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Erin Sullivan Sutton, assistant commissioner of Children and Family Services for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, was honored by the North American Council on Adoptable Children for her work on behalf of children and families across Minnesota at the 2012 Voices from the Heart Gala in November.
NACAC presented the award to Sullivan Sutton and others who have made outstanding contributions to support waiting children and adoptive families at the annual organization’s dinner and silent auction, coinciding with National Adoption Day.
“I am honored to be recognized and humbled by this award,” said Sullivan Sutton.
As assistant commissioner, Sullivan Sutton is responsible for overseeing programs and policies that promote economic stability, child safety and permanency, child care, child support and successful transition for immigrant families. She has always worked in the child welfare system and been a strong proponent of adoption.
Before being named Assistant Commissioner in June 2010, Sullivan Sutton served as the department’s director of Child Safety and Permanency Division, overseeing adoption, foster care, and child protection. Working for DHS since 1987, she developed a reputation as an articulate champion of children’s issues in the community and the Minnesota Legislature.
Sullivan Sutton was also the past president and current executive committee member of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators, while also serving on numerous task forces with the Minnesota Judicial Branch promoting permanent families for children when they cannot safely return to their birth parents.
“Erin has valued the importance of supporting foster, adoptive and relative caregiver families,” said Joe Kroll, executive director of NACAC. “She has translated those beliefs into policies and programs that change the lives of vulnerable Minnesota children. She is truly their champion.”