Contact Info

Lisa Sprouse
For questions about your benefits, please call the main number and ask
to speak with a case worker.


Social Services Bldg.
PO Box 338
145 E. Court Street
Marion, NC 28752
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Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM



The mission of the McDowell County Department of Social Services is to respectfully assist families and individuals by helping them maintain, and/or enhance their quality of life; to prevent abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable people in the community.

The Department of Social Services is located on East Court Street in Marion. The Department is responsible for implementing Federal and State human services programs.

People Focused & Service Driven


Income Maintenance Programs

Among Social Services’ income maintenance programs are the work first program, food and nutrition program, low income energy assistance program, medicaid program and special assistance for adults.

Service Programs

Among the service programs, Social Services administers adoptions, adult care home case management, adult services, case management, child support, community alternatives program for disabled adults, adult rest homes, general assistance, guardianship, in-home aide, hospital social work, JOBS program, permanency planning, placement services for adults and children, protective services for adults and children, representative payee, services for the blind, medical transportation and clerical support.

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What's New

COVID-19 Procedural Updates

  Due to the guidance from the CDC and the federal government, our agency is trying to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Effective March 23rd in an effort to maintain 6 feet of separation between individuals, we will have a caseworker located in the lobby to interact with all clients. Those wishing to apply for Food and Nutrition and Medicaid benefits will be given a paper application to complete and the application will be given to a caseworker to  process. Please make sure you have a working number listed on the application. If you are unable to complete the paper application, a caseworker or supervisor will assist. You can also call the agency at 828-652-3355 and request an application be emailed, faxed, or mailed to you. We will continue to accept epass applications which can be found here.

 Changes can be reported within the agency, by phone call, or by emailing your caseworker. The drop box outside the agency will be checked multiple times a day versus once in the morning. Child protective service visits and contact with social workers will remain the same. Please inform the caseworker in the lobby if you are needing to see your CPS social worker or you have a scheduled visit. We appreciate your understanding and patience during this time.

Child support and Adult Protective Services are continuing business as usual. If you have questions please contact the office.

Epass Tutorial
If you would like more information on epass and how to apply for medicaid or food and nutrition benefits, please click here.

Important Changes to Medicaid

North Carolina medicaid will be implementing new changes over the next year. The state will begin sending out information to all recipients so it is imperative that you keep your contact information up to date with your local DSS. If you have a change, please contact your caseworker, or come by the office and complete a change report.

As of July 1st 2018, McDowell County implemented  McDowell County Public Transportation

As of July 1st 2018, McDowell County implemented  a public transportation system. If you need transportation and would like additional information please call 828-559-0744. If you receive full medicaid and need to request a gas voucher or transportation, please call 828-659-0634. If you are needing to fax a referral for medicaid transportation, the number is 828-659-0734.

Community Resource Booklet

 DSS has identified the need for McDowell County citizens to have access to a community resource booklet to learn more information about what the county has to offer. To view the booklet, please click here.

Children Protective Services
If you have ever wondered what constitutes a child protective services report but didn't know where to look, this information is available via the manual website. To view the CPS manual, please click here.

211 Introduced in McDowell County
McDowell County residents now have access to the United Way's information line, 211. This service is free, confidential, 24-7, and available in any language. 211 is your connection to food, clothing, shelter, child care services, consumer help, counseling, crisis intervention, health care, housing, senior services, support groups and volunteer opportunities. Just pick up your phone, dial 211, and be connected to a live operator that will assist you in finding resources within the community to help you or your family.

McDowell County and Project Lazarus
McDowell County has partnered with Project Lazarus to assist in the fight of drug overdose prevention. To learn more information about this project, please visit the Project Lazarus website.





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