Virginia's decentralized system of social services including child protection and foster care has been scrutinized for nearly 40 years. The system is both a major source of state government spending and a place where decisions made can have generational impacts.

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Roanoke Times reporter Alison Graham provides some insight into the DSS Under Strain series, and shares what's in store for the second part of…

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A Pittsylvania County supervisor retaliated against the county’s former social services director after she gave a First Amendment-protected sp…

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Erika Stinnett shuffled her stack of papers and looked up at the 17-year-old sitting across the table. She asked the girl about her plans for …

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Every year, Amy Rice stands at a wooden lectern in front of the Henry County Board of Supervisors and tries to explain the escalating costs of…

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With each passing year, public schools place more children in private special education schools where they tend to stay for years — some until they turn 22 and age out of the system.

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A new state office is designed to give a voice to Virginia families and social workers who have had nowhere to turn with complaints about thei…

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Ashley Sweigart had just finished taking a few Roxicodone pain pills and had sat back to watch TV in her bedroom when she heard a car pull up …

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In fiscal year 2019, the CSA program served 15,645 children statewide at a cost of $427 million. In fiscal year 2020, the state served 360 fewer children at a cost of $446 million. 

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The coronavirus pandemic wouldn’t stop Karen Mason from becoming a foster parent.

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The morning the child left, her foster mom picked up a cellphone and started recording. She told the girl to treat the video like a diary.

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CHATHAM — Ron Scearce was the newest member of the Pittsylvania County Department of Social Services board when he strolled through the office…

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Charlee Marie Faith Ford came into the world struggling to live.

Alison Graham covers Roanoke County and Salem news. She’s originally from Indianapolis and a graduate of Indiana University.