Director of Social Services Recruitment
About The Position
This position oversees the overall operations of a regional Department of Social Services for the combined district of Roanoke County and the City of Salem.
The Director of Social Services reports to Roanoke County Administration and presents an opportunity for the right individual to ensure continuity of an excellent array of services to those citizens in need of assistance. The Director oversees a staff of 120 employees with the assistance of two Assistant Directors. The department budget in the 2021/2022 ﬁscal year is approximately $13 million and the Children’s Service Act budget is approximately an additional $8 million.
The Director ensures that the appropriate resources are made available to meet the social and ﬁnancial needs of individuals and families, and that children and adults are protected from abuse and neglect through the effective and proactive administration of programs including: Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, Foster Care and Adoptions, Employment and Training Initiatives, Workforce Development, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, Food Stamps (SNAP), Child Care Assistance, and the Children’s Services Act (CSA).
- Candidate Profile and Experience
- Current Challenges
- Our Community
- County Government
- Application Process
The ideal candidate will have extensive background and experience in all facets of Social Services and be an individual up to the challenge of leading a diverse department. The County is looking for someone who will lead a highly skilled team of service providers in both social services areas of services and beneﬁts. The Department also oversees the Children’s Service Act (CSA) programs so knowledge of that function would be desirable.
The new Director must be able to ensure compliance with State laws and regulations and alignment with County goals and objectives. The Director provides leadership in policy development, strategic planning and public/private collaboration to effectively provide the delivery of social services.
Qualiﬁcations Director of Social Services position are:
Required qualiﬁcations include: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in social work, psychology, counseling, or related ﬁeld. Ten years human services experience with ﬁve years at the senior management level.
Preferred qualiﬁcations: Master’s degree in any of the above ﬁelds.
The Director of Social Services must also have the following qualities:
- Skill in developing and maintaining effective working relationships with County ofﬁcials, local businesses, state and federal agencies, and public;
- Skill in motivating all levels of staff to be proactive and participatory in recognizing needed change and coordinating application of quality government principles and practices;
- Skill in developing collaborative relationships with other social services and mental health entities;
- Skill in application of trend analysis techniques to evaluate programs and recommend enhancements.
Some of the key issues and challenges that the new Director will face in the ﬁrst six to twelve months on the job include:
- Lack of availability of public guardianships for incapacitated adults;
- Implementation of the Family First Act;
- Continued lack of availability of affordable child care;
- Retaining staff and attracting new workers to ﬁll vacancies;
- Lack of approved foster homes for youth with mild to moderate behaviors;
- Lack of open, licensed slots for youth needing secured therapeutic treatment for serious behavioral needs.
Roanoke County is located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, and serves nearly 97,000 residents over 250 square miles. The adjacent City of Salem contains another 25,300 residents as well. The entire Roanoke region includes the cities of Roanoke and Salem and the Town of Vinton, and is known for its natural beauty and great blend of culture, entertainment and outdoor activities.
The citizens of the Roanoke region are served by the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional airport, award-winning school systems, modern libraries, museums and recreation centers, along with varied entertainment and dining options. There are over 23 colleges and universities located nearby providing extensive opportunities for life-long learning and employee development. While the atmosphere is vibrant, the residents are relaxed and friendly, and commute times are short, leaving plenty of time to take advantage of a large range of outdoor activities.
Both the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail run for miles through the County, while the Roanoke River provides a framework for an extensive greenway system and the perfect place for ﬁshing and kayaking. Roanoke County’s 1,100 acre Explore Park offers a variety of outdoor adventure activities including mountain biking, hiking, camping, canoeing and kayaking, just to name a few. Family-friendly activities, such as recreation club sports, festivals and parades, make Roanoke County an ideal place to raise children.
At the same time, the increasingly exciting pace of the downtown Roanoke restaurant scene and nightlife provides options for evenings and weekends. There are many opportunities for spectator sports, too – from Virginia Tech football and basketball to the minor league Red Sox baseball franchise and minor league Rail Yard Dawgs ice hockey team, there is something for everyone. Roanoke County Public Library (RCPL) is an integral part of the Roanoke Valley community, providing a wide range of services and programs. Most notably, RCPL became the ﬁrst library in the nation to make available an Artiﬁcial Intelligence (AI)-capable robot, and offers resources and instruction on AI, coding, robotics, and digital citizenship. RCPL is one of a handful of libraries leading the national conversation in this arena.
Roanoke is home to many high-proﬁle companies including Carilion and LewisGale Health Systems, Toshiba Mitsubishi Electric Industrial Systems Corporation (TMEIC), and Wells Fargo. Virginia Tech and Carilion have created a Roanoke health sciences and technology campus centered around the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, which is rapidly transforming the region’s economy. This dynamic initiative is expanding research and innovation, and will add to the growing medical services cluster taking shape in the region. Talent development solutions are provided through Hollins University, Virginia Western Community College and the Roanoke Higher Education Center, with resources and customized training from entry-level to top management.
Roanoke County operates under a charter granted by the Virginia General Assembly, with a County Administrator form of government. The ﬁve-member elected Board of Supervisors appoints the County Administrator to oversee the day-to-day operations of the County. The Board also appoints the County Attorney, and there are ﬁve elected Constitutional ofﬁces – Treasurer, Commissioner of the Revenue, Sheriff, Clerk of the Circuit Court, and Commonwealth’s Attorney.
Roanoke County employs approximately 1,040 full-time employees, across 20 departments. The departments provide a full range of services to residents, including an accredited police department, ﬁre and rescue service, planning, zoning, libraries, parks and recreation, and social services.
The general government budget for FY 2022 is in excess of 200 million dollars and the County’s primary source of revenue is the real estate tax, followed by a personnel property tax on vehicles. The County receives signiﬁcant funding from the state for social services, schools and constitutional ofﬁces, but very little revenue from the Federal Government.
The starting salary is competitive, and the expected hiring range is between $101,275 and $132,924 (negotiable) depending on the background and qualiﬁcations of the successful candidate. Roanoke County participates in the Virginia Retirement System and also provides excellent health and dental insurance, short and long-term disability, life insurance, a generous ﬂexible leave policy, and a wellness program.
To apply, visit www.roanokecountyva.gov/jobs. The position is open until ﬁlled, with a ﬁrst review of applications February 4, 2022.
Applications will be screened after that date for consideration for an interview. Reference checks, background checks and academic veriﬁcations will be conducted after receiving candidates’ permission.
For more information, please contact Roanoke County Administration at (540) 772-2004.