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e-CFR data is current as of April 15, 2021

Title 45Subtitle BChapter XIIISubchapter HPart 1370 → Subpart A


Title 45: Public Welfare
PART 1370—FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND SERVICES PROGRAMS


Subpart A—General Provisions


Contents
§1370.1   What are the purposes of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act Programs?
§1370.2   What definitions apply to these programs?
§1370.3   What Government-wide and HHS-wide regulations apply to these programs?
§1370.4   What confidentiality requirements apply to these programs?
§1370.5   What additional non-discrimination requirements apply to these programs?
§1370.6   What requirements for reports and evaluations apply to these programs?

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§1370.1   What are the purposes of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act Programs?

This part addresses sections 301 through 313 of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), as amended, and codified at 42 U.S.C. 10401 et seq. FVPSA authorizes the Secretary to implement programs for the purposes of increasing public awareness about and preventing family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence; providing immediate shelter and supportive services for victims of family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence and their dependents; providing for technical assistance and training relating to family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence programs; providing for State Domestic Violence Coalitions; providing specialized services for abused parents and their children; and operating a national domestic violence hotline. FVPSA emphasizes both primary, and secondary, prevention of violence.

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§1370.2   What definitions apply to these programs?

For the purposes of this part:

Dating violence means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: The length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. This part of the definition reflects the definition also found in Section 40002(a) of VAWA (as amended), 42 U.S.C. 13925(a), as required by FVPSA. Dating violence also includes but is not limited to the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking. It can happen in person or electronically, and may involve financial abuse or other forms of manipulation which may occur between a current or former dating partner regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

Domestic violence means felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction. This definition also reflects the statutory definition of “domestic violence” found in Section 40002(a) of VAWA (as amended), 42 U.S.C. 13925(a). This definition also includes but is not limited to criminal or non-criminal acts constituting intimidation, control, coercion and coercive control, emotional and psychological abuse and behavior, expressive and psychological aggression, financial abuse, harassment, tormenting behavior, disturbing or alarming behavior, and additional acts recognized in other Federal, Tribal State, and local laws as well as acts in other Federal regulatory or sub-regulatory guidance. This definition is not intended to be interpreted more restrictively than FVPSA and VAWA but rather to be inclusive of other, more expansive definitions. The definition applies to individuals and relationships regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

Family violence means any act or threatened act of violence, including any forceful detention of an individual, that results or threatens to result in physical injury and is committed by a person against another individual, to or with whom such person is related by blood or marriage, or is or was otherwise legally related, or is or was lawfully residing.

Personally identifying information (PII) or personal information is individually identifying information for or about an individual including information likely to disclose the location of a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, regardless of whether the information is encoded, encrypted, hashed, or otherwise protected, including, a first and last name; a home or other physical address; contact information (including a postal, email or Internet protocol address, or telephone or facsimile number); a social security number, driver license number, passport number, or student identification number; and any other information, including date of birth, racial or ethnic background, or religious affiliation, that would serve to identify any individual.

Primary prevention means strategies, policies, and programs to stop both first-time perpetration and first-time victimization. Primary prevention is stopping domestic and dating violence before they occur. Primary prevention includes, but is not limited to: School-based violence prevention curricula, programs aimed at mitigating the effects on children of witnessing domestic or dating violence, community campaigns designed to alter norms and values conducive to domestic or dating violence, worksite prevention programs, and training and education in parenting skills and self-esteem enhancement.

Primary-purpose domestic violence service provider, for the term only as it appears in the definition of State Domestic Violence Coalition, means an entity that operates a project of demonstrated effectiveness carried out by a nonprofit, nongovernmental, private entity, Tribe, or Tribal organization, that has as its project's primary-purpose the operation of shelters and supportive services for victims of domestic violence and their dependents; or has as its project's primary purpose counseling, advocacy, or self-help services to victims of domestic violence. Territorial Domestic Violence Coalitions may include government-operated domestic violence projects as primary-purpose domestic violence service providers for complying with the membership requirement, provided that Territorial Coalitions can document providing training, technical assistance, and capacity-building of community-based and privately operated projects to provide shelter and supportive services to victims of family, domestic, or dating violence, with the intention of recruiting such projects as members once they are sustainable as primary-purpose domestic violence service providers.

Secondary prevention is identifying risk factors or problems that may lead to future family, domestic, or dating violence, and taking the necessary actions to eliminate the risk factors and the potential problem, and may include, but are not limited to, healing services for children and youth who have been exposed to domestic or dating violence, home visiting programs for high-risk families, and screening programs in health care settings.

