Dept. Planning and Budget
DPB Header Text
2022-24 Strategic Plan
Children's Services Act [200]
Mission, Vision, and Values
Mission

Empowering Communities to Serve Youth

Vision

A collaborative, child-centered, family-focused, community-based system of care that effectively meets the needs of youth and their families in the Commonwealth.

Values

Systems of Care: Promotes policies, uniform guidelines, services, funding, and practices that support systems of care in communities that can be tailored to meet the unique strengths, resources, and needs of youth, families, and communities.

Family Focused:  Promotes working in partnership with families to ensure that the assessment, design, delivery, and management of service is family driven.

Continuum of Care:  Provides access to a continuum of assessment, early intervention, treatment, and transition services and supports in communities.

Integrated Services across Agencies:  Provides for integrated services and funding for youth and their families with designated care management to ensure multiple services are coordinated across agencies and evolve over time to meet the changing strengths and needs of children and their families.

Collaboration:  Supports open communication, active participation, and collaboration among CSA stakeholders across all sectors and at all levels on program and fiscal policy development and service development, delivery, and management.

Fiscal Accountability:  Ensures fiscal accountability in that funds are spent effectively, efficiently, and equitably, maximizing the use of all local, state, federal, and private funding streams.

Inclusive Excellence:  Foster a culture of inclusion, diversity, opportunity, equity, and mutual respect for all Virginians.

 
Agency Background Statement

The Children's Services Act (CSA) is the law enacted in 1993 that establishes a single state pool of funds to coordinate and purchase services for eligible youth and their families. Until the 2015 General Assembly renamed the Act, it was titled the "Comprehensive Services for At-Risk Youth and Families." The Office of Children's Services (OCS, Agency 200 - CSA,) is responsible for oversight and support of local governments in the implementation of this innovative, statewide system of care. Through high-quality technical assistance and training, high standards for fiscal accountability, responsible use of taxpayer funds, and use of data for continuous program evaluation and improvement, OCS strives to improve outcomes for youth and families and ensure the effective and efficient use of the Commonwealth's resources. OCS partners with a large and diverse group of state, local, public, and private stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of CSA.

 
Agency Status (General Information About Ongoing Status of the Agency)

The Office of Children's Services (OCS) established under §2.2-2649 of the Code of Virginia is the administrative body of the State Executive Council for Children's Services (SEC), the supervisory council for the Children's Services Act. The Executive Director of OCS, a classified state employee, is hired by the SEC. OCS, under the leadership of the Executive Director, is responsible for compliance with the Code of Virginia and implementing the decisions and policies of the SEC. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following: consistent oversight for program administration and compliance with state policies and procedures; training and technical assistance to localities in the provision of effective and efficient services to youth and families; collection of data regarding CSA-funded services; and development and distribution of management reports.

The Department of Education serves as the fiscal agent for CSA service expenditures and disburses reimbursement to local governments on behalf of OCS. The Department of Social Services provides operational support to OCS in areas of human resources, fiscal, and information technology operations.

 
Information Technology

OCS will continue or begin the implementation of several major IT initiatives during the upcoming biennium including:

  • Using data analytics for purposes of utilization management, program evaluation, and continuous quality and program improvement.  
  • Completing the conversion and ongoing update and maintenance of existing IT applications to comply with operating and security requirements of the Commonwealth and industry best practices.
  • Upgrade/update the agency website to achieve compliance with language and disability access requirements. Currently, a Google translate feature exists but this does not address disability access or language access to numerous pdf documents.
  • Redesign and deployment of the CSA Service Fee Directory.
  • Implementation of dual-factor authentication for all external (non-COV) users of sensitive OCS data systems.
  • Improving the functionality of local government reporting.
  • Enhancing management reports available to local governments, policymakers, and the public.

Continued growth, complexity, and security requirements of CSA IT applications have created the need for additional personnel and fiscal resources. The FY2022-2024 biennial budget added funding to implement dual-factor authentication and provided one additional computer programmer (FTE).

