Orange County commissioners on Tuesday approved $1 million in funding meant to help domestic violence survivors and their families.
It will cover the full childcare expenses for some victims of domestic violence as they work to escape abuse.
The program is meant to address a barrier that some local nonprofits say forces victims to stay with their abusers.
Data shows that, on average, a domestic violence victim returns to their abuser seven times, mostly being financial reasons. However, victims often need to find a new job and place to live, while also caring for their family.
The goal of the program is to work with children up to 12 years old whether it’s during the day or an after-school service.
The county said the pilot program would initially cover care for about 50 children, but could expand after the second year.
The county said it has a number of meetings lined up with nonprofits that will be referring domestic violence survivors to the new childcare program. That program will begin covering care for families in just a few weeks.