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. State and Tribal law governing the provision of shelter and supportive services on a regular basis is interpreted by ACF to mean, for example, the laws and regulations applicable to zoning, fire safety, and other regular safety, and operational requirements, including State, Tribal, or local regulatory standards for certifying domestic violence advocates who work in shelter. This definition also includes emergency shelter and immediate shelter, which may include housing provision, rental subsidies, temporary refuge, or lodging in properties that could be individual units for families and individuals (such as apartments) in multiple locations around a local jurisdiction, Tribe/reservation, or State; such properties are not required to be owned, operated, or leased by the program. Temporary refuge includes a residential service, including shelter and off-site services such as hotel or motel vouchers or individual dwellings, which is not transitional or permanent housing, but must also provide comprehensive supportive services. The mere act of making a referral to shelter or housing shall not itself be considered provision of shelter. Should other jurisdictional laws conflict with this definition of temporary refuge, the definition which provides more expansive housing accessibility governs.

State means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and, except as otherwise provided in statute, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

State Domestic Violence Coalition means a Statewide, nongovernmental, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose membership includes a majority of the primary-purpose domestic violence service providers in the State; whose board membership is representative of these primary-purpose domestic violence service providers and which may include representatives of the communities in which the services are being provided in the State; that has as its purpose to provide education, support, and technical assistance to such service providers to enable the providers to establish and maintain supportive services and to provide shelter to victims of domestic violence and their children; and that serves as an information clearinghouse, primary point of contact, and resource center on domestic violence for the State and supports the development of policies, protocols and procedures to enhance domestic violence intervention and prevention in the State/Territory.

Supportive services means services for adult and youth victims of family violence, domestic violence, or dating violence, and their dependents that are designed to meet the needs of such victims and their dependents for short-term, transitional, or long-term safety and recovery. Supportive services include, but are not limited to: Direct and/or referral-based advocacy on behalf of victims and their dependents, counseling, case management, employment services, referrals, transportation services, legal advocacy or assistance, child care services, health, behavioral health and preventive health services, culturally and linguistically appropriate services, and other services that assist victims or their dependents in recovering from the effects of the violence. To the extent not already described in this definition, supportive services also include but are not limited to other services identified in FVPSA at 42 U.S.C. 10408(b)(1)(A)-(H). Supportive services may be directly provided by grantees and/or by providing advocacy or referrals to assist victims in accessing such services.

Underserved populations means populations who face barriers in accessing and using victim services, and includes populations underserved because of geographic location, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, underserved racial and ethnic populations, and populations underserved because of special needs including language barriers, disabilities, immigration status, and age. Individuals with criminal histories due to victimization and individuals with substance use disorders and mental health issues are also included in this definition. The reference to racial and ethnic populations is primarily directed toward racial and ethnic minority groups (as defined in section 1707(g) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300(u-6)(g)), which means American Indians (including Alaska Natives, Eskimos, and Aleuts); Asian American; Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders; Blacks and Hispanics. The term “Hispanic” or “Latino” means individuals whose origin is Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or any other Spanish-speaking country. This underserved populations' definition also includes other population categories determined by the Secretary or the Secretary's designee to be underserved.

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§1370.3   What Government-wide and HHS-wide regulations apply to these programs?

(a) A number of government-wide and HHS regulations apply or potentially apply to all grantees. These include but are not limited to:

(1) 2 CFR part 182—Government-wide Requirements for Drug Free Workplaces;

(2) 2 CFR part 376—Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension;

(3) 45 CFR part 16—Procedures of the Departmental Grant Appeals Board;

(4) 45 CFR part 30—Claims Collection;

(5) 45 CFR part 46—Protection of Human Subjects;

(6) 45 CFR part 75—Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for HHS Awards

(7) 45 CFR part 80—Nondiscrimi-nation Under Programs Receiving Federal Assistance Through the Department of Health and Human Services Effectuation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;

(8) 45 CFR part 81—Practice and Procedure for Hearings under part 80;

(9) 45 CFR part 84—Nondiscrimi-nation on the Basis of Handicap in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance;

(10) 45 CFR part 86—Nondiscrimi-nation on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance;

(11) 45 CFR part 87—Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations;

(12) 45 CFR part 91—Nondiscrimi-nation on the Basis of Age in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance for HHS;

(13) 45 CFR part 92—Nondiscrimi-nation in Health Programs and Activities; and

(14) 45 CFR part 93—New Restrictions on Lobbying.

(b) A number of government-wide and HHS regulations apply to all contractors. These include but are not limited to:

(15) 48 CFR Chapter 1—Federal Acquisition Regulations; and

(16) 48 CFR Chapter 3—Federal Acquisition Regulations—Department of Health and Human Services.

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§1370.4   What confidentiality requirements apply to these programs?

