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Social Services Director

Salary: N/A

DEFINITION: Under policy direction of the Board of Supervisors and the County Administrator, defines and implements the direction, goals, and objectives of the Department of Social Services; serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the department and holds final responsibility for the successful operations of the department; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This is an at-will department head class. The incumbent is exempt from Civil Service and serves at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors and County Administrator. This position is responsible for the executive management and implementation of all social service programs administered by the department including, income maintenance, employment services, adult and child protective services, and supportive social services.


1. Establishes and promotes the vision and direction of the Department of Social Services consistent with state and federal mandates, and the County's strategic plan as approved by the Board of Supervisors; establishes and implements departmental goals and objectives; establishes appropriate administrative policies, services, structures, controls, and reporting systems for the efficient and effective performance of social service, income maintenance, employment training, and related functions; determines types and levels of services to be provided and standards by which delivery will be evaluated.
2. Reviews and evaluates changes in federal and state laws or regulations that will impact the delivery of services; in order to have a voice in shaping proposed changes, builds effective relationships at the state and federal level and serves as a departmental advocate.
3. Formulates and justifies the department's annual budget and capital projects; ensures budget is administered within Board-approved guidelines; directs searches for new funding sources and oversees grant application preparation and negotiation; advocates to ensure sufficient funding with contacts at the state and federal level.
4. Forms collaborative relationships with community groups and other County departments for the efficient and effective delivery of services; develops programs with partner agencies and groups to eliminate gaps in services and reduce duplication of offered services; secures and maintains community support for Social Services programs; directs contract negotiations with community or County partners.
5. Selects, assigns, directs, and evaluates the performance of subordinate executives and managers; oversees management development and training programs.
6. Serves on the Children and Families Commission; sits on the Workforce Investment Board and on the board of the Regional Health Authority; acts as the appointing authority for the In-Home Supportive Services Executive Director, the KIDS Coordinator, the Adult and Aging Network Coordinator, and the Workforce Investment Board Executive Director.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS: Possession of a bachelor's degree in social work, business or public administration, or a closely related field and:

1. Significant progressively responsible management or executive experience in a public social services or similar human services agency; or,
2. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to the employment standard listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Additional Qualifications: This position requires significant travel between County sites as well as outside the County. A valid California Class C Driver's License is required.

Knowledge of: federal, state, and local public welfare services programs and supporting legislation; operations of local government; modern management theory and practice as related to supervision and personnel management, government finances, and budget preparation; principles and practices of performance measurement and process improvement; principles of public funding; public relations, community needs, and resources; goals and objectives of employment and training programs; current developments in the fields of social services or other similar human services and their impact on the Department's programs; conflict resolution; principles and practices of organizational development.

Ability to: plan and administer a large-scale service program; analyze situations accurately and adopt effective courses of action; maintain effective internal and external communications; make effective oral and written presentations; accomplish goals through subordinate managers; comprehend and interpret complex legislation, regulations, and rules; enlist cooperation of community organizations, other agencies, employees, and others; maintain an effective and professional working relationship with the Board of Supervisors and other County executives and managers; establish clear departmental goals and objectives, and follow through on their attainment; provide leadership to subordinates to enable them to make decisions and cope with challenges; plan organize, assign, delegate, and prioritize work.

Desirable Qualifications: A master's degree in social work, business, or public administration is highly desirable.

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