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 Adoption

 

Adult Services

 

 Child Protective Services

 

Foster Care

 

Truancy

Adult Services:

Adult Services is a program that enables adults to remain in the least restrictive setting and function independently. Services include screenings for assisted living, nursing home placement, home-based care, Adult Day Care and other waiver services. Although the services provided do not include case management, employees will make referrals for transportation, nutrition, homemaker and mental health services.

Adult Protective Services (APS) is the key program in Adult Services. This service investigates reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults over 60 years of age and incapacitated adults over 18 years of age. The goal of APS is to protect a vulnerable adult's life, health, and property without a loss of independence. When this is not possible, APS attempts to provide assistance with the least disruption of life style and with full due process, protection, and restoration of the person's liberty in the shortest possible period of time. Partnerships are key to prevention and to maximize risk reduction and self-determination.

Complainant information is confidential and is only disclosed with the permission of the complainant or if ordered by the court. The list of those mandated to make such reports to this agency includes any person licensed, certified or registered by the health regulatory boards listed in §54.1-2503 of the Code of Virginia (with the exception of the Board of Veterinary Medicine), any mental health service provider as defined in §54.1-2400.1 of the Code of Virginia, EMS personnel, guardians and conservators, any person employed to work in a direct care capacity with adults and law enforcement.

For more information on available services, or to make an Adult Protective Services complaint please call 540-586-7750 ext. 2266. You may also call the state hotline number at 1-888-83ADULT to make an APS complaint after hours or on holidays.

For more information regarding Adult Services or Adult Protective Services please visit Virginia Department of Social Services.

The Companion Services Program assists elderly and/or disabled adults in their home who are dependent in at least one major IADL (Instrumental Activity of Daily Living) such as Meal Preparation, Housekeeping, Laundry or Money Management. Those who qualify can receive up to 15 hours of service per week.

For more information regarding Companion Services please visit Virginia Department of Social Services.


Child Protective Services (CPS)

Child Protective Services (CPS) identifies, assesses, investigates and provides services to children who have been abused or neglected and to their families. It is designed to preserve families whenever possible, yet protect children and prevent further maltreatment.

The CPS program is non-punitive in its approach and attempts to enable families to provide adequate care for their children.

Structured Decision Making (SDM) is a process that uses a set of research and evidence-based assessment tools to help case workers make appropriate decisions at key stages in the child welfare process, from screening referrals to closing cases. When partnered with clinical judgment and supervision, these tools are designed to increase the consistency of casework decisions and improve the validity of those decisions, thereby better protecting children from harm. The assessment tools apply to all CPS decisions, with the exception of out-of-family reports, which only require the use of the Intake Tool. The assessment tools must be completed in the automated data system. When accessed via the automated data system, each assessment tool has definitions available that assist the worker with making the best choices on the tool. In CPS, Structured Decision Making is used for Validation, Safety and Risk.

When concerns are reported to the local agency, staff have to first determine if the concerns reported are valid (need attention) or invalid (do not meet criteria for agency follow through). Staff use SDM to assist in making this decision.

CPS utilizes a Differential Response System.  Once an incoming call/referral is determined to be valid, the Differential Response then helps the local agency determine if the referral will be a Family Assessment or an Investigation. The Structured Decision Making tool helps staff determine if the valid concern should be a Family Assessment or an Investigation. The Family Assessment process is service oriented, strength based and non-punitive. The Investigation Process determines if abuse or neglect have occurred and makes a finding of Founded or Unfounded. During both a Family Assessment and Investigation, safety of the child is addressed as well as risk of future harm.

The CPS unit also provides foster care prevention services to families referred by the community and by Court Order. In addition, the CPS unit attempts outreach to prevent child abuse or neglect by addressing risk issues before they result in maltreatment of children.