 
Workforce Development

The Office of Children's Services (OCS) is a small agency, with a staffing level of sixteen (16) full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. Over the past several years, there has been increased attention to cross-training of expertise, sharing of responsibilities, and succession planning. Recruitment and retention of professional staff is a priority and has not been problematic although there are limited opportunities for professional advancement that exist within an agency of this size.

As possible, OCS provides financial support for professional development activities including participation in conferences, educational opportunities, and membership in professional organizations.

Staffing
Authorized Maximum Employment Level (MEL)          16
Salaried Employees16
Wage Employees          1
Contracted Employees          3
 
Physical Plant

The Office of Children's Services is physically located in leased office space located in Henrico County.  Lease negotiations are coordinated by the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS) pursuant to an agency memorandum of understanding. DSS coordinates the Capital Lease with the Department of General Services. All available office space is currently occupied and alternative arrangements may be necessary to house the newly established FTE and additional staff now needing office space due to a reduction in telework arrangements.

 
Key Risk Factors

Risk factors for the Office of Children's Services (OCS) for the FY2022-2024 biennium include the following:

  • It is inherently difficult to precisely forecast Children Services Act (CSA) costs at the state and local levels due to the nature of the program. Costs are driven by multiple factors, many beyond state and local control, including the number of eligible youth requiring services; severity of presenting needs; availability, type, and duration of services; service rates; client eligibility for and general availability of alternative funding sources; and local practice and policy changes. Over the past three years, CSA expenditures have been level after several years of steady growth. It is believed that the COVD-19 pandemic had much to do with this trend. 
  • Increases tied to statutory and policy changes at other state agencies (i.e., service rate increases at VDSS and DMAS) and inflationary pressures in the cost of private day special educational services are expected to drive increased costs in the FY2022-2024 biennium. Costs related to these services are linked to federal (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, IDEA) or state law (i.e., increased foster care maintenance rates triggered by state employee salary increases); and policy and practice tieing CSA service rates to Medicaid provider reimbursement rates.
  • The implementation of standardized rates for private day special education effective July 1, 2023, as directed by the General Assembly has been a source of contention with the providers of these programs. This is despite diligent efforts by OCS to include providers in the process of developing the rate-setting model. It is unclear what complications may arise as this process is implemented.
 
Finance
Financial Overview

For Fiscal Years (FY) 2023 and 2024, the agency budget is funded with $388.3 million ($330.7 million (85%) in general funds and $57.6 million in non-general funds (15%)). The primary activities funded through this appropriation ($385.1 million or 99.2%) provide reimbursements to local governments for the state share of the costs of services provided under the CSA program and local administrative support ($2.5 million).

Chapter 1 of the Appropriation Act allows for carry forward and reappropriation of unexpended funds in Program 453 from FY2022 into FY2023. OCS will work with DPB to determine the final unexpended amount and the need for funds to be reappropriated to cover expenditures in FY2023.

Out of the FY2023-2024 appropriations (Item 284, Program 4530) of Chapter 2, $31.2 million of the general fund and $48.2 million of non-general funds are transferred to the Department of Medical Assistance Services to support the state's share of Medicaid funding of residential treatment and treatment foster care management. Out of the overall general fund appropriation, $2.7 million is reserved to provide local government administrative funding ($2.6 million) and to support the uniform assessment of youth, a uniform web-based reporting system for local data, comprehensive data analytics, and training activities. The Virginia Department of Education serves as the fiscal administrative entity for these funds found in Item 284 of the Appropriation Act.

The remaining funds ($3.2 million) represent the administrative budget of the Office of Children's Services (Program 49900) and funds specifically allocated in Program 453 to support targeted functions (e.g., training and support for IT systems). OCS maintains a Memorandum of Understanding with the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) to provide continued support for human resources and certain information technology and fiscal functions.

 

  

Biennial Budget
2023
General Fund
2023
Nongeneral Fund
2024
General Fund
2024
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium330,699,43357,632,329330,659,76857,632,329
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
Revenue Summary

The Office of Children's Services does not collect revenues.

