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Children's Residential Facilities (CRF)

There are 2 types of Licensed Residential Facilities for Children:

  1. Children's Residential Facilities (CRF): These provide 24-hour care, guidance and protection to children placed through local family assessment and planning teams under the Comprehensive Services Act or private placement by parents or legal guardians.
  2. Child Caring Institutions (CCI): These are licensed under minimum standards for licensed child caring institutions. By law, they are not permitted to accept public funds. Payment for care is provided by parents or legal guardians.

Status of Initial/Renewal Applications, Denials & Provisional Licenses

Regulations & Code References

New Applicants

Application Process

The Division of Licensing Programs (DOLP) at the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) has a user-friendly and secure on-line application system called the Virginia Enterprise Licensing Application.

Before starting the application process, please read through all instructions.

There are four easy steps for applying on-line through VELA:

  1. Save all your required documents for upload into VELA. You may wish to review the list of required application forms that are listed under the bullet "Application Forms."
  2. Review the self-help resources available by accessing the Virginia Enterprise Licensing Application(VELA) Quick Reference Guides and the Virginia Enterprise Licensing Application (VELA) Instructional Videos sub-headings below.
  3. When you are ready, access the Virginia Enterprise Licensing Application. We recommend that you bookmark the VELA link since you can return to VELA to make changes until the application is submitted. After submission, data cannot be revised.
  4. Register an account to enter the VELA provider portal where you can complete an application. Self-help resources are available on VELA under the Quick Reference Guides tab.

CONTACT: If you have technical problems accessing VELA or completing the application, please e-mail

If you still need to submit a paper application via mail, you may do so by using the Application Forms below.

Pre-application orientation -- We also highly recommend that applicants attend one of our pre-application orientation sessions. Topics covered include the application process, licensing regulations and approvals required by other state agencies. To register for this pre-application orientation, please reach out to your appropriate Licensing field office.

Application Forms

Virginia Enterprise Licensing Application (VELA) Quick Reference Guides

Virginia Enterprise Licensing Application (VELA) Instructional Videos

Current CRF Providers


Documents & Procedures


Background Investigations

Code of Virginia Requirements

§63.2-1726 - Every children's residential facility that is regulated or operated by the Department of Social Services; the Department of Education; the Department of Military Affairs; or the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services shall require a criminal history record check and a child protective services central registry search on the following:

Any individual who:

  • Accepts a position of employment
  • Volunteers for such a facility
  • Provides contractual services directly to a juvenile for such a facility

The results of the criminal history background check and results of a search of the child protective services central registry must be received prior to permitting an applicant to work in the children's residential facility.

Children's residential facilities cannot hire anyone who has:

  • a conviction or pending charges for an offense under clauses (i), (ii), (iii), or (v) of barrier crime definition in Code §19.2-392.02
  • a conviction or pending charges for an offense under clause (iv) within five years prior to application for employment/volunteer/contractual services or is still on probation/parole or has failed to pay court fees for offenses under clause (iv)
  • founded case of child abuse or neglect


Documents & Procedures

Obtaining Criminal Background Results

Related Links

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