16th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
ACYF Commissioner's Award Book
Patti VanWagoner, Deputy Director of Utah's Division of Child and Family Services, is known in the State's human services programs as the person who most lives by the lofty principles of their profession and best demonstrates the effective skills needed to provide and implement quality services and administrative practices to benefit children and families. She has held many significant positions in the field of child welfare, mostly in direct service to children, youth, and families. Recently, the Executive Director asked her to take on the task of building ethnic minority community partnerships.
Wherever she goes, Ms. VanWagoner earns compliments as the consummate professional and the finest example of human services expertise. Her effort to develop policies, rules, and guidelines that are practical and motivate those required to follow them has proven a mainstay in the development of child welfare practice in the State of Utah. She works diligently to facilitate understanding of what is needed to make kinship placements more successful, improving practices to achieve better results for kin families.
In her current position as Deputy Director, Ms. VanWagoner directs the State's program administrators. Her management of the program component for the Division of Child and Family Services has been innovative and exceptional. The consistency and quality of practice guidelines has been enhanced significantly thanks to her leadership and supervision. Ms. VanWagoner has worked effectively with partners, exhibiting a knowledgeable and professional model of Division of Child and Family Services leadership. She encourages and supports program managers to create a cohesive program approach, while continuing to be innovative within program areas; she provides support to the Utah Foster Care Foundation to further develop their program in tandem with the needs of the Division of Child and Family Services; and she supports enhancements to the training process, such as piloting new training curricula, and offers guidance for individual training and program initiatives.
Patti VanWagoner is a visionary leader in the field of child welfare. Always keenly aware of the realities and needs of children and families, she combines insight from fieldwork with an extensive and well-articulated appreciation of the philosophy of practice. In the midst of the most trying and difficult tasks of our human services profession, Ms. Van Wagoner maintains a positive outlook and manages to stay on track, piloting any issue forward in both discussion and practice.