Current Projects

Projects we are currently working on:

Mary Beth DunkenbergerLiz Allen and Laura Nelson recently completed an assessment of Montgomery County (Virginia) Children’s Service Act process and structure on behalf of the Montgomery County Department of Social Services. The Children's Services Act (CSA) is now the name for a law enacted in 1993, then known as the Comprehensive Services Act, 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. Montgomery County child services leadership requested the assessment to better understand how the county’s CSA process and structure operates in comparison to other peer localities.

Melony A. Price-Rhodes leads the Federal Reimbursement Unit (FRU), a long termed contract that provides research, technical expertise and human capacity to Fairfax County’s Department of Family Services Child Protective Services (CPS), Foster Care and Adoptions (FC&A), and the Fairfax/Falls Church Children's Services Act (CSA) Programs.  The FRU team, with a 23+ year history, is comprised of research faculty and staff, with vast expertise in revenue maximization for children and youth being served by the above mentioned programs.  

These funding streams included Title IV-E, Supplemental Security Income (Title XVI), Social Security (Title II) Benefits, Child Support (Title IV-D), and Medicaid (Title XIX).

The FRU continues to refine multiple processes so that fewer county tax dollars are spent to support children who are in foster care placement or in receipt of CSA funds and more will be reimbursed from the Federal Government and parent(s) of the children.  

David Moore has expanded his responsibilities as Project Director for the Total Action for Progress (TAP) Swift Start program by helping TAP expand the project and deepen the impact. The SwiftStart Program assists unemployed and underemployed parents with child care responsibilities to access training for higher-paying middle-skilled careers in health care, information technology or advanced manufacturing. It does this by bundling tuition assistance and child care with other supports and intensive mentoring to help ensure parents are successful in improving their employment and thus their family income. Mr. Moore has expanded his time on the project significantly to oversee additional efforts to improve how the workforce system in the Roanoke Valley performs for families in poverty, to expand educational opportunities that better meet the needs of low-income families, and to build pathways to sustainability for all these efforts. Since its inception, SwiftStart has served 168 participants, assisted 99 to begin training, helped 43 obtain credentials and seen over 30 participants enter improved employment in their chosen career.

This past Spring and Summer VTIPG provided assessment and mapping services to United Way of Southwest Virginia through Smart Beginnings Southwest. Led by Liz Allen and Mary Beth Dunkenberger, and supported by Laura Nelson and Lara Nagle, the assessment and mapping of early child development risk and protective factors was concluded with a final report and a presentation on July 18th to the United Way and Smart Beginnings leadership.  Smart Beginnings Southwest Virginia includes the localities of Bland, Bristol, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Galax, Grayson, Lee, Norton, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Washington, Wise, Wythe and Tazewell.  The research will be used to further strategic planning and programming for early child initiatives in these localities.

Virginia Tech’s Institute for Policy and Governance received seed funding through the  Vibrant Virginia Initiative for a project titled: Building Healthy Families and Communities through Collaborative Strategies to Reduce Opioid Use Disorder. A major goal of Vibrant Virginia is to connect and grow a network of researchers and practitioners interested in addressing concerns throughout Virginia’s urban and rural communities. IPG is collaborating with researchers from Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Health Practice and Research to help strengthen Virginia Tech’s approach to multidisciplinary networks surrounding opioid use disorder research. Specifically, this project aims to connect public health expertise with policy and organizational assessment capabilities to provide a foundation on which to build upon a continuum of care that can assist in the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders. The opioid epidemic continues to impact Virginia residents with a current focus at the individual level. This research will broaden the knowledge of opioid use in Virginia by focusing on family, community, and institutional systems. To obtain additional information and to be involved with the project please contact Laura Nelson