Ensuring safety for Colorado’s children today and envisioning a stronger child protection system for the future.

Contact us to share a concern about your experience with Colorado’s child protection system.

Are you living in a Division of Youth Services’ youth center or an out-of-home placement and have questions or concerns?

What We Do

As an independent agency we work on behalf of Colorado’s children and families. We listen to the public about their experience with and concerns about child protection, research and investigate those issues, and determine the best way to resolve each inquiry. Our work also allows us to collaborate with lawmakers, professionals and other stakeholders to advance legislation and policies that will have a lasting, positive impact on our children and families

How We Work for Colorado

Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman was created to ensure the state’s complex child protection system consistently provides high quality services to every child, family and community in Colorado.
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Listen

We listen to people about their experience with and concerns about child protection.

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Investigate

We research and investigate concerns reported by any Coloradan about service delivery within the child protection system.

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Resolve

We determine the best way to resolve concerns – that might mean bridging communication barriers or resolving conflicts based on misunderstanding.

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Identify Trends

We identify trends where the community’s needs have changed and the system hasn’t had the funding, resources or practices to keep up with it. As a result, we make public recommendations for system improvement.

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Lasting Change

We convene lawmakers, professionals and other stakeholders to advance legislation and policies that have a lasting, positive impact on children and families.

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calls from concerned Coloradans since our inception

Our Impact

Our work plays an important role in increasing collaboration within the system, identifying opportunities for improvement and advocating for the policies, funding and resources professionals need to best serve children and families.

Advocacy

We collaborate with child protection experts, providers, the public, the General Assembly and other stakeholders to recommend systemic changes and advance legislation that improves outcomes for all Colorado children and families.

Advocacy

We collaborate with child protection experts, providers, the public, the General Assembly and other stakeholders to recommend systemic changes and advance legislation that improves outcomes for all Colorado children and families.

important updates from CPO

Searching for the Why: Understanding Why Children Run from Residential Treatment Centers Will Help Us Ensure Their Safety

Youth in our state’s residential treatment facilities are running away in record numbers. This is not news. Rather, it is a three-decades-old problem that is long overdue for a solution. In May 2021, The Colorado Sun and 9News did a three-part series on the seriousness of the situation in Colorado. The series highlighted a broken system – a revolving door of youth who run away, return and run away again. The series also explored staff concerns at not being able …

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A New Approach: How a New Method of Investigating Allegations of Child Abuse and Neglect Can Help Children and Their Caregivers

The CPO discusses how one study may inform the way Colorado responds to child abuse and neglect investigations. On May 26, 2021, Tiffany Madrid, the CPO’s Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy, sat down with Dr. Kristin Klopfenstein (bottom window), the director of the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab and Dr. Anne DePrince (top left window), a professor of psychology at the University of Denver and the director of the Center for Community Engagement to advance Scholarship and Learning to …

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FAQs

Anyone who has concerns regarding Colorado’s child protection system. We often hear from parents, grandparents, foster parents, attorneys, child protection professionals, mental health providers and medical professionals, and youth in foster care or the Division of Youth Services. 

The CPO is charged with hearing the public’s complaints related to services administered by any public agency or provider that receives public money to support the safety, permanency or well-being of children. We also help Coloradans navigate the complex child protection system and connect them with resources.

The CPO will contact you regarding your complaint within 48 business hours of receiving a message. We will research your complaint – this may include reviewing records we have independent access to that are not otherwise available to the public. We may also contact relevant agencies. Once the case is closed, we will contact you.