Agency launches central intake line to report elder abuse and neglect

NEWS from the North Dakota Department of Human Services

600 East Boulevard Avenue – Department 325, Bismarck ND 58505-0250



Agency launches central intake line to report elder abuse and neglect


BISMARCK, N.D. – On July 1, the North Dakota Department of Human Services is launching a centralized phone number for people to call to report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults.  Department staff will answer calls during the weekday to the Aging and Disability Resource Link – Vulnerable Adult Protective Services intake line at 1-855-462-5465.


Staff will review concerns and provide information to the regional human service centers and partnering agencies if a home visit is needed to assess a situation.  People can leave a message if they are calling after hours.


“Our goal is to make it easy to report concerns. Because vulnerable adult protective services are provided by the department and contracted partner agencies, having one phone number benefits the professionals who are required by law to report concerns,” said Michelle Gayette, the department’s vulnerable adult protective services administrator.


Gayette stressed that if a vulnerable adult is in immediate danger of serious injury or death, people should still call 911.  After emergency responders are contacted, people should still call the central intake number to report the concern.


“It is important for people to report both urgent and non-urgent concerns so that professionals can follow up and make sure that health, welfare and safety issues are addressed,” Gayette said.


People can also make a report online at  A reporter can remain anonymous.


According to Gayette, the department received about 1,500 reports of possible abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults in 2014.


The Vulnerable Adult Protective Services Program serves vulnerable adults age 18 and older or minors who are married and who have mental or functional impairments.  More information about the service and mandated reporting is online at


National Network to End Domestic Violence releases annual statistics

National Network to End Domestic Violence releases annual statistics


For the ninth annual year, on September 10 the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) conducted a one-day unduplicated count of adults and children seeking domestic violence service in the United States. This census documents the number of individuals who sought services in a single 24-hour period.


On that day in North Dakota there were 32 requests for services including emergency shelter, transitional housing and non-residential services, which could not be provided because programs did not have the resources. Out of these unmet requests 22% were for housing.


“Our programs are continually asked to do more with less which is unrealistic. Victims are turned away every day because our shelters are full and understaffed and we know they are either going back to live with their abusive partner or are forced into homelessness. This can’t continue,” said Janelle Moos, CAWS North Dakota’s Executive Director.


In North Dakota there have been 11 staff positions eliminated in the past year; most of these positions were direct services, such as shelter or legal advocates, so there were fewer advocates to answer calls for help. Nine individual services at local programs were reduced or eliminated in the past year.


Across the country, there were 10,871 unmet requests for services on that day, of which 56% were for housing. The most frequently requested nonresidential services that could not be provided were housing advocacy, legal representation and financial assistance.


“Domestic violence programs and shelters across the country are operating with less funding, fewer resources, and even fewer staff. The economic environment of the last few years has resulted in a combination of fewer grants, fewer donations from the community and reduced government funds at every level. This shortage of resources within domestic violence programs has been compounded by a reduction in funding for other social services upon which victims often rely, such as low-income housing, mental health services and more,” stated NNEDV.


In the 24-hour survey period in the United States there were 67,646 victims served and 20,845 local and state hotline calls answered by staff.


In North Dakota 375 victims were served on this day. A total of 160 domestic violence victims (78 children and 82 adults) found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing provided by local domestic violence programs. There were 215 adults and children who received non-residential assistance and services, including counseling, legal advocacy and children’s support groups, as well as 109 hotline calls answered.


According to NNEDV, out of 1,916 identified domestic violence programs in the United States 1,697 participated in the 2014 National Census of Domestic Violence Services. In North Dakota 19 out of 20 identified local domestic violence programs participated.


For more information about these statistics or the complete count, go to




Hearts & Hands Training

Hearts & Hands: Building Partnerships Between Rural Domestic and Sexual Violence Service Providers and Rural Faith Communities training will be from 8 am to 4:30 pm Thursday, June 11 at Zion Lutheran Church – 203 1st Ave. NE Mohall, ND.

This training is hosted by CAWS North Dakota Faith-Based Initiative on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and Mohall & Kenmare Safe Community Coalitions and Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

This training is limited to 50 participants and it is free of charge. Lunch will be provided for those participating (donations accepted to help cover the costs of lunch).

For complete details about this event click here. For more information or to register contact Rev. Desireé Uhrich at (701) 228-8245 or e-mail:

CAWS North Dakota accepting application for 2015 scholarships

CAWS North Dakota is currently accepting applications for the 2015 Women’s Opportunity Scholarship Fund. This scholarship provides higher education opportunities to low-income women who wish to enter, or are currently attending a North Dakota college or university.

The fund assists scholarship recipients in a number of ways. It helps them to break the bonds of poverty and enhance their lives and the lives of their families intellectually, culturally, and environmentally.

