Department of Social Services

DUE TO COVID-19 The Lancaster County Department of Social Services is closed to the public until further notice.

The switchboard will be open Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm.  The main number is 804-462-5141. 

If you wish to apply for benefits you may apply online at, or by calling the toll-free number 1-855-635-4370.

Be sure you provide a valid phone number to be contacted.  Telephone interviews for SNAP and TANF are being done at this time.

If you have verifications that are necessary to drop off, please consider doing these electronically through your smart-phone, tablet, computer, scanner, fax, etc.  If you do not have access to electronic options, documents can be put in the drop box located at the entrance to the Social Services building. Documents can also be sent by FAX to: 804-462-0330.


  • Apply to be a Foster Parent - Foster Care is a service provided to families that are experiencing a major crisis or difficulty in parenting such as abuse, neglect, substance abuse, mental health issues, stress, and/or lack of family support.
  • Medicaid - A jointly funded, Federal-State health insurance program for low-income and needy people. It covers children, the aged, blind, and/or disabled and other people who are eligible to receive federally assisted income maintenance payments.
  • Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) - SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - A program that provides cash assistance and supportive services to assist families with children under age 18, helping them achieve economic self-sufficiency.
  • Long Term/Personal Care Assessment Services - If you or someone in your family needs nursing facility care or personal care in the home and cannot afford the cost, you may be eligible for to have this service covered by Medicaid. You can apply for Medicaid online or by calling 1-855-635-4370.

Apply Online

CommonHelp is the Virginia Department of Social Services fast and easy way to screen and apply online for many benefit programs.

Apply By Phone

All Programs: 1-855-635-4370


Services listed in this website are either sponsored by the Virginia Department of Social Services and/or local Initiatives. The Services are divided into three categories of programs:

Adult Protective Services

The Adult Services team provides a variety of supportive services designed to empower our customers to achieve their full potential. Medicaid is a resource to assist with nursing home and community-based care costs.

Adult Protective Services provides investigative services to:

  • Individuals age 60 and older
  • Incapacitated persons age 18 and older who:
  • Alleged to be abused, neglected, or exploited
  • Are at risk

Adult Protective Services Line

Please call 804-462-5141 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and select option 5 for Adult Protective Services. After hours, or on weekends or holidays, please call the Virginia Department of Social Services State Hotline at 888-832-3858.

Child Protective Services

The goal of Child Protective Services (CPS) is to identify, assess and provide services to children and families in an effort to protect children, preserve families whenever possible, and prevent further maltreatment.

Local departments of social services are responsible for:

  • Conducting investigations to determine the validity of the CPS reports
  • Preventing further abuse and neglect to families and children
  • Providing services that enhance child safety
  • Receiving reports of abuse and neglect

Foster Care

The Foster Care Program provides for the temporary placement and supervision of a child or children placed in the custody of this agency by the court. While in foster care, a social worker will work together with the child or children’s family to address the family’s needs that brought the child or children into foster care.

It is the goal of the Foster Care Program to provide permanency to children by:

  • Adoption or independent living, for older youth
  • Placement with an appropriate relative
  • Returning the child or children to the parent or prior custodian

For additional information, please contact the program supervisors at 804-462-5141.

Board of Social Services

The Board meets bi-monthly on the fourth Tuesday at 4:30pm in the Conference Room, 9049 Mary Ball Road.

Contact Information

Edna Davenport
Director, Lancaster Department of Social Services
Post Office Box 308
Lancaster, VA 22503
Phone: (804) 462-5141
Fax: (804) 462-0330

Office Location

Lancaster County Social Services/Health Department Building
9049 Mary Ball Road
Hours: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Important Links

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