Community Services Block Grant Fact Sheet

CSBG Fact Sheet

What is CSBG?

CSBG is a federal block grant program administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Family, Office of Community Services.

Legislative Authority: under Title VI, Subtitle B, of OBRA of 1981, PL 97-335, as Amended, and the COATS Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998, PL 105-285.

What is the purpose of CSBG?

The purpose is for all eligible entities to use the funding to provide a full range of services and activities that have a measurable and potentially major impact on the causes of poverty in the community. Thus, encouraging and supporting a holistic approach to moving low-income families and individuals toward self-sufficiency.

What is an eligible entity?

Eligible entities are any organization which was officially designated as a Community Action Agency (CAA), a Community Action Program, or a Limited Purpose Agency. These agencies must meet certain board structure requirements and serve low income populations. Currently, no new CAAs are being designated.

How many eligible entities exist in Pennsylvania?

Currently there are 44 eligible entities (42 Community Action Agencies and two limited purpose agencies) serving all 67 counties in the Commonwealth. They receive 90% of the appropriated funds.

What services are provided?

Agencies that receive CSBG funds are required to provide services that are within the parameters of Results-Oriented Management & Accountability (ROMA). ROMA is a management practice that incorporates the use of outcomes or results into the administration, management, and operation of human services organizations.

There are six national goals based on ROMA that fall into three categories: Family, Agency, and Community. The services provided by the CAA network all fall within the realm of the six national goals.

Some of the services provided include case management, employment and training, health care, day care, nutrition programs, transportation, economic development, education, energy assistance, drug and alcohol counseling, consumer services, housing services, youth services, and outreach and referral.

Agencies are required to report on client outcomes as established by Results-Oriented Management and Accountability.

Are there restrictions on the use of CSBG funds?

CSBG funds may not be used for the purchase or improvement of land, or the purchase, construction or permanent improvement (other than low-cost residential weatherization or other energy-related home repairs) of any building or other facility.

How do I qualify for CSBG?

To qualify for CSBG you must be an eligible entity or an agency who, through the coordination and establishment of linkages within the community, assure the effective delivery of services to low-income individuals. Presently there are no plans to expand the current network of CAAs.

What qualifies a person as low-income?

Client eligibility for direct services is determined by 125% of the Poverty Guidelines, as established yearly by the federal Office of Management and Budget. All eligible entities in Pennsylvania must adhere to the Income Eligibility Guidelines distributed annually by the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Who administers CSBG in Pennsylvania?

The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) – Office of Community Services

Commonwealth Keystone Building, 400 North Street 4th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17120

  717.787.1984.

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