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RS7 FSS Specialist

Job Description

Job Title:               Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Specialist

JD #:                      RS7

Department:        RESIDENT SERVICES

Reports To:           FSS Program Manager

FLSA Status:         Exempt

Approved Date:   2021


Responsible for the development and implementation of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program by working with residents; Resident Services staff; management; and community partners to identify the needs and coordinate resources that promote self-sufficiency, empowerment, and healthy communities in Kansas City, MO. 


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The duties listed below illustrate of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements regarding duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment in association with this position. Undertakes and performs the following and all other work-related duties as assigned.

1.     Conducts needs assessment to determine if the family needs further assistance (e.g., parenting classes, housekeeping techniques, budgeting classes, child care, adult education, vocational training, mental and physical health care, substance abuse testing and treatment, and family advocacy, etc.) to help keep the family together and to promote family self-sufficiency.

2.     Works with FSS participants in their efforts to reach self-sufficiency goals by creating plans that are clear, measurable, realistic, and timely; these plans will be created by identifying motivation and desires in participants while identifying and mitigating barriers to success.

3.     Refers FSS participants to appropriate social services agencies as necessary.

4.     Coordinates services provided to individuals with a mental illness who, in view of their treatment history and present circumstances, are unlikely to survive safely in the community without appropriate assistance and/or supervision.

5.     Maintains regular contact with clients including in person, by phone and in writing.

6.     Conducts in-depth interviews/discussions with FSS participants to determine eligibility of applicants and/or assesses and identifies service needs of program participants and any impediments to progress regarding job training, education, or skills enhancement.

7.     Create well-organized case files that accurately reflect services provided and outcomes.

8.     Works with Authority staff and public and private community agencies to recruit participants for the FSS program.

9.     Maintains contact with community agencies for the provision of services for clients and assists program participants in accessing appropriate public or private community agencies to obtain specialized types of assistance.

10.  Provides, or provides resources for, participant, counseling in life skills areas including parenting, employment, education, financial management, public assistance, nutrition, etc.

11.  Assists FSS participants in preparing applications and forms for school grants, scholarships, etc.  Works with educational/training entities to coordinate and refine FSS admission requirements and procedures for monitoring FSS participants.

12.  Locates testing facilities to help FSS participants in choosing a career field and in job placement.

13.  Performs annual assessments of FSS by monitoring participant progress towards meeting of goals.

14.  Establishes and calculates FSS escrow accounts for those have earned income. Monitors, approves, denies, and/or processes interim and final FSS escrow payouts.

15.  Complete paperwork, monthly reports, and case notes accurately and in a timely manner.

16.  Implements and monitors Homeownership program.

17.  Obtains and maintains a broad-based current knowledge of the process of purchasing a home, the loan products available and their respective terms, down payment assistance programs, standard and specialized loan products, personal credit issues, the pros and cons of home ownership, housing types, Fair Housing issues, and related information pertinent to the position.

18.  Informs prospective participants about the Homeownership program, determines applicant eligibility, coordinates the Homeownership programs with various mortgage lenders, and serves as liaison between the Authority and internal agencies (FSS and HCVP) and various outside agencies and lending institutions.

19.  Establishes appropriate contacts, maintaining rapport with financial institutions, title companies, realtors, builders, and community and civic and government organizations.

20.  Contacts Section 8 Resident Community in outreach efforts in order to inform, educate, and offer the opportunity that has been created to benefit qualifying candidates.

21.  Holds training workshops and/or periodically scheduled classes, or one-on-one basis with Homeownership resident candidates, in order to provide orientation and training to the candidates before they seek a home to buy on such topics as Responsibilities of Owning a Home, Financial Responsibilities, Credit Management, finding a Realtor, negotiating a contract, The Option Period, The Closing and Post Closing Responsibilities, etc.

22.  Participates in the Program Coordinating Committee (PCC) with local partners and service providers to ensure that FSS program participants are linked to the supportive services they need to achieve self-sufficiency, including services for participants with limited English proficiency.


The employee receives instructions from the FSS Program Manager.  Courses of action, deadlines, and priorities are established by procedure, the supervisor, or the employee, depending on the assignment.  Routine duties are initiated and completed by the employee without supervisory direction.  Instructions to the employee may be general or specific in nature. Problems or situations not covered by instructions are usually referred to the supervisor for resolution. The employee's work is closely reviewed on a regular basis for accuracy, completion, and compliance with policies and procedures and the attainment of objectives. 

The employee has no supervisory responsibilities but may request assistance of other Authority employees to ensure timely processing/updates/inspections of client information to obtain a more complete overview of client circumstances.


Behavioral Competencies 

This position requires the incumbent to exhibit the following behavioral skills:

Job Knowledge: Exhibits requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the position effectively. Demonstrates knowledge of policies, procedures, goals, objectives, operational entities, requirements, and activities as they apply to the assigned organizational entity of the Authority. Uses appropriate judgment & decision making in accordance with level of responsibility.

