Al Dirschberger, PhD, Commissioner of Social Services

Al Dirschberger, PhD, Commissioner of Social Services

We envision a community where children, adults and families are healthy and safe and enjoy a quality life. As a responsive and efficient organization, we seek to continually engage the community in defining the role of Social Services. Our mission is to engage people in need and provide a broad range of efficient and effective assistance and services with community partners to facilitate a better future for the people of Erie County.

What's Happening in Erie County Department of Social Services

The Erie County Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Cooling Assistance component is available beginning May 1, 2017. The program will close on August 31, 2017, or earlier if funding is exhausted. 


Eligible households will receive installation of one (1) window air conditioner, or a portable AC unit, if installation of a window unit is not feasible. All HEAP...


Erie County offers Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) services through a partnership with a local community agency. The SYEP community agency connects the youth with worksite providers.


SYEP is an eight-week program operating from July 10 through September 1, 2017 serving youth between the ages of 14 and 20 years of age. Youth work in the community at worksites known...

Help Me Grow WNY is a free resource serving families of children ages newborn to 5 years old in the eight counties in Western New York. It serves as a tool that connects families to comunity resources and child development information. 

The following services are offered through Help Me Grow:


  • Information on general child development and parenting topics...