Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Administrative Office of the Courts Accepting Applications for PEMF, VORP Grant Programs

April 14, 2020

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is now accepting grant applications for the Parent Education and Mediation Fund (“PEMF”) and the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (“VORP”) for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.  The PEMF and VORP grants for the 2020 – 2021 fiscal year will run from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.  Funding awards are dependent upon the availability of state appropriated funding. 

The PEMF and VORP grant applications are located on the AOC website at https://www.tncourts.gov/programs/rfpsgrants.  The application must be received by the Administrative Office of the Courts via email to grants@tncourts.gov by 4:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on May 15, 2020.  Notification of grant awards will be sent to applicants on or about May 27, 2020.

The AOC is hosting a Webinar on April 27th, 2020 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Central Standard Time to go over changes in the application. Please register for the webinar by clicking here or copying and pasting the link below into your browser.

https://tngov.webex.com/tngov/onstage/g.php?MTID=ee220d72c66bcf66970bd6b9ff05bf407

The VORP Program was enacted by the legislature in 1993.  The AOC has grant funds available for the 2020-2021 fiscal year for VORP programs based on the statutory criteria listed in T.C.A. §16-20-101 et seq. A VORP grant recipient must be organized as a not-for-profit corporation that helps resolve felony, misdemeanor, and/or juvenile delinquent disputes by providing a more informal and less adversarial alternative to court in which persons may voluntarily participate to resolve altercations.

In 2000, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted Public Chapter 889, known as the Tennessee Parenting Plan Law, which provides for funding to be distributed by the AOC “for the specific purpose of funding the parenting plan requirements pursuant to this part, through the divorcing parent education and mediation fund, which funding includes the costs of court-ordered mediation, parenting education programs and any related services to resolve family conflict in divorce, post-divorce, and other child custody matters.” T.C.A. §36-6-413.  Non-profit organizations serving rural communities that are looking to develop initiatives are encouraged to apply.  The PEMF grant application must be signed by the presiding judge of the trial court in the district or the judge presiding over the court in which the litigants will be assisted by the initiative. 

For more information about FY 2019-2020 grant recipients, please visit https://www.tncourts.gov/programs/mediation/resources-public.

Please note the Access and Visitation grant to aid self-represented litigants in accessing the court system regarding child support issues is also offered through the Administrative Office of the Courts.  The 2020-2021 fiscal year Access and Visitation grant application will be available in mid-June 2020, and the time period for this grant will run from October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021.