Outstanding Adult Foster Care

MSSA recognizes exceptional foster care provided to adults through the Outstanding Adult Foster Care Award. Nominees should demonstrate outstanding efforts of providing a stable and supportive environment which allows for client growth and development.

MSSA considers the following when selecting Outstanding Adult Foster Care Award winners:

  • What sets the nominee apart from other foster care providers.
  • Nominee's ability to work with the placing agency, family members, and community resources .
  • Participation in community projects and activities that promote and strengthen the foster care delivery system.
  • Nominee's ability to understand and recognize the needs of those placed in their care—to be accepted and respected as an individual, treated with dignity, and valued for their contributions.
  • Nominee's ability to meet the client's needs for care and support while encouraging growth.
  • Evidence of a deep commitment to foster care as shown by length of service, intensity of care, and dedication.

You can nominate someone for this award one of two ways:
1) By filling out the online Google Form; or
2) By downloading and completing this Word Document.

Outstanding Child Foster Care

MSSA recognizes outstanding foster care provided to children through the Outstanding Child Foster Care Award. Nominees for this award demonstrate an outstanding ability to provide a stable and supportive environment which allows for children’s growth and development.

MSSA considers the following when selecting Outstanding Child Foster Care Award winners:

  • What sets the nominee apart from other foster care providers.
  • Nominee's ability to work with the placing agency, family members, and community resources.
  • Participation in community projects and activities that promote and strengthen the foster care delivery system.
  • Nominee's ability to understand and recognize the needs of those placed in their care—to be accepted and respected as an individual, treated with dignity, and valued for their contributions.
  • Ability to meet the child’s needs for care and support while encouraging growth.
  • Evidence of deep commitment to foster care as shown by length of service, intensity of care, and dedication.
  • Ability to prepare children for reunification in the home or other permanent living arrangement.

You can nominate someone for this award one of two ways:
1) By filling out the online Google Form; or
2) By downloading and completing this Word Document.

Community Collaboration

MSSA recognizes community collaborations that benefit the health and human service system through the Community Collaboration Award.


MSSA considers the following when selecting the Community Collaboration Award winner:

  • Participating agencies, volunteers, and the community have demonstrated a high degree of collaboration to create or sustain a needed health and human service program or service.
  • The service provided through the collaboration has met a need within the health and human service system.
  • The service provided through the collaboration has demonstrated a long-term solution to a health and human service problem or issue.
  • The collaboration has shown innovation in how it has worked together to create a solution ad utilize and distribute resources efficiently and effectively.
  • The collaboration is made up of community partners, not just agencies; the community itself has contributed to the solution.

You can nominate a group for this award one of two ways:
1) By filling out the online Google Form; or
2) By downloading and completing this Word Document.

Individual Distinguished Service to MSSA

Through the Individual Distinguished Service to MSSA Award, we recognize an individual member for their outstanding service and leadership to MSSA.

Individual Distinguished Service to MSSA Award selection criteria includes:

  • Outstanding contributions to MSSA.
  • Personal skills and experience utilized to advance MSSA’s mission of advancing Minnesota's health and human services field through collaboration, education, and public policy.
  • Use or creation of community resources to effect positive change within MSSA.
  • Participation, promotion and/or recognition for their commitment to the health and human services profession.
  • Nature and length of the nominee’s active participation in MSSA.


You can nominate someone for this award one of two ways:
1) By filling out the online Google Form; or
2) By downloading and completing this Word Document.


The Morris Hursh Award

Please note that the Morris Hursh Award is not given at the regional level. We will begin accepting nominations for this award in October.

Through the Morris Hursh Award, MSSA recognizes a Minnesotan who has had a national impact on the delivery of health and human services. MSSA considers each nominee's contribution to health and human services at the national, state, and local levels, as well as their involvement with MSSA and other health and human service-related professional groups.  

MSSA considers the following criteria when selecting Morris Hursh Award winners:

  • The nominee's contribution to the human service profession on a national level.
  • The nominee's contribution to the human service profession at the state level.
  • The nominee's contribution to the human service profession on a local level within their community.
  • The nature and level of the nominee's involvement in MSSA and/or other professional human service groups.

Outstanding Retiree

MSSA recognizes retirees for their outstanding service to the health and human service community. The retiree’s involvement evidences a significant contribution to the health and human services profession.

MSSA considers the following when selecting the Outstanding Retiree Award winner:

  • Outstanding contributions to the health and human services.
  • Participates in, promotes, and is/has been recognized for their commitment to the profession of health and human services.
  • The nominee's scope of work has had a significant and lasting impact.
  • Demonstrated use of personal skills and experience to contribute the field.

You can nominate someone for this award one of two ways:
1) By filling out the online Google Form; or
2) By downloading and completing this Word Document.

Outstanding Staff Achievement


MSSA recognizes individuals who routinely exemplify outstanding service to clients, their colleagues, and their place of work through the Outstanding Staff Achievement Award.

MSSA considers the following when selecting the Outstanding Staff Achievement Award winner:

  • Consistently demonstrates outstanding service to clients, colleagues, and employer.
  • Goes above and beyond in all aspects of their work.
  • Utilizes personal skills and experience to create a positive work environment.
  • Utilizes and collaborates with community resources to meet client needs.
  • Participates in, promotes, and is/has been recognized for commitment to the human services.
  • Is valued by colleagues and employer for their contributions to the team.

You can nominate someone for this award one of two ways:
1) By filling out this Google Form; or
2) By downloading and completing this Word Document.

Outstanding Student


The Outstanding Student Award recognizes students who routinely demonstrate their ability to excel. MSSA considers the following components when selecting the Outstanding Student Award winner: 

  • Nominee's Grade Point Average.
  • Nominee routinely performs at an excellent level.
  • Nominee demonstrates their desire and commitment to work in the health and human service profession.
  • Nominee is valued by peers and advisers. 
You can nominate someone for this award one of two ways:
1) By filling out this Google Form; or
2) By downloading and completing this Word Document.


Outstanding Treatment Foster Care

MSSA recognizes treatment foster care providers who deliver outstanding foster care to children with special needs, including developmental disabilities and serious emotional, behavioral, and medical needs. Nominees for this award demonstrate and outstanding effort of providing a stable and supportive environment which allows for children's growth and development. 

MSSA considers the following when selecting Outstanding Treatment Foster Care Award winners: 

  • What sets the nominee apart from other foster care providers.
  • Participation in community projects and activities that promote and strengthen the foster care delivery system.
  • Nominee's ability to understand and recognize the needs of those placed in their care—to be accepted and respected as an individual, treated with dignity, and valued for their contributions.
  • Ability to meet the child’s needs for care and support with encouraging growth.
  • Evidence of deep commitment to foster care as shown by length of service, intensity of care, and dedication.
  • Ability to prepare children for reunification in the home or other permanent living arrangement.
You can nominate someone for this award one of two ways:
1) By filling out this Google Form; or
2) By downloading and completing this Word Document.

Outstanding Volunteer Service

The Outstanding Volunteer Service Award recognizes an individual for their outstanding volunteer service.

MSSA considers the following when selecting the Outstanding Volunteer Service Award winner:

  • Consistently provides outstanding results through service to the community.
  • Has made unique use of, or helped to create, community resources to effect change (i.e., people, programs, groups, media).
  • Nominees for this award must be volunteers (not paid staff) whose duration and/or intensity of involvement evidences a significant contribution to clients, agency, and/or community.
You can nominate someone for this award one of two ways:
1) By filling out this Google Form; or
2) By downloading and completing this Word Document.