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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    Report Document No. 8
    View PDF Version*

    Document Title
    Annual Report on the Child and Family Services Review Program Improvement Plan

    Department of Social Services

    Enabling Authority
    Appropriation Act - Item 354 (Special Session I, 2004)

    Executive Summary
    The Child and Family Services Review, authorized by the 1994 amendments to the Social Security Act (SSA), provides a unique opportunity for the federal government and state child welfare agencies to work as a team in assessing the state's capacity to promote positive outcomes for children and families involved in the child welfare system. The review covers child protective services, foster care, adoption, family preservation and family support, and independent living.

    The review examines seven outcomes related to child safety, permanency, and well-being. In addition, there are seven systemic factors that determine the extent that states are functioning at a level that promotes achievement of the outcomes for children and families. Although Virginia met some of the federal standards, the report identified IO outcomes and systemic factors that must be addressed in the PIP.

    Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) staffs, with input from the Child Welfare Advisory Committee (previously known as the Statewide Stakeholders Committee) and staff of local departments of social services, developed the PIP. VDSS was committed to having a system-wide PIP that represented the viewpoints and priorities of VDSS and local service providers. The first version of the PIP was submitted to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) on July 21, 2004. Comments from federal representatives were received and a revised PIP was submitted on November 17, 2004. ACF approved the PIP effective February 1, 2005.

    VDSS was aware that additional resources at the local level would be needed to implement the provisions of the PIP. To determine the cost of implementing the PIP, a committee made up of representatives of the League of Social Services Executives' Administrative Committee and Child and Family Committee, and VDSS was established in July 2004. Each strategy in the PIP was reviewed to determine if additional staff or money would be needed to implement the strategy. VDSS submitted a budget proposal asking for new general fund dollars to help cover the cost of implementing the PIP. Effective July 1, 2005, VDSS was appropriated $3,604,908from the general fund and $1,046,341 from nongeneral funds to enhance the provision of child welfare services pursuant to the PIP.

    A group of representatives from the League of Social Services Executives and VDSS met to establish the funding formula for allocating the appropriated funds. The group decided that the appropriated funds would be allocated to local departments of social service to either provide direct services or purchase services for children and families involved with the child welfare system. A local department's allocation would be determined by the local department's percentage of the statewide ongoing Child Protective Services and Foster Care caseload. The least amount any local department would receive was $5,000. The local departments were required to provide a 20 percent match. Prior to receiving the funds, a local department had to submit a plan indicating how they will improve their baseline in one of the six outcomes that have been established by the federal government. Each local department was asked to establish improvement targets for December 2005 and December 2006. If the December 2005 target is met, the local department will receive the same PIP allocation in state fiscal year (SFY 2006) that it received in SFY 2005. If the December 2006 target is met, the PIP allocation will become part of the local department's base allocation.

    VDSS made a commitment to the directors of the local departments of social services that a revised PIP would be submitted to ACF if all of the funds needed to implement the original PIP were not appropriated. On May 19, 2005, a revised PIP was submitted. In the revised PIP, modifications were made to the six items that would require additional funds to implement. On October 20, 2005, the revised PIP was approved.

    VDSS is required to submit quarterly reports to ACF on the progress that has been made to implement the strategies found in the PIP. Reports were submitted in May 2005, August 2005, and November 2005. To date, all of the PIP strategies that were due to be implemented have been completed.

    The Child and Family Services Review provides an opportunity for states to examine their outcomes and systems and to identify needed improvements. VDSS considers the program improvement phase of the review as the cornerstone of our continual progress toward quality services and positive outcomes for children and families. Working with our local partners, VDSS has developed a system-wide PIP that should improve the services that are offered to the children and families involved in the child welfare system.