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

Pin wheelsIncome 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

Universal Email Address
If you need to submit verifications for your medicaid recertification, applications, or information for your case please send an email to medicaid@mcdowellcountyncdss.org.

Foster Care Information
McDowell DSS will be hosting a class on September 11th at 6:00 PM to discuss the process for becoming a foster parent. The class will be held at the agency. 

Children Protective Services
If you have 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. If you have questions or need additional information about CPS, you can contact the agency at 828-652-3355 or send an email to cpsintake@mcdowellcountyncdss.org

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

Medicaid Transformation
North Carolina transitioned to Medicaid Managed Care in 2021. Under this model, certain medicaid beneficiaries are required to choose a health plan with one of the appointed plan providers. When an applicant is approved for medicaid coverage, they will receive enrollment packets with additional information about the new plans and how to contact the Enrollment Broker. Is it imperative that DSS has your most recent address to ensure delivery of all communication.

Open enrollment for tailored plans will begin October 2023, for implementation in December. During this time, you will need to contact the Enrollment Broker (1-833-870-5500) to choose the preferred plan, mail the preference paperwork back to the Enrollment Broker, or visit https://www.ncmedicaidplans.gov/. If you are required to enroll in a plan and fail to do so, you will be auto enrolled into a plan. If you have questions or need to change your plan, please contact the Enrollment Broker, as DSS can not make these changes. 

NC FAST ePASS Upgrade to Spanish
NC FAST's ePASS website has been upgraded to include a Spanish translation option, which provides access to information about NC Medicaid and Food & Nutrition Services in Spanish. It also enables the full application process to be completed online in Spanish-previously only possible using a paper form. The upgrade is a component of NCDHHS' COVID-19 shelter-at-home efforts to allow an expanded population to apply for needed services from the safety and security of their homes. The PDF of the application is generated in English for the worker in NC FAST.

Community Resource Booklet

To view a list of resources available to McDowell County residents that was compiled and verified by the MATCH program (McDowell Access to Health and Care) with their social work intern, please click here. This information can also be accessed by viewing the flyer and utilizing your smart phone camera to access the list.

La versión en español de la lista de recursos de la comunidad estará disponible pronto.

211 in McDowell County
McDowell County residents 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.






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