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Social Services Director

Date Posted: 09/26/2022
Department: DSS
Compensation: $88,740 - $101,712
Hours: Full-time
Deadline: Open until filled

Duties & Responsibilities


DEFINITION: Under policy direction of the Board of Commissioners and the County Manager, 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 Commissioners. 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 boards and committees as required by North Carolina General Statutes as well as those that serve the interest of the agency and the County organization.



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


Knowledge of: federal, state, and local public assistance 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 Commissioners and County Manager; 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 Training and Experience


A master’s degree in social work and two years of supervisory experience in the delivery of client services; or a bachelor’s degree in social work and three years of supervisory experience in the delivery of client services, one of which must have been in Social Services; or graduation from a four year college or university and three years of supervisory experience in the delivery of client services, two of which must have been in Social Services; or an equivalent combination of training and experience.


Benefited after 90 days

Medical, dental, and life insurance
Sick, vacation, and holiday pay
Membership in the Local Government Retirement System

Supplemental retirement 401k/457

How to Apply



APPLICANTS WILL BE GIVEN CREDIT ONLY FOR INFORMATION PROVIDED IN RESPONSE TO THIS ANNOUNCEMENT. No additional information will be solicited by the McDowell County; therefore, persons who submit incomplete applications may not receive full credit for their education, training and experience.


McDowell County is an equal opportunity employer.  It is the policy of the County to recruit, hire, train and promote individuals without regard to age, sex, race, color, religion, political affiliation or national origin. The County will interactively work with disabled applicants and employees to identify reasonable accommodations that will allow the individual to perform essential job functions. 


McDowell County participates in E-Verify.


Applications are available:


  • on our website:

     under “Job Opportunities”

  • McDowell County Administration Building(s):

              60 East Court St Marion, NC 28752 ​

              25 W Fort Street Marion, NC 28752


Applications can be submitted:

              60 East Court Street Marion, NC 28752

              25 W Fort Street Marion, NC 28752

  • or by Mail to:

               McDowell County Human Resources

               60 East Court Street Marion, NC 28752

  • or by email to: 


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