Department of Social Services



1015 6th Street

P.O. Box 40
Del Norte, CO 81132
Driving Directions

Phone & Fax Number

Phone:  719-657-3381

Fax: 719-657-4013

Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday
8a.m. - 4:00p.m.

Closed on all federal holidays


Jody Kern, Director

Phone: 719-657-3381

Everyone in the community plays a role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Colorado has one toll-free phone number to report child abuse and neglect 24/7, 365 days a year. 

Please call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 
1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437)

To apply for any of our programs you may come into our office and pick up an application
or fill-out and print an application online.

Typical Application Processing Time

From the date the agency receives your completed application, we must act within: 

  • 7 days for Expedited Food Assistance, 30 days for Food Assistance;
  • 45 Days for Colorado Works/TANF, Colorado Supplement, Old Age Pension (OAP), Medicaid, Old Age Pension – State Medical Program, and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)
  • 60 Days for State Aid to the Needy Disabled (AND) and Aid to the Blind (AB)
  • 90 Days for Medicaid applications based on disability for Long Term Care
Child Protection
Greg Parra, Social Services Manager 

If you or someone you know has a concern regarding the safety or protection of a child please call 719-657-2000 during normal business hours.  If it is an emergency outside of these hours please call law enforcement or the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437).  Law enforcement will in turn contact our after hours worker.

Adult Protection
Greg Parra, Social Services Manager
Email: greg.parra@state.co.us

If you or someone you know has a concern regarding the safety, protection, or exploitation of an adult please call 719-657-3381 during normal business hours. If it is an emergency outside of these hours please call law enforcement. Law enforcement will in turn contact our after hours worker.

Public Assistance Programs

Richelle Jaramillo, Office Manager
Email: richelle.jaramillo@state.co.us

Sherryl Slane, Eligibility Supervisor
Email: sherryl.slane@state.co.us

CBMS PEAK WEB PORTAL- Allows anyone to determine if they might be eligible for public assistance benefits.  Clients will be able to apply for benefits available at this website.

Food Assistance (SNAP)- Food purchase assistance for families and individuals that qualify. Food Assistance is a program to assist with the cost of food. Anyone may apply. If you are eligible, you must receive your benefits within certain time frames (see “Processing Time”). If you need food right away and you meet certain guidelines, you may be eligible to expedited Food Assistance.

You may immediately file an application with the applicant’s name, address and signature of a responsible household member or household’s authorized representative. Benefits will be paid from the filing date. The filing date is different if the household is in an institution and applying for Food Assistance and SSI at the same time. In this case, the filing date is the date of release from the institution. The filing date is the date your application is received in the food stamp office. 

The food stamp house hold must have an interview; the interview may be over the phone. You can leave the first page and take the application home to complete. You can then bring, mail or fax the application to the food stamp office.

You may use an authorized representative to apply for food assistance and another, separate authorized representative to use your EBT card.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 allows the State to ask for racial/ethnic information. You do not have to state your racial/ethnic information and not giving the information will not affect the application. A Rio Grande County Department of Social Services employee will complete this information if it is not answered. You have a right to request a fair hearing orally or in writing if you disagree with any action taken on the case.

Food Assistance Eligibility

Individuals and/or families can get Food Assistance if they meet certain income requirements. Examples of income are money you get from employment, child support, unemployment or Social Security.  The person or family also cannot have more than $2,000 in resources.  If the household has elderly and/or disabled members, then they cannot have more than $3,000 in resources.  Examples of resources are money in your bank accounts, or your retirement plans or investments.  Income and resources from your husband/wife (legally married or common law) count.  Also any income and resources for children count. 

Households with resources that do not exceed $100 and who have less than $150 in gross monthly income in the month of application may be able to get their application processed faster.

If you want to find out if you may be eligible for help, you can complete the on-line tool.  Select "Start Tool" when you access the web page.