Commitment: Sets high standards of performance; pursues aggressive goals and works hard/smart to achieve them; strives for results and success; conveys a sense of urgency and brings issues to closure; persists despite obstacles and opposition. 

Customer Service: Meets/exceeds the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers; identifies, understands, monitors, and measures the needs of both internal and external customers; talks and acts with customers in mind. Recognizes work colleagues as customers.

Effective Communication: Ensures important information is passed to those who need to know; conveys necessary information clearly and effectively orally or in writing. Demonstrates attention to, and conveys understanding of, the comments and questions of others; listens effectively.

Initiative: Proactively seeks solutions to resolve unexpected challenges. Actively assists others without formal/informal direction. Possesses the capacity to learn and actively seeks developmental feedback. Applies feedback for continued growth by mastering concepts needed to perform work.

Responsiveness and Accountability: Demonstrates a high level of conscientiousness; holds oneself personally responsible for one's own work; does fair share of work. 

Teamwork: Balances team and individual responsibilities; exhibits objectivity and openness to others' views; gives and welcomes feedback; contributes to building a positive team spirit; puts success of team above own interests; supports everyone's efforts to succeed.

Job Competencies

1.     Thorough knowledge of pertinent HUD regulations on the FSS and Homeownership programs, and thorough knowledge of Authority policies and procedures.

2.     Thorough knowledge of accepted consultation and interviewing techniques.

3.     Thorough knowledge of community agencies, facilities, businesses, and services that can be utilized to aid tenants.

4.     Knowledge of pertinent finance and banking principles and practices.  Knowledge of home purchase/ownership including mortgage/loan principles and practices.  Knowledge of real estate lending practices real estate transaction processes and housing market forces.  

5.     Ability to negotiate with lenders on client's behalf to resolve issues.

6.     Ability to read and understand federal regulations as they apply to the FSS and Homeownership Programs.

7.     Ability to maintain a caseload of 75-80 FSS participants.

8.     Ability to communicate effectively and work closely with the Senior FSS Case Manager on employment services, homeownership, financial literacy, computer literacy and life skill classes.

9.     Ability to work as a team and support Resident Services staff to ensure effective communication.

10.  Skills in coordinating programs with community partners.

11.  Ability to understand the budget process and homeownership process; including the ability to advocate for low-income families who are seeking to purchase homes.

12.  Ability to understand federal regulations and follow the requirements of the program.

13.  Must be able to maintain punctuality and attendance as scheduled.


Master's Degree is in social work is preferred.  Bachelor's Degree with prior experience in strengths-based case management progress may be considered. Must have three (3) years' experience in case management.


Incumbent(s) must be able to meet the physical requirements of the classification and have mobility, balance, coordination, vision, hearing, and dexterity levels appropriate to the functions performed. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Work is performed primarily in an office environment with occasional travel to meetings.  The incumbent frequently uses standard office equipment including personal computers, telephone, and related equipment. The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Office environment. The noise level in the work environment is moderate. Work involves the normal risks or discomfort associated with an office environment and is usually in an area that is adequately cooled, heated, lighted, and ventilated, but may involve visits to tenant's homes, the offices of other agencies, community centers and meeting halls.  The employee may be exposed to weather extremes and to the usual hazards associated with visits to other business facilities and tenant homes.


The employee's contacts are primarily with coworkers, managers, tenants, federal, state, and local governmental officials and representatives, the general public, and other agencies that dispense assistance to the FSS and Homeownership programs.  The purpose of such contacts is to assist in the homeownership process and bring community services to HCVP participants, foster pride, and participation, and provide various kinds of support and assistance for individual families.

Difficulty may arise when program participants cannot be reached by telephone, when they are reluctant to respond, or when previously contacted city officials no longer hold the same position. At times meeting space may be limited or unavailable when needed.


  1. Must possess a valid driver's license.
  2. Must be available for occasional overnight travel for training.
  3. May be required to work an unusual work schedule.
  4. Must pass employment drug screening and criminal background check.
  5. Must work with the highest degree of confidentiality.

The Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This job description is subject to change and in no manner states or implies that these are the only duties and responsibilities to be performed.  The duties herein are representative of the essential functions of this job. This job description reflects management's assignment of functions; however, it does not prescribe or restrict tasks that may be assigned. Nothing in this document restricts management's right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities at any time.  The qualifications listed above are guidelines, other combinations of education and experience that could provide the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the job may be considered at the discretion of the Executive Director.

Employment with the Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri is on an "at-will" basis. Nothing in this document is intended to create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, and does not constitute a promise of continued employment.

Disclaimer:  The above statements describe the general nature, level, and type of work performed by the incumbent(s) assigned to this classification.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, demands, and skills required of personnel so classified.  Job descriptions are not intended to and do not imply or create any employment, compensation, or contract rights to any person or persons. Management reserves the right to add, delete, or modify and/or all provisions of this description at any time as needed without notice.  This job description supersedes earlier versions.


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