure must be explained to the client and the client must sign as an indication that it has been explained and they understand the process.
  5. Agency Documentation:  Performance Standards for FVPSA Programs requires agencies to provide twenty-four hour access to telephone crisis hotline and community education, as core components.  Documentation for these services may be maintained in a central record following these guidelines.
  6. Income Eligibility: No income eligibility standard may be imposed upon individuals with respect to eligibility for assistance or services supported with FVPSA Funding.  No fees may be charged to clients for shelter or supportive services.
  7. Accessibility: To be in compliance with the federal FVPSA Reauthorizing Legislation, 2010 programs that receive FVPSA funding must be accessible. The coordination of accessible services will ensure that effective interventions are in place to build skills and capacities that contribute to the healthy, positive, and productive functioning of victims, children, youth, and families. This means services have to be delivered without discrimination on the basis of age, disability, gender, race, color, national origin, or religion. Barriers to accessing shelter, such as requiring participation in supportive services and rigid program rules, are not allowed. Accessibility is a broad requirement that warrants consideration in many situations, including, but not limited to, sheltering adolescents with their abused parent or guardian and offering all core services; offering shelter and all core services to victims irrespective of citizenship or limited English; accommodating victims with disabilities whether mental or physical, and creating a welcoming environment for LGBTQ victims.
  8. Domestic Violence Shelters:  All Family Violence Shelter Programs must comply with the Family Violence Shelter State Standards.

FVPSA funded programs are to provide shelter, supportive services, and prevention services to adult and youth victims of family violence, domestic violence or dating violence and their dependents. Program service priorities include:

  1. Operating and administering shelter facilities. Per the 2016 Federal Register, Subpart A, 1370.1;   "Shelter means the provision of  temporary refuge in conjunction with supportive services in compliance with applicable State or Tribal law or regulations governing the provision, on a regular basis, of shelter, safe homes, meals, and supportive services to victims of family violence, domestic violence, or dating violence, and their dependents."
  2. Assistance in developing safety plans and supporting the efforts of victims to make decisions related to their ongoing safety and well-being
  3. Offering individual and group counseling, peer support groups, and referral to community-based services to assist victims and their dependents in recovering from the effects of violence. (Referrals to entities using a Trauma Informed Care Model are preferred.)
  4. Offering services, training, technical assistance and outreach to increase awareness of family violence, domestic violence and dating violence, and increasing the accessibility of these services
  5. Offering culturally and linguistically appropriate services such as using interpreters, having documents translated into other languages used in the service area, etc.
  6. Offering services for children exposed to family violence, domestic violence or dating violence, including age appropriate counseling, supportive services and services for the non-abusing parent. Additionally, services that include working with the non-abusing parent and the child together, in a Trauma Informed Care venue, are highly recommended.
  7. Offering advocacy, case management services, and information and referral to victims, concerning issues related to family violence, domestic violence, or dating violence. Offering these services in the context of Trauma Informed Care best practices is preferred.
  8. Assisting victims and their dependents in accessing related Federal and State financial assistance programs
  9. Offering legal and medical advocacy, including referrals for health care services (mental health, substance abuse, etc.) which would not include reimbursement for any health care services
  10. Assistance in locating and securing safe and affordable permanent housing and homelessness prevention services.
  11. Offering transportation, child care, respite care, job training, and employment services, financial literacy services and education, financial planning and related economic empowerment services, and parenting or other educational services for victims and their dependents
  12. Providing prevention services to underserved populations, including populations underserved because of geographic location (such as rural isolation), underserved racial and ethnic populations, populations underserved because of special needs (such as language barriers, disabilities, alien status, or age)

The following are FVPSA specific unallowable costs: FVPSA Federal Legislative Authority

  1. Direct monetary funds given to the client (cash, gift cards or checks written to the client). (However, providing Specific Assistance to individuals that may include making payments on behalf of shelter residents for needed emergency items while they are in shelter, is allowable.)
  2. If a client moves from the shelter into an apartment or house, but later requests direct assistance with rent, utilities or other expenses, FVPSA funds may not be used for this purpose. (However, providing Specific Assistance to individuals who are in the process of moving out of the shelter facility, including the payment of rent, utilities or other expenses on behalf of the shelter resident, is allowable.
  3. FVPSA funds may not be used for fundraising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred solely to raise capital or obtain contributions​
  4. FVPSA funds may not be used to pay for food and beverages with the exception of food and beverages used within the shelter and for shelter residents.


See Chapter XIV – Allowable Costs

See Chapter XV- Unallowable Cost

All materials and publications (written, visual, or sound) resulting from FVPSA grant activities shall contain the following statements where applicable:

“This project is funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee.”

“This project was supported by Award No. _________ awarded by the State of Tennessee, Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Criminal Justice Programs for the FVPSA Formula Grant Program. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Children and Families.”

All reports, studies, notices, informational pamphlets, press releases, signs, billboards, DVDs, public awareness kits, training curricula, webinars, websites and similar public notices (written, visual or sound) prepared and released by the subrecipient shall include the statement:

“The opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations contained within this document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Health and Human Services or the State of Tennessee, Office of Children and Families.”

"This publication (or project) was made possible by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the State or the Department of Health and Human Services."

The above information is specific to FVPSA funds used to create and produce publications. For additional required information regarding Publications, see Chapter XI – Printing, Publications and Media.

The Project Director is responsible for timely submission of completed program and fiscal reports. Inability to submit required reports in a timely fashion is considered a failure of required contract obligations.

NOTE: The subrecipient is required to gather and maintain statistical data relating to grant project activities as required by the Office of Criminal Justice Programs. The data collected should support the information submitted on the annual reports. OCJP may periodically request to see the back-up data that supports the information submitted on your output and outcome reports.

This Page Last Updated: July 17, 2023 at 12:25 PM