Message from the Commissioner:
As I am writing this message, I am only in my first few months as the new commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Social Services. In my first couple weeks on the job, I made it a point to visit each of the Department’s service centers, administrative and support offices, and community resource centers throughout the county and to meet face-to-face with as many of the department’s staff as possible. What stands out most to me in meeting staff is their knowledge, experience, dedication, commitment and genuine desire and enthusiasm for serving the public in delivering services to the County’s at-risk community.
Suffolk DSS staff are working hard and have helped the county make some remarkable achievements in the past year. In 2018, Suffolk County has reached its lowest number of children in foster care, increased adoptions and reduced the recurrence of child maltreatment. The number of households in the county relying on Temporary Assistance has decreased and Suffolk’s employment participation rate is among the best in the state. In addition, the department has helped over 300 families and almost 100 singles leave temporary housing for permanent housing.
While the number of child support cases has decreased in the past year, child support collections have increased. In the Department’s Medicaid Division, we are helping more and more recipients recertify their benefits over the phone instead of having to complete paper recertifications and coming to our centers.
I am proud to be part an agency that has made such great achievements. In addition to our staff, I especially want to thank Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone and the members of the Suffolk County Legislature for their warm welcome and their ongoing support of the department and our mission.
Enjoy the report!