Strengthening Families – Innovators for Success


In 2010, the Virginia Department of Social Servcices (VDSS) launched Family engagement, one of the  cornerstones of the Virginia Children’s Services System Transformation. No longer are Virginia’s social service agencies the sole decision makers for Virginia’s children and families. Family engagement requires a shift from the belief that agencies alone know what is best for children and families to one that allows the family to fully participate in decision-making. This resource manual is another way to reach out with information regarding the diverse resources that are available in our area to assist families.

All children, adults and communities deserve to be safe and stable.

Every child has the right to live in a safe home, attend a safe school and live in a safe community. Ensuring safety requires a collaborative effort among families, Washington County Department of Social Services staff, and community partners across all programs and services.

Every adult has the right to live and work in a safe environment. We value all programs that address domestic and family violence and the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older or incapacitated adults.

We value individual and family strengths, perspectives, goals, and plans as central to creating and maintaining a safe environment. The meaningful engagement and participation of children, adults, extended family, and community stakeholders is a necessary component of assuring safety.

Individuals are best served when services are person-centered, family-focused and community-based and aim to preserve the family unit and prevent family disruption.  When partnering with others to support individual and family success, we use an integrated service approach.

Cooperation, coordination and collaboration within and outside the social services system are essential to providing the most comprehensive services to families. We are committed to working across programs, divisions, agencies, stakeholder groups, and communities to improve outcomes for the children, individuals, families, and communities we serve.

We believe in partnering across programs and systems in order to provide a full array of services along the continuum of care. We are committed to working within and outside of the social services system to identify and address service gaps.