To apply, you have to turn in an application.  Every once in a while you will have to apply again to make sure you are still able to receive the monthly payment.

You can get an application three ways:

  • Print one off from the Colorado State Department of Human Services
  • Pick-up an application at the Rio Grande County Social Services Office
  • have an application mailed to you by calling the Rio Grande County Social Services Office

Employment First

Ramona Archuleta, Employment Benefits Supervisor
Email: ramona.archuleta@state.co.us

Employment First is a federally mandated program designed to ensure that all able-bodied food assistance participants are engaged in activities that will improve their employability. The program is administered by the Colorado Department of Human Services, and currently operates in 45 Colorado counties.

All individuals who apply for food assistance in Colorado and who do not meet federal exemption criteria must participate in Employment First activities.  These activities include: workfare, adult basic education, GED preparation, literacy, college, vocational training, vocational rehabilitation, job search classes, and part-time work.

As a result of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Act of 1996, participants who are identified as "able-bodied adults without dependents" must complete 20 hours each week in order to receive more than three months of food assistance in a 36-month.
Medical Assistance
Sherryl Slane, Eligibility Supervisor
Programs & Services

Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)

This program provides health insurance for low-income emergency medical expense. All persons are eligible to apply regardless of age.

Emergency Medicaid

This program is for non-citizens who need help with an emergency medical expense. All persons are eligible to apply regardless of age.

Family Medical Assistance

This program provides medical assistance for children up to age 19, families, and pregnant women.     

Medicare Cost Savings Program

These programs may help persons receiving Medicare Part A. (Prescriptions are not a covered benefit.)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Medicaid

This program provides medical benefits for anyone receiving SSI. (No application needed for this program).

Old Age Pension (OAP)

This is a cash assistance program for low-income persons, ages 60 or over, and may include medical assistance.

State Aid to the Blind (AB)      

This program is for person, age’s birth – 59, who are blind. This is a cash assistance program and does not include medical benefits.

Old Age Pension – State Medical Program

This program may help persons receiving Old Age Pension Financial Assistance.

Medicare Part D – Low Income Subsidy (LIS)

This program may help person receiving Medicare Part D with their premiums, co-pays and deductibles.

Baby Care/ Kids Care

Baby and Kids Care provide medical assistance for pregnant women. Eligible applicants may receive assistance with prenatal care, labor delivery, and family planning during     pregnancy, including 60 days after delivery. Newborn children may receive full medical care up to the first year of life.

Kids Care is for children born after September 30, 1983. It provides complete health and hospital care, including prescriptions, routine child checkups, immunizations, dental, vision, and hearing care. Eligibility for pregnant women is based upon income, and eligibility for children is based upon income and resources.

Family Medicaid

The Medicaid program is for low-income families, which include eligible adults and children ages 0 - 18. Eligibility is then based on citizenship, legal residence, and household income.

Medicaid provides medical benefits including inpatient and outpatient hospital, physician services, child checks-up, immunizations, vision care, including prescription glasses, prescription drugs, dental and mental health care.

For adults over age 21 dental and vision benefits may be limited. Adults may incur co-pay for services

Medicaid may not pay emergency room costs and you will be responsible for paying the bill.
For information regarding Family Medicaid please log on to the Colorado Department of Healthcare Policy and Finance.

Medical Assistance Estate Recovery Program (MAER)

This program is managed by the Colorado State Department of Human Services and recovers from the estate of deceased Medicaid recipients age 65 or over, the cost of   services paid by Medicaid for nursing home residents and recipients. There are certain exemption provisions.

  • Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)
  • Qualified Individuals (QI)
  • Special Low Income Medicare Beneficiary Program (SLMB)

These programs pay for all or part of the Medicare (Part B) premiums for Medicare recipients with limited income and resources. Income and resource guidelines must be met.

Spousal Impoverishment Protection Program (SIP)

Provides protection to a community spouse (spouse of Nursing Home resident or Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) participant to prevent impoverishment of the community spouse.  A resource assessment establishes the couple's countable assets as belonging to the spouse who remains at home.

