Office of Child and Family Services

The system of services for children and families in Virginia, including mental health services, is complex, multi-faceted, and rapidly evolving. The growth in these services has been almost completely supported by public funding through Medicaid and the Children’s Services Act (CSA). CSBs are the public provider of community mental health services. There is an array of publicly-funded children’s mental health services in most Virginia communities.

These services are part of the interagency system that serves children in Virginia, including all of the state and local child-serving agencies such as Social Services, Juvenile Justice, Education, Community Services Boards, the Children’s Services Act, and the well-developed network of privately-operated, publicly-funded children’s services. The need for collaboration among these agencies cannot be overstated. Children with behavioral health problems usually interface with more than one of these agencies and the extent to which collaboration exists strongly influences the success of interventions that are used.



    The Office of Child and Family Services periodically offers workforce development initiatives.
    Please visit Eventbrite to see if any trainings or workshops are currently being offered.

    The Office of Children’s Services keeps a training calendar. You may find the calendar, here.


    Our mission is to ensure high quality behavioral healthcare for children ages 0 through 21 and their families by:

    • Leading and supporting statewide efforts to establish and strengthen a comprehensive system of care for children and families; and
    • Building and participating in collaborative partnerships among families and child service providers across agencies and disciplines


    Our vision is for children with behavioral health needs and their families in Virginia to be healthy productive citizens who have access to a comprehensive integrated system of care that is community-based, child-centered, family-driven, outcome-oriented, and culturally competent.


    The Office of Child and Family Services holds that supports and services for children and families whose lives are affected by mental illness, intellectual disability, and substance abuse disorders should:

    • Empower families and children in developmentally appropriate ways to make choices in their lives.
    • Provide prompt assistance to those seeking professional support.
    • Promote integrated community-based services.
    • Ensure supports and services are easy to access, family-driven, individualized, flexible to changing needs and circumstances, culturally sensitive, and based on functional needs rather than categorical labels.
    • Make available to families the level of supports and services needed to keep children with disabilities in their own homes.
    • Support understanding of family lifestyle limitations due to living with a family member with disabilities.
    • Provide education and training to providers of family support that will prepare them to work with people with disabilities in inclusive settings.
    • Maximize disability-specific and generic funding sources to the fullest and contain costs through reinvestment in supports which provide the strongest and most individualized outcomes for children and their families.

    Children and youth with disabilities and their families:

    • Have dignity and worth as human beings.
    • Deserve equal access to public support services.
    • Need families and friends who can serve as their strongest advocates and social supports.
    • Are entitled to health, safety, and well-being, free from abuse, neglect, exploitation, or social stigmas.
    • Need person-centered planning rather than professionally-driven services.
    • Have the right to live in supportive communities.
    • Participate in successful transition to adult supports and services.


    • To promote the use of evidence-based practices.
    • To develop a seamless system of care that integrate services across disciplines.
    • To partner with stakeholders working to improve services to children.
    • To develop policies that promote child and family services.
    • To address gaps in existing services.
    • To develop new services using evidence based practices and expand existing evidence based models.
    • To increase family involvement on committees, councils, task forces, addressing children issues.
    • Increase funding for children services.
    • To show case services that are working in the Commonwealth.

    § 37.2-308. Data reporting on children and adolescents.

    Instructions-Acute Care Report Form

    Acute Care Report Form[doc]

    Instructions-Residential Treatment Report Form

    Residential Treatment Report Form[doc]

    Checklist for Completion of Forms

    Substance Abuse Service Availability Form

    The 2012 General Assembly has added to section 37.2-505 of the Code of Virginia,
    which on July 1, 2012 require CSBs to provide information to hospitals about their substance abuse services available to minors. The Department has created a template, for download, that should be used to provide this information to hospitals.

    The Children’s Cabinet was established to develop and implement a comprehensive policy agenda related to wellbeing of youth from birth to age 21 throughout the Commonwealth. It evaluates and recommends strategies to optimize and align local, state, and federal public resources, along with public-private partnerships, to enhance current and prospective programs and services for Virginia’s children and their families, particularly those at highest risk. Three priorities.

    • Leading the Classrooms not Courtrooms Initiative
      Reduce student suspensions, expulsions, referrals to law enforcement, and the disparate impact of these practices on minorities and students with disabilities
    • Leading the Challenged Schools Initiative
      Enhance educational outcomes and workforce readiness in Petersburg, Norfolk, and Richmond by facilitating a replicable model to improve student achievement through high quality partnerships, including wraparound services
    • Advancing Policy
      Enhance educational outcomes and workforce readiness in Petersburg, Norfolk, and Richmond by facilitating a replicable model to improve student achievement through high quality partnerships, including wraparound services

    Please Click here for the Children’s Cabinet Site