 
Agency Statistics
Statistics Summary

The following statistics provide a snapshot of key CSA program outputs during the FY 2021 and 2022 program years. 

Statistics Table
DescriptionValue
Total number of youth served in FY 2022 (reported as of 8/10/2022)13,720
Program year 2022 non-administrative expenditures (reported as of 8/10/2022)332,554,972
Percentage of youth served in community setting (FY 2021)86
Number of training participants (non-unique) (FY 2022)10,559
Number of youth served in residential care (FY 2021)2,103
 
Customers and Partners
Anticipated Changes to Customer Base

The Office of Children's Services anticipates the customer base to increase slightly to return to pre-COVID- 19 levels.  

Current Customer List
Predefined GroupUser Defined GroupNumber Served AnnuallyPotential Number of Annual CustomersProjected Customer Trend
ChildYouth and families receiving services13,72016,000Increase
Local or Regional Government AuthoritiesLocal governments130130Stable
Health CarePrivate service providers1,3451,400Stable
State Agency(s),Partner State Agencies77Stable
Partners
NameDescription
Community Policy and Management Teams (CPMT)Manager of local CSA administration pursuant to COV 2.2-5206
Local elected and appointed government officialsFiscally responsible stakeholder and member of local CPMT (COV 2.2-5206)
CSA CoordinatorsLocal employees who coordinate local CSA activities
Family Assessment and Planning Teams (FAPT)Local team that coordinates child and family service needs pursuant to COV 2.2-5207
Children and familiesPartners in service planning
ParentsPartner in state and local implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-2648; COV 2.2-5206)
Virginia Department of Social ServicesPartner in state implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-2648; COV 2.2-5201)
Virginia Department of EducationPartner in state implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-2648; COV 2.2-5201)
Virginia Department of Juvenile JusticePartner in state implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-2648; COV 2.2-5201)
Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental ServicesPartner in state implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-2648; COV 2.2-5201)
Virginia Department of HealthPartner in state implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-2648; COV 2.2-5201)
Virginia Department of Medical Assistance ServicesPartner in state implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-2648; COV 2.2-5201)
The Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme CourtPartner in state implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-2648; COV 2.2-5201)
Private providers of children's servicesPartner in state and local implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-2648 and COV 2.2-5206); Organizations that provide services to children
Local health districtsPartner in local implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-5206 and 2.2-5207); providers of certain children's services
Community Services Boards (CSB)Partner in local implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-5206 and 2.2-5207); providers of certain children's services
Local Departments of Social Services (LDSS)Partner in local implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-5206 and 2.2-5207); providers of certain children's services
Court Service Units (CSU)Partner in local implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-5206 and 2.2-5207); providers of certain children's services
Local School DivisionsPartner in local implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-5206 and 2.2-5207); providers of certain children's services
Juvenile and Domestic Relations District CourtsKey stakeholder for many youth served under the CSA; Ex-officio partner in state implementation of CSA (COV 2.2-2648)
Virginia Association of CountiesStakeholder
Virginia Municipal LeagueStakeholder
Virginia Association of Community Services BoardsStakeholder
Virginia Coalition of Private Provider AssociationsStakeholder
Virginia Association of Specialized Education FacilitiesStakeholder
Virginia League of Social Service ExecutivesStakeholder
Virginia Court Service Unit Directors AssociationStakeholder
Council of Administrators of Special EducationStakeholder
Virginia Association of Local Human Services OfficialsStakeholder
 
Major Products and Services

The primary products/outputs of the Children's Services Act/Office of Children's Services (OCS) include:

1. State share reimbursement.  Local governments receive state general fund reimbursements for eligible services purchased (and paid) for youth and families with local funds. All CSA-funded services carry a local matching requirement, averaging 33.7% of the overall expenditures reimbursed. Local governments coordinate a wide array of services for eligible youth and families including, but not limited to, foster care and related services, private day and residential special education services, and behavioral health services. In the 2022 program year (reported as of 8/10/2022), CSA supported services to 13,720 youth. 

