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An Agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia
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The Virginia Department of Social Services, in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Health, are committed to the fight against COVID-19. Have you downloaded COVIDWISE, Virginia's COVID-19 exposure notification app? Add your phone to the fight here. For up-to-date information, assistance, and resources from across state government, click here.


Citizens Served

$ Million

child support collected

$ Million

Disbursed in Adoption Assistance Payments

Welcome to the Virginia Department of Social Services

VDSS is one of the largest Commonwealth agencies, partnering with 120 local departments of social services, along with faith-based and non-profit organizations, to promote the well-being of children and families statewide. We proudly serve alongside 1,650 (state) and 8,500 (local) human services professionals throughout the Social Services System, who ensure that thousands of Virginia's most vulnerable citizens have access to the best services and benefits available to them.

Together, we work each day to serve, empower, and create opportunities for brighter futures.

Press Releases



P-EBT Announcement

VDSS will begin releasing a second distribution of P-EBT benefits beginning September 30. Eligible households include students who are both learning virtually for at least five consecutive days and qualify for free or reduced-price meals at school or are enrolled in schools that provide free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision. Visit to access the improved inquiry form and view FAQs. Learn more.

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New Energy Assistance Program

Virginia households that would not typically qualify for home energy assistance programs may be eligible to receive aid through the new Virginia COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program. Learn more.

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New DCSE Text Messaging Service

VDSS' Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) is excited to announce text messaging capabilities! This new feature allows customers to receive quick and friendly two-way text messages in response to questions related to their DCSE case(s), appointment and payment reminders, and updates to balances on their case(s). Learn more.

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Child Care Resource Guides

New resources are available for parents and employers in search of information as school districts begin moving to new models of instruction due to COVID-19. Learn more.

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SNAP Online Purchasing

Virginia SNAP participants can purchase eligible food items online through Amazon and Walmart online platforms beginning Friday, May 29. Participants will be able to complete transactions using their EBT card and their secure PINs. SNAP benefits cannot be used to pay for fees of any type, such as delivery, service, or convenience fees. Learn more.

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VDSS Launches COVID-19 Virginia Resources App

COVID-19 Virginia Resources is a new mobile app and website designed to operate as a one-stop resource to access benefits, services and critical COVID-19-related programs Virginians need most right now. Find it in the App Store and Play Store today for immediate access to actionable resources. Learn more.

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Child Support Resources

While the Division of Child Support Enforcement has suspended in-office customer service, normal operations continue and services remain available. We will continue to distribute child support payments and provide assistance to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Virginia's families. We're here to help. Learn more.

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Meal Sites for Children

Are you searching for meal sites for children? Visit the Department of Education's list of approved meal service sites. Call 2-1-1 for more information regarding meal service in your area. Learn more.

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COVID-19 federal/state guidance, health guidance FAQs and resources for child care providers is available from the VDSS Child Care website. Visit the site frequently for updates as new information continues to emerge. Learn more.

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The Virginia Department of Social Services has created a COVID-19 page on our website that will regularly be updated with the most up-to-date information and guidance from the department, including health updates, help applying for cash, food or medical assistance, and more. For general questions, email or dial 2-1-1. Learn more.

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VDSS Launches Foster-Friendly Business Card Program

Virginia's Kids Belong and Virginia Fosters have partnered with VDSS to offer the Foster-Friendly Business Card program, which provides discounts to eligible foster families as thanks for their service to Virginia's children. The first of these is 50% off YMCA monthly memberships. Eligible families will receive their business card through local departments of social services or private agencies. Learn more.

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Child Care Providers Needed in Virginia - Make a Difference

A child's early years are both magical and critical for their growth and development. If you have a gift for caring for children, consider making a difference in your community by becoming a child care provider. Let us be your partner in starting or growing your child care business Visit today.

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In Virginia, nearly 1.2 million people have minimal access to fresh, affordable, and nutritious food. Visit to see exactly where food insecurities are the highest and explore trends in hunger, food access, and health. Together we can make a difference. Learn more.

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VDSS Commissioner Duke Storen challenged state and local staff to participate in this year's "Wear Orange Day." Orange is the national color of hunger awareness. Make a difference in your community year-round by visiting Feeding America's volunteer page to find a local food bank near you.

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Seventeen refugee youth who originate from seven different countries, but now reside across Virginia participated in the inaugural Mentoring Youth in Virginia (MYVA) Capital Tour, hosted by the Virginia Department of Social Services. The day-long event featured tours and personalized discussions with civic leaders, including VDSS Commissioner Duke Storen, among others. Learn more.

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Family First Website Launch

The Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First) was adopted in February 2018. It includes historic reforms to child welfare funding, including federal funding for prevention services to families of children who are at imminent risk of entering foster care. Visit the Family First site today to learn more.

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New Legislative Changes for Exempt Child Day Programs

Senate Bill 539 changes to Code of Virginia § 63.2-1715 "Exemptions from licensure" went into effect July 1, 2019. Code of Virginia § 63.2-1715 now clarifies who should be considered a child day program, redefines the list of programs that are exempt from licensure, and lists basic health and safety requirements. Learn more.

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Choosing Safe, Quality Care Isn't Child's Play

VDSS created a new video to encourage parents to utilize when searching for child care. We all value recommendations from family and friends, but offers unique tips for asking the right questions of potential providers and info on the benefits of choosing high quality child care. Learn more.

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DCSE Annual Fee Increase

Effective July 1, 2019, legislative changes require that the Division of Child Support Enforcement update the annual fee for custodial parents who have never received Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The law increases the annual collection fee from $25 to $35 and now requires DCSE to collect and disburse $550 (previously $500) to the family before collecting the annual fee each federal fiscal year. Learn more.

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The Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Program assists current and former teens and young adults in foster care with post-secondary education and training expenses. Funding includes up to $5,000 per year for eligible students ages 14 to 26. ETV funds can be combined with other grants or scholarships. Learn more at

Learn More >> Redesign Goes Live

VDSS has re-launched the site! Check out the wealth of new resources and information to make choosing safe, quality child care easier for parents! Encourage your friends and family to take action to feel comfortable and confident with their choice of child care by asking their potential provider the questions that really matter.

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Real Adoption & Foster Care Stories

"The Real Stories of Foster and Adoptive Families" is a compilation of compelling anecdotes of how real Virginia families were started, reunited and strengthened through foster care and adoption.

If you or someone you know is willing to share an adoption or foster care story, please email

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