Comprehensive Services Act
The Comprehensive Services Act of 1992 was created as law to form a collaborative system of services and funding that is child-centered, family-focused and community-based when addressing the strengths and needs of troubled and at-risk youths and their families in the Commonwealth. The Act creates two teams of professionals that review requests for services under this funding stream, the Family Assessment and Planning Team (FAPT) and the Community Planning and Management Team (CPMT). Each locality has its own FAPT and CPMT teams, which develop and apply rules that are designed to meet the needs of the local community. Each team consists of representatives from the local Schools, State Health Department, a Parent Representatives, Community Services Board (CSB) and the local Department of Social Services. The teams meet monthly and decide what the needs of these children are, what services would best meet the need, contract for services and maintain fiscal accountability for the services. Each child receiving services is reviewed for a continued need quarterly and all reports are submitted to the State justifying the continued need.
Children served under this Act are considered non-mandated and mandated children. Non-mandated children are children that apply for services but are not in Foster Care or do not have an Individual Educational Plan (IEP). Mandated children are children where the State has custody (Foster Care) or where educational needs are mandated under the Free and Appropriate Clauses of the Educational Acts and so listed in the IEP. Non-mandated children are not required to receive services but may if funding is available and all parties agree that the services are in the best interest of the family and child as well as remove any threat of the child being at-risk of entering into foster care without preventative services being rendered. Mandated children must be served under the law, and each location is mandated under State and Federal law to provide sum sufficient funding to meet the needs of these children. Here in King George, the FAPT hears all requests for both non-mandated and mandated children, making recommendations for services for both entities. The CPMT has elected to fund only mandated children for which sum sufficient funding is required. Therefore, the CPMT only hears cases for mandated children.
Request for Servives
Requests for services to help mandated children have dramatically escalated over the past year. There are three times the normal numbers of children in court ordered foster care and the schools are experiencing a rise in the number of troubled youths with educational issues. DSS continues to find supplemental funding for children in foster care, the numbers of IV-E eligible children have dropped and children requiring CSA funding have increased. The schools maintain two relatively new programs (Star and Listening to Youth) both of which have contributed to a reduction in costs for CSA. But these two programs cannot effectively meet the needs of a number of children and therefore have had to turn back to CSA funding to meet the components of the IEP.
- The CPMT will continue to find service providers who will be able to work with our clients and in a more cost effective manner.
- The King George DSS will continue to find other funding sources to support foster children.
- The King George Schools will work toward creating new programs in the schools which will work toward maintaining children in the schools here and reduce the number of children attending more expensive alternative day school placements.
- The King George Schools will work to help create a planning district wide program to help reduce costs for specialized educational programs that can be funded under the Revenue Maximization Project.