Assistant Commissioner, Children and Family Services

This position is with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). The department helps provide essential services to Minnesota’s most vulnerable residents. While the vast majority of human services in Minnesota are provided by its partners (including counties, tribes, and nonprofits) DHS, at the direction of the governor and legislature, sets policies and directs the payments for many of the services delivered. As the largest state agency, DHS administers about one-third of the state budget with the commitment to better the lives of Minnesotans. Its largest financial responsibility is to provide health care coverage for low income Minnesotans. DHS is also responsible for securing economic assistance for struggling families, providing food support, overseeing child protection and welfare services, and providing services for people with mental illness, chemical dependency or physical or developmental disabilities.

DHS places strong value in having a workforce that represents the state’s rich diversity, by employing a highly talented and dedicated workforce committed to providing services that produce positive outcomes for clients in a cost-effective manner.  DHS employees have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Minnesotans every day.


The Assistant Commissioner, Children and Family Services (CFS) reports to the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services (DHS). The Assistant Commissioner manages and directs the CFS administration (with a staff of 360 employees), so that public policy is developed, priorities are established and programs are implemented in an integrated manner throughout the State. This includes child protection services, out-of-home care, permanent home placement for children, child support, food assistance and economic assistance, and child care services. The CFS administration oversees a budget of $1.5 billion in grant funds and almost $30 million in administrative funds.


  • Participate in DHS management as a member of the Commissioner’s Executive Management Team to develop policies and strategic initiatives so that action plans to implement quality DHS programs are developed and resource allocations are made in a manner that fulfills the mission of the department
  • Provide managerial administrative direction to CFS division directors and other staff to ensure maximum efficiency of operations and effective use of fiscal and human resources
  • Design and direct the development of legislative proposals and initiatives, and coordinate legislative activities that impact programs within the CFS administration


Must be a mission-driven, experienced leader who can embrace the vision and values of DHS, with a proven, high level of managerial and human relations skills and abilities; in addition, the successful candidate must have:

  • Demonstrated leadership, managerial, organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Human relation skills sufficient to: build networks of colleagues throughout the public sector; effectively persuade; deal effectively with complex and oftentimes, competing relationships and agendas; build relationships with key partners, including tribes, counties and community organizations; understand, develop, motivate, collaborate and lead others
  • Experience working with diverse communities and a strong and clear commitment to equity and anti-racism
  • Negotiation and conflict resolution skills sufficient to resolve differences and to influence the endorsement, acceptance and priority for agency positions and policies
  • Communication skills sufficient to mobilize action to achieve organizational goals; coach and advise other program staff; facilitate meetings, make presentations, negotiate disputes; testify before the legislature; and represent the Department with external stakeholders
  • Possess technical expert knowledge sufficient to plan, organize, direct, implement and explain complex programs and practices; have broad knowledge of human services issues, delivery systems, funding mechanisms, budgets, roles and authorities of federal, state and local government
  • Possess thorough knowledge of the theory and practice of public and business administration and the practical uses of strategic planning
  • Have leadership and delegation skills in order to effect desired changes within the organization.  Good human relations and supervisory skills are also essential to this position

Salary Range: $108,033 – $154,679 annually

Location: St. Paul, MN

Industry: Government

Contact Information

If you have any questions about this job opportunity, please contact Bunny Robinson.

Robinson-Robinson & Asssociates
O: 952.942.8938 | C: 612.490.6909