for your child or teen through a multi-disciplinary team approach?
What is the CSA Program?
The Children’s Services Act (CSA) is a Virginia law that helps children and families have access to services and supports when children struggle with behavioral health care needs. State and local agencies, parents/care-givers and private service providers work together to plan for and provide services to children who have serious emotional or behavioral problems. These children may need intensive community based services to help them safely remain in the home.
- provide supportive services to youth and families in the community;
- keep families together;
- work with the strengths of the youth and family;
- ensure inter-agency collaboration and coordination of care; and
- create individualized, flexible, comprehensive and family focused services that represent the unique qualities of children and families.
Who should contact CSA and when?
- If your child lives in Fairfax County or the cities of Fairfax or Falls Church;
- Is under the age of 18;
- Has serious emotional or behavioral health care needs which have persisted over a significant period of time, impact multiple life areas (school, home, legal, social, developmental) and require the coordination of two or more agencies;
- The need cannot be addressed through family resources or a single agency…then it may be the right time to contact the CSA program.
How do we get started?
An initial request should be made to the Fairfax CSA program for a family meeting. Requests may be made through a public agency with whom you are currently working (ex: school social worker, juvenile court, community mental health) or by you directly. Requests are made to the CSA office’s Team-Based Planning (TBP) Coordinator at 703-324-5863 . The TBP Coordinator will speak with you (or the referring agency worker) about your needs and determine whether the referral is appropriate for the CSA program, the type of meeting to occur and team members to participate at the meeting. If there are no other public agencies currently involved, CSA will link the family with a lead case manager.
Visit the CSA Case Management page for more information on case management services.
What should I expect at the meeting?
During your meeting, a “youth and family meeting action plan” will be created based upon the strengths and needs of your family. County agency representatives with expertise in mental health, juvenile justice, community and school social work services may be assigned to the team to assist in developing your plan. A parent support representative will also be invited to your meeting. We encourage families to invite family members, friends, private therapists and community supports (i.e., church members, coaches, mentors) that know your family well and can provide assistance in developing a plan for your family. Please note that youth aged 14 and over are expected to participate in the meeting unless documentation shows that it would be harmful to them. Meetings generally last 2 hours.
Visit the Family Partnership and Family Resource Meetings page to read more about what you can expect during a youth and family meeting.
What happens after the team meeting?
After your meeting, the youth and family meeting action plan created by the team is submitted to CSA by your lead case manager. If the team concludes that the child cannot remain safe in their home/community and a more restrictive service is being considered, your team will be referred to the Family Assessment Planning Team (FAPT) for further planning. Once CSA receives a complete plan, it is reviewed for funding authorization and policy compliance. If the plan is approved and authorized, the purchased services requested are coordinated to begin by the CSA lead case manager. Your family will be responsible for a monthly copayment based on your income, family size and ability to pay. Teams are encouraged to schedule follow-up meetings to monitor the service(s) and re-assess the strengths and needs of the youth and family for the duration of the plan.
Visit the Family Assessment and Planning Team page to learn more about the FAPT process.
If you think we can be of assistance, please contact us.
Children’s Services Act
Main Phone: 703/ 324-7938
Team-based Planning Coordinator
Lisa Morton at Lisa.Morton@fairfaxcounty.gov or 703/324-5863
State website: www.csa.virginia.gov
- CSA Informational Flyer (Folleto Informativo de CSA)
- Commonly Used Acronyms (Acrónimos de uso común)
- Rights and Responsibilities
- Family Assessment and Planning Team (FAPT)
- Appealing a FAPT or Multi-Disciplinary Team Recommendation
- Meeting the Needs of All Families - Resource guide by the Family Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA)