Individual Organizational Capacity Building Award
Nominator: Laurie MacDonald, President/CEO, Center for Victims
Award Recipient: Tracey Provident, Vice President/Chief Program Officer, Center for Victims
Tracey Provident has a long and rich professional history that mirrors the growth and influence of victim services within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She provided the vision for victim services and strong insight, which she gained from her experience providing direct victim witness services, as well as having significant supervisory and leadership expertise. She embodies the mission of Center for Victims - "Healing trauma, supporting victims and creating social change for a more peaceful community."
Tracey was instrumental in growing a small non-profit, The Center for Victims of Violent Crime (CVVC), into the largest comprehensive victim service organization in Pennsylvania, Center for Victims (CV). She began her career as an intern in 1990 while completing her degree in Criminal Justice at Duquesne University. She then became the first Child Advocate in the agency. By 1994, she was the agency's first Child Advocacy Coordinator, overseeing advocacy services to child victims and witnesses and their families and providing court accompaniment throughout the many court processes.
From 1996 to 2002 she was the agency's Advocacy Manager and was named Associate Director in 2002. In 2006, Tracey assisted the Executive Director in the process of merging with Pittsburgh Mediation Center, as CVVC expanded its restorative practices and its victim offender dialogue options. Looking to further her experiences and gain knowledge, in 2007 she graduated from the highly regarded Leadership Pittsburgh Program. In 2011, the Board of Directors asked Tracey to assume the interim Executive Director position as they pursued a merger with another area victim service agency. The merger was successful in 2012, and Tracey became the first Vice President and Chief Program Officer of the Woman's Place and Center for Victims of Violence and Crime, now officially named Center for Victims. Just to highlight her expertise, Tracy co-facilitated child groups for surviving family members of Flight 427. She was a NOVA trained member of the agency's crisis response team.
For 28 years, Tracey has worn many hats. She contributes to administrative capacity building efforts that allow the structure of CV to remain a vibrant agency that can take on new projects and increasing critical services to the most underserved populations. Her commitment to crime victims can be seen in the ways she shared her voice and vision through her participation on several committees and various projects, such as local crime victim policy boards, PCAR's board and committee structure policy and her involvement with PCCD. Her efforts led to expanded application of crime victims' rights and services and modernization of policies and protocols. Tracey's skills in collaboration and partnerships positioned Center for Victims to be a leading partner of many "system-based" entities: Allegheny County DA's office, Allegheny County and City of Pittsburgh Police, the Allegheny County Sheriff Department and a network of magistrates and local municipal police departments. This allowed CV to be the first community agency designated to staff crime victim and witnesses waiting rooms and hold office space in the courts and city and county police headquarters.
Another unique and successful collaboration has been with CV and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh's Child Advocacy Center (CAC). The CAC and CV launched its Canine Advocacy Program, which provides specially trained dogs that help children reduce their stress and gain confidence as they enter the child forensic process. In addition, the program provides assistance to those children and others receiving therapy and advocacy services at CV.
Today, CV is an agency with 80 plus staff and a budget close to 6 million. Tracey's capacity building efforts have resulted in two mergers, as well as earning the agency a host of funding sources through grants, private foundation funding and expansion into fee for service dollars. Her creativity is evident in the specialized victim services units she initiated. These programs provide specialized focus to child and elder victims. She has embraced strong public education messages and has supported community education in several ways. Examples of this are exploring different media outlets that have included the agency's own radio show and well attended community seminars and conferences that highlight the impact of violence and crime and the promotion of corresponding health and wellness strategies. Tracey is also responsible for the oversight of the agency's grant and reporting compliance and maintains involvement in Outcomes and Initiatives. Her adherence to all grant and funding obligations has given CV an untarnished reputation.
Ms. Provident will be presented the award at a future date, during an open house for their new location.
On behalf of victims of crime and the victim services field, we thank you, Ms. Provident, for your innovation, collaboration, and unfailing commitment to victims of crime.