Posted inNews

Colorado will continue locking up 10-year-olds, for now, after legislation to raise the prosecution age to 13 stalls

The youngest kids arrested and locked up in Colorado’s youth corrections system are 10 years old, a practice that will continue for now after legislation to raise the prosecution age to 13 was rewritten in the final days of the legislative session.  So far this year, Colorado has arrested and locked up 33 kids ages […]

Posted inNews

The number of LGBTQ foster kids is on the rise, but does Colorado have enough accepting homes?

Diamond Kobylinski spent almost his entire childhood in foster homes, from age 2 to 17. The worst, though, was when one set of foster parents changed their mind about adopting him after Kobylinski blurted out during an argument that he was gay.  It was the first time Kobylinski had ever said the words out loud. […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, Equity, Health, News

Colorado begins to reckon with racial bias in child welfare, where Black kids are way overrepresented

Black children are involved in Colorado’s child welfare system at rates far higher than all other kids, a disparity that has state officials reexamining decades-old policies that have contributed to racial bias.  The overrepresentation exists in all levels of the child protection system — from the number of calls to the statewide child abuse hotline […]

Posted inHealth, News

Colorado county leaders blast state officials over mental health, claim 69 foster kids are missing

The state system that treats children with severe mental health issues is so stretched that it’s become dangerous, Colorado’s county human services directors charged in a fiery letter to state officials. Previous efforts have failed to “shift the course of the emergency,” wrote the leaders of the Colorado Human Services Directors Association and Colorado Counties […]

Posted inColoradans, Housing, Politics and Government

Foster youth who leave the system as teens could return until age 21 under new Colorado proposal

Viviana Cervantes was released from foster care directly from a residential treatment center. Within a few months, she found herself in her college dorm room “with a bagful of psychiatric medication” she didn’t know how to manage. She had a $500-per-month stipend to help start life on her own, but little financial sense to use […]

Posted inCOVID, Health, News

Calls to Colorado’s child abuse hotline fell during coronavirus, but harm to kids likely didn’t

As feared by child advocates, the number of calls to a statewide abuse and neglect hotline dropped significantly during the coronavirus pandemic.  That’s not because abuse and neglect declined, but because the isolated days of COVID-19 have kept children out of sight.  Calls to the hotline fell 13% compared with 2019 — that’s 193,448 calls […]

Posted inColoradans, Crime and Courts, News, Politics and Government

A youth corrections center plagued by escapes, drugs and a riot is headed for a physical — and cultural — reorganization

GOLDEN — Colorado’s most troubled youth corrections center, where several teens and staff were injured in a riot last spring and where a new report found rampant drug use, will undergo a physical transformation this year.  The massive complex — surrounded by mesh fence that bends inward to prevent escape — will become four separate […]