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: When it comes to fostering kids, the positives far outweigh the negatives

In his article, “Rural Colorado struggles to find foster homes as new federal law seeks to keep more kids out of group settings,” published on Sept. 30, 2019, in The Colorado Sun, Joe Purtell accurately describes some of the challenges we foster parents in rural communities can face. My husband, Earl, and I are one […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

Rural Colorado struggles to find foster homes as new federal law seeks to keep more kids out of group settings

Finding foster homes for children is a challenge throughout Colorado, but in rural areas, the shortage is even more dire. In the San Luis Valley, a lone foster care coordinator this summer covered 3,000 square miles and six counties between the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Mountains while awaiting a new hire. In those […]

Posted inNews, Politics and Government

Turning the child welfare system upside down in Colorado isn’t easy, or cheap

Colorado’s child protection system is in the midst of a shakeup as the state tries to drastically reduce the number of kids sent to institutions and group homes and instead place them with foster families or keep them home. The changes are required by federal law and will cost Colorado $11.5 million this year alone […]

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

Nicolais: A light in the darkness of the foster care system

Six months ago, I wrote a column about the tragic passing of Kyle Forti. I concluded that Kyle’s life would “continue to shine in all the hearts he touched.” On Sept. 18, several people touched by Kyle’s light will hold a fundraiser for Foster Together Colorado, a charitable organization Kyle founded with his wife, Hope. […]

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 […]