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Descriptions of Services Provided

Services Programs

Adult Services – Services provided to impaired adults 18 years of age or older and to adults age 60 years of age or older.  Services are designed to assist the adult in remaining in the least restrictive setting and functioning as independently as possible, to establish or strengthen appropriate family and social support systems, and to support the adult in self-determination, provision of assistance through approved providers for disabled or elderly when they are unable to care for themselves.


Adult Protective Services – Investigates report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of elderly or disabled adults.  Program provides services and referrals to victimized adults.


Screening and Assessment – necessary for community-based care or placement at an adult care residence or nursing home. 


Child Protective Services – investigates reports of abuse or neglect of children under the age of 18.  Following the guidelines, as set forth by the commonwealth, a determination regarding the level of risk and abuse, and provides the children and their family services.


Foster Care – provides nurturing, supervision, room and board to children from birth to age 18 or 21 if disabled, and are removed from their birth family for reasons of abuse or neglect.


Adoption Services – the location and investigation of adoptive homes, placement of children who are available for adoption (TPR), supervision of the placement, and completion of reports as required by the commonwealth.


Preventions/Support Services – Services that are utilized to prevent children from entering into Foster Care.  Services include: Family Engagement, Custody and Home Study Evaluation, Mediation, and assistance in the provision of basic needs in support of children.


Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW) – helps TANF recipients in securing employment or the training or education needed to secure employment.


Child Care Services – provides a payment resource for eligible families when caretaker is employed or attending school.  Note: contractual arrangements assist DSS in operating child care programs and some aspects of the view program.


Benefits Programs

Temporary Assistance To Needy Families (TANF) – is a program, which provides temporary financial assistance to eligible families with children. The family receives a monthly cash payment to meet their basic needs.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – is a program designed to alleviate hunger and malnutrition.  This is accomplished by permitting low-income households to obtain a more nutritious diet through normal channels of trade by increasing the food purchasing power of all eligible households who apply for participation.

Electronic Benefits Transfer Program (EBT) – is the distribution process for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits through the utilization of a plastic debit card.  The card replaces the old paper food stamp coupons, and provides direct electronic transfer of benefits.

Medicaid – is a program designed to provide a payment resource, either totally or in part, for the medical needs of low-income individuals who are elderly, blind, or disabled, as well as families or pregnant women.

Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) – A health insurance program for children making health care affordable for children of eligible families.  FAMIS covers all the medical care growing children need to avoid getting sick, plus the medical care that will help them if they do get sick or get hurt.

Auxiliary Grants Programs – a monetary payment program designed to assist to aged, blind, or disabled persons residing in homes for adults who have insufficient funds to meet their needs as established-by the state board of social services.

General Relief – is a program designed to provide monetary assistance, either ongoing or short term, for items that cannot be provided through other means. This includes assistance to children who do not meet the relationship criterion for eligibility in a federal category of assistance.


Energy Assistance – programs designed to assist low-income households offset the cost of energy as well as purchase or repair heating equipment that poses a threat to the households.


Temporary Assistance To Needy Families (TANF-UP) – is a program designed to offer financial assistance to needy two-parent, unemployed homes.


Temporary Assistance To Repatriates – is a program which provides monetary assistance to help needy U.S. citizens and their dependents who have returned or been brought from a foreign country to the U.S. due to the destitution of the U.S. citizen or any of his/her dependents because of war, threat of war, invasion or similar crisis, and are without available resources.



Holiday Activities – Social Services staff perform a variety of activities in connection with holiday celebrations, including: completion of joy fund cards, matching persons who wish to contribute food baskets to persons in need, and accepting donations of toys and clothing for distributing to foster and “At Risk” children.


Disaster Relief – During emergencies such as hurricanes or hazardous material spills, staff of the Department of Social Services provides management and staffing for emergency shelters.  The primary duty of the department is Shelter Management (registration).  However, other duties may include, disaster SNAP, death notifications, addressing inquiries from persons attempting to locate their relatives, and completing emergency relief applications.


Children’s Services Act (CSA) – is a Virginia law designed to help troubled youths and their families.  State and local agencies, parents, and private service providers work together to plan and provide services.  In each community local teams decide how to accomplish this.  These teams must include the major child serving agencies including schools, courts, social services, health, mental health, and others.  “It is the intention of this law to create a collaborative system of services and funding that is child-centered, family focused, and community-based when addressing the strengths and needs of troubled and at-risk youths and their families in the Commonwealth” (Virginia acts of the assembly, chapter 880, section 2.5-745).

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