Economic Assistance Division Chief

County of Santa Barbara Department of Social Services

The Social Services Department is accepting applications to fill one full-time Division Chief (Program/Business Leader – General job classification) in Santa Maria in the Economic Assistance & Employment Services branch. The resulting vacancy could be located at the Benefit Service Center (BSC) or another district office in Santa Maria, such as the Betteravia or Broadway offices. The employment list that is established from this recruitment may be utilized for future Division Chief vacancies in the Department of Social Services (DSS) at the BSC or district offices in Santa Maria, Lompoc, and/or Santa Barbara for intake and/or ongoing operations in any of the following program/functional areas: CalFresh, CalWORKs (including Child Care and Welfare-to-Work), General Relief, Medi-Cal, Central Operations & Clerical Support (CORE) and/or Program/Administrative/Automation Support.

THE DIVISION: The Betteravia and Broadway district offices in Santa Maria are busy environments welcoming approximately 40,000 - 50,000 visitors per site per year. While both offices process all program applications, only the Broadway office has the full array of the CalWORKs/Employment Services programs and only the Betteravia office has the Exchange Intake Unit that handles call transfers from Covered California. The BSC is a unique environment in which two managers co-lead staff in a call center/task-based setting delivering ongoing case management for both the Medi-Cal and CalFresh programs. The BSC is a fast-paced environment receiving approximately 10,000 calls per month pertaining to the nearly 71,000 individuals/families in the Medi-Cal program and approximately 20,000 individuals/families in the CalFresh program served by that location. THE POSITION: This Division Chief will oversee and manage a large division of six to eight eligibility and/or clerical units, and work in close coordination with other managers who have a similar scope of responsibility. It is essential that this manager interact and collaborate with other divisions throughout the county to ensure cooperation, smooth transition of cases between offices, as well as supporting and optimizing the work of an entire array of line staff services ranging from training to service delivery to quality control. This position has extensive contact with the public (applicants and recipients of public assistance as well as community-based organizations), other County agencies, and other DSS divisions. The current vacancy reports to the Deputy Director of the Economic Assistance & Employment Services Branch and requires extensive collaboration and teamwork among the group of eight managers responsible for carrying out the operations of the branch in a consistent manner.

  • Experienced human services professional knowledgeable in a broad range of health coverage and public assistance programs, and/or employment services programs designed to mitigate the effects of poverty and provide a path towards self-sufficiency.
  • Understands community needs related to health coverage, public assistance programs, employment services and social safety net/poverty issues.
  • Possesses a strong customer service/client advocacy orientation.
  • Effective at addressing customer complaints to a satisfactory resolution.
  • Strong supervision/managerial skills and is a capable leader to direct staff and agency resources accordingly.
  • General knowledge of personnel laws and rules that are applicable to a public human services organization.
  • Effective coach, mentor, and educator of supervisors about key operational issues and personnel matters.
  • Demonstrated ability to actively and effectively communicate with staff.
  • Capable of setting and achieving realistic yet challenging goals and engaging staff in the process.
  • Experienced leading organizational change and looking at the big picture.
  • Possesses excellent written and verbal communication skills.


  1. Plans, organizes, and directs, through staff, the activities of a district office; confers with staff on policy, procedures, budget, and personnel matters; interviews and selects staff for the division; evaluates staff performance and reviews performance reports prepared by supervisors.
  2. Supervises, motivates, coaches, trains and mentors staff.
  3. Evaluates the impact of new or amended laws and regulations on the costs or operation of the division; assists in the preparation of the annual budget; monitors revenues and expenditures of the division and uses the data to compile reports and to make fiscal and staffing recommendations.
  4. Reviews existing policies and operating procedures and recommends improvements; directs the development of the department's corrective action plans for public assistance programs to ensure that state standards for error control are met; prepares reports, correspondence, and annual departmental plans.
  5. Represents the executive staff in contacts with governmental and community agencies or business community. 
  6. Actively participates in the Leadership Team of the Department.  Participates in the development and champions new Departmental initiatives.
  7. Actively collaborates with other Divisions and Branches of the Department.
  8. Plans, organizes, implements and ensures compliance, through staff, the policies of the Department and County.
  9. Completes other projects as assigned.
  10. Promotes the vision and values of the Department of Social Service and the County.

Possession of the core competencies listed here and the ability to immediately demonstrate these competencies consistent with the position’s level in the leadership series and the specific work assignment; AND

1. Possession of a bachelor's degree in social or behavioral sciences or management such as business administration, organizational management, public administration, or a directly related degree from an accredited college or university and five years of experience in a California public social services agency at the local or state level, with three of the five years supervising a social services, income maintenance, employment services or administrative unit; OR,

2. Possession of an associate’s degree in social or behavioral sciences or management such as business administration, organizational management, public administration, or directly related degree from an accredited college or university and seven years of experience in a California public social services agency at the local or state level, with five of the seven years supervising a social services, income maintenance, employment services or administrative unit, OR,

3. Currently enrolled in an accredited college degree program as described in 1. or 2. above, and has completed at least 30 semester / 45 quarter units, and ten years of experience in a California public social services agency at the local or state level, with seven of the ten years supervising a social services, income maintenance, employment services or administrative unit.

