DSS Director – Durham County, NC

Durham County, NC
November 18, 2022
Durham, United States of America
Billing Address
510 Meadowmont Village Circle #299
First Name
Last Name
Phone Number
Closing Date


The thriving, innovative, and inclusive community of Durham County, North Carolina is seeking an innovative, dynamic, and culturally sensitive leader to serve as its next Department of Social Services Director (DSS Director). If you consider yourself a mission-minded professional with impeccable management skills who thrives in leading social service departments through seasons of growth and has proven success of cultivating a positive working culture for a large department, then the County invites you to consider this opportunity for your next career move.

The next Director will be a highly competent human services professional who can navigate the challenges of recruitment and retention of staff while dealing with external challenges of increases in housing insecurity, inflation, a growing and aging population, and changes to the Child Welfare system which creates demands for updating policies, procedures, and methods.  Following remote/hybrid work due to COVID, the Director will lead the department and its employees in embracing the shift to in-person work, while uniting employees around a collective, mission-focused vision to serve Durham County and its community members. The next Director effectively navigate changes, stays abreast on policy changes at the local, state, and federal levels and demonstrates impeccable decision-making skills both strategically and instinctively while also leading and supporting the daily needs of the Department. The successful Director will immerse him/herself in the community, be intentional to listen to concerns of its community members, be sincere in establishing trust with stakeholders and work strategically to build a positive reputation of the Department and its employees.

About the Department and Position: The Durham County DSS Director, reporting directly to the DSS Board of 5 members and working collaboratively with the County Manager, is responsible for overseeing the Department’s $55.5M budget and leading its 550+ employees to execute the Department’s mission of partnering with individuals, families, and the community to help its community members achieve physical, social, and financial well-being.

Through 6 units – Child and Family Services, Aging and Adult Services, Family Economic Independence, Quality  Assurance and Training, Program Integrity, and the Business Office, the Department is strategically committed to ensuring that:

  • Every child has access to quality early education programming;
  • Every senior age 55 or older has access to quality services that support health, safety and financial well-being;
  • Everyone has a safe home, a living wage, employment and financial stability;
  • Everyone has access to affordable healthcare; and,
  • Youth are engaged as a vital resource in our community.

As the County continues to experience growth and the Department is challenged with a current vacancy rate of 17%, the social services staff are increasingly pressured with navigating and supporting the needs of its constituents. With 14% of the County’s population 65+ years old, rising eviction rates and a decline in affordable housing, the Department is seeing an increase in individuals seeking assistance and services from DSS. The next Director will successfully balance proactive and reactive approaches to problem solving when navigating both internal and external factors that impact the Department, its services and staff and the overall well-being of the community.

Qualifications: The successful candidate should possess a Master's Degree in Social Work (MSW) and two years of supervisory experience in the delivery of client services; or a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and three years of supervisory experience in the delivery of client services, one of which must have been in Social Services; or graduation from a four year college or university with a preferred degree in a Human Services field and three years of supervisory experience in the delivery of client services, two of which must have been in Social Services; or an equivalent combination of training and experience. Extensive experience in an executive leadership role at a large Department of Social Services or similar Health & Human Services Organization is required. 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.

Salary and Benefits: The hiring range for this position is $160,000 - $190,000 depending on qualifications and experience. Information about the County’s benefits can be viewed here. Residency within County limits is required within 12 months of employment.

To apply, please visit https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/developmentalassociates and click on the DSS Director – Durham County, NC title. To learn more about the selection process, visit https://developmentalassociates.com/client-openings/, select “Client Openings and scroll down to “Important Information for Applicants.” All applications must be submitted online via the Developmental Associates application portal – NOT the County Employment Application portal, nor any other external website; it is not sufficient to send only a resume. Resumes and cover letters must be uploaded with the application. Applicants must apply by January 2, 2023. Successful semi-finalists will be invited to participate in virtual interviews and skill evaluation on February 16 - 17, 2023. Candidates are encouraged to reserve these dates for virtual meetings should they be invited to participate. All inquiries should be emailed to [email protected]. Durham County is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The recruitment and selection process is being managed by Developmental Associates, LLC.