2.  Training and technical assistance.  A comprehensive array of technical assistance activities and robust training opportunities are provided to maximize the capacity of local governments and other stakeholders to implement best practices and maintain compliance with federal and state laws, regulations, and policies, as they apply to effective services and appropriate use of funds.

3.  Program audit, evaluation, and utilization management.  OCS implements a comprehensive audit program; collects, integrates, analyzes, and reports data regarding local program demographics, utilization, finances, and performance; and provides oversight to ensure appropriate review of purchased services.

4.  Information technology.  OCS provides web-based information technology to support uniform assessment of youth, collect client-based demographic and service information, and support the financial reporting and reimbursement processes.

 
Performance Highlights

Through collaboration with state and local government and private sector partners and under the direction of the State Executive Council for Children's Services (SEC), the Office of Children’s Services continues to meet its relevant goals and objectives. These include reductions in the utilization of “deep-end”, residential placements in favor of family- and community-based services, enhanced support of local government CSA programs through an enhanced training and technical assistance program, improved guidance and oversight through the OCS Audit program, modernization of OCS information technology, and expanded program evaluation and reporting capabilities.

Specific highlights include:

  • Ongoing positive trends in the percentage of children and families served in which community-based services are provided to the exclusion of residential services. Costs for residential services have also been decreasing.
  • OCS training activities have expanded along the following vectors: the number of individuals annually participating in training, an increase in the number of virtual training events allowing broader participation, a shift to a virtual annual conference and the New CSA Coordinator Academy in 2020 and 2021 in response to pandemic driven restrictions on in-person events (2022 events returned to in-person formats).
  • In response to a finding from the 2020 JLARC report on CSA and with support from the General Assembly (new FTE), OCS has implemented a program of intensive consultation and technical assistance to local CSA programs that are identified as low performing or otherwise in need of additional assistance.
  • OCS served as a lead agency partner in the formation of the Center for Evidence-based Practices in Virginia, a collaboration between state agencies (OCS, DSS, DBHDS, VDH, DMAS, DJJ, and DCJS) with Virginia Commonwealth University to support the implementation of evidence-based behavioral health services. OCS continues as a key partner in ongoing evidence-based initiatives.
  • CSA continues to partner with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to support the expansion of High Fidelity Wraparound a community- and family-based, evidence informed intervention for children which is supported by research indicating fewer placements and reduced length of stay in costly and restrictive, residential settings.
  • Technical assistance requests are typically responded to within one business day and OCS customers report satisfaction with the timeliness and quality of assistance.
  • OCS has updated local reporting systems, reducing complexity and improving financial and data accuracy and accountability.
  • OCS has continued to build a transparent and information set of program evaluation and performance measurement tools which are available to all CSA partners and the public at large. These tools include those analyzing approved performance metrics, financial activities, program utilization indicators, and outcome measures and reports.
Selected Measures
Measure IDMeasureAlternative NameEsitmated Trend
20045303.002.001Percentage of CSA-funded youth receiving only community-based services compared to the total number of youth funded by CSA.Improving
200.0003Percentage of completed and in-process local audits compared to the total number of audits scheduled for the fiscal year. Improving
200.0007Number of participants trained annually.Improving
200.0016Percent of youth who had a decrease in their score on the Child Behavioral and Emotional Needs Domain of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS), the mandatory CSA assessment instrument, from a baseline assessment to the most recent re-assessment.Maintaining
200.0017Percent of youth who had a decrease in their score on the School Domain of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS), the mandatory CSA assessment instrument, from a baseline assessment to the most recent re-assessment.Maintaining
 
