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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES ACT FOR AT-RISK YOUTH AND FAMILIES (CSA)?

It is a 1993 Virginia Law that provided for the pooling of eight specific-funding streams used to purchase services for high-risk youth. These funds are returned to the localities with a required local match and are managed by local interagency teams. The purpose of the act is to provide high-quality, child-centered, family-focused, cost-effective, community-based services to high-risk youth and their families.

HOW DID IT GET STARTED?

In 1989, the General Assembly became concerned because the cost of providing residential treatment to high-risk youth was increasing at approximately 22% each year. Because of this, a study of children in residential care was conducted. Fourteen thousand records from four different state agencies were examined. Subsequent analysis showed that services were provided to only 4,993 individual children. In addition, 9 out of 10 of these children returned to their home communities where necessary changes in the child's community environment had not been made. The progress achieved in the residential facility was often lost.

At that point, it was decided that high-quality, less-restrictive, community-based services would be provided to these children if the funds were managed at the local level.


WHICH FUNDING STREAMS WERE PLACED IN THE FUNDS POOL?

Department of Social Services
State and Local Foster Care
Foster Care Purchased Services
Department of Juvenile Justice
286 Special Placements
239 Special Placements
Department of Education
Private Tuition
Interagency Assistance
Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services
Purchased Beds for Adolescents
Other
Interagency Consortium

WHO MANAGES THE MONEY AT THE LOCAL LEVEL?

Each locality is required to have at least two different interagency teams. They are the Community Policy and Management Team (CPMT) and Family Assessment and Planning Team (FAPT). In the City of Roanoke, the CPMT is known as the Roanoke Interagency Council.

WHO PARTICIPATES ON THE LOCAL TEAMS?

The Roanoke Interagency Council (RIC) is made up of at least one elected or appointed official or his designee and the agency heads or their designees from the local Department of Social Services, School System, Community Services Board (mental health), Court Services Unit (juvenile justice), local Health Department, a parent and, where appropriate, a private provider. This team holds administrative and fiscal responsibility for the local-funds pool, develops local policies and procedures, and appoints members of the Family Assessment and Planning Team.

The Family Assessment and Planning Team (FAPT) is comprised of the supervisory-level staff from the same agencies as the RIC as well as the parent and private providers. These teams work with the families to develop the Individual Family Services Plan (IFSP). If the services needed are beyond what is available in the participating agencies and there are no other family or community resources available, the team may choose to purchase them with local CSA pool funds.

WHICH CHILDREN MAY BE SERVED BY THE TEAMS?

In general, the children who would have been served by one of the original funding streams placed in the pool are targeted for services through CSA. The children who would have been served by education funds and/or foster care funds placed in the pool are considered "mandated" for service. This is because there is "sum sufficient" language attached to them in the Federal law and/or the Code of Virginia. Also considered “mandated” are those children who are at risk of removal from their own homes and meet the guidelines for Foster Care Prevention Services, as well as abused or neglected children, as defined in 63.2-100 of the Code of Virginia.


ARE THESE THE ONLY CHILDREN WHO MAY BE SERVED?

No! If funds are available, localities may choose to serve other children with emotional or behavioral problems, especially those with multi-agency involvement. Parents may be required to contribute financially toward the cost of CSA-funded services.

In the City of Roanoke, "non-mandated" funds are available to some children served by Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare and 23-A Court Service Unit. These funds are limited, and the City of Roanoke is not required to appropriate funds to serve this population.

HOW DO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ACCESS THE TEAMS?

Each locality develops its own policies and procedures governing how families access the teams. Some localities allow parents to self-refer, some allow any local agency to bring a case, and many require that one of the agencies who serve on the team be the point of contact for the family.

The City of Roanoke allows the Department of Social Services, Roanoke City Public Schools, Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare, and the 23-A Court Service Unit to make referrals for potential funding. The City does not currently accept parent referrals. For more information, please contact the
CSA Coordinator at 853-5635.