Social Services

Covid19 Protocols

Certification periods for SNAP, TANF and Childcare expiring in March, April and May 2020 will be extended for six months until September, October and November 2020

For March renewals already started, certification will need to be completed. 

Emergency SNAP benefits are being issued to current SNAP recipients for March and April 2020 and will increase the household’s current monthly allotment to the maximum monthly allotment for a household of that size. March emergency allotments will be issued after 8 p.m., March 25, 2020. April emergency allotments will be issued on April 16, 2020. Regular SNAP benefits for April will be issued according to the normal schedule Current SNAP households that already receive the maximum allotment for their household size are not eligible for emergency benefits. 

Additional provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 allowed for states exempt individuals from complying with the work requirement.  As such, Effective April 1, 2020, all localities in Virginia will become exempt. This will be in effect until the end of the month subsequent to the month in which the public health emergency is ended.

Department of Medical Assistance Services will not take any action to close individuals receiving emergency services coverage for dialysis will be extended for another 120 days. 

For the duration of the health emergency, no Medical Assistance cases should not close for any reason. 

Roanoke City Department of Human and Social Services is taking the following steps to minimize the potential spread of the virus:

• Suspension of community outreach activities at libraries, Homeless Assistance Team Office and Carilion Pediatric Clinic.
• Hospital based Medicaid staff will work from the office or through telework. Staff will provide increased communication options by phone and on-line with Carilion partners.
Staff who perform document scanning are wearing rubber gloves.

• Internal team meetings are being suspended with the exception of an allowance for the most necessary team communications which will be minimal and have few enough participants to allow for spacing between participants.
• Encouraging telework as service and program needs allow. For those who will need to miss work due to children being home from school, we will consider telework option if job duties can be accomplished and productivity can be established. Expansion of telework options will proceed as much as possible to fulfill responsibilities while having as few staff as possible in the office.
• Screening questions are being used for home visits.
• Those whose duty requires entry into homes for protection calls will be issued surgical masks and gloves.
• HAT is exercising as much precaution as possible in wiping areas in the office after customer interaction. HAT staff have been provided a small supply of surgical masks and rubber gloves.
• Community partner meetings have been cancelled or are being coordinated as conference calls.
• Family Assistance Planning Team (FAPT) meetings will be conducted with telephone participation from case managers, providers and families.
• Foster Care visits beyond a radius of 30 miles from the office will be conducted electronically. For visits within the radius of 30 miles, screening questions will be asked.
• Outreach Detention will maintain the 6 feet distance recommended by CDC for Social Distancing, and when making a visit at the home of the client, will call them and have them come out of the home to meet. Staff will carry hand sanitizer and wash hands as often as possible, and especially after applying electronic monitors.
• Enhanced Community Service -- for the next 30 days the weekend crews are suspended. There will be no staff supervised community service groups of youth on weekends. Clients who are ordered to perform community service will be given a log to document any community service that they can find for themselves and return it to the Community Service Coordinator to be confirmed.
• Substance Abuse Counselor -- for the next 30 days the Substance Abuse Counselor will suspend drug testing through urine screens
• Roanoke Valley Juvenile Detention Center is restricting access to visitors and taking the temperature of anyone entering the Center and denying access to anyone who has a fever of 100 degrees or greater.
• Adult Services Uniform Assessment Instrument (UAI) Screenings (in conjunction with Health Department) will be done by telephone. These screenings determine whether someone qualifies for nursing home or assisted living facility care.

• Assisted Living Facility ( ALF) reassessments will be done by telephone or video.
• Other visits (for investigations, etc.) will follow the same guidelines as CPS
• APS workers will submit to health screenings to enter nursing facilities.


The Mission of the Department of Social Services is to help the citizens of our Community achieve a realistic and attainable level of self-sufficiency within a safe, healthy environment. We will accomplish this by using our strengths and resources in a caring, professional manner, while providing a network of protection, support, and temporary financial assistance.


The Department of Social Services provides a wide array of mandated and non-mandated services to the citizens of Roanoke. These services include a network of protective, supportive, and temporary financial services that assist citizens with achieving a realistic and attainable level of self-sufficiency. These services include Benefit (Eligibility) Programs, Service Programs, Employment Services, and Training Services.

Additional Contact Information

  • Steven Martin, Director of Human/Social Services:  540-853-2894
  • Jennifer Barnes, Benefit Program Manager:  540-853-2704
  • Susan Reese, Social Work Manager:  540-853-2427
  • Meredith Burger, Human Services Business Administrator:  540-853-2181