DHS Applications Specialist

Allegheny County Department of Human Services


Website Allegheny County Department of Human Services

The DHS Applications Specialist works within the Department of Human Services (DHS), Office of Analytics, Technology and Planning (ATP). The Applications Specialist is responsible for assisting with the integration of program operations and information system requirements and design. Incumbent also works on the evaluation and continuing development and evolution of various programmatic applications that have been built for DHS.  The Specialist serves as a liaison with DHS program and support offices, as well as DHS provider agencies as applicable. Essential duties and responsibilities include:

  • Bringing their understanding of programmatic operational needs to the table to assist program staff with visioning how to collect and report operational information in an information system.
  • Assisting with the development, evaluation and recommendation of various departments’ programs and best practices.
  • Attending relevant trainings to support knowledge of various program practices and business processes.
  • Serving as a liaison between DHS offices and service providers to exchange information.
  • Serving as a mentor for staff, including contracted providers, in the use of applications for programmatic, contracting and fiscal processes.
  • Acting as a certified trainer for applications and recommends, facilitates and/or assists with necessary trainings for the IT system and for business processes, policies and practices.
  • Planning and assists with conducting user acceptance testing of IT systems with program staff
  • Drafting job aids that address programmatic business process needs and IT functionality for training and education purposes.
  • Providing technical assistance, education and training by answering questions/inquiries about IT needs; researches answers when necessary.
  • Consulting with the staff to resolve practice issues/problems.
  • Participating in quality assurance to ensure end user understanding and use of applications, as well as how data from the system can be used to enhance programmatic practice.
  • Preparing summaries with recommendations or IT system improvements, changes and/or to resolve problems; assesses system usage.
  • Working with program staff on a plan to monitor data quality.
  • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with providers and other related stakeholders.
  • Participating in the development and design of any change request needs for applications, if appropriate.
  • Learning new program areas and their related applications within DHS, as needed or requested.
  • Performing special projects, as needed or requested.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Understanding of human services programs and supports as a direct/front line worker or from an administrative angle.
  • Understanding of programmatic operational needs.
  • Strong planning and project management skills.
  • Skilled in Microsoft Office products.
  • Ability to learn how to use custom built information systems.
  • Ability to comprehend the architecture of a complex information system and to translate its use and implications to end users.
  • Very strong written and verbal communication/interpersonal skills to be used to train others and to advocate for system needs with the software designer.
  • Ability to handle large projects/system issues.
  • Problem solving skills to analyze the nature and implications of issues presented by end users.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects with numerous elements, while continuously setting priorities.
  • Ability to work on a team; highly skilled in communications and team development.
  • Ability to assess and comprehend the needs of staff by working with subject matter experts to develop effective curriculum and assure staff competency and to implement programs that fit the organization’s goals and objectives.
  • Must be self- directive and able to operate independently to achieve program objectives.
  • Proficiency in DHS Applications
  • Ability to enhance adherence to principles, policies and procedures.

Education/Experience Requirements

Master’s degree in a related field, plus 2 years previous experience working in human service programs, including but not limited to child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, community services, homeless programs, disability programs and aging programs.


Bachelor’s degree in a related field, plus 3 years previous experience working inhuman service programs, including but not limited to child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, community services, homeless programs, disability programs and aging programs.


Any equivalent combination of education and experience which meets the required knowledge, skills and abilities.

If hired for a position, candidates would work for Allegheny County, Department of Human Services and be employed by Great Lakes Behavioral Research Institute.

About Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS)

In Allegheny County, we appreciate people who think big, act boldly, and care about making a difference. You don’t have to be from here to feel at home, or to make your mark. With only 1.3 million people in the County, it is small enough for motivated people to get things done. Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services (DHS) is a perfect place to get things done that directly affect people in need in a positive and lasting way. We help children grow up safer and healthier, older adults remain able to live independently, and neighborhoods to thrive. Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of people in Allegheny County.

DHS is the largest agency in Allegheny County government, with a budget of nearly$1 billion. DHS serves over 200,000 people a year through services that include: Protecting children and youth from abuse and neglect and preventing future occurrences of maltreatment; improving child wellness through family support ,home visiting, early intervention and in-home services; providing treatment for behavioral health issues such as substance use disorders and mental illness; managing the care of adults with intellectual disabilities; preventing unnecessary nursing home stays; and services that prevent homelessness and provide shelter and housing for families and individuals.

Why DHS?

It is innovative. Most recently, the national attention and awards we’ve gotten are for how DHS integrates data and uses them to improve the safety and well-being of children through tools that support front-line staff in making decisions (using predictive analytics).

DHS is diverse, but we strive to be even more inclusive. Our director has made it his top priority that DHS is “the kind of place where a diverse group of talented people want to come, grow, and do their best work.” This includes equity in hiring and advancement, as well as in unleashing the creativity and ideas of staff at every level of DHS.

It has strong, assertive leaders. We do not hire yes-people.

You can make a big impact here. We stand out as one of the best human services organizations in the country. But we need problem-solvers, innovators, and terrific leaders to make sure we are smart in how we use our funding so that we reach the people who most need our help to make their lives better.

“DHS strives to be the kind of place where a diverse mix of talented people want to come to grow and do their best work.” -From the organization’s statement on Equity and Inclusion



To apply for this job please visit glbridcm.ourhcm.com.