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Faith-Based & Community Initiative (FBCI)

The Virginia Faith-Based and Community Initiative (FBCI) began with the passing of House Joint Resolution 289 by the Virginia General Assembly in 1999. In 2002, the General Assembly expanded the responsibilities of the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) to include the facilitation of collaborations and partnerships among public agencies and faith-based and community organizations. These responsibilities were established in law by the General Assembly and the Governor that same year.. The FBCI works across state agencies and with local government to:

  • Serve as the clearing house and gateway for community and faith-based organizations interested in collaboration with government to address community needs
  • Promote partnerships between public agencies and community and faith-based groups to meet local needs
  • Provide training and technical assistance to help community-based organizations build their capacity to provide effective services
  • Expand the state's pool of effective service providers
  • Coordination of offers of assistance from the faith community at the time of emergencies or natural disasters

Virginia's Faith-Based and Community Initiative has resulted in:

  • Amendment of the Virginia Procurement statute to clearly state that faith-based organizations are eligible to compete for available funding
  • Establishment of a network of liaisons in 120 local departments of social services, 26 community action agencies and 17 Workforce Investment Boards to assist faith-based and community organizations in developing partnerships with public agencies
  • Increased involvement of faith-based and community organizations in statewide emergency response and disaster relief efforts
  • A number of regional conferences for local, state and federal agencies, businesses, community service providers and faith-based organizations that provided training and developed strategies to address identified community needs
  • Establishment of a toll-free phone line for ongoing technical assistance to these groups

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