CSA Basics

The Children's Services Act (CSA) is a Virginia law designed to help at-risk children, youth and their families (§2.2-5200). State and local agencies, parents and private service providers work together to plan and provide services and supports. In each community, local teams referred to as the Community Policy and Management Team (CPMT) and the Family Assessment and Planning Team (FAPT), decide how to accomplish this task. 

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Roles and Composition

  • CPMT - Coordinates efforts, manages the availability of funds, and sees that eligible youth and their families get help
  • FAPT - Reviews the strengths and needs of the child/youth and family and decides what services to provide

Both the CPMT and FAPT are comprised of the following members:

  • Parents
  • Court Services Unit
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Social Services
  • Public School
  • Private Providers

FAPT Referral Process

For Case Managers

Case Managers referring a family to FAPT should contact Winchester CSA Coordinator to schedule a FAPT appointment. FAPT meets the first and third Thursday of every month starting at 9:00 am at WDSS. Children will be scheduled as soon as possible for a FAPT appointment, not to exceed 30 days beyond the date of referral. 

CSA referral and review materials need to be completed so that funding for services can be processed timely. The Winchester CSA Coordinator is available to assist with any questions about materials needed for the referral process.   

FAPT Packet Requirements

For Parents/Guardians

Parents and persons who have primary physical custody of a child may directly refer children in their care to the Family Assessment and Planning Team by contacting the Winchester CSA Coordinator. The CSA Coordinator and the family will complete the CSA paperwork required to present the youth to the FAPT team to determine if the youth is eligible for services.  If the youth is found to be eligible for services by the FAPT, the CSA Coordinator and FAPT will assist the family in identifying the appropriate public agency to manage the case, complete all required paperwork, and present the case to the FAPT.

Family Team Meeting/Interdisciplinary Team Referral Process

Following a FTM or IDT, paperwork will be submitted to the Winchester CSA Coordinator for review. CSA referral and review materials need be completed so necessary funding will not be delayed. It is the case worker’s responsibility to obtain all required data. The CSA Coordinator is available to answer any questions.

FTM/IDT Packet Requirements


  1. A meeting is scheduled with the FAPT Team and the family. In this meeting, the family takes an active role in discussing its strengths and needs. 
  2. A facilitated Family Team Meeting is scheduled with family and at least two of the CPMT/FAPT partners in attendance. 
  3. A service plan is developed to meet the identified needs. 
  4. Paperwork is completed and submitted to CSA Coordinator.


All of the following questions must be answered "yes" to be eligible for funding. If any can be answered with "no", then CSA cannot pay.

  1. Is the youth eligible for Pool Funds?
  2. Is service the responsibility of another agency?
  3. Is service eligible for another funding source?
  4. Has FAPT recommended the service and developed an IFSP? (FAPT exempt: IEP services and foster care maintenance)
  5. Has CPMT authorized funding?
  6. Does service meet all requirements per federal and state laws, regulations, and polices?


Services under the Children's Services Act may be available to a child/youth who meets at least one of the following descriptions:

  • Requires private placement for special education
  • In foster care or are eligible for foster care prevention services
  • Eligible for services through a Child in Need of Services Parental Agreement
  • Have significant emotional or behavioral problems and may require services not available from any agency, require services of multiple agencies, or may be at-risk of residential placement

Mandated Funds

The mandated population shall include the following:

  • Children placed for purposes of special education in approved private school education programs, previously funded by the Department of Education through private tuition assistance
  • Children with disabilities placed by local social services agencies or the Department of Juvenile Justice in private residential facilities or across jurisdictional lines in private, special education day schools, if the individualized education program indicates such school is the appropriate placement while living in foster homes or child-caring facilities, previously funded by the Department of Education through the Interagency Assistance Fund for Non-educational Placements of Handicapped Children
  • Children for whom foster care services, as defined by § 63.2-905, are being provided to prevent foster care placements, and children placed through parental agreements, entrusted to local social service agencies by their parents or guardians or committed to the agencies by any court of competent jurisdiction for purposes of placement in suitable family homes, child-caring institutions, residential facilities or independent living arrangements
  • Children placed by a juvenile and domestic relations district court, in a private or locally operated public facility or nonresidential program; or in a community or facility-based treatment program by Child in Need of Services Parental Agreement
  • Children committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice and placed by it in a private home or in a public or private facility

Non-Mandated Funds

The Winchester CPMT also funds services under the non-mandated category, annually, as state budget allocations permit for those youth who do not fall into the mandated categories described above. Typical non-mandated populations are youth who are at-risk of requiring more intensive services due to behavioral, developmental, or mental health challenges. Non-mandated service types are not limited, but typically include behavioral health or supportive services to strengthen families, and/or assist youth with the daily activities of life. Youth are eligible to receive services, as defined in the service plan, through age 18.

Wrap Around Services for Students with Disabilities

As established by policy of the State Executive Council, mandated funds may be utilized to provide wrap around services to support a student with an educational disability, and/or the student’s family, when the FAPT identifies there are needs arising from the disability that threaten the student’s ability to be maintained in the home, community, or school. Wrap around services may be provided to a student who is placed in a public school setting, a private day school, or being transitioned back to the community from an educational residential program.

Wrap around services must be:

  • non-residential services
  • provided in the home or community setting (not in a school setting)
  • delineated in the IFSP and approved by the FAPT 


  • Families may be required to make co-payments for services based upon a financial assessment
  • Families will not be required to make co-payments for foster care services or special education services
  • Parents may be required to make child support payments for foster care services

Utilization Review

Cases using CSA funding are reviewed by the FAPT/CPMT according to the following schedule:

  • Yearly – Basic Foster Care maintenance and daycare
  • Every 6 months – Non-clinical Community Based Services
  • Every 3 months – Clinical services, Intensive InHome services, Therapeutic Foster Care
  • Every 90 days – Residential Placements and Special Education Placements

Virginia Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Assessment (CANS)

The CANS, developed by John S. Lyons, Ph.D., is a child and family assessment instrument to help plan and manage services for children and their families at both an individual and system of care level. The CANS helps guide service planning, track child and family outcomes, promote resource development and support decision making. 

CANS Schedule:

  • Initial CANS, Yearly Reassessment
  • Medicaid services require CANS Reassessment every 90 days
  • CANVaS