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.


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



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



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


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.


Lasting Change

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

calls from concerned Coloradans since our inception
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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.

Public Policy Center

As an independent state agency, the CPO is charged with studying and improving the systems tasked with protecting Colorado’s children and with helping citizens navigate these systems.

To better answer and address these questions, the CPO launched the Public Policy Advancement Center. The Policy Advancement Center will house the agency’s systemic projects. These projects include multidisciplinary task forces, stakeholder groups and discussions to address of some of systemic and complex issues impacting the child protection system in Colorado.

important updates from CPO

Learning Lessons from Other States to Help Improve Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Mandatory Reporting Laws

Laws regarding child abuse and neglect are largely created by state governments. This means that there are, essentially, 50 different approaches to protect youth and stop abuse and neglect. Increasingly, states have started to examine these systems and ask a crucial question: Do child abuse and neglect mandatory reporting laws prevent child abuse and neglect as we intend them to? In 2022, Colorado joined that discussion. Through House Bill 22-1240, Colorado’s Mandatory Reporting Task Force was created and placed within ...
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Child Protection Ombudsman voices concerns to child welfare interim committee

The CPO appeared before the Colorado Child Welfare System Interim Study Committee on June 27 to present on four critical issues facing children and families involved in the state’s child welfare and protection systems. “As we look for solutions, we must think about accountability and transparency along a continuum for all of us stakeholders,” said Colorado Child Protection Ombudsman Stephanie Villafuerte. “This list is but a sampling of the issues that our agency sees. These issues are going to be ...
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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.