FIRST 5 Commission

Mr. Little joined the County’s SSA Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) in 2017 and has served as Director of DFCS since 2019. Under his leadership, Santa Clara County transitioned out of the use of group homes, work that was recently highlighted by national child welfare advocates. Mr. Little’s approach has been to follow evidence-based practices that protect children. His work on recognizing the impact of child separation has helped shift the model of social services to focus on the power of supporting and healing families while ensuring children are safe and thriving. In his time with DFCS, one of Mr. Little’s main goals has also been to reduce inequities in the system, evident in his work developing the DFCS Race Equity Agency Leadership (REAL) team.

Prior to joining the County in 2017, Mr. Little served as Director of Permanency for the Nebraska Families Collaborative, a large non-profit organization offering guardianship, respite care, family support, foster, kinship, and other critical services for abused or neglected children. His child welfare background includes experience in several states, across both the public and non-profit sectors, in roles ranging from case manager to director of family services. 

Mr. Little received his bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and master’s degree in Social Work from Wichita State University. He and his wife of 23 years have a daughter, who is studying theatre in London. Daniel enjoys walks with his Australian Cattle dog and riding his mountain bike.

Title: Commissioner

Represent: Santa Clara County Social Services Agency

Committee: Program & Evaluation