(a) In order to ensure the safety of adult, youth, and child victims of family violence, domestic violence, or dating violence, and their families, grantees and subgrantees under FVPSA shall protect the confidentiality and privacy of such victims and their families. Subject to paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of this section, grantees and subgrantees shall not—

(1) Disclose any personally identifying information (as defined in §1370.2) collected in connection with services requested (including services utilized or denied) through grantees' and subgrantees' programs;

(2) Reveal any personally identifying information without informed, written, reasonably time-limited consent by the person about whom information is sought, whether for this program or any other Federal, Tribal or State grant program, including but not limited to whether to comply with Federal, Tribal, or State reporting, evaluation, or data collection requirements; or

(3) Require an adult, youth, or child victim of family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence to provide a consent to release his or her personally identifying information as a condition of eligibility for the services provided by the grantee or subgrantee.

(b) Consent shall be given by the person, except in the case of an unemancipated minor it shall be given by both the minor and the minor's parent or guardian; or in the case of an individual with a guardian it shall be given by the individual's guardian. A parent or guardian may not give consent if: he or she is the abuser or suspected abuser of the minor or individual with a guardian; or, the abuser or suspected abuser of the other parent of the minor. If a minor or a person with a legally appointed guardian is permitted by law to receive services without the parent's or guardian's consent, the minor or person with a guardian may release information without additional consent. Reasonable accommodations shall also be made for those who may be unable, due to disability or other functional limitation, to provide consent in writing.

(c) If the release of information described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section is compelled by statutory or court mandate:

(1) Grantees and sub-grantees shall make reasonable attempts to provide notice to victims affected by the release of the information; and

(2) Grantees and subgrantees shall take steps necessary to protect the privacy and safety of the persons affected by the release of the information.

(d) Grantees and subgrantees may share:

(1) Non-personally identifying information, in the aggregate, regarding services to their clients and demographic non-personally identifying information in order to comply with Federal, State, or Tribal reporting, evaluation, or data collection requirements;

(2) Court-generated information and law enforcement-generated information contained in secure, governmental registries for protective order enforcement purposes; and

(3) Law enforcement- and prosecution-generated information necessary for law enforcement and prosecution purposes.

(4) Personally identifying information may be shared with a health care provider or payer, but only with the informed, written, reasonably time-limited consent of the person about whom such information is sought.

(e) Nothing in this section prohibits a grantee or subgrantee, where mandated or expressly permitted by the State or Indian Tribe, from reporting abuse and neglect, as those terms are defined by law, or from reporting imminent risk of serious bodily injury or death of the victim or another person.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede any provision of any Federal, State, Tribal, or local law that provides greater protection than this section for victims of family violence, domestic violence, or dating violence.

(g) The address or location of any shelter facility assisted that maintains a confidential location shall, except with written authorization of the person or persons responsible for the operation of such shelter, not be made public.

(1) Shelters which choose to remain confidential pursuant to this rule must develop and maintain systems and protocols to remain secure, which must include policies to respond to disruptive or dangerous contact from abusers, and

(2) Tribal governments, while exercising due diligence to comply with statutory provisions and this rule, may determine how best to maintain the safety and confidentiality of shelter locations.

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§1370.5   What additional non-discrimination requirements apply to these programs?

(a) No person shall on the ground of actual or perceived sex, including gender identity, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under, any program or activity funded in whole or in part through FVPSA.

(1) FVPSA grantees and subgrantees must provide comparable services to victims regardless of actual or perceived sex, including gender identity. This includes not only providing access to services for all victims, including male victims, of family, domestic, and dating violence regardless of actual or perceived sex, including gender identity, but also making sure not to limit services for victims with adolescent children (under the age of 18) on the basis of the actual or perceived sex, including gender identity, of the children. Victims and their minor children must be sheltered or housed together, regardless of actual or perceived sex, including gender identity, unless requested otherwise or unless the factors or considerations identified in §1370.5(a)(2) require an exception to this general rule.

(2) No such program or activity is required to include an individual in such program or activity without taking into consideration that individual's sex in those certain instances where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification or a programmatic factor reasonably necessary to the essential operation of that particular program or activity. If sex segregation or sex-specific programming is essential to the normal or safe operation of the program, nothing in this paragraph shall prevent any such program or activity from consideration of an individual's sex. In such circumstances, grantees and subgrantees may meet the requirements of this paragraph by providing comparable services to individuals who cannot be provided with the sex-segregated or sex-specific programming, including access to a comparable length of stay, supportive services, and transportation as needed to access services. If a grantee or subgrantee determines that sex-segregated or sex-specific programming is essential for the normal or safe operation of the program, it must support its justification with an assessment of the facts and circumstances surrounding the specific program, including an analysis of factors discussed in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, and take into account established field-based best practices and research findings, as applicable. The justification cannot rely on unsupported assumptions or overly-broad sex-based generalizations. An individual must be treated consistent with their gender identity in accordance with this section.

