Department of Social Services

The mission of the Oneida County Department of Social Services is to provide for financial and social services to eligible residents of Oneida County in accordance with federal, state and county laws. These services shall be provided in a manner that reflects respect for each individual and concern for enhancing family functioning, reducing dependency, and maintaining children and adults in the community where possible.

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The fast and easy way to find out about many health and human services programs and how to apply for them - anytime and anywhere.

Child Support Enforcement - The Child Support Enforcement program (CSE) establishes and enforces child support orders, monitors collection and disbursement of child support payments, establishes paternity (legal fatherhood) for children born outside marriage, and locates absent parents when necessary.

Day Care Assistance - is divided into three categories:  Temporary Assistance Day Care, Transitional Day Care, and Low Income Day Care.  Eligibility for both Low Income and Transitional Day Care is based on family size and income.

Employment Unit - The Employment Division provides recipients and applicants of Temporary Assistance and SNAP with the individualized employment services they need to achieve economic stability.

SNAP - provides assistance to low income individuals and families. Eligibility is based on household size and income.  Benefits are intended to supplement a household's income so they can obtain nutritious meals.

HEAP - Home Energy Assistance Program assists eligible low income households with heating and heat related utility costs.  Eligibility is based on gross income and household size.

Medical Assistance - consists of the Medicaid Eligibility Unit, Managed Care, the Disability Determinations Unit. These units work collaboratively to assist financially eligible people in accessing needed medical services through the Medicaid program, while assuring that Medicaid is the payer of last resort.

Services Division - The Services Division provides protective services to vulnerable adults and children suspected to be at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and preventive services to keep children and families together. It also provides foster care for those children who cannot be maintained in their homes due to parent and / or child issues, and adoption services for children in need of permanence in their lives.

Staff Development - Staff Development coordinates and provides training for all Social Services employees.  Employees are offered training in house through teleconferences, through “Learnlinc” – a state sponsored virtual classroom or with State or staff trainers providing instruction on specific topics.  Off site training and conferences are also coordinated by Staff Development, such training includes the training institutes for Temporary Assistance, Medicaid and Food Stamps, Common Core training for Services caseworkers, and regional meetings offered by the program areas to provide instruction or updates on regulations, as well as computer training.  Local area High School and College students may contact Staff Development for information about the Department of Social Services that pertains to their course of studies and possible internships.

Temporary Assistance - Temporary Assistance (formerly public assistance) is cash benefits available to help with basic needs such as shelter, heat, and utilities.  Social Welfare Examiners work closely with families and individuals to identify barriers to self sufficiency and find the means to remove them.  Referrals may be made to other units such as Child Support, Employment, Daycare, Housing or other agencies.

Youth Bureau- The mission of the Youth Bureau is to provide remedial and preventive services to all young people residing in Oneida County, regardless of social or economic status. Programs will be designed, funded and implemented to reflect the specific needs of urban and rural youth. Collaboration with municipalities, schools and the faith community will generate quality activities, focused on the development of social, mental, spiritual and physical capacities within our youth community. A strong network of funded agencies, who respect the dignity of each child, in addition to the youth bureau's creation of progressive activities, will position each child for success in a rapidly changing environment.

Resources Division: The Resource Division consists of three units:  Resources, Investigations and Validations. Each unit has specific duties but their common goals are to reduce or eliminate the need for services and recover funds for the various programs within Social Services.

Telephone Directory

Colleen Fahy-Box
Interim Commissioner 

Oneida County Department of Social Services
Oneida County Office Building
800 Park Avenue
Utica, New York  13501
(315) 798-5700
Email: socialservices@ocgov.net