What is child welfare funding?

Child welfare programs are supported by federal, state, and local funds. Title IV-E is the primary federal funding source to child welfare programs in Virginia. Title IV-E is a federal program designed to provide funding to states to ensure proper care for eligible children in foster care and to provide ongoing assistance to eligible children with special needs receiving adoption subsidies. The program is authorized under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act and is funded by federal and state matching funds. Administration is handled by the state and local public child welfare agencies.

How does VDSS currently use Title IV-E?

VDSS is entitled to federal reimbursement of certain foster care and adoption expenses. Although there is no cap on reimbursement, it is limited to three areas and the funding formula is different for each:

Maintenance (e.g. room, board and transportation to visit parents and siblings)
Administration (e.g. eligibility determination and case management activities)
Training (e.g. training for child welfare staff and foster and adoptive parents)

How will Family First change the way VDSS utilizes Title IV-E funds?

Historically, Title IV-E funds are used to support children who are in foster care.  Family First will allow Title IV-E funds to support children who are at imminent risk of entering foster care (and their families) by providing funding for evidence-based programs, to strengthen families.  Specifically, federal reimbursement will be available for trauma-informed mental health services, substance use disorder treatment and in-home parenting skills training to safely keep children with their families. 

Family First also makes changes to federal funding for foster youth.

  1. Family foster homes (including relatives)
  2. Placements for pregnant or parenting youth
  3. Supervised independent living for youth 18+
  4. Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP) for youth with treatment needs
  5. Specialized placements for victims of sex trafficking
  6. Family-based residential treatment facilities for substance use disorder

Family First represents a significant opportunity to support children and their families earlier.

What are other child welfare program funding sources?

We know that many families who need support may need additional levels of support, not just evidence-based programs.  VDSS will work to maximize federal and state funding, collaborate with state and local agencies and organizations to fill gaps where children may not be served through Family First. VDSS will work through the Three Branch Team to promote partnerships to leverage and increase funding and re-purpose funding streams to meet the needs of children and families.  VDSS will continue to rely on federal and state funding streams and leverage local community resources to serve children and their families.

VDSS currently administers several federal funding opportunities for local agencies and organizations which the prevention services continuum.

VDSS also supports children and families by providing Benefits including LIHEAP, Medical Assistance TANF, SNAP, and Child Care