Department of Social Services


  • 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

Virginia COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program

The Virginia COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program is designed to assist low-income households who are not eligible to receive assistance from the existing energy assistance programs because:

  • They do not meet the financial criteria OR
  • The vulnerable individual (household member who is age 60 or over/disabled/under age 6) criteria

Depending on the availability of funds, the program will provide a one-time payment of $300 to assist eligible households with payment of a heating or cooling expense.

Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis until funds are exhausted. If you have questions about the program, please call 1-833-829-2767.

Who is eligible?

  • Must be resident of Virginia
  • Must have heating or cooling expense responsibility
  • Must be either a United States citizen or an eligible immigrant
  • A household’s monthly gross income must be less than the maximum allowed for the number of people in the home:
    • For household size of 1, maximum income is $2,720
    • For household size of 2, maximum income is $3,558
    • For household size of 3, maximum income is $4,395
    • For household size of 4, maximum income is $5,232
    • For household size of 5, maximum income is $6,069
    • For household size of 6, maximum income is $6,907 
    • For each additional member after 6, add $156

Please complete this entire form in one session. If you close this application without submitting the form, all of your information will be lost.


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 3:00p.m. in the Conference Room, 9049 Mary Ball Road.

(Note:  Due to COVID-19 meetings are being held at the Lancaster County Administration Building, 8311 Mary Ball Road)

Contact Information

Director, Lancaster Department of Social Services

Edna Davenport
Phone: (804) 462-5141
Fax: (804) 462-0330

Office Location & Address

Lancaster County Social Services/Health Department Building
9049 Mary Ball Road
Post Office Box 308
Lancaster, VA 22503
Hours: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Important Links

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