Posted inColoradans, News

Colorado has a big shortage of volunteers to speak up for foster kids in court

One person in a foster kid’s life isn’t paid to show up.  Attorneys are paid. Teachers are paid. Even foster parents are paid. The person volunteering their time to make sure a child’s voice is heard is a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, and only about one-third of children who were abused or neglected […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Early childhood support is vital for Colorado families

Measuring a child’s wellbeing can be difficult, but often you “know it when you see it.” You see children boldly and confidently interacting on the playground and delighting in sharing newly developed skills. It’s when they are healthy, valued and thriving. Maltreatment is similarly hard to measure. Yes, there are cases of abuse and neglect […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, News, Politics and Government

Colorado’s former attorney general wanted grand jury investigation of priest abuse scandal — but didn’t get it

Former Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman says she would have preferred a criminal investigation of child sex abuse in the state’s three Catholic dioceses and that she talked to former Gov. John Hickenlooper about the prospect of launching one. But as Coffman worked to find a way last year to account for priests’ behavior, she […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Make a difference in the life of a child in need. Become a special advocate.

The room was both mesmerized and aghast.   Open sharing in a room full of people representing agencies that span the entire child welfare system are surprisingly rare.  Rare, to the detriment of children whose bumpy journey through child welfare mirrors the young woman who, on the verge of “aging out” of child welfare, shared her […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Let’s help struggling families before bad situations spiral into abuse and neglect

What a particularly crummy few weeks for kids.   The Trump Administration just announced that children at our borders can be detained indefinitely in the same week that we learn the extent of abuse detained children placed in foster care face across the country.   Colorado children have fared no better. The state’s Child Protection Ombudsman released […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

No texts, no posts, just phone calls: Colorado child abuse hotline won’t change policy to accept social media tips

Colorado’s child abuse hotline will not change policy to accept tips via text, email, Facebook or any other social media, based on recommendations from a statewide task force that reviewed the 4-year-old hotline system.  The review came after an internal memo a year ago raised concerns that the child welfare division was letting texts, social […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Their foster kids can be prone to violent outbursts, but these parents remain devoted. They need our help.

I spend a fair amount of time with foster families. Foster families are a unique population of caregivers who allow children who have been removed from their homes to stabilize, heal and stay connected to community with the ultimate goal of enabling them to safely and sustainably return to their biological families whenever possible. Over […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, Health, News, Politics and Government

Colorado’s child abuse hotline can’t process tips from social media or email — despite a memo urging change

Colorado’s statewide hotline to report child abuse and neglect has no process in place to accept texts, social media tips or even emails, a concern raised by an employee a year ago in an internal child welfare division memo. The hotline — launched in 2015 to give Coloradans a single 800-number instead of expecting them […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, News

Colorado email account for child abuse reports went unchecked for four years

By KCNC via The Associated Press A Colorado state email account that was created to report suspected child abuse and neglect went unchecked for over four years, and five possible cases that were undiscovered until May are now being investigated, officials said. Minna Castillo-Cohen, director of the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Office of Children […]

Posted inColoradans, Health, News, Politics and Government

Colorado is creating a network of doctors to diagnose child abuse and keep kids from slipping through the safety net

A bruise on a baby who hasn’t yet learned to crawl. An injury near a child’s ear. A broken bone from a “fall” with a story that doesn’t add up. A child protection caseworker who suspects abuse needs a doctor’s opinion, and even a pediatrician who examines the child might want expert advice. But here’s […]