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Developments in Adoption:
Victims of Crime: Restitution Funds Available for AASK Families

If your child was a victim of child abuse, severe neglect, domestic violence or other crimes in the state of California he or she may be able to receive funds through this state-administered program. Keep in mind that "injured" is not restricted to physical complaints.
The State Board of Control has directed that not only the "direct" victim be compensated, but that "derivative" victims (a child witness to domestic violence is treated as a direct victim) receive assistance too. This class includes the sibling, spouse, child or parent of the victim (current caretaker can also qualify). To be eligible the crime must either be reported to law enforcement or child protective services (you can still make a report on an "old" incident as long as the child is not yet 19), or, a therapist must find evidence that the child was victimized and write a letter.
Victims of Crime (VOC) can pay up to $46,000 per victim per crime to cover the following:

  • Medical and Dental
  • Mental Health Counseling (including child care for siblings during appointments)
  • Loss of Income (for caretakers)

VOC is the "payer of last resort." Families must first use insurance benefits, lawsuit pay-outs or other available benefits before using VOC.

What To Do
If your child victim is still a dependent their custodial worker will likely have to file the claim. Please talk to you AASK social worker to get the process started. For children who have finalized, try the following:

  • If you are an "AASK Family" contact us to receive brochures about VOC.
  • Contact your local Victims/Witness Assistance Center—they can help you with a claim.
  • Contact the law offices of Michael Seigel at (916)652-4400 (Loomis). They will file a claim no matter where you live at no cost to you. AASK has had no experience with them so this not an endorsement.

AASK advises that you apply now. The state has a surplus of funds and the child’s eligibility can be "banked" for future use (it can even be saved to use as an adult). You must apply before the child is 19 and children may have additional eligibility in other states if crimes also occurred outside California. Contact corresponding offices in those states for information.

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