In accordance with the Code of Virginia, Social Services also provides foster care prevention/ongoing Child Protective Services. The purpose of this unit is to provide services to prevent further abuse or neglect of a child and to prevent the removal of the child from his/her home. If your family has been referred to ongoing/prevention services one of the following has occurred:

  1. You have voluntarily agreed to work with Social Services to find parenting solutions.
  2. A family assessment has been completed with your family.
  3. A CPS investigation has been completed with your family.
  4. There is a current Court Order indicating that Social Services shall provide services to your family.
  5. There are risk factors and concerns that have been identified surrounding the children and caretakers in your home/family.
  6. There are risk factors that indicate your child is at risk of abuse or neglect or your child is at risk of removal from your home.

Prevention services will work in partnership with the family and other community resources to identify specific behaviors and environmental conditions that need to change to prevent further abuse or neglect and to provide a safe environment for the family and their child(ren).

For more information regarding Child Protective Services please visit Virginia Department of Social Services.

To Report Abuse and/or Neglect:
Anyone may report suspected child maltreatment during normal business hours to Bedford County Department of Social Services by calling (540) 586-7750 ext. 2266. In addition, a report may be made by calling the statewide Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (800) 552-7096


Truancy

Bedford County has developed an innovative process to help children who are not attending school or who have been determined Truant (Code of Virginia: 22.1-254, 22.1-254.1, 22.1-258). The Court refers children and families who are having attendance problems to Social Services. Once referred the family is invited to a Truancy Review Team (TRT) meeting. This is a collaborative meeting held with the family and their child to help determine what services and support may be needed to improve school attendance.

Each case is assigned a tier level based upon the level of absenteeism:

  • Early Intervention- This level allows families to seek help prior to being referred to the court or the Truancy Review Team (TRT). This typically consists of school level meetings.
  • Monitoring- This is the basic truancy level that requires Social Services staff to contact the school and families at least monthly.
  • Truancy – This level includes monthly updates provided to Social Services from the school system and twice a month contact with the family including a home visit.
  • Intensive Truancy. This level includes weekly contact with the family including at least one home visit per month and biweekly contact with the school.


Foster Care

The Foster Care Program provides services, substitute care, and supervision for a child on a 24-hour basis until the child can return to his or her family, be placed with relatives, be placed in an adoptive home or another permanent foster care placement.

In the Foster Care Program, assistance is given to children and families in an effort to prevent removal of a child from his or her home. When parents are unsuccessful in changing conditions in the home, it may be necessary to place the child in foster care. In that case, the Foster Care Program provides services to enable the child to return home. If that is not possible, the program tries to find another permanent home. Foster Care is intended to be a temporary response to a difficult family situation, not a long-term solution for the family.

Become a Foster or Adoptive Parent

Bedford County Department of Social Services is actively searching for families in Bedford and surrounding communities.  If you have considered opening your heart and home to a child in need, please contact us to discuss this exciting and rewarding opportunity. 

Contact Meg Cosby at 540-875-8815 or email Meg.Cosby@dss.virginia.gov for more information.

Benefits of foster parenting with Bedford County:

  • Foster parents earn monthly tax-free stipends.
  • Families have access to staff 24 hours a day for their support.
  • Each child in the program is assigned an individual case manager to assist in coordinating needed services.
  • All children in the program are given access to professional counseling services.
  • Foster parents work closely with the treatment team, as a respected professional.
  • All treatment decisions and background information are shared openly between the program and the parents.

If helping area children sounds interesting please contact Meg Cosby, Foster Parent Trainer, at 540-875-8815 or email Meg.Cosby@dss.virginia.gov.

If you would like to apply to be a foster parent, you may submit an Application.

 


Adoption Services

The purpose of Adoption Services is to help children who have been permanently and legally separated from their birth parents become permanent members of a new family.

If a foster child cannot be returned to his or her parents or placed with relatives, the planning goal becomes adoption. Adoption is a social and legal process that establishes the relationship of parent and child between people who do not have this relationship by birth. It provides the same rights and obligations that exist between children and their biological parents.

For more information regarding Adoption Services, please visit Virginia Department of Social Services. Adoption Frequently Asked Questions.