In 1989, the General Assembly became concerned because the cost of providing residential treatment to high risk youth was increasing at approximately 22% each year. Because of this, a study of children in residential care was conducted. Fourteen thousand records from four different state agencies were examined. Subsequent analysis showed that services were provided to only 4,993 individual children. In addition, 9 out of 10 of these children returned to their home communities where necessary changes in the child's community environment had not been made. The progress achieved in the residential facility was often lost.
At the point, it was decided that high quality, less restrictive, community based-services would be provided to these children if the funds were managed at the local level. There is a local case match required to access the state CSA funds.