Sorenson provides leadership for Minnesota's, nation's child welfare system
As director of the Child Safety and Permanency Division for the Department of Human Services, Jamie Sorenson provides leadership to the state’s child welfare system. He oversees child safety and prevention; family support and placement services; adoption; Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy; American Indian child welfare; child welfare research, evaluation, data and continuous quality improvement; and legislative and policy coordination. Sorenson is responsible for leading and implementing a vision for the division’s future.
Under Sorenson’s leadership, the division has doubled in size and scope from 2015 to 2019 with improved infrastructure and capacity for collaboration, accountability and quality improvement in both existing and newly established policy and program areas. Additionally, Sorenson provided statewide leadership for the successful implementation of many of the recommendations from the 2015 Governor’s Task Force on the Protection of Children.
Sorenson coauthored an article on his workforce development work in Minnesota, featured in the April 2018 Policy and Practice magazine, Vol. 76, No. 2 Igniting the Potential: The Health and Human Services Workforce: PART 2: Supporting and Enhancing the Child Protection Workforce. “This has been important collaborative work in Minnesota, and one of our many strategies for improving stability and outcomes for Minnesota’s most vulnerable children and families.”
He also has an impact on child welfare policy and practice nationwide, as he was appointed chair of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators in 2017. The association represents public child welfare agencies, providing leadership for the development of sound policy, successful and innovative practices, and critical capacity building to improve agency performance and outcomes for children. Sorenson previously served on the association’s Executive Advisory Committee for more than two years as the Central Region representative.
Sorenson has 24 years of professional child welfare experience. Before joining the department, he had served as regional director at the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, Family and Children’s Services manager for Eau Claire County Human Services in Wisconsin, and Child Protective Services trainer at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He is currently in the process of completing his Ph.D. in Management and Public Service at Hamline University, St. Paul.