In order to be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must; be low income according to federal poverty guidelines; be current residents of North Dakota; and plan to attend a North Dakota college, university, or trade school (certain exceptions may be made for those living on North Dakota borders). Scholarships applications are accepted March through mid-June of each year. Awards are announced in mid-August.

The fund was established by a generous donor who believed in creating opportunities for women through higher education. It was enhanced in 2001 by a legal settlement with Nine West Corporation – brokered by former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp – and by individual contributions. Contributions to the Women’s Opportunity Scholarship Fund are always welcome, and may be sent as earmarked contributions to the CAWS North Dakota office. To download a scholarship application click here. For more information on the scholarship please contact Dana Mees at 888-255-6240 ext. 14.

CAWS North Dakota seeks photographer for a special project

CAWS North Dakota is currently seeking a photographer to contract with for a special project. This is a temporary contract position.

Please note there is flexibility in putting together a proposal for this project. For example, being located on the east side of the state in North Dakota could potentially meet all of our goals.

We are partnering with a national organization called Men Can Stop Rape. We will be licensing their “YMOST [Young Men of Strength]” campaign and customizing the images and scenarios for our primary target market. Products include four customized designs on posters and postcards. We are also looking to begin compiling a stock art collection for our own future use.

The deadline for proposals is March 27. For more information please email

CAWS North Dakota contracts with Heartview Foundation to provide mental health and substance abuse services

CAWS North Dakota contracts with Heartview Foundation to provide mental health and substance abuse services


Bismarck– CAWS North Dakota announced Monday they will be contracting with Heartview Foundation to provide mental health and substance abuse services, to victims receiving services through six crisis intervention centers located in oil producing counties of western North Dakota, using funding recently awarded under the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Bakken Region Enhanced Response to Victims Initiative.


According to The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health, domestic violence and other lifetime trauma can have significant mental health consequences. Additionally, living with mental health conditions or addiction increases a person’s risk of experiencing abuse in the future. In 2013 alone, 52% of North Dakota domestic violence victims receiving services reported suffering from a mental illness. Of the 1,013 new victims in 2013, served through one of the twenty North Dakota crisis intervention centers, 49% indicated the abuser, the victim or both had a history of alcohol use and 20% indicated the abuser, the victim or both had a history of drug use associated with domestic violence.


Under the contract Heartview Foundation will provide an innovative, alternative and cost-effective approach to providing substance abuse services through telehealth. Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care. Heartview is the only private substance abuse agency using Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) compliant teleports with HIPPA compliant policies and procedures for adoption at remotes sites, such as the crisis intervention centers. Any client with access to internet and a PC, tablet or smart-phone can access the private network.


“Heartview views this collaboration as a pioneering opportunity to bring needed services to the Bakken Region through new technology,” said Kurt Snyder, Executive Director of Heartview Foundation. “We’re well aware of how often substance abuse is part of the equation in domestic violence and sexual abuse.”


This opportunity will also provide training to staff at crisis intervention centers in the following areas: substance abuse screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment; mental health first aid; medication monitoring and administration.


“We are very excited about our new partnership with the Heartview Foundation. The services they will be offering in the Bakken will address the longstanding unmet substance abuse and mental health needs while also building the capacity of crisis centers to address the long term effects of trauma on victims,” said Janelle Moos, CAWS North Dakota’s Executive Director.


Heartview Foundation is a drug and alcohol treatment program located in Bismarck, ND since 1964. They have provided addiction treatment services to over 26,000 individuals and families. Heartview Foundation is the longest-running non-profit, private, alcohol/drug treatment provider in the state of North Dakota. For more information, Kurt Snyder can be contacted at 701-426-8677.


CAWS North Dakota is a nonprofit membership organization representing the 20 domestic violence and sexual assault crisis centers throughout the state. It is the mission of CAWS North Dakota to provide leadership and support in the identification, intervention, and prevention of domestic and sexual violence. For more information, please visit


Staff Attorney

Legal Services of North Dakota in Minot is looking to hire a staff attorney to provide direct legal representation to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking in western North Dakota. This position will focus primarily on civil cases, including divorce and custody, other family law issues, housing and economic issues, as well as, consult on legal matters with the executive director of CAWS North Dakota and member programs. For more information about this position go to

CAWS North Dakota receives part of $3 million in grants

CAWS North Dakota is one of five recipients to receive part of $3 million dollars in grants from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). The grants will be used to provide services for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking, as well as, to increase local and tribal capacity to prosecute crimes of violence against women in the Bakken Region of North Dakota and Montana.

According to the Department of Justice, OVW’s Bakken Region special initiative launched in April 2014 and is the first large scale project targeting resources to support the expansion of services to victims and aid the local criminal justice system in responding to these crimes in the Bakken Region. The grants will be used to enhance responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and expand mental health counseling, advocacy, legal assistance, prevention education, sexual assault forensic examiner programs, Sexual Assault Response Teams, and law enforcement training.

