RD501 - Impact of the “Incentive” Match Rate for the Children’s Services Act (CSA) – December 2017

Executive Summary:

As established through the Appropriation Act, funding services to children and families under the Children’s Services Act (CSA) is a shared responsibility of state and local government. Effective July 1, 2008, a tiered, “incentive-based" match rate system was implemented to encourage practice changes to reduce utilization of residential care, increase children served in their homes, and encourage investment of funds for the development of community based services. This policy-driven match rate model encourages the delivery of services consistent with the statutory purposes of the CSA (see § 2.2-5200, Code of Virginia) to:

• preserve and strengthen families;

• design and provide services that are responsive to the unique and diverse strengths and needs of troubled youth and families; and

• provide appropriate services in the least restrictive environment, while protecting the welfare of children and maintaining the safety of the public.

Singular, locality-specific base match rates were established with the inception of the CSA. Under the tiered (“incentive") match rate system, the local match rate for residential services is 25% above its base match rate and for community-based services, 50% below its base match rate. Designated services (foster care and special education) remain at the base match rate.