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Social Welfare Examiner

Distinguishing Features of the Class: This position involves responsibility for the initial intake and on-going case management of clients who are recipients of a variety of services provided by the Orleans County Department of Social Services. The incumbent assists clients on a continuum basis in overcoming the barriers to self-sufficiency plan and making referrals to appropriate community agencies and services. The work involves interviewing applicants and evaluating applications and records for financial assistance, making initial eligibility determination for benefits and authorizes benefits needed to support the client’s self-sufficiency plan. Such benefits may include public assistance, medical assistance, food stamps or other benefit programs as may be available. Under the close supervision of a higher ranking Social Welfare Examiner, incumbents undergo a comprehensive training program, which includes, continuing education and on the job training to acquire an understanding of developmental rules, regulations and procedures. Does related work as required.
Typical Work Activities:
·        Performs initial intake by interviewing and assessing the clients’ situation to determine barriers to self-sufficiency;
·        Assists the client in identifying the barriers to self-sufficiency and available community services and providers to overcome those barriers;
·        Assists the client in developing a self-sufficiency plan by identifying specific steps for the client to complete to become self-sufficient;
·        Makes referrals to various community agencies and resources in order to assist the client in implementing his or her self-sufficiency plan;
·        Makes initial referral to Job Development for an in depth employability evaluation and plan;
·        Engages the client in mutual conversation to ensure his or her understanding of his or her rights, responsibilities, the temporary nature of assistance, how benefits change with employment; and how to obtain the services needed to become self-sufficient;
·        Provides follow-up interviews by phone or in person to obtain client feedback in relation to his/her progress, continued understanding of his or her responsibilities and barriers to his/her self-sufficiency plan;
·        Participates in Team meetings with Job Development Office to review clients’ progress and make necessary changes to self-sufficiency plan;
·        Reviews all intake, application and assessment information to determine that all statements are complete and consistent with every other item of information provided;
·        Evaluates applicants’ financial eligibility for assistance, determines initial categorical eligibility and evaluates available resources in relation to financial eligibility;
·        Authorizes the provision of financial benefits needed to support the client’s self-sufficiency plan within the guidelines of Public Assistance, Emergency Assistance to Adults, Food Stamps, Medicaid or other public financial benefit programs as may be available through the State;
·        Maintains files and computerized records, including all necessary paperwork related to the assessment follow-up and financial assistance services provided to the client;
Full Performance Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Personal Characteristics:
·        Working knowledge of Federal, State laws and local regulations and policies that govern applicant/recipient eligibility for social services financial assistance;
·        Working knowledge of various human service programs, agencies and resources;
·        Working knowledge of the programs that relate to eligibility for social services programs such as Workers Compensation, Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, etc.;
·        Ability to assess and evaluate clients situation, education, experience, aptitude and interest to determine appropriate referrals and develop self-sufficiency plan;
·        Ability to enter and maintain data and records in computer database;
·        Ability to establish rapport and motivate client to self-sufficiency;
·        Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others;
·        Ability to gather and analyze facts obtained and use facts in making judgements regarding a need for services and financial support;
·        Ability to understand and follow directions;
·        Ability to maintain records and reports;
·        Good powers of observation and perception;
·        Good judgement;
·        Initiative;
·        Tact;
·        Physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.
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 an associate’s degree, which included or was supplemented by twelve (12) credit hours in behavioral sciences and/or human services coursework.
(B)Graduation from high school or possession of a high school equivalency diploma and two (2) years experience in examining, investigating or evaluating claims for assistance, veterans or unemployment benefits, insurance or a similar program operating under established criteria for eligibility of two (2) years experience in a human service agency identifying client problems and referring clients to appropriate resources.
For Purposes of these Qualifications:
Behavioral Science – coursework includes but is not limited to: psychology, sociology and anthropology, counseling, criminal justice, gerontology, human behavior, social work/social welfare and vocational rehabilitation.
Human Services – coursework includes but is not limited to: social work, psychology, gerontology, early childhood development, mental health, developmental disabilities and vocational and/or psychological counseling, as well as therapeutic modalities such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and therapeutic recreation, education and nursing.