vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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Social Services receives grant

A $24,750 grant will allow Stafford’s Social Services Department to hire a part-time specialist who will aid families with getting insurance. The grant, awarded by the Stafford Hospital Community Service Fund, goes toward the SHINE Program (Stafford’s Health Insurance Enrollment).

Here’s more information from the county’s press release:

“This grant helps us focus more on the less fortunate children in Stafford,” said Department of Social Services director Michael Muse. “The funds give children who need access to state-sponsored health insurance programs a helping hand, and will enable us to provide more guidance to families trying to make their way through the SHINE program.”

The purpose of the SHINE program is to enhance the Department’s ability to provide eligible Stafford families and children with access to state-sponsored health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS). The funding received enables Stafford DSS to hire a part-time, 24-hour a week benefit programs specialist worker over the twelve month period of the grant (July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013). This worker will devote extensive one-on-one assistance and follow-up with prospective applicants in compliance with the Virginia Department of Social Services’ state and federal regulations. The SHINE worker will also work closely with Stafford Public School personnel and the Stafford Health Department to accept referrals on behalf of potential applicants.

SHINE targets expectant mothers and families with children under age 18 in households with income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Applicants may obtain applications for Medicaid/FAMIS by picking up an application from the Stafford DSS main office in George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center or applying online at The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. and is located on a route served by the Fredericksburg Regional transit system (FRED). Interested applicants may also request an application be mailed to them.

Anyone needing additional information may contact the SHINE worker, Jane Namiot, at 540-658-4203.