Mineola, NY – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has nominated Nancy Nunziata, a long time leader in the social work sector, to be Commissioner of the County’s Department of Social Services. Her nomination has been submitted to the Nassau County Legislature for approval. If confirmed, Nunziata will lead the 800 employee agency, which is charged with administering a wide range of programs providing financial assistance and services to Nassau County residents.
Nunziata’s career in social services spans more than 40 years, from housing to workforce training, domestic violence programs to childcare, in Nassau and Suffolk counties and New York City.
“I’m proud to nominate Nancy Nunziata, a renowned leader in the social services field, to take the helm at an agency that performs such vital services for our residents,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said. “Nancy has demonstrated a commitment to serving the public and will join an outstanding staff who do an extraordinary job each day, consistently improving outcomes for our most vulnerable residents.”
“I’m honored to be nominated by County Executive Curran to lead an agency that carries out a critical mission for the people of Nassau County,” said Nancy Nunziata. “I will bring the knowledge and experience gained from my life’s work to this position, and I look forward to working alongside the dedicated staff of the Department of Social Services. The County DSS has a developed a reputation as one of the top social services agencies in NY, and I look forward to building on that reputation.”
Nancy Nunziata would succeed John Imhof, who served as Commissioner for 13 years. Paul Broderick, who has been serving as acting commissioner, would return to his role as deputy commissioner. Nunziata since 1991 has held senior leadership positions at HELP USA, which provides housing and other assistance to those in need in regions such as Nassau, Suffolk and New York City.
Nunziata most recently served as senior vice president, family transitional and supportive housing social services for HELP USA, overseeing programs whose budget exceeded $20 million. Prior to that, she was the group’s vice president of training and national social services and vice president and executive director of HELP Suffolk, doing work in Suffolk and Nassau Counties.
Nunziata obtained a BSW and MSW from New York University and since 2004 has served as adjunct assistant professor in the Social Sciences Department at Suffolk County Community College.
Nunziata was an honoree at the 2012 Glamour Women of the Year Awards and obtained recognition from the New York State Assembly and Suffolk County Legislature in 2007 for her work on homelessness and domestic violence. In 2007 she won the Maxine Postal Award for Human Dignity from the Suffolk Community Council and in 2003 won the Congressional Award for Outstanding Technology Leadership in the Community for her work at Help Horizons. Nunziata also in 2003 won an Outstanding Service and Commitment to Seniors award from the East New York Interagency Council for the Aging and in 2001 won the Outstanding Early Childhood Award from the New York State Education Department.
The Nassau County Department of Social Services has won several special grants and accolades for its work providing children’s services, protecting at-risk adults, processing public assistance applications, and providing shelter for the homeless and help for victims of domestic violence.
As of the end of 2018, the department housed nearly 1,500 residents in its emergency housing system, including nearly 580 children. It in 2018 provided day care services to an average of 5,600 children and 4,100 working families a month and in that year handled nearly 58,000 Medicaid cases for nearly 65,000 individuals.
DSS investigated and assessed just under 6,300 reports of child abuse and neglect and helped more than 30,000 families obtain and retain child support. It helped 31,000 families obtain Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program/SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) support and 21,000 obtain HEAP/Home Energy Assistance Program benefits.
And it has obtained stellar audit findings from state and federal oversight agencies charged with overseeing it. In 2018, the agency uncovered welfare waste, fraud and abuses, saving about $13.8 million in 2018, providing help, while seeking to protect against fraud.