An Undiscovered Funding Stream – CSA

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Virginia has a structure for providing services to at-risk children and their families (including funding) – some of which would be appropriate to apply to services based in ABA.  See below for some information:

The Children’s Services Act (CSA) is a law enacted in 1993 that establishes a single state pool of funds to support services for eligible youth and their families. State funds, combined with local community funds, are managed by local interagency teams who plan and oversee services to youth.

What acronyms should I know?

CSA – Children’s Services Act

FAPT – Family Assessment and Planning Team

OCS – Office of Children’s Services

Where can I go to get the most comprehensive information?

The CSA Web site can be found here:  Go to the Web site for up-to-date, comprehensive information, as well as information on where to get help if you have questions.  Or you can email us at  The following is just some basic information as it applies to behavior analysis.

Whom would I serve using this funding?

  • Examples of children and families who would be served through the Children’s Services Act. (NOTE: services may be delivered directly to the youth OR a caregiver).
  • Students who have an IEP and need community-based (wrap-around) services to maintain the child in the least restrictive environment in the home/community/or school.
  • Youth with behavioral health needs who are at risk of out-of-home placement and require community-based services to assist with stabilization and maintaining in the home/community.
  • Children in foster care who require services related to adjustment, stabilization, or maintenance of a placement (with biological, adoptive, or foster family) – parent training may be appropriate in these situations.
  • Youth who have been placed out of the home (in a residential treatment facility, group home or residential treatment foster home) and are ready to transition back into the community – parent training may be appropriate in these situations.
  • Youth in foster care who are between the ages of 18 and 21 and are learning to live independently.

Note that children are referred to a FAPT team from Department of Social Services, their school, the courts, the local Community Services Board, and sometimes from their parents/caregivers.

What types of services would I provide?

  • Parent/caregiver training
  • Skill building
  • Applied Behavioral Analysis
  • Transition services
  • Behavioral assessments

It is important to note that the CSA is built upon the Systems of Care philosophy which provides a framework for serving at-risk children and families through a multidisciplinary approach.  As such, services delivered through the CSA are recommended by the FAPT, a multidisciplinary, local planning team, coordinated by a case manager, and delivered by a team of professionals.  Behavior analysts would be part of this service-delivery team serving the child and family.

How do I get started?

Each locality contracts with its own providers.  To find out more information regarding local contracting processes, contact the CSA coordinator in the locality where you wish to serve. A listing of local CSA Coordinators can be found under the contacts tab on the OCS website (

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