Human Resources

Employment Program Assistant


This position is in the Department of Social Services, and the incumbent assists families in the development and successful implementation of a plan for economic and family self-sufficiency. The Employment Program Assistant position differs from the Social Welfare Examiner because duties include those beyond eligibility determination including out of office visits to client’s homes, work sites, and other agencies.  The incumbent assists the entire family, through a primary relationship with its responsible adult(s), to make effective use of the programs and services available through agency and external Welfare-to-Work services. The incumbent also helps the client to maintain compliance with the regulatory and reporting requirements of the department’s Cash Assistance, Food Stamp and Medicaid programs. The work involves the responsibility for performing client needs assessment, including the identification of positive and negative motivators, self-sufficiency planning based on the client’s work history, experiences and goals, linking clients to necessary information, activities and services and monitoring of client progress toward completion of self-sufficiency objectives and related tasks.  Does related work, as required.

Describes and conducts client orientation, explaining program requirements and expectations.
Promotes the benefits of work over welfare.
Describes and conducts the assessment, planning and monitoring processes that the department uses to assist clients in becoming self-sufficient.
Discusses the time frames to which the department and client are bound.
Disseminates information about programs and benefits available to support clients to work.
Identifies situations where immediate short term assistance from the department might prevent the client from needing long term extensive services.
Gathers preliminary information necessary to establish the appropriate pathway for the client.
Uses a variety of interview techniques, assessment forms, review of records and collateral information to develop a clear understanding of the strengths, needs, and goals of the individual and their family.
Participates with service providers in determining the need for service including substance abuse or other limiting conditions (e.g., housing, transportation barriers.)
Guides the recipient through the planning of a combination of work, skills development activities, and family development activities which will reduce or eliminate the continuing need for cash assistance and related supportive payments.
Prepares self-sufficiency plans with the client, not for the client including but not limited to issues such as employment, transportation, child care, housing improvement, health and nutrition improvement and school attendance.
Conducts financial planning sessions with clients ensuring that they are able to budget and manage their finances.
Explains skill development and education options.
Explains client’s rights and responsibilities.
Assists clients to prioritize needs so that goals can be met and achieved.
Utilizes a variety of the community programs and resources available to assist the recipient in attaining self-sufficiency objectives.
Updates information databases.
Encourages clients to become involved in community activities.
Promotes job placement and retention through referral to employment providers and other services as needed.
Communicates client information with internal agency staff who have a connection to the client’s case and self-sufficiency plan.
Communicates client information with external providers who are managing   programs and services related to the client’s self-sufficiency plan.
Evaluates client progress toward self-sufficiency goals and completion of associated tasks through regular contact with client and service providers. Checks on program attendance by visiting clients in various program settings, including home visits.
Interviews clients to determine whether the client is able to develop and maintain attitudes that are conducive to self-sufficiency.
Assists in the design, and may conduct various client workshops/seminars.
Prepares a variety of written reports.
Reports and consults regularly with program supervisor.

The above examples of duties are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work performed.  The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

Working knowledge of concepts related to cultural, environmental, and factors influencing lives of persons who are economically disadvantaged; working knowledge of community resources available for individuals with barriers to employment; ability to assess job skills and abilities; ability to effectively communicate both orally and in writing; ability to effectively interview, make visual observations, listen and communicate; ability to use a computer; ability to establish and maintain effective interpersonal and/or working relationships with both program participants and community resources.

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit, use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; and reach with hands and arms.  The employee is required to walk, climb steps, talk, hear and drive a vehicle.

The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Graduation from high school or possession of an appropriate equivalency diploma recognized by the NYS Department of Education, AND EITHER:

  1. Associates degree in Human Services or related field and one (1) year of full-time paid experience involving direct client contact in the provision of social, economic or emotional support services.  (i.e. case work, case management, employment counseling)
  2. Three (3) years of full-time paid experience involving direct client contact in the provision of social, economic or emotional support services. (i.e. Case work, case management, employment counseling)


Competitive Classification