Department of Social Services Director

County of Cleveland, NC

Job Details

  • Job Function: Human Services Director; Other Department Head/Director
  • Salary: $90,036 - $117,048. DOE
  • Position Type: Full Time
  • Population: 98,078
  • Where: 311 E Marion St. Shelby NC 28150
  • Form of Government: County council-administrator/mgr

Post Date: Jan 7 2019

Deadline: Feb 4 2019


Cleveland County is seeking a passionate advocate and mission driven leader to be their next Department of Social Services (DSS) Director who will lead staff and work effectively within demands of an organization which follows State of NC Health and Human Services regulations and reports to the Cleveland County Manager and Board of Commissioners. The successful leader has a track record of partnering and collaborating with staff, community, regional partners, the DSS Advisory Board and County Manager and County Commissioners to carry out the mission of the department “to provide children a safe, permanent family, to protect and serve vulnerable disabled adults, to help families become self-sufficient, and to help eligible families obtain medical and food assistance. The primary theme that unites each of these statements is Citizen Advocacy.”

About the Community: Cleveland County (County Seat, Shelby) is found in the rolling piedmont of the southwestern portion of North Carolina in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 50 miles southwest of Charlotte. With a population of over 97,000 across 15 incorporated municipalities and unincorporated areas, Cleveland County offers family friendly communities while also hosting a robust business economy. Cleveland County is home to numerous ISO 9000 certified companies, and over 40 percent of the work force is involved in advanced manufacturing.

Location is one of Cleveland County's biggest advantages. Our county is the gateway between Asheville and Charlotte and is centered between two of the largest metropolitan areas of the Carolinas-- Charlotte and Greenville/Spartanburg with easy access to major airports and interstate highways to get to your desired destination.

About the Department and Position: The DSS Director is responsible for administering state and federal social services programs established by Chapter 108A of the North Carolina General Statutes in accordance with applicable federal and state rules, and a $ $20,765,037M budget and 214 employees offering programs and services including but not limited to: Adoption Services, Adult Services, Child Day Care, Child Protective Services, Child Support, Energy Assistance, Foster Care, Food and Nutrition Services, Medicaid, Program Integrity, , and Work First. Economically and age diverse, the County has an overall poverty level of 19.9% with about 61% reduced school lunch participants and 12.5% of residents over the age of 65 compared with a rate of nearly 27.5% for those under the age of 18.*

The next DSS Director will carry out several key priorities including evaluating and enhancing technology to ensure effective service delivery, developing a climate of employee engagement to increase retention and renewal of passion for mission critical services, creating increased access to excellent staff training especially around NC FAST, fostering a climate of excellent community customer service, and leveraging partnerships with local and regional partners to proactively seek and support economic development opportunity. More information about the department can be found at

The Successful Candidate is:
• a respected and skillful leader who is able to effectively recruit, retain, manage, develop and engage talented staff;
• tech savvy with an awareness of how technology must be leveraged for recruitment and retention of staff, effective service delivery and innovation in programming;
• an effective influencer who matches goals, data and strategy to aid decision makers in understanding needs and resources needed to improve service delivery;
• skillful in diplomatically engaging with a diversity of stakeholders such as individual citizens, community groups, DSS Board, County Board of Commissioners, employees, regional, state and federal authorities in order to leverage County opportunities and mitigate challenges;
• one with a track record of breaking down silos and barriers while building bridges and paths to solutions in partnership with others;
• accountable by creating and applying performance metrics that objectively measure department performance against mission critical goals;
• adept at ensuring the marketing and communication of programs to eligible citizens through various means;
• experienced in developing, managing and coordinating a budget that consists of funds from multiple sources while also taking the initiative to secure additional ways and means to fund services;
• able to enhance and build on a culture of excellent customer service to DSS program customers;
• knowledgeable about the legal and philosophical basis for public assistance programs along with a theoretical knowledge base of the field of social work;
• a networker with peers in neighboring communities and throughout the state;
• an excellent communicator both verbally and in writing and possesses well-developed interpersonal skills and abilities; and,
• an accountable manager who holds high expectations of self and others while also being an effective and respected leader.

Qualifications: The successful candidate should possess a master's degree in social work (MSW) and two (2) years of supervisory experience in the delivery of client services; or a bachelor's degree in social work and three (3) years of supervisory experience in the delivery of client services one (1) of which must have been in Social Services; or graduation from a four (4) college or university and three (3) years of supervisory experience in the delivery of client services, two (2) of which must have been in Social Services; or an equivalent combination of training and experience. Applicants must have an extensive knowledge of management principles applicable to the operation of a human service delivery system. Applicants must also have an understanding of the organizational structure of a department of social services and applicable county policy as well as state and federal laws, rules, and regulations.
The hiring range is $90,036 - $117,048 base salary and compensation is negotiable based on experience and qualifications. Residency within the county is required within a negotiated time frame.
Cleveland County Benefits

• Health/dental plans with zero premiums for employee coverage
• Generous vacation, sick pay, holidays (12), petty time and compensatory time.
• Retirement plan and 401K with 5% county contribution
• Wellness programs that include Wellness Center, Pharmacy, deep YMCA membership discounts, case management for chronic medical conditions and many other initiatives.

To apply, please go to and view the client openings on the left side of the home page. Click on the DSS Director – Cleveland County link. All applications must be submitted online. All inquiries should be emailed to Resume screening begins February 4, 2019. On-site interviews and skill evaluation for the semi-finalists is March 18-19, 2019 in Cleveland County. Cleveland County is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Recruitment and Selection Process is being Managed by Developmental Associates, LLC.