VDSS & the Virginia Social Services System
VDSS is part of the larger Virginia Social Services System (VSSS), which is a partnership of three key organizations responsible for the administration, supervision and delivery of social services in Virginia:
- LDSS (Local Department of Social Services), which represents the 120 local departments of social services
- VaCAP (Virginia Community Action Partnership), an association of community action programs across the state
- VDSS (Virginia Department of Social Services).
VDSS Organizational Structure
VDSS consists of:
- Home Office in Richmond Virginia, which houses its Divisions and Program Areas
- Five Regional Offices which oversee and support community and local organizations
- Organizational Structure Report 2020
- Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) District Offices
- Licensing Offices
VDSS Divisions & Program Areas
Division of Benefit Programs
The Division of Benefit Programs (BP) strives to aid Virginia's most vulnerable citizens and help them achieve their highest level of self-sufficiency.
BP's goal is to promote the well-being of the Commonwealth through the delivery of a variety of essential public services and benefits including:
- Medical Assistance (MA)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Energy Assistance Programs (EAP)
Workforce Development Programs consisting of:
- Virginia Initiative for Education and Work (VIEW)
- SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T)
- Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP)
The division is also responsible for providing benefit policy training and instructional assistance to 120 local departments of social services (LDSS) across the Commonwealth, including technical assistance of the Virginia Case Management System (VaCMS), and its development activities to enhance functionality.
BP is customer-service focused and driven by a shared vision to improve the life and living conditions of children, the elderly, those living with disabilities, and the indigent within the Commonwealth. Partnerships between BP, businesses and the community are critical in helping Virginians achieve and maintain independence.
Division of Business Operations
The Division of Business Operations is responsible for maintaining the State Disbursement Unit, which processes child support payments, as well as the Office of Background Investigations, which houses the Criminal Background Investigation Unit and Child Abuse & Neglect Central Registry Search Unit.
Division of Child Support Enforcement
The Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) is responsible for ensuring Virginia's children receive the financial support due to them by locating noncustodial parents, establishing and enforcing child support obligations, and collecting and disbursing payments. DCSE has 21 district offices and also oversees support programs to facilitate paternity establishment, encourage noncustodial parents' involvement in their child(ren)'s lives, and assist incarcerated noncustodial parents as they transition back to society.
Programs managed by DCSE include:
- Paternity Establishment Program (PEP)
- Intensive Case Monitoring Program (ICMP)
- Access and Visitation Grant
Division of Community & Volunteer Services
The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) maintains close relationships with community organizations, faith-based organizations, nonprofits and local departments of social services. These relationships enable the Virginia Social Services System (VSSS) to pool resources to provide a safety net of services for those most in need. Community & Volunteer Services (CVS) seeks out ways to partner with the Commonwealth, private, volunteer, and community organizations to share information and fortify the VSSS statewide network of services. CVS provides accurate information, research expertise, and strategic planning coordination for VDSS and the VSSS network.
Groups & Programs Managed by CVS
The following groups/programs are managed by CVS:
- 2-1-1 VIRGINIA, whose purpose is to manage a health and human services information and referral network which Virginians can access by dialing 211.
- Community Services Block Grant, which addresses the issue of poverty and works to increase the self-sufficiency of low-income families through a broad range of anti-poverty programs that help to build a network of support for Virginia's most vulnerable populations.
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families.
- Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP), which emphasizes partnerships between the private and public sector to assist the economically deprived.
- Office of New Americans (ONA), which promotes the economic and civic success of Virginia's diverse immigrant communities. They are responsible for a statewide implementation strategy to provide refugees and immigrants with comprehensive assistance related to employment, housing, healthcare, education, citizenship, and other services for which they may be eligible.
- Office of New Americans Advisory Board advises the Governor, cabinet members, and the General Assembly on strategies to improve state policies and programs to support the economic, linguistic, and civic integration of new Americans throughout the Commonwealth.
