16th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
ACYF Commissioner's Award Book
David Thompson demonstrates commitment and dedication to achieving positive change within the child protection system, always striving to improve child safety and family stability. Throughout his distinguished management career in Minnesota's State and county human services, Mr. Thompson has remained focused on improving the child welfare system and related interventions to generate the greatest positive impact on children and their parents.
Most notably, Mr. Thompson led the Minnesota Alternative Response Demonstration Project, which realized the impressive outcomes of improved child safety, greater family stability, and cost-effectiveness, as well as resulted in a statewide differential response child protection system. As a consequence of his efforts, Minnesota has a continuum of responses available, allowing for interventions that respond proportionately to the severity of the child safety concern, flexibility to meet family and child needs, as well as ensuring that child safety and family stability are built on the strengths and protective capacities of families.
The establishment of a statewide differential response system changed statutory mandates, revised policy, and, most significantly, improved direct practice between social workers and families around child safety concerns. Mr. Thompson accomplished this through private foundation and public sector partnership; county, tribal, and community provider collaboration; and maximization of shared learning. He exhibits an exceptional capacity to direct and guide system improvement via effective delivery of technical assistance; promotion of policy and practice improvements; coordination of training, evaluation, funding supports; and meaningful collaboration with county, tribal, and community stakeholders using a parallel process that reflects Minnesota's practice principles with families.
Mr. Thompson's deep respect for families and awareness of the challenging work of county and tribal social service agencies provide the foundation of his ongoing efforts to pursue reforms that respond early and effectively to families and children in need. He continues to guide Minnesota in efforts toward early provision of services and enhancement of the State's child protection response interventions, supports, and services to ultimately achieve positive outcomes of child safety and well-being and family stability. Thanks to Mr. Thompson, Minnesota's children and families live a better life.