Agency Goals
• Support implementation of a unified system of care that ensures equal access to quality services for eligible youth and families across the Commonwealth. Sections 2.2-2648, 2.2-2649 and Chapter 52 of Title 2.2 (§ 2.2-5200 et seq) of the Code of Virginia.
Summary and Alignment
A comprehensive system of care ensures that eligible youth and families have access to high-quality services; youth are served in the least restrictive environments possible; funds and resources are effectively used in a flexible, coordinated, and sustainable way that is critical to the success of efforts to improve the coordination and impact of interventions; and services are evidence-based, culturally competent, trauma-informed, and client driven.
Objectives
» 
To provide timely and meaningful utilization review of residential placements per Memoranda of Agreement with local CSA programs.
Description
The Office of Children's Services is committed to providing high quality customer service to support local governments in their provision of effective services to youth and families.
Objective Strategies
•  Provide timely clinical review and recommendations to local CPMTs regarding residential services.
Measures
» 
To maximize the number of youth served in community and family-based settings.
Description
This objective supports the stated mission of the CSA to provide services that are community-based, recognizing the importance of serving youth within families and within their home community to the greatest extent possible.
Objective Strategies
• Provide training and resources on best practices related to community-based services.

• Identify localities with lower than average annual metrics on community-based services and offer tailored technical assistance.

• Continue fiscal incentives for the use of community-based services (differential local CSA match rates)..

• Actively contribute to cross-system efforts to increase the use of evidence-based and trauma-informed practices across service populations.
Measures
» 
To promote the engagement of families in service planning and support of the family perspective in CSA processes.
Description
This objective supports the mission of CSA and is a hallmark principle of systems of care, i.e., that services must be family-focused. Families must be highly involved in all aspects of service planning including the identification of appropriate goals and strategies to achieve those goals.Family representation on local CSA FAPT and CPMTs is also supported.
Objective Strategies
• Provide training and technical support in topics including High Fidelity Wraparound and family engagement.

• Maximize family member participation on local FAPT/CPMT committees through collaboration with local CSA programs, the State and Local Advisory Team (SLAT) and family support organizations (e.g, NAMI of Virginia).
Measures
» 
To maximize the use of Intensive Care Coordination (ICC)/High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW) for children and youth who are in, or are at risk of placement in, residential settings to prevent unnecessary residential placements and to ensure that residential placements are of the shortest duration necessary to deliver effective treatment.
Description
The use of intensive care coordination is recognized as a key component of an effective system of care and, as an evidenced-informed practice, produces positive impact on youth outcomes while reducing the cost of services.
Objective Strategies
• Provide training for CSA Coordinators, FAPTS, CPMTs, ICC/HFW coordinators, family support partners, and supervisors on ICC/HFW.
Measures
• Improve the operational effectiveness of CSA administration. Sections 2.2-2648, 2.2-2649 and Chapter 52 of Title 2.2 (§ 2.2-5200 et seq) of the Code of Virginia.
Summary and Alignment
The Office of Children's Services (OCS) is established by § 2.2-2649 of the Code of Virginia to serve as the administrative entity of the State Executive Council for Children's Services (SEC) to ensure that its policies and decisions are implemented. OCS holds responsibility for oversight of program administration and compliance with state policies and procedures.
Objectives
» 
To enhance knowledge, skills, and abilities of partners responsible for implementation of CSA at the local level.
Description
This objective supports OCS in its statutory responsibilities to enable local CSA programs to deliver efficient and effective services that are responsive to the strengths and needs of youth and families and which assist localities in effective operation of their CSA programs.
Objective Strategies
• Conduct annual statewide conference at which a majority of localities are represented.

• Conduct an annual new CSA Coordinator Academy, inviting all local CSA Coordinators hired in the previous year.

• Provide technical assistance to address locality needs as identified by localities, through local audits and/or through data analysis

• Implement a strong audit program to assist localities in identifying areas for improvement.
Measures
» 
To maximize efficient and effective use of federal and state fiscal resources.
Description
The Office of Children's Services is responsible for oversight of fiscal and program operations and the assurance of fiscal accountability. The appropriate use of resources ensures that funds are available to provide necessary services to youth and families. This objective supports oversight for program administration and compliance with state policies and procedures.
Objective Strategies
• Provide an array of public facing reports so that local CSA programs, local governments, and the public can monitor the use of CSA resources and relevant outcome metrics.

