Posted inEquity

18 Denver programs, many working to direct kids away from trouble with crime and substance misuse, share in $12M

Melissa Mouton founded 5280 High School in Denver after meeting a teenager who had gone six months without using heroin.   When she asked him how he stayed sober, the teenager said he had to drop out of school because it was like a “drug den.”  The encounter left Mouton, a physician, with a nagging feeling. […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government, Social Services

Moffat County caseworker accused of fabricating child abuse, neglect investigations has been charged with forgery

A Moffat County caseworker accused of fabricating reports to make it seem as if she checked on children who were the subject of abuse and neglect claims is now facing charges of forgery and abuse of public records.  Hester Renee Nelms, 43, was under investigation for more than a year by the district attorney’s office […]

Posted inNews

Child abuse victims can now avoid police stations, reduce trauma at first-of-its-kind center in Colorado Springs

Warning: This article contains content related to child abuse, sexual assault and neglect. COLORADO SPRINGS —The carpet leading down the hall toward a row of interview rooms looks like green grass, and outside the forensic medical exam room, friendly owls and stuffed bears line the walls.  The entire building, the first of its kind in […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

$76 million could fix Colorado’s youth mental health system, study finds as kids are sent out of state for care

The operators of Colorado’s youth residential treatment centers, where children with the most acute mental health struggles go to recover, have warned for years that the system could fall apart without more funding. There are signs it’s happening now.  Suicidal kids are waiting weeks, sometimes months, in hospital emergency rooms for a bed at a […]

Posted inNews, Politics and Government

Advocates to push for overhaul of Colorado’s youth residential centers — and they’re looking to Florida for help

A group of child protection advocates including the state ombudsman and a lawmaker will push for a massive overhaul of Colorado’s residential centers for kids in foster care or with severe mental health issues.  They’ve set their sights on copying a Florida law that revamped the way centers in that state are evaluated to make […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government, Social Services

Hundreds of Colorado children are awaiting adoption. State officials are asking for new funding to find them homes.

The list of foster children who legally belong to the state of Colorado has 533 names.  Among them is a 15-year-old girl who has lived in 26 places since she went into foster care and became available for adoption at age 10. Another is a 19-year-old man who has spent 226 months – more than […]

Posted inEquity, Health, Housing, News

An Adams County apartment complex set aside 12 units for foster youth. It barely makes a dent in the demand.

Alyah Zaragoza waited about six months before she was finally accepted into the new Caraway Apartments, a 116-unit complex where 12 units are set aside for young people like Zaragoza, who are transitioning out of foster care. “I’m really excited,” Zaragoza said last week, just days before she began moving into her new one-bedroom apartment […]