A newly launched state task force is only the second in the nation to look closely at reforming policies that have gone unchallenged for decades.
How do you stop foster kids from running away? A Colorado panel is trying to find out.
The panel created and funded by the state legislature has two years to find ways to decrease the large number of troubled kids who run away from foster care and treatment centers
Bill aims to prevent runaways, improve mental health results for Colorado foster youth at residential centers
Colorado would have to create new standards for residential centers that house foster children as well as examine how best to prevent kids from running away from those centers under a new legislative proposal. The bill follows high-profile scrutiny of the 24/7 residential centers, including a joint Colorado Sun/9News investigation that found that children and […]
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 […]
Colorado’s child protection ombudsman announces new program to review child deaths
The death of a 12-year-old boy who was struck by a vehicle after he ran away from a youth treatment center will be the first child fatality reviewed under a new system announced Thursday by the state’s child protection ombudsman. Ombudsman Stephanie Villafuerte said she intends to fill the gap left by other child fatality […]
Colorado hires private investigators to find teens who went missing when the state abruptly closed a youth center
When state child welfare officials arrived at a now-closed youth center to collect teenagers and send them to other placements, surprised kids scattered into the fields surrounding the residential facility in Watkins. A month later, two teenage boys are still missing. And in the aftermath of what critics are calling a botched operation to abruptly […]
Colorado child welfare panel begins work on preventing abuse at residential youth centers
A panel of child welfare experts began the process Tuesday of strengthening Colorado regulations to better protect kids living in round-the-clock treatment centers for foster youth and children with severe mental health issues. The group, formed after a recent Colorado Sun/9 News investigation into runaways and lax supervision at residential facilities, will make recommendations about […]
Colorado may toughen probes into institutional child abuse claims following Colorado Sun/9News investigation
A state child welfare committee will consider changing the way allegations of institutional abuse are investigated at residential centers for troubled kids, following news reports about a chronic runaway problem that resulted in two deaths. Two state lawmakers, meanwhile, are vowing to strengthen mental health treatment for children and compel the state child welfare division […]
For incarcerated youth in Colorado, the coronavirus pandemic isn’t over yet
It was late April and Renee sounded drained and worried. She hadn’t hugged her son or seen his face without a screen pixelating his features since the COVID-19 pandemic began in Colorado more than a year earlier. “It’s heartbreaking,” she said over Zoom. “That is something a parent could never describe. It’s 24/7 of a […]
Families kept in the dark about children’s safety in Colorado’s child welfare system
Colorado’s child fatality review team did not investigate the death of a 12-year-old boy who ran away from a residential center. State officials refuse to release numbers of abuse allegations.