• Monitor local program use of fiscal resources through periodic reviews by the OCS Business Office and through regular and ad hoc program audits.

• Monitor and report trends in fund usage and service patterns via data integration and analytics applications.
Measures
» 
To provide timely and accurate reimbursement of the state's share of cost for CSA funded services to local governments.
Description
The Office of Children's Services strives to provide effective customer service and to ensure that local governments receive the fiscal support necessary to operate local CSA programs effectively and efficiently.
Objective Strategies
• Maintain effective information technology applications for tracking fiscal operations.

• Continually monitor performance of OCS fiscal operations.
Measures
» 
To utilize data and data analytics to improve outcomes and inform state and local decision makers regarding the use of funds and the delivery of effective services.
Description
This objective supports accountability for use of funds and continuous quality improvement in CSA programs.
Objective Strategies
• Collect, integrate, analyze, and report client-specific expenditure, assessment, and demographic data related to the CSA population of youth and families.
Measures
• Manage a strong financial infrastructure and continue to maximize all available resources. Sections 2.2-2648, 2.2-2649 and Chapter 52 of Title 2.2 (§ 2.2-5200 et seq) of the Code of Virginia.
Summary and Alignment
Virginia’s taxpayers, who provide the funding for the delivery for services to youth and families, expect the state to professionally monitor service expenditures, appropriately budget for state supported programs, and reimburse local governments the appropriate state contribution of expenditures in a timely and efficient manner.
Objectives
» 
To provide timely and accurate reimbursement of the state's share of cost for CSA funded services to local governments.
Description
The Office of Children's Services strives to provide effective customer service and to ensure that local governments receive the fiscal support necessary to operate local CSA programs effectively and efficiently.
Objective Strategies
• Maintain effective information technology applications for tracking fiscal operations.

• Continually monitor performance of OCS fiscal operations.
Measures
» 
To maximize efficient and effective use of federal and state fiscal resources.
Description
The Office of Children's Services is responsible for oversight of fiscal and program operations and the assurance of fiscal accountability. The appropriate use of resources ensures that funds are available to provide necessary services to youth and families. This objective supports oversight for program administration and compliance with state policies and procedures.
Objective Strategies
• Provide an array of public facing reports so that local CSA programs, local governments, and the public can monitor the use of CSA resources and relevant outcome metrics.

• Monitor local program use of fiscal resources through periodic reviews by the OCS Business Office and through regular and ad hoc program audits.

• Monitor and report trends in fund usage and service patterns via data integration and analytics applications.
Measures
• Support informed decision-making through utilization of data to improve child and family outcomes and public and private performance in the provision of services to at-risk youth and families. Sections 2.2-2648, 2.2-2649 and Chapter 52 of Title 2.2 (§ 2.2-5200 et seq) of the Code of Virginia.
Summary and Alignment
OCS is responsible for the development and implementation of uniform data collection standards and uniform performance measures; distribution of management reports; and reporting on the nature and cost of all services provided to the population of at-risk children within the scope of responsibility of the State Executive Council (§ 2.2-2648 of the Code of Virginia).
Objectives
» 
To inform state and local decision-making regarding use of funds and delivery of effective services.
Description
This objective supports the Office of Children's Services in executing its responsibilities for ensuring the provision of efficient and effective services.
Objective Strategies
• Collect, integrate, analyze, and report client-specific expenditure, assessment, and demographic data related to the CSA population of youth and families.
Measures
» 
To utilize data and data analytics to improve outcomes and inform state and local decision makers regarding the use of funds and the delivery of effective services.
Description
This objective supports accountability for use of funds and continuous quality improvement in CSA programs.
Objective Strategies
• Collect, integrate, analyze, and report client-specific expenditure, assessment, and demographic data related to the CSA population of youth and families.
Measures
 
Supporting Documents
TitleFile Type
Agency Organizational ChartMS Word Document
 
SP1.02 - Run Date: 04/23/2024 07:36:37