“We are grateful to OVW for being responsive to our request for funding to address the increase in violent crimes against women in the Bakken region. This funding will help us start to address the significant gaps in services for victims including sexual assault services, mental health and substance abuse counseling and legal services,” said CAWS North Dakota’s Executive Director Janelle Moos.

Associate Attorney General West made the announcement about the grants at the Four Corners Indian Country Conference Tuesday, which took place on the Navajo Nation near Flagstaff, Arizona. “Victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking living in a vast rural region like the Bakken face unique challenges in accessing critical, life-saving services,” said Associate Attorney General Tony West.“With this new, targeted funding, tribes and local communities will be better equipped to respond to the increased need for mental health services, legal assistance, housing, and training.”

The four other grantees supported by OVW’s Bakken Region Initiative are: Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, Poplar, Montana; First Nations Women’s Alliance, Devils Lake, North Dakota; Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Helena, Montana; and Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, New Town, North Dakota.

New Website Launch!

New Website Launch!

After almost two years in development we are excited to announce the launch our new website! We are pleased to share with you our newly redesigned site, with a bold new look and improved navigation experience.

A few of our goals with the new website were to make it faster, easier to navigate and even more user friendly. So to start, we are now using a Word Press site. We stream lined our menus to give users quick access to pages. We developed content, consolidated copy and organized information for all the pages.

The site’s homepage features CAWS North Dakota’s bright colors and an organized design, as well as, including a new version of our recently redesigned logo. We have created links to our online CafePress store, donations page and Eventbrite calendar. Also, we developed special pages for our many resources, members and trainings.

We will be rolling out new pages and updates over the coming months. We have tried to make all links active and point to the same or relevant information. However, due to the significant changes in the website’s structure, we know there may be a few obstacles along the way. This is where we need the help of our users. Please email Beth Winkler-Hegtvedt regarding a broken link or something that should be reviewed or enhanced.

Going forward, we plan to expand our online content and keep users updated with the latest information. So check back often, and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

CAWS North Dakota receives Community Innovation Grant

BISMARCK – The Consensus Council, in partnership with The Bush Foundation, has awarded eight grants to organizations in North Dakota through the Community Innovation Grant program. CAWS North Dakota received $10,000 for statewide resource planning.   Currently, there are 20 domestic violence and sexual assault crisis centers across North Dakota that provide services to all 53 counties and the four reservations. However, not all victims and survivors are able to access these services. Grant funds will be used to help CAWS North Dakota facilitate conversations in communities to help identify what victims need and want in order to be safe. Due to growing communities, especially in western North Dakota, crisis centers are continually asked to do more, often without additional funding. In order for these crisis centers to be sustainable in the future under these challenging circumstances, programs will be provided an opportunity to examine, rethink and modernize services.

During this year long project, CAWS North Dakota will work with a consultant to create a process for crisis centers to assess their services, generate the best way to deliver these services and determine the most effective approaches to operations. As a result, CAWS North Dakota will be able to identify key questions, help crisis center’s evaluate how best to meet the needs of victims and communities and develop a plan to modernize services.

“We are very excited about the opportunity that funding from the Bush Foundation offers. Many of our programs have been in operation for over 30 years and have expanded their services in response to the needs of survivors and communities. We rarely have an opportunity to reflect on the work we do and if we can find ways to improve our service delivery and accessibility for survivors,” said Janelle Moos, CAWS North Dakota’s Executive Director.  

Other grantees in North Dakota are as follows; from Bismarck–‐Mandan: Heart River Lutheran Church for the Bridges of Hope project, the ND Department of Health for Creating a Hunger–‐Free ND Coalition, and Charles Hall Youth Services for mentoring and academic tutoring of foster care children. From the Fargo area, grantees include the African Initiative for Progress for work with the immigrant community, and Theatre B, to use theatre as a tool to teach medical humanities. Additional grants were made to the Grand Forks Community Land Trust for their efforts toward home ownership for people of low and moderate income and to the Great Plains Institute (MN) for the Legacy Fund Initiative in North Dakota.

Nonprofit organizations and government entities of all sizes are eligible to apply for Community Innovation Grants from the Consensus Council ranging from $500 up to $10,000. The Community Innovation Grants support communities to use problem–‐solving processes that lead to more effective, equitable and sustainable solutions. The program is part of the Bush Foundation’s effort to support, inspire and reward community innovation.

ABOUT CAWS North DakotaCAWS North Dakota is a nonprofit membership organization representing the 20 domestic violence and sexual assault crisis centers throughout the state. It is our mission to provide leadership and support in the identification, intervention, and prevention of sexual and domestic violence. CAWS North Dakota is a member of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. For more information, go to