People helping people triumph over poverty, abuse and neglect to shape strong futures for themselves, their families and communities
Benefit programs for income eligible individuals and families as follows:
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families,
- Food Stamps, (SNAP)
- State/Local Hospitalizations
- Auxiliary Grant and General Relief (for Burial)
- Fuel Assistance based upon total income and number of persons in the household
- IV-E : maintenance, day care, visitation, and education related transportation
Social Service programs for Families, Children, Elderly and Disabled such as:
- Child Protective Services
- Adult Protective Services
- Foster Care to Children
- Adoption Services
- Adult Services
- Adoptive and Foster Home Studies
- Custody Investigations
- Adults and Nursing Home Screenings and Placement
Comprehensive Services Act (CSA)
In 1993, Virginia Law provided for the pooling of eight specific funding streams which purchased services for at-risk youth. These funds are returned to the localities with a required state/local match and are managed by local interagency teams. The purpose of the Act is to provide cost effective, child-centered, family-focused, community-based services to at-risk youth and their families.
By law, each locality is required to have at least two interagency teams, the Community Policy and Management Team, and the Family Assessment and Planning Team.
The Community Policy and Management Team (CPMT) is made up of the agency heads or their designees from the local Department of Social Services, School System, Community Services Board (Mental Health), Department of Youth and Family Services (Juvenile Justice), the local Health Department, a parent who does not work for any agency which receives pool funds, a private provider representative, and at least one elected or appointed official (or designee) from the governing body of a participating locality which is a member of the team. This team has administrative and fiscal responsibility for the local funds pool, is responsible for the development of local policy and procedure, and appoints the members of the Family Assessment and Planning Team. In addition to those required by law, the local governing body may appoint additional members to the CPMT as deemed appropriate.
The Family Assessment and Planning Team (FAPT) is comprised of staff from the same agencies as the CPMT and a parent representative. Participation of a private provider, although encouraged, or an appointed elected official, is not required on the FAPT. These teams work with the families to develop the Individual Family Services Plan (IFSP). If services, beyond what are available in the participating agencies are needed, they may be purchased from the local contracted service providers.
In general, the children who would have been served by one of the funding streams in the CSA State Pool are presumed eligible for services. In addition, the mandated service population, as defined by Code of Virginia 2.2-5211C, must also have access to Pool funds. If funds are available, localities may choose to serve any other child who has serious emotional or behavioral problems, especially those with multi-agency involvement.
Foster care provides a temporary, safe home for children in crisis. Foster parents help facilitate the child's support, treatment, and care programs by becoming partners with the child's social worker, teachers, and doctors. Being a foster parent is not a passive act of opening one's home and providing food, clothing and shelter, but instead a proactive statement of nurturing, advocacy, and love.
What do they need?
These youth need foster and adoptive parents; they do best in stable, nurturing homes. They need someone in their corner, so they can learn to trust again. Like all children, they need day-to-day guidance and support from loving adults.
What is the Foster Care and Adoption Program?
The Foster Care and Adoption Program offers placements for these children and services to help their families. The primary goal of foster care is to provide a safe place for a child while the biological parents become stable. Our goal is to reunite children with their families. When a child cannot return home safely, we seek adoption or other permanent placement.
How you can make a difference?
If you have room in your heart and home, you can make a difference in the life of a child in need by becoming a foster parent. Ideally, children should remain with their actual families whenever possible. Although foster care services make every effort to keep families together, it isn't always possible.
You, as a foster parent, can make an incredible difference by providing a safe and caring home for children in need of foster care. If you have a desire to nurture a child who needs a safe place to live, if you feel called to care for children who have lived through difficult experiences, if you think it is the right time to open your heart and home to these children, consider becoming a foster parent.
Who can foster or adopt?
Foster and adoptive parents are ordinary people who care about children and want to make a difference in their lives and futures. They receive training and supportive services, including financial assistance, counseling and child care.
- must be 21 or older;
- may be married couples or single individuals;
- may work outside the home; and
- must be able to provide a safe, loving home;
- can't be cohabitating, if single.
Ways to be a foster parent
Foster parents offer children safety and stability until children can return to their families or go to permanent homes. Foster families offer different types of care:
- Short Term – children stay for a few days up to three months
- Regular Foster Care – children stay for any length of time, often one to two years
- Foster to Adopt – Although the main goal of fostering is to return children to their families
- Relative Foster Care
- Dual approved foster care/adoptive homes
Independent Living Program
Within the foster care system, some youth are eligible for the Independent Living (IL) Program. The IL Program was established as a result John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Act of 1999, also known as the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP). Nationally, research has shown youth that age out of foster care without a permanent family are more likely to experience homelessness, poverty, incarceration, mental health and/or medical problems. Often, these youth have less education and less family support system to assist them to be successful in life. Therefore these youth have problems socially, financially and emotionally leading to a greater expense for the youth and the public. The IL program works with youth to give all youth permanent family connections, assistance with advancing their education and providing supports, such housing, medical care, financial, employment and life skills.
All youth 14 and over in foster care, are provided training and support services to build their knowledge of daily life skills. These skills include banking, housing, medical care, birth verification, obtaining legal documents, driver's education and preparing for college. Youth can choose to remain in the IL Program after they turn 18 until reaching 21. When youth remain in the IL Program, they sign a contract agreeing to remain in an approved placement, gain permission and pre-approval of housing, continue in an education or vocational program, and maintain monthly contact with their worker. The youth may live on a college campus or in an apartment after graduating high school. The youth receives a monthly stipend for following monthly requirements while in the IL Program. The youth may also be eligible to receive an Education and Training Voucher (ETV). The ETVs are funded though the CFCIP. Youth that have graduated high school and are enrolled in college or vocational program, may complete an ETV application. This application requires all financial aid applications to be completed and awarded before the use of ETV funds. The ETV program may choose to assist with tuition, books, or other expenses or needs that youth may experience, including transportation, computer, or supplies for the specific training program.
The final piece of the IL Program specifically targets youth that opt out of the IL Program at 18 and realize that services are need after all. A youth that opts out of the IL Program can choose to reapply within 60 days of their discharge. These youth must complete the necessary application and IL contract agreeing to the terms and conditions outlined above. The youth must be enroll in an education or vocational program and maintain good standing.