NOTE: Applicants can substitute one year of formal supervisory experience with one year of lead experience directing the work of others, such as training, mentoring, project management and/or program support.

Additional Requirements:

  • A valid California Class C Driver's License may be required by time of appointment. Incumbents will be required to travel throughout County and State.
  • As a condition of employment, selectees must sign statements agreeing to comply with Section 11166 of the California Penal Code relating to child abuse reporting and Section 15630 of the California Penal Code relating to elder abuse reporting.

Knowledge of: Federal, state and local social services and income maintenance programs, legislation, and regulations; governmental budgeting, fiscal management, and public funding; principles of personnel management including selection, supervision, evaluation, and training of subordinate staff; automated information systems; and program evaluation techniques.

Ability to:  Prioritize and coordinate work through others; communicate effectively; prepare clear, concise correspondence and reports using correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling; understand and interpret laws, regulations, and policies governing programs and operation; work with and enlist the cooperation of governmental agency personnel, professional, and support staff; determine appropriate course of action in emergency situations; analyze program effectiveness, financial reports, and staffing requirements; recognize how activities and efforts of assigned division fit together with all other divisions of the Department; collaborate on numerous cross division/branch initiatives as either a leader or participant; establish a professional working relationship with representatives from other divisions/branches of the Department as well as other county departments and community organizations; conduct presentations within or outside the Department; effectively manage multiple situations occurring simultaneously and be responsive as quickly as possible. 


1. Review applications and supplemental questionnaire to determine those applicants who meet the employment standards.
2. Supplemental Questionnaire Ranking: Responses to the required supplemental questionnaire will be evaluated and scored. Candidates' final score and rank on the employment list will be determined by their responses to the supplemental questionnaire. This process may be eliminated if there are fewer than eleven (11) qualified candidates.

Applicants must receive a percentage score of at least 70 on the supplemental questionnaire ranking to be placed on an employment list. An adjustment may be made to raw scores based on factors listed in Civil Service Rule VI. Those candidates who are successful in the selection process will have their names placed on the employment list for a minimum of three months. At the time the employment list is established, all candidates will receive written notice of their score on the exam(s), rank on the employment list, and exact duration of the employment list.

Recruiters will communicate with applicants by e-mail during each step in the recruitment process. Applicants are reminded to check spam filters continuously during the Recruitment & -Selection Process steps listed above to ensure they do not miss required deadlines.

CONDITIONAL JOB OFFER: Once a conditional offer of employment has been made, the candidate will be required to successfully complete a background check, which includes a conviction history check, an satisfactory reference checks. Appointee will be subject to a post-offer medical evaluation or examination. The appointee must satisfactorily complete a probationary period of 12 months.

BENEFITS: The County of Santa Barbara offers generous benefits. For information on benefits click here.  
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS: The County of Santa Barbara is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to applicants. Qualified individuals with disabilities who need a reasonable accommodation during the application or selection process should contact the recruiter listed on the job posting. We require verification of needed accommodation from a professional source, such as a Medical Provider or a learning institution.
Disaster Service Worker: Pursuant to Governmental Code section 3100, all employees with the County of Santa Barbara are declared to be disaster service workers subject to such disaster service. Activities as may be assigned to them by their superiors or by law.
Statement of Commitment
The County of Santa Barbara is dedicated to cultivating and sustaining an environment that exhibits equity and inclusion everywhere, and at all levels of our organization.  The County believes equity is a fundamental principle that must be imbedded in policies, institutional practices and systems. The County recognizes the negative impacts of systemic racism and is committed to eliminating the barriers affecting our Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian community members, as well as people of other diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. We envision a world where society and its systems (e.g. education, criminal justice, and health care, housing the economy) are just, fair, and inclusive, enabling all people to participate and reach their full potential.
We celebrate community and employee diversity, strive for inclusion and belonging, and promote empowered participation. We aspire to build a workforce that is reflective of these values and the communities we serve. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and will resolutely uphold federal, California state law and/or Santa Barbara County ordinances.
We believe equity and inclusion are vital to fulfill the County’s mission and to embody a culture of “One County, One Future.” Expanding the full range of employee talent allows the County to deliver our best to all our community members.
We believe in the dignity and humanity of all people. We strive for a healthy and prosperous society that promotes all people having equitable access and opportunity.

APPLICATION AND SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE DEADLINE: 12/12/22, 4:59 p.m.;. Applications and job bulletins can be obtained 24 hours a day at

Raquel Martinez, Senior Employment Analyst –