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Director of Children and Family Services

County of Hennepin, MN

Use your leadership skills to make a real difference for families in Hennepin County. As Director of Children and Family Services, you will lead programs and services designed to prevent maltreatment of youth and children, strengthen families, and find safety and stability when abuse occurs. As Director, you will serve in a critical role to ensure our approach remains child-centered, trauma-informed, and builds and maintains respectful partnerships with families and the community. In this role, you will also play a pivotal role to lead efforts to reduce racial disparities in our systems.

This position will report to the Deputy County Administrator of Health and Human Services and reside within the Human Services and Public Health department. You will lead a large team of professionals to ensure our department has the essential support and tools to achieve Hennepin County's mission and vision.

Location and hours:
This position is located at the Hennepin County Government Center building in downtown Minneapolis at 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487. This position is currently hybrid due to COVID-19. This candidate must be able to travel to various locations such as community sites and Hennepin county locations. Work hours for this position are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with occasional evenings.

About the position type:
This position is full-time, benefit-earning, and unclassified. Unclassified positions are non-permanent (at will) and are not subject to HR law/rules.

Starting September 1, 2021, all new job offers are conditional based on the candidate being fully vaccinated for COVID-19. “Fully vaccinated” means 14 days after receiving the second dose in a two-dose vaccination series approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a full or emergency-use basis, or 14 days after receiving a single-dose vaccine approved by the FDA on a full or emergency-use basis. After a conditional job offer is made, the candidate must show proof of full vaccination prior to their start date. A COVID-19 vaccination card from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a vaccination record from your doctor’s office, or a personal digital vaccination record constitutes sufficient “proof.” The candidate must also attest they are vaccinated by completing a form on the first day of employment. Reasonable accommodations to this vaccination requirement will be considered upon request by a candidate for medical or religious reasons as required by applicable law.

In this position, you will:
Lead staff and operations of Children and Family Services (CFS) including Child Protection, Adoption, Foster Care, Kinship, Family Group Decision Making, and support services to ensure that policies, standards, and regulations are followed.
Coordinate and develop goals, programs, and services; identify unmet needs and define objectives, policies, or plans to meet those needs and think systemically when making critical decisions that could impact other areas of the organization.
Work with department leadership to create organizational vision and strategy; translate vision and strategy to actionable work while engaging with staff and other stakeholders to achieve collective results.
Ensure a collaborative, energizing, and supportive work culture and develop future leaders.
Work with a data team to analyze program level and population-level data, including that for CFS staffing, programs, and services, to continually improve service area outcomes and meet the needs of Hennepin County children and families.
Examine and directly address the impacts of structural and institutional racism
Work across the organization and with community partners to reduce disparities for children and families.
Lead staff to build a strengths-based culture of practice that is committed to understanding and working towards eliminating racial disparities.
Develop and maintain close, cooperative relationships with the community and other public agencies to improve outcomes for Hennepin County residents. This includes:
Demonstrate authentic leadership through a partnership with community organizations and engagement with community members.
Ensure Hennepin County staff and community organizations are knowledgeable about what each other provides and how to leverage those programs and services.
Represent Hennepin County as a media spokesperson to describe the work using plain language.
Work with the Director of Financial administration and Deputy County Administrator to develop and monitor budgets, revenues, and expenditures.
Work with Contract Management staff to determine contracting needs, their financing model, and set outcomes.
Be responsive to requests, specifically the ability to research and compile information for the County Board and department administration.
Minimum Qualifications:
One of the following:
Eleven or more years of management or administrative experience.
Bachelor's degree or higher in a field related to the business and seven or more years of management or administrative experience.
Important Attributes:
Leading and managing staff.
Managing budgets and finances and ensuring they align with depart-wide fiscal framework and targets.
Working with relevant state and federal laws, statutes, and regulations, including standards of practice and administration of programs.
Knowledge and demonstrated ability to examine and directly address the impacts of structural and institutional racism and successfully apply diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices to reduce disparities, including:
Leading an environment where team members follow a holistic and responsive approach for service delivery specifically with African American and American Indian communities.

Working understanding of cultural differences and the impacts of culture on service effectiveness, organizational effectiveness, and effective relationships with staff, partners, and those we serve.

Knowledge of trauma-informed care for child welfare systems.
Ability to:
Plan, organize, coordinate, and supervise a large and diverse organization.
Leverage interpersonal and communication skills to engage with multiple groups, from staff to other county leaders, community providers, and state agencies, with the goal of working together to build a system that co-creates solutions for children and families that lead to healthier lives and communities.
Collaborate, inspire, and implement action.
Analyze community needs and develop practical and effective delivery programs, integrating efforts with communities to provide effective, person-centered services.
Coordinate county and other public/private agencies to provide a comprehensive system of service.
Anticipate future trends, assess the impact of issues, and demonstrate a systems-thinking approach with a countywide perspective.
About the department:
Human Services delivers a variety of services to individuals or families that assist with basic needs or encourage client change around specific objectives. We work with individuals as well as systems and communities in order to develop policy and advocate for the people we serve. The people we serve and our communities are connected. By helping one, we help the other.

About Hennepin County:
Hennepin is the largest county government organization in Minnesota. Our employees work every day to improve the health, safety and quality of life for our residents and communities. All of our jobs align to one or more of our overarching goals -- that Hennepin County residents are healthy, protected and safe, self-reliant, assured due process, and mobile.

Our employees receive a combination of generous benefits and positive workplace culture not found at other organizations. This includes meaningful work that impacts our community, competitive pay, work-life balance, a variety of benefits and opportunities to grow. Learn more at

Hennepin County envisions an organization where our commitment to diversity and the reduction of disparities is fundamental in providing excellent service to our community.

Your future. Made here.

This position is internally classified as a Director.
Click here to view the job classification specification.

This position may have access to systems or other documentation that contains HIPAA data.

NOTE: You must attach a cover letter and resume (PDF or Word) with your application materials to be considered for this position.

Invitations to interview will be based upon an assessment of education and experience.
Final candidates may be required to complete a drug test and/or background check.

How to Apply

Application Deadline
Applications must be submitted online through our careers page by Sept. 30, 2021:

Job Details

Job Function
Other, Department Head/Director
Position Type
Full Time

County of Hennepin


300 6Th St S
Minneapolis, MN 55487-0999
United States

Form of Government
County Council-Administrator/Manager