(3) Factors that may be relevant to a grantee's or subgrantee's evaluation of whether sex-segregated or sex-specific programming is essential to the normal or safe operations of the program include, but are not limited, to the following: The nature of the service, the anticipated positive and negative consequences to all eligible beneficiaries of not providing the program in a sex-segregated or sex-specific manner, the literature on the efficacy of the service being sex-segregated or sex-specific, and whether similarly-situated grantees and subgrantees providing the same services have been successful in providing services effectively in a manner that is not sex-segregated or sex-specific. A grantee or subgrantee may not provide sex-segregated or sex-specific services for reasons that are trivial or based on the grantee's or subgrantee's convenience.

(4) As with all individuals served, transgender and gender nonconforming individuals must have equal access to FVPSA-funded shelter and nonresidential programs. Programmatic accessibility for transgender and gender nonconforming survivors and minor children must be afforded to meet individual needs consistent with the individual's gender identity. ACF requires that a FVPSA grantee or subgrantee that makes decisions about eligibility for or placement into single-sex emergency shelters or other facilities offer every individual an assignment consistent with their gender identity. For the purpose of assigning a service beneficiary to sex-segregated or sex-specific services, the grantee/subgrantee may ask a beneficiary which group or services the beneficiary wishes to join. The grantee/subgrantee may not, however, ask questions about the beneficiary's anatomy or medical history or make demands for identity documents or other documentation of gender. A victim's/beneficiary's or potential victim's/beneficiary's request for an alternative or additional accommodation for purposes of personal health, privacy, or safety must be given serious consideration in making the placement. For instance, if the potential victim/beneficiary requests to be placed based on his or her sex assigned at birth, ACF requires that the provider will place the individual in accordance with that request, consistent with health, safety, and privacy concerns of the individual. ACF also requires that a provider will not make an assignment or re-assignment of the transgender or gender nonconforming individual based on complaints of another person when the sole stated basis of the complaint is a victim/client or potential victim/client's non-conformance with gender stereotypes or sex, including gender identity.

(b) An organization that participates in programs funded through the FVPSA shall not, in providing services, discriminate against a program beneficiary or prospective program beneficiary on the basis of religion, a religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or a refusal to attend or participate in a religious practice.

(1) Dietary practices dictated by particular religious beliefs may require reasonable accommodation in cooking or feeding arrangements for particular beneficiaries as practicable. Additionally, other forms of religious practice may require reasonable accommodation including, but not limited to, shelters that have cleaning schedules may need to account for a survivor's religion which prohibits him/her from working on religious holidays.

(c) No person shall on the ground of actual or perceived sexual orientation be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under, any program or activity funded in whole or in part through FVPSA.

(1) All programs must take into account participants' needs and be inclusive and not stigmatize participants based on actual or perceived sexual orientation.

(d) All FVPSA-funded services must be provided without requiring documentation of immigration status because HHS has determined that FVPSA-funded services do not fall within the definition of federal public benefit that would require verification of immigration status.

(e) Grantees and subgrantees should create a plan to ensure effective communication and equal access, including:

(1) How to identify and communicate with individuals with Limited English Proficiency, and how to identify and properly use qualified interpretation and translation services, and taglines; and

(2) How to take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, beneficiaries, members of the public, and companions with disabilities are as effective as communications with others; and furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to afford qualified individuals with disabilities, including applicants, participants, beneficiaries, and members of the public, an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a service, program, or activity. Auxiliary aids and services include qualified interpreters and large print materials.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to invalidate or limit the rights, remedies, procedures, or legal standards available to individuals under other applicable law.

(g) The Secretary shall enforce the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section in accordance with section 602 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d-1). Section 603 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d-2) shall apply with respect to any action taken by the Secretary to enforce this section.

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§1370.6   What requirements for reports and evaluations apply to these programs?

Each entity receiving a grant or contract under these programs shall submit a performance report to the Secretary at such time as required by the Secretary. Such performance report shall describe the activities that have been carried out, contain an evaluation of the effectiveness of such activities, and provide such additional information as the Secretary may require. Territorial governments which consolidate FVPSA funds with other HHS funds in a Consolidated Block Grant pursuant to 45 CFR part 97 are not required to submit annual FVPSA performance progress reports and programmatic assurances if FVPSA funds are not designated in the consolidation application for FVPSA purposes. If a territorial government either does not consolidate FVPSA funds with other HHS funds or does consolidate but indicates that FVPSA funds will be used for FVPSA purposes, the territorial government must submit an annual FVPSA performance progress report and programmatic assurances to FYSB.

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