RD713 - Annual Report on the Impact of Tiered Match Rates for the Children’s Services Act (FY2021)

Executive Summary:

As established in the Appropriation Act, funding for services to children and families through the Children's Services Act (CSA) is a shared responsibility of state and local government. Effective July 1, 2008, the General Assembly implemented a three-tiered, "incentive-based" local match rate model to encourage reduced utilization of residential care, increase children served in their homes, and investment in community-based services. This policy-driven match rate model promotes 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.

Before 2008, CSA utilized a single, unique base match rate for each locality. Under the tiered ("incentive") model, 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. Local base match rates range from 16.98% to 53.09%. The average local base match rate is 32.99%.