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SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES
30545
(Non-Competitive)


DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS

The work involves responsibility for assisting the Commissioner of Social Services in the overall operation of a local Department of Social Services. An employee in this class assists the Commissioner in the administration of either the social service/public assistance programs or administrative services, within the framework of the Social Services Law, rules and regulations and administrative policies established by the Commissioner. Under the general direction of the Commissioner, an incumbent in this class exercises considerable latitude for the exercise of initiative and independent judgment in the formulation of local policies and procedures to affect the agency's goal. General supervision is exercised over a substantial number of administrative, program, fiscal and clerical support staff. In the absence of the Commissioner and/or Deputy Commissioners, may have complete charge of department operations and direction of personnel and acts as the Commissioner's representative in public presentations or meetings concerning personnel/staff development issues. Does related work as required.

TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES

Formulates local social services policies and procedures consistent with current state and federal laws, regulations and administrative guidelines and interprets and enforces them for one or more areas of the department.
Develops communications and materials to assist in the public relations aspect of the department and in interpreting the department's work to the community.
Oversees program development and formulation of department policy for one or more areas of the department.
Establishes the procedures and guidelines within which program staff operate to ensure delivery of services and to achieve the agency goals.
Interprets federal, state and local policies, regulations and programs to ensure clarity and understanding, and to respond to the implications and impact of specific rules or policies on the program operations.
Provides direction or decisions as needed in response to staff requests for program information, policy interpretation and appropriate procedures.
Coordinates the work activities of one or more program areas with other departments or divisions.
Reviews proposed and enacted state and federal legislation and regulations to identify changes in program guidelines, eligibility determinations, procedures and to determine and respond to their impact on existing policies and procedures.
Maintains cooperative relationships with personnel in the state departments with program oversight in order to facilitate and exchange information, to obtain clarification and interpretation of state and federal standards, laws and regulations, to obtain guidance on unusual case situations and to assist in audits.
Maintains cooperative relationships with social agencies and related sources in the community to facilitate working relationships, to exchange information and to promote public awareness of rules and regulations.
Maintains communications within the department to provide advice on standards, to exchange ideas and information and to discuss any matters of impact or consequence within the department.

Depending On Area Of Assignment:

Assists and advises the Commissioner of all phases of the social services/public administration program, including planning, organizing, directing and coordinating the work of the various units for efficient and effective operations.
Assists and advises the Commissioner in the preparation of an annual budget, maintenance of fiscal controls and submission of financial reports to the local legislative body and the state offices with oversight responsibility.

FULL PERFORMANCE KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS

Thorough knowledge of the principles, practices and methods of public administration.
Thorough knowledge of the methods used in formulating and initiating public programs.
Thorough knowledge of the department's goals, programs and priorities.
Good knowledge of funding arrangements, systems and standards.
Good knowledge of the functions of the department divisions and how they are interrelated.
Ability to make decisions quickly and independently.
Ability to coordinate the work of others and to establish effective working relationships.
Ability to plan and direct the activities of subordinates in a manner conducive to full performance.
Ability to plan, direct and evaluate programs.
Ability to establish effective relationships with and relate program information to staff, community agencies and federal, state and local representatives.
Ability to interpret complex written materials, legislation and regulations and to understand their implications and impact local programs and operations.
Ability to express ideas clearly both orally and in writing and to make public presentations to a variety of groups ranging from legislative to community based.

Depending On Area Of Assignment:

Thorough knowledge of federal, state and local social service laws, regulations,
administrative letters and programs, particularly those relating to adult and family services, public assistance, employment, medical assistance and food stamps.
Thorough knowledge of accounting principles and practices.
Thorough knowledge of the budget preparation process including state and local guidelines, procedures and policies.
Ability to develop and maintain fiscal reporting systems.
Ability to interpret, organize and consolidate narrative and tabular information.
Ability to draft and interpret legal documents and vendor contracts.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

A. Graduation from a regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New York State Board of Regents to grant degrees with a Masters degree and three (3) years of supervisory level experience, or its part time equivalent, the duties of which included responsibility for planning, directing and coordinating the work of subordinate staff, in a health, education, social work or human services agency; or,

B. Graduation from a regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New York State Board of Regents to grant degrees with a Baccalaureate degree and four (4) years of supervisory level experience, or its part time equivalent, , the duties of which included responsibility for planning, directing and coordinating the work of a subordinate staff, in a health, education, social work or human services agency; or,

C. Graduation from a regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New York State Board of Regents to grant degrees with an Associates degree and six (6) years of supervisory level experience, or its part time equivalent, the duties of which included responsibility for planning, directing and coordinating the work of subordinate staff, in a health, education, social work or human services agency.


4/2011 Date Revised