The goal of CPS is to provide a continuum of specialized services to protect children from abuse, neglect, or exploitation, to preserve families whenever possible, and to prevent further maltreatment.
Every valid report of abuse or neglect must be responded to by either a family assessment or an investigation. Family assessments are the preferred response when a child is not in immediate danger and when the alleged abuse or neglect is less severe. Family assessments include developing child safety and family service plans to remedy maltreatment and/or prevent future maltreatment. Investigations are conducted when there are immediate concerns about child safety, there may be a prior history of child abuse or neglect, and/or the reported allegation is severe.
Investigations may be founded or unfounded. Founded complaints mean that a preponderance of the evidence shows that child maltreatment has occurred. The determination is to be based primarily upon "first source", or direct, evidence. Unfounded complaints mean the evidence is insufficient to warrant a disposition of "founded".
This program facilitates the adoption of children from foster care who are considered hard to place because these children have special needs and because few families are available to adopt them. Federal adoption assistance, governed under Title IV-E, Section 473 of the federal Social Security Act, provides federal funds (subject to a state match) to facilitate the adoption of children from families who meet income and other eligibility criteria. Payments are for "maintenance", which includes food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision, school supplies, and personal essentials, as well as non-recurring fees for all children (e.g., cost of home study, transportation, and legal expense to finalize an adoption). State adoption assistance provides state funds to support the adoption of children with special needs who do not meet federal eligibility criteria under Title IV-E, Section 473.
Payments cover maintenance costs and all services costs for state adoption-eligible children, as well as services for Title IV-E-eligible children. Services payments to adoptive parents or vendors are required to be consistent with the special needs of the child and may include medical, surgical, and dental costs, equipment for prosthetics, crutches, hearing aids, eye glasses; tutoring; psychiatric and psychological evaluations and treatment; speech, physical, and occupational therapy; and premiums for major medical policies. All services provided and their related costs must be child-specific and clearly related to meeting the child's identified and documented special needs.
Foster care provides services, substitute care, and supervision for children on a 24-hour basis, until a child can either return to their family or become a permanent member of another family.
Because foster care is a temporary response to family problems, workers establish a
permanency goal for each child to ensure that the child will have a safe and stable family with which to live.
The Title IV-E penetration rate is the percentage of children in foster care eligible for federal Title IV-E funds. Major criteria for Title IV-E eligibility is meeting the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) requirements that were in effect in Virginia on July 16, 1996.
All children in foster care are eligible to receive room, board and supervision. Children who meet federal Title IV-E eligibility requirements can receive federal maintenance payments to cover such costs as food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision, school supplies, personal incidentals, liability insurance with respect to the child, reasonable travel to the child's home for visitation, and reasonable travel for the child to remain in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement.
Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) administrative and training costs are eligible for limited federal Title IV-E reimbursement for foster and adoptive parents and for public and private child welfare workers.
VDSS costs for non-Title IV-E eligible children are covered under the state- and locally-funded Comprehensive Services Act (CSA). CSA is a 1993 state law that provides for pooling eight specific funding streams to purchase cost-effective, community-based or out-of-home services for high-risk, troubled youth. State and local agencies, parents, and private service providers collaborate to plan and deliver services. Both funding and services are designed to be child-centered and family-focused, and address the strengths and needs of at-risk youth and their families.
The foster care payment rate is the average monthly maintenance payment per foster child by state, for states in the Mid-Atlantic States.
This graph is updated with data as of 2021
Adult Protective Services (APS) investigates reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults with disabilities and older adults (age 60 and older) to determine if these persons are in need of protective services. APS also investigates cases of suspected financial exploitation (i.e., mishandling, theft, or fraud involving personal income, assets or property) by family members, caretakers or others.
If protective services are needed and accepted by the individual, local APS social workers may arrange for a wide variety of services, including home-based care, transportation, adult day services, adult foster care, nutrition services and legal intervention in order to protect the adult. Services may also be arranged for individuals in emergency situations who lack the capacity to consent to services.
The goal of APS is to protect a vulnerable adult's life, health, and property without a loss of independence.
In accordance with state law enacted in 2012, and effective on July 1, 2013, Adult Protective Services, combined with Adult Services and Auxiliary Grant programs, were absorbed into the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). These programs are no longer part of VDSS's Division of Family Services. However, direct services continue to be provided by local departments of social services.
Companion, chore, and homemaker services are provided by local departments of social services to adults aged 60 and older and adults with a disability. They are designed to help adults remain as independent as possible, in the least restrictive environment (preferably in their own homes), and to avoid more costly and restrictive institutional placement.
Companion services include assistance with activities of daily living, meal preparation, light housekeeping, and shopping.
Chore services include non-routine, heavy home maintenance tasks.
Homemaker services involve instruction in such activities as personal care and hygiene, home management, nutrition, or consumer choices.
Together, these services comprise "home-based services" (see Code of Virginia Section 63.2-1600). The "Other" purchased services category includes adult day services, adult foster care, adult protective services (APS), and nutrition services. Home-based services are paid from federal Social Services Block Grant and local funds, with a small amount of state funding for APS.
An Auxiliary Grant (AG) provides an income supplement to recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and certain other aged, blind or disabled individuals residing in an assisted living facility (ALF) licensed by the Division of Licensing Programs or in an adult foster care home approved by the individual's local DSS.
The financial assistance is to ensure that adults are able to maintain a standard of living that meets a basic level of need (i.e., room and board, maintenance and care).
Before being admitted, adults are assessed by the local DSS or other public human services agency to determine their eligibility and the appropriate level of care. Not all ALFs accept AG recipients.
The VDSS-administered program is 80% state- and 20% locally-funded. Non-reimbursable expenses are funds provided by the locality and not reimbursable by VDSS.
The Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) program funds can be used for services designed for family preservation and family support for families with children at risk of out-of-home placement and for family reunification and adoption services for children in foster care. The services may be provided by local public or private agencies, or individuals, or any combination of resources. Receipt of the funding through the fiscal agent, the local department of social services, is based upon approval by the state of individual community plans that are developed from comprehensive community-based needs assessments.
Healthy Families is an intensive home-visiting program for children from birth to five years of age to improve pregnancy outcomes and child health, promote positive parenting practices and healthy child development, and prevent child abuse and neglect. Home visitors provide higher-risk families with intensive parent education, support, and referral to needed community resources such as health care, housing, and counseling.
The Community-Based Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention (CBCAP) Grant is a federal program to help public and private nonprofit agencies establish and expand statewide networks of community-based family resource and support services to prevent child abuse and neglect. The state uses an RFP process to determine recipients.
The "Hugs and Kisses" play, a nationally acclaimed play for children in kindergarten through fifth grade, is designed to increase awareness and prevention of child sexual abuse. The VDSS Division of Family Services contracts with Richmond’s Theatre IV to perform "Hugs and Kisses" plays at schools throughout the state.
The Office of Family Violence works to provide crisis and support services to victims of domestic violence and their children across the Commonwealth.
Funding (approximately 95% federal and 5% state) supports direct services to families, administration of local domestic violence programs, the operation of the Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline, and statewide data collection, training and technical assistance.
Safety planning is a discussion between the victim and an advocate addressing options and resources available to the victim for use in a future dangerous situation.
"Denied for lack of bed space" represents the number of victims unable to gain shelter at the time of their request. Children are not included in this number. "Total nights of shelter provided" include both victims and their children.
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