Newsroom > DHHS News Release

March 7, 2012
Russ Reno, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287
Thomas Pristow named DHHS Director of Children and Family Services 
Thomas PristowLincoln – Thomas Pristow of Mineral, Va., was named director of the Children and Family Services Division of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services today (3/7) by CEO Kerry Winterer.
He will begin his duties March 21.
Pristow is leaving his post as director of the Louisa County Department of Human Services in Louisa, Va., a position he has held since April 2011. While there, he worked to shift the operation and philosophy of the agency to a human services prevention-oriented system of care, Winterer said.
“Thomas brings with him more than 18 years of experience in small, rural departments as well as urban human services agencies,” Winterer said. “His rural-urban background in and knowledge of human services will benefit the diversity of our state, especially during this time of critical work on child welfare reform.”
“I’m looking forward to being part of the DHHS team and to begin developing relationships with both staff across the state and our community partners,” Pristow said.
Prior to his work in Louisa County, Pristow was director of the Department of Human Services in Norfolk, Va., from Sept. 2009 to March 2011, he said. He served as deputy director of the Department of Human Services in Newport News, Va., from June 2008-Sept. 2009. Pristow spent more than 14 years in the Department for Children and Families for the State of Vermont.
“Thomas has considerable experience in a variety of services for children and families,” Winterer said. “Given the heightened interest in the state with child welfare reform, in addition to DHHS leadership, we included others outside the department involved in child welfare issues as well as leadership in the Legislature.” 
He is a martial artist and instructor in jujutsu, aikido, judo, iaido and ko-budo. Pristow was a member of the United States Marine Corps, and the Army.
Scot Adams, director of Behavioral Health, has served as interim director since the resignation of Todd Reckling in October 2011.