- Office on Volunteerism and Community Service (OVCS) serves organizations that strengthen their communities through volunteerism and service.
- Virginia Service Commission and AmeriCorps, whose programs address local needs, strengthen communities, and expand opportunity through national service.
- Substance Use Disorder (SUD), which works across all portfolios to reduce the impact of addiction on communities and the families that are served by VSSS.
- Virginia Service Foundation, a non-profit established, organized and operated to support and assist the Virginia Governor's Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism.
- Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism advises the Governor and Cabinet Secretaries on matters related to the promotion and development of national service in the Commonwealth.
- Faith and Community Initiative (FCI) works with Virginia's faith and community organizations to increase the health and wellness of Virginia's families.
- Repatriation Program provides temporary assistance to U.S. citizens and their dependents who must return to Virginia due to destitution, physical or mental illness, or war.
Division of Compliance
The Division of Compliance is responsible for agency-wide compliance and risk mitigation that helps ensure adherence to state and federal legal and regulatory standards, including appeals and fair hearings, quality control, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), subrecipient monitoring, and fraud management.
Division of Enterprise Systems
The Division of Enterprise Systems (DES) focuses on VDSS enterprise information technology projects, with an emphasis on self-service benefits and services models that are efficient, effective, and customer friendly.
Division of Family Services
The Division of Family Services (DFS) promotes safety, permanency and well-being for children, families and individuals in Virginia, and is comprised of the following units:
- Domestic Violence
- Family Engagement
- Child Protective Services
- In-Home Services
- Foster Care
- Resource Family
- Interstate Compact on Placement of Children/Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance
- Quality Assurance and Accountability
DFS programs are designed to address the needs of Virginia's most vulnerable citizens. The programs balance effective intervention, when necessary, and emphasis on personal responsibility for safety, stability and well-being.
DFS programs administered by local departments of social services include:
- Child Protective Services
- In-Home Services
- Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF)
- Foster Care
- Youth Services (a.k.a Independent Living)
DFS programs that are state administered include:
Division of Finance
The Division of Finance (DOF) performs management and oversight of the annual budget and expenditures for VDSS. DOF provides guidance for the department's financial policies and ensures fiscal compliance with state and federal regulations. DOF is also responsible for processing financial transactions for the department and reporting the results of those transactions to local agencies, field offices, and state and federal entities.
Division of General Services
The Division of General Services (GS) provides management and oversight of three complex and varied units:
- Contracts and Procurement supports the agency's mission through the establishment of strategic and compliant solicitations and contracts. This team is responsible for leading and monitoring all procurement actions to include strategic sourcing, formal and informal solicitations, contract management, and compliance with state and federal regulations.
- Property and Facilities supports the agency through two unique divisions. Printing and Distribution is responsible for receipt and distribution of all mail and packages, delivery between local and regional offices, and large scale printing efforts. Facilities Management ensures effective management of the facility, oversight of leases, parking allocation, vehicle and fleet management, safety and security, and surplus property.
- Emergency Management supports the agency's mission and the Commonwealth through management of complex all-hazards agency-wide emergency planning. This team has responsibility for the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Operations Plan, management of state sheltering, oversight of the SWAN notification process, ESF-6: Mass Care, and management of the State Coordinated Regional Shelter Plan.
Division of Information Security & Risk Management
The Division of Information Security and Risk Management (ISRM) protects VDSS information systems by addressing security compliance, risk, and opportunities in alignment with agency and stakeholder objectives.
Division of Information Systems
The Division of Information Systems (DIS) develops and maintains automated information systems in support of the agency's business. Other functions include system operations, customer support, network services, application database management, business intelligence, software quality assurance, and system and application security.
DIS works with VDSS business units to manage information technology resources using the Information Technology Investment Management methodology. This set of best practices operates through business-led steering committees and a department investment board. This structure assures that information technology dollars are spent in alignment with business defined strategic goals and objectives.
