2022 PLAN VOCA Grantee Training

The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network is hosting the 2022 VOCA Grantee Training on May 24 & 25, 2022 at the Hilton Harrisburg, One North Second Street, Harrisburg, PA  17101.

This is a free Continuing Legal Education (CLE) training geared towards Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) recipients and is open to all VOCA recipients who assist in providing legal services to victims of crime.


Registration for this training is free for Pennsylvanina Legal Aid Network program staff, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence program staff, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape program staff, and with approval, staff of other programs funded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Deliquency.  Registration includes meals and training materials.  The cost for registration for attendees other than the above listed groups is $400.00.

CLE Credits

This two-day training, May 24 & 25, 2022,  has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for a maximum of 12.0 hours of CLE credit,  law, practice and procedure. 

Hotel Accommodations

The cost for a hotel room is $159.00 plus tax, for single or double occupancy and $10.00 for self parking per night. To receive hotel reservations at the conference rate, PLAN approved (see above) staff members must check the box(s) on the registation indicating they will need a room for the night(s) or March 24 and/or 25. If you need a hotel room and are a non-approved program person please indicate your need on the registration form and PLAN will make the reservation for you but you will need to provide payment for the room on your own.

PLEASE NOTE:  The Hilton Harrisburg is a non-smoking hotel.


Cancellation Policy

There will be a fee of $50 charged for all cancellations received after May 17. You/your program may be charged for the first night if reservations are not canceled within 24 hours prior to scheduled arrival.

PLAN COVID-19 Policy - In-Person Events


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2022 Training Schedule

May 24, 2022

Max Laun, PLAN & TBD, PCCD
9:00 am – 10:30 am Working with Limited English Proficient Clients (1.5 CLE)
This session will cover challenges that come up when working with Limited English Proficient (LEP) victims of crime, including working with interpreters and translators, language access protections for survivors, and best practices for client counseling and representation. Lerae Kroon, Justice at Work and DeJonna Bates, Community Justice Project
10:30 am – 10:45 am BREAK
10:45 am – 12:15 pm 2019 Protection From Abuse Act (PFAA)/Changes to Firearms Statute (1.5 CLE)
This training will cover the major changes to the PFAA protecting victims of domestic violence. The changes to the PFAA included changes to the firearms statute under the crimes code to safeguard victims from further gun violence will be included in the training.
Lois Fasnacht, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence
12:15 pm – 1:00 pm LUNCH (ON SITE)
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Working with Stalking Victims (1.5 CLE)
Stalking is dangerous and traumatic; it is all about context, intent, and effect. Being able to assist victims in articulating their stalking experiences will provide them a better outcome in the civil and/or criminal justice system.
Lois Fasnacht, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence
2:30 pm – 2:45 pm BREAK
2:45 pm –4:15 pm Holistic Representation: Serving the Whole Client (1.5 CLE)
Exploring the skills, resources and mindsets necessary as advocates to help our clients reach their goals both inside and outside of the courtroom.
Amber McGee, Philadelphia Legal Assistance, Amy Atwell, Philadelphia Legal Assistance

May 25, 2022

8:15 am -9:45 am Sexual Violence and Protection from Intimidation Orders: Providing Options for Survivors In Pennsylvania (1.5 CLE)
During this interactive workshop, participants will learn about these two different types of civil protection order options. Focusing on the Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation Act and related case law, presenters will describe how to present sufficient evidence in court to successfully obtain these orders which serve as effective tools to enhance the safety and protection of survivors.
Andrea Levy and Karen Gailbraith, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
9:45 am – 10:00 am BREAK
10:00am – 11:00 am SSI/SSDI 101 (1.0 CLE)
This session will give you a basic overview of both programs with an emphasis on trauma as a basis for disability.
Susan Michalik, MidPenn Legal Services
11:00 am – 12:30 pm Trauma Informed Lawyering  (1.5 CLE)
Lawyers often represent clients who have experienced trauma that is relevant to their legal matter. This session will cover the basics of trauma-informed lawyering by helping participants learn to identify trauma in their clients and by providing tools and guidance on how their practice can best support their client. Finally, the session will briefly touch on importance of practitioner self-care when assisting survivors of trauma and developing a trauma-informed practice.
Danni Petyo and Kelsie Massini, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence
12:30 pm – 1:15 pm LUNCH (ON SITE)
1:15 pm – 2:15 pm Evidence for Family Law Cases  (1.0 CLE)
This course will discuss the use of evidence in Protection From Abuse (PFA), custody, and support cases, with a focus on electronic evidence. We will discuss the applicable rules of evidence and case law regarding collection and authentication of social media, phone, and other electronic evidence. Finally we will discuss best practices and strategies for admitting and using the evidence effectively, as well as the ethics of sharing evidence with a prosecutor.
Arly Smith- Pearson and Lawrence Szmulowicz, Philadelphia Legal Assistance
2:15 pm – 2:30 pm BREAK
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Crime Victims Compensation (1.0 CLE)
In this training you will be provided with a basic overview of the Program (including eligibility criteria and available expenses), and information you need to assist someone in filing a claim.
Michael Reich, Victims Compensation Assistance Program (VCAP)



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