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. In order to respond to the questions and feedback we’ve received from citizens and continue improving our work and the impact it has, the CPO is dedicated to proactively identifying and more effectively communicating the agency’s special initiatives. Our special initiative for 2020 is addressing child fatality reviews.
Between 2015 and 2018, 131 children died of abuse and/or neglect in Colorado. There are multiple public entities charged with reviewing child fatalities in Colorado, but there is not a single entity responsible for reviewing all child abuse and neglect fatalities, implementing standard protocols for notifying agencies of lapses, issuing recommendations for improvements and ensuring those changes are made. The CPO’s goal is to create the framework necessary to create such a review and – ultimately – improve the impact such reviews have on decreasing child abuse and neglect fatalities in Colorado.
In April, the CPO will release its first brief for this initiative. The brief will provide information regarding the current child fatality review systems in Colorado. It will also provide details about the stakeholder process which will take place this summer as the CPO seeks input regarding child fatality reviews and how those processes and child protection systems may be improved.
The CPO will continue to publish updates regarding its efforts to advance its projects and special initiatives.