Charlottesville-Albemarle Community Practice Model

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The local Comprehensive Services Act (CSA) system is driven by a community practice model with a common vision, mission, and values drawn from Systems of Care Values and Principles and the Virginia Children's Services Transformation: CORE Practice Model.


Children live safely and productively with their families and in their communities.


The CSA system uses highly collaborative, responsive, and cost effective policies, procedures, and structures to flexibly and creatively support children and their families.


Our service community...

Overall Beliefs:

  • believes that, when possible, children are best served when families are provided the supports necessary to raise them safely, that services should prevent family disruption, and that keeping children and families together is the best possible use of resources.
  • believes that every child has a right to connections with biological family and other caring adults, that life-long family connections are critical for children, and that family connections, which consider the child's wishes, should be promoted and preserved.
  • believes that congregate care placements should focus on children's needs, be family-focused, temporary, and prepare them for return to family and community life.


  • is committed to working collaboratively (sharing our purpose, role, concerns, decisions, and responsibility), to holding each other accountable for quality service planning and delivery, to working as an interdisciplinary team with diverse areas of expertise and skills, and to communicating with genuineness, empathy, and respect.
  • is committed to continually developing a community practice model, including using joint, interagency trainings to promote knowledge and the shared practice model across the community.
  • is committed to aligning infrastructure and available resources to support the community practice model
  • is committed to collecting and sharing data and information for the benefit of children, families, and the service community.


  • is committed to preserving children's safety as a first priority, maintaining timely and thorough safety responses, and separating children from dangerous caregivers.
  • is committed to parents never having to relinquish custody unnecessarily to receive services for their children.
  • is committed to kinship care as a priority over foster care.
  • is committed to achieving permanent, safe, nurturing families for children.
  • is committed to hearing, valuing, and considering the voices of children and families in the decision-making process and to support meaningful family and youth participation and engagement in service planning and delivery, as well as in policy and service development.
  • recognizes families as experts about their own families.
  • is committed to treating children and families with dignity and respect, as well as to preserving and protecting each individual's rights to self determination.
  • is committed to being strengths-based, and to serving each unique family with innovation, flexibility, creativity, and responsiveness (e.g., timely, effective, and efficient services).
  • is committed to being culturally proficient and linguistically accessible to all families, and to valuing family perspectives, goals, and plans.

Continuous Improvement:

  • is committed to continuous development of the local service array, such that comprehensive and least restrictive services are available in our community
  • is committed to using data to inform management, practice, and policy decisions.

Child-Specific Family Teams

One way to implement the community practice model is by creating child-specific, family teams which meet face-to-face to conduct transition planning, community-based service planning, planning for FAPT meetings or court hearings, and monitoring of progress. Child-specific, family teams are made up of the focal youth, parents/guardians, family-identified support persons, and all the service providers involved, including all case managers and appropriate school personnel/representation.

Child-specific teams should be formed when:

  • child/family problems are complex or multifaceted
  • there are multiple service providers involved
  • beginning to transition a child from a residential facility back to a community-based family setting
  • a road-block is reached
  • there is a crisis
  • there is a problem needing a creative solution
  • a family member or service provider requests it