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Social Services Program Manager

Position Information

Under direction, the Social Services Program Manager plans, organizes, and directs the operations and functions of an Adult Protective Services program in a local public social services department or agency; and performs related duties as assigned. Some positions may have additional responsibility for administrative services units.

Use of the Social Services Program Manager classification is an option for counties that have a classification structure that articulates a distinguishable difference in the complexity of assignments and consequence of error in Adult Protective Services programs compared to other functional areas such as Eligibility and Employment Services.

The Social Services Program Manager classification differs from the next higher level Deputy Director classification in that the latter typically has responsibility for multiple eligibility, employment, or social service functions in a department or for a single program where two or more subordinate levels of supervision exist. In these departments, the Social Services Program Manager serves in a first-level managerial capacity.


Incumbents in the Social Services Program Manager classification receive supervision from a Deputy Director, Director, or other higher-level management classification. A Social Services Program Manager provides direct supervision to supervisors in the assigned program areas, and to other staff as assigned.

Examples of Duties

Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Manage the daily work activities of an Adult Protective Services program, directly or through subordinate supervisors, by establishing performance levels, communicating goals and performance expectations, and monitoring and reviewing work to ensure conformance to established policies and procedures, and standards for quality and timeliness
  • Assess service delivery to communicate findings to upper management, implement changes to improve efficiency and service quality, maximize effectiveness of program operations, and ensure alignment with the agency's mission
  • Oversee personnel actions to determine compliance with policies and procedures, and provide guidance to subordinate supervisors regarding personnel matters
  • Ensure that programs or work units are staffed with qualified individuals by resolving performance problems, documenting performance according to policy, training and developing staff, and assisting in the selection, hiring, and promotion of staff
  • Interpret laws and regulations, including new laws and proposed legislation, to determine relevancy to department operations and services, and assess program compliance with laws and regulations
  • Assess the need for changes to policies or programs based on initiatives to improve services, new services or program modifications, and opportunities for cross-collaboration of program areas
  • Develop or revise policies or procedures to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness, and assist higher-level management in departmental strategic planning
  • Serve as an internal technical expert regarding program matters by providing consultation and guidance to staff regarding problems with complex social service cases and delivery of services, and taking corrective actions to improve the quality and efficiency of social services
  • Work collaboratively with personnel of other agencies, community groups, contractors, and other public and private organizations to determine needs for social services, and coordinate shared services or collaborative projects, or the provision of services by contracted agencies
  • Ensure that information regarding department services and policies is provided accurately and thoroughly to external parties, and respond to the most sensitive complaints from the community, foster parents, and staff
  • Serve as an external technical expert by providing consultation regarding program, legal, or policy matters to external entities such as County department managers or administrators, State departments, Board of Supervisors, advisory boards, and advocacy groups
  • Assist in development of the budget for assigned programs by preparing cost estimates and projections, and performing ongoing monitoring of expenditures to ensure compliance with budget provisions
  • Perform other duties as assigned


Knowledge of:

  • Program development, administration, and service delivery related to Adult Protective Services
  • Current management and leadership techniques, performance appraisal methods, and public administration
  • Planning and scheduling techniques to ensure that timelines and schedules are established appropriately, modified as needed, and adhered to
  • Budgeting principles in order to develop, manage, and/or track budgets, budget allocations, and expenditures
  • Public and private community resources
  • Effective casework practices in order to oversee staff providing services

Ability to:

  • Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with internal management and staff, and with a variety of external stakeholders
  • Identify, analyze, and evaluate situations or problems to determine appropriate courses of action
  • Analyze laws, regulations, and policies to ensure all programs and activities are in compliance
  • Apply knowledge of laws, regulations, and policies to decision making and problem solving to identify solutions and courses of action that are most appropriate or compliant
  • Be flexible in adapting to changes in priorities or resources that impact pre-established timelines and courses of action
  • Maintain awareness of the functioning and status of multiple work groups or program areas simultaneously
  • Delegate work assignments and appropriate level of responsibility to employees in order to ensure the completion of work assignments and projects
  • Read and understand complex written materials, such as laws, proposed legislation, policies, reports, etc., in order to interpret, explain, and apply
  • Use a personal computer to input data, access information, and create materials and documents using a variety of software applications
  • Communicate verbally, in person or by telephone, clearly and concisely with a variety of audiences on a variety of matters
  • Write to ensure effective and clear communication and proper composition of reports, correspondence, email, and other written communication
  • Review and edit documents written by others to ensure proper format, sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation

Minimum Qualifications

One (1) year of full-time experience performing duties comparable to a Social Worker Supervisor I or II;


A Master's Degree in Social Work or a Master's Degree from a two year counseling program.