SVSS names new director

Shenandoah Valley Social Services announced Sherry Bowman McClanahan as the new director, effective January 16th.

She will succeed Anita Harris who retired in July after 36 years with SVSS.

Bowman McClanahan brings with her over 30 years of experience with the Virginia Department of Social Services.

She most recently served as Child Protective Services Supervisor with the Henrico County Department of Social Services.

She was chosen for her leadership experiences including collaboration with community partners to coordinate trauma-informed, community based services for children and family and her efforts to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and the community.

To view the full announcement, click here.

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Clarke County hosts substance awareness resource fair

Clarke County Public Schools and Sheriff’s Office will host a community-wide substance awareness, prevention and resource fair on Wednesday, January 10th at the Clarke County High School Auditorium.

A presentation by a visiting Drug Enforcement Administration Agent and Northwestern Community Services will begin at 6 pm followed by a resource fair from 7 to 8 pm.

The resource fair will include numerous community organizations including the Victim Witness Program, Student Services, Social Services, and more.

The program is free and open to the public.

If you have any questions for the event, contact Director of Student Services Frank Moore at 540-955-6100 or

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Faster Families Highway celebrates successful first year

Governor Glenn Youngkin and the Virginia Department of Social Services announced a highly successful first year of Faster Families Highway.

The digital resource launched in April of 2022 has helped to streamline the process of becoming a foster parent and eliminate many of the historically paper-only processes which created long waiting periods.

Through the program, more than 1,000 potential foster parents have been connected to their local social services department to become registered and expedite the process to begin supporting children and families within their community.

By providing foster parents faster support and training, they are able to reduce the impact of separation related trauma and enable foster parents to begin their role of keeping children in their home communities and work toward the ultimate goal of reuniting children with their families.

For more information about the Faster Families Highway, visit

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

DSS warns of phishing scam

Virginia Department of Social Services has received reports about a scam that involves P-EBT and EBT cardholders receiving calls or texts telling them to activate their EBT account.

If a user calls the phishing number, it asks for their card number, pin and then to verify the pin before disconnecting. 

The number making the request starts in 1-866 and ends in 0486.

This number is not associated with Social Services and is a form of phishing.

State Client Customer Service Helpdesk employees will never call the cardholders to ask for a card number or pin.

If you receive a call or text do not answer or respond to the text and delete the message.

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Applications for Crisis Energy Assistance are being accepted

In a City of Winchester social post it was announced that applications for Crisis Energy Assistance are being accepted.

Energy emergencies are described as homes with no heat, or at a point of no heating or primary heating facing termination or not working.

The applications will be accepted by the Winchester Social Services Department Office on Baker Street Winchester until Mar. 15.

You can contact or call (855) 635-4370 for additional information and applications.

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Clarke County sets up Angel Trees for Christmas cheer for all

pandemic photo contest

A news release from the Clarke County Department of Social Services announced this year’s Angel Tree program.

This fall you will find six Christmas trees throughout the community each decorated with tags.

Each tag is from one of the more 900 children under 18, elderly 60 and over as well as disabled people in Clarke County that could use a little extra cheer this holiday.

Individuals are invited to take a tag and buy that gift by Dec. 10 and bring it to the Clarke County Social Services Department.

Anyone wishing to add someone in need to the Angel Tree program should contact Social Services by Nov. 12.

Find out more about the Angel Tree program by calling (540) 955-3700.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.  

HSWC provides free food and supplies

registration open polar plunge

The Humane Society of Warren County came together with Social Services, Warren Area Community Garden, and Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to provide free pet food and supplies to the community.

The event will be held at First Baptist Church on First Street in Front Royal starting at 11 am.

They will stay until all supplies are distributed so don’t wait if your furry friend needs something.

If you need help with specific types of supplies, contact the Humane Society of Warren County’s Facebook page before arriving. 

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