Division of Licensing Programs
The Division of Licensing Programs (DOLP) strives to protect the safety, health, and well-being of children and adults receiving care in non-medical day facilities and residential programs.
Assisted living facilities (ALF), adult day care centers (ADCC), children's residential facilities (CRF), and licensed child placing agencies (LCPA) are the primary programs licensed through DOLP.
Licensing inspectors conduct inspections of children and adult programs to monitor compliance with standards, regulations, and laws. Licensing inspectors are authorized to conduct investigations if there are allegations of noncompliance with the Code of Virginia, federal regulations, and program licensing standards. State and regional licensing staff also provide training to providers, facilities, and organizations.
The DOLP home office is located at 801 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219. Eight regional licensing offices are also located throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Additional program information includes:
Adult Programs Regulated by DOLP
Child Welfare Programs Regulated by DOLP
- Child Caring Institutions (CCI)
- Children's Residential Facilities
- Licensed Independent Foster Homes
- Licensed Child Placing Agencies (LCPA)
Background Investigations Responsibilities
Division of Local Engagement & Support
The Division of Local Engagement & Support (LES) is comprised of staff at the VDSS home office and five regional offices across the Commonwealth. Teams work collaboratively across each location to support Virginia Social Services System (VSSS) initiatives by consulting and supporting local departments of social services.
Division of Public Affairs
The Division of Public Affairs (PA) supports the agency's mission through awareness, education and outreach to staff, local departments of social services,clients, partners, press and the general public. PA's responsibilities include developing graphic communications, branding, press inquiries, maintenance and development of the agency's social and digital platforms, including public and internal web portals, as well as leading strategic marketing and public relations campaigns.
Effective and reliable communication to both external and internal audiences is integral to supporting and achieving the agency's mission and vision. PA's continued focus is to foster increased transparency, accuracy and two-way engagement through collaboration and strategic communication planning.
Division of Workforce Development & Support
The Division of Workforce Development & Support (WDS) is responsible for the delivery of policy and skills training for local department of social services employees working in the areas of Benefits Programs, the Child Care Subsidy Program and Family Services.
The Division of Human Resources (HR) provides comprehensive human resource management services, serving as planners, consultants and strategists to our state and local customers in support of social services programs. It's functional areas include:
- Salary Administration, and Compensation and Classification
- Training and Development
- Employee Relations and Equal Employment Opportunity
- Policy Administration
- Benefits, Records Management and Human Resource Information Systems
The Division provides comprehensive human resource management services to 120 local departments of social services, comprised of approximately 8,000 employees. It also provides human resource management services to 1600 state employees, inclusive of approximately 134 managers and supervisors, five regional offices and 22 District Child Support Offices, four of which are privatized.
The program's legal authority is located in sections 63.1-26 and 63.1-87 of the Code of Virginia and Federal 5CFR, Part 900 subpart F(b).
Office of Innovation & Strategic Initiatives
The Office of Innovation & Strategic Initiatives (OISI) is responsible for collaboration within the broader social services system, community-based organizations, other state agencies, and nontraditional partners to implement innovation projects and strategic initiatives that will increase the agency's capacity to better achieve its mission.
Office of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
The Office of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs provides oversight of all legislative and regulatory activities of VDSS. Primary responsibilities include:
- Monitoring VDSS-related legislation during each General Assembly session and coordinating year-round legislative activities
- Ensuring departmental compliance with state and federal mandates in the development and promulgation of social services regulations Providing technical support to the State Board of Social Services
Office of Research & Planning
The Office of Research & Planning (ORP) provides research expertise to state and local social services staff as well as partners of the Virginia Social Services System (VSSS). Responsibilities include:
- Analyzing data
- Assisting with research and survey design
- Conducting and managing comprehensive program evaluations
- Developing databases to facilitate research
- Operating the VDSS Institutional Review Board
- Producing a performance indicator system for local VDSS offices
- Strategic planning coordination for VDSS and the VSSS network
- Technical assistance on data analysis