Child Care Assistance

Greg Parra, Social Services Manager
Email: Greg.parra@state.co.us

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) provides financial assistance to low income families who are working and families that are enrolled in the Colorado Works Program that need child care services to support their efforts toward self-sufficiency.  The child care assistance program is administered through Rio Grande County Department of Social Services.

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program is administered through county departments of human services under direction of the CDHS, Division of Child Care.  Counties set eligibility for families, but must serve families that have income of 130% or less of the federal poverty guideline and may not serve families that have income of over 225% of federal poverty level.

The funding sources for the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program are a mixture of federal, state, and county dollars: as well as through parent fees.  The state must adhere to federal rules attached to the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) as the lead agency.   The state reports policies related to child care assistance to the federal government through the Colorado State Plan for CCDF (FFY 2008-2009)

Parental Fee

Parents are required to pay a portion of their child care costs, called the Parent Fee.  This fee is set based on family income and the number of people in the household.   This fee is paid directly to the provider each month.

Selecting A Child Care Provider

Parents select a child care provider for their children. They can select:

  • Licensed child care center
  • Licensed child care home
  • Non-licensed relative, friend, or neighbor

Parents will decide the type of care that will be the best fit for their child and family’s need.  Regardless of child care provider selected, parents should look for signs that their child will be:

  • Safe
  • Developmentally stimulated
  • Encouraged to grow and learn

Changing Your Child Care Provider

If your child attends a licensed home or center, you may be required to give your provider a two week notice.

If you are a Colorado Works Participant and want to change your provider, you will need to contact your individual Colorado Works case manager to get changes approved.

How to Apply

To apply for child care assistance, parents should contact the Rio Grande County Department of Social Services.  An application must be filled out as well as information about their income, work or other authorized program.  Participation with Child Support is required if a one parent household is applying for assistance.

Requirements of Provider

If a parent selects a non-licensed provider, this provider and anyone in the home over the age of 18 years of age MUST submit to a fingerprint based criminal background check.  The cost of the background check is the responsibility of the provider.   Each household member is required to pass the background check and also pass the State administered database check for child abuse and neglect check.

Rio Grande County cannot contract with a provider if the fingerprint based background check and the State administered database check do not come back clear.

This process may take up to 90 days; no payments will be made until all information is cleared through CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigation). If all information comes back clear, payments to provider will start the day CBI reviews the completed fingerprint packet.


Please contact the Rio Grande County Department of Social Services for any additional questions that you may have.

For more information on Licensing, Background checks, and other questions you may also log on to the Colorado Division of Child Care homepage.

The Division of Children and Family Services is dedicated to ensuring the safety of children and achieving permanency as quickly as possible for every child. The Division is committed to high quality services, consistent service to specific populations of kids, time limited services with effective oversight and monitoring, and services which enable self sufficiency and independence.

Child Support Services

Helen Martinez, Supervisor
Email: helen.martinez@state.co.us

Child Support Services is responsible for locating absent parents, establishing the paternity of children born out of wedlock, establishing child support obligations and medical support, reviewing the order for a possible adjustment, and enforcing and collecting curring and outstanding child support for TANF and Non-TANF cases.

TANF applicants are mandatory referrals to Child Support Services and custodial parents who do not receive TANF can apply for child support services for a one-time $20.00 application fee.


Sherryl Slane, Eligibility Supervisor
Email: sherryl.slane@state.co.us

LEAP is a federally funded program that helps eligible hard working Colorado families, seniors and individuals pay a portion of their winter home heating costs. 

It is not intended to pay the entire cost of home heating, but rather to help alleviate some of the burden associated with the colder months.

If your income is up to 150% of the federal poverty index, you may qualify for heating assistance this winter through LEAP.

