David Kraus, PhD
President/Chief Scientific Officer
Outcome Referrals, Inc.
1 Speen Street, Suite 130
Framingham, MA 01701

Dear David,

I’m writing in regard to my past experience as a Child Welfare Director at Larimer County. I was involved in child welfare for over 30 years. It was my decision to work with your organization and use the (TOP). At the time, I thought your design of this tool was a good start.

I was definitely wrong. The TOP has played a crucial role in helping workers identify children who are thinking about committing suicide. Even in my last month as a Director, a worker approached me about a young man she was working with. The worker explained that she received a suicide alert on a Thursday night about the child scoring himself as suicidal. She immediately dropped everything and made face to face contact with the young man. He stated that he planned to commit suicide over the weekend. I ask all, “How valuable is that??” Our agency was able to design a plan because we listened to his cry for help.

The very reason I chose the TOP for our agency was because of the importance of real child and family voice. I also learned that children and parents are more likely to express that voice if they can do it without having to express it verbally to a committee of professionals or in a courtroom.

TOP also provides reports specific to the child’s progress giving the workers comprehensive ratings. This allows for real discussion for professionals to have with the families. Those reports also show worker bias especially if a worker has decided the child is not going to progress. The management reports are also invaluable to determine child well-being outcomes.

All of the above reasons allowed me to be a better Director.


James M. Drendel, PhD