The amount of the energy assistance benefit varies depending on a variety of factors, including the primary heating fuel costs and income. The program does not provide financial assistance for any type of temporary or portable heating. In most cases the energy assistance benefit is paid directly to the household energy supplier. 

You may qualify if you: 

  • Pay home heating costs, either directly to a utility company or to a landlord as part of rent. 
  • Are a permanent legal resident of the United States and a Colorado resident or you have household members that are U.S. citizens. 
  • Provide proof of lawful presence in the U.S. Valid forms of identification include: 
    • Colorado Driver’s License or Colorado Identification card 
    • United States Military Identification Card or Military Dependent’s Identification card 
    • United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card 
    • Native American Tribal document 
  • Earn a maximum family household income that does not exceed 150% of the federal poverty index. 

It is easy to apply for LEAP. 

  • Download and print an application (you will need the latest version of Adobe Reader to view the application).You must submit the completed application and all required paperwork to the office location serving your county. Click here for address information.

Download in English Download in Spanish

  • Call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) to have an application mailed to you. 

If you received LEAP last year and still reside at the same address, a LEAP application packet will be mailed to you on or before November 1. Please use the return business-reply envelope provided in the packet to submit your application. 

Completed LEAP applications can be faxed, mailed, emailed (if the county LEAP office has email capacity) or delivered to the appropriate county LEAP office. Applications are processed according to the date they are received and may take up to 50 days to process a non-emergency application.


Richelle Jaramillo, Office Manager
Email: Richelle.jaramillo @state.co.us

TEFAP- The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a Federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. It provides food and administrative funds to States to supplement the diets of these groups. These commodities are distributed every other month either in Del Norte or Monte Vista.

CSFP The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) works to improve the health of low-income elderly persons at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA Foods. Women, infants, and children who were certified and receiving CSFP benefits as of February 6, 2014 can continue to receive assistance until they are no longer eligible under the program rules in effect on February 6, 2014. Through CSFP, USDA distributes both food and administrative funds to participating States and Indian Tribal Organizations. These commodities are distributed monthly in both Del Norte and Monte Vista on the third Wednesday of the month.  Del Norte distribution occurs at the Rio Grande County annex between 9:00 and 11:00 and the Monte Vista distribution occurs at the Calvery Baptist Church from 1:00 until 4:00.

Home & Community Based Services

Jackie Stephens, Supervisor
925 6th Street
Del Norte, CO  81132

Phone: 719-657-4208
Email: jackies@riograndecounty.org

Options for Long Term Care

OPTIONS for Long Term Care provides case management for publicly funded programs for individuals receiving skilled, or non-skilled care in the community. OPTIONS also provides Medicaid nursing home admissions when the recipient enters the nursing home from the community.  Programs available through OLTC include Home and Community based services and Home Care Allowance.  Recipients must be eligible for, or receiving Medicaid.  OPTIONS also provides private pay case management for individuals.

Home Care Allowance (HCA)

HCA provides personal care to people who need minimal services and support to stay in a community residence.  The HCA program provides a small payment that is used to provide in-home services by a provider of choice.  HCA services have spending limits and are not intended to provide 24 hour care.

Home and Community Based Services

HCBS waivers provide medical and non-medical services in the client’s home or in an assisted living facility.  Clients must meet financial, medical and waiver criteria to access services.  Case managers will assist in developing a care plan to meet the individuals needs in the community.

Links to Additional Resources

State of Colorado Department of Human Services
State of Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

Quality Assurance

Brandi McClure, Supervisor
Email: brandi.mcclure@state.co.us
Phone 719-657-3381


State Wide Fraud Hotline

This unit’s responsibility is to ensure public assistance program integrity by using innovative and prescribed investigation methodology, to prevent, detect, and prosecute welfare fraud.  This unit investigates fraud in all program areas handled by the Department of Social Services.  This unit also collects all claims, judgements, and recoveries by utilizing all collection methods, including monthly billing, demand letters, and state hearings.