CPO hosts first Mandatory Reporting Task Force meeting

The Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman (CPO) hosted multidisciplinary stakeholders from across the state Wednesday in the inaugural meeting of the new Mandatory Reporting Task Force that will address the state’s child abuse reporting law.

“I think Colorado is one of the best places for us to make public policy change for children and families,” said Colorado Child Protection Ombudsman Stephanie Villafuerte. “We’re a big state with a lot of talent and knowledge. Yet we are still small enough that we can convene important conversations and make progress on hard issues. I think Coloradans have shown that they are willing to come together and work hard for our children and families.”

Representing government agencies, non-profit organizations, professional associations and people with lived experience in the child protection system, the diverse 32-member task force began by introducing themselves and discussing how the mandatory reporting law has impacted them, their colleagues and communities. The group also shared their individual perspectives on their greatest concerns with the existing mandatory reporting system and their aspirations for the project.

During the public comment period, several members of the public shared their lived experiences with mandatory child abuse reporting and voiced their opinions on the task force and the issues they’d like to see it address.

A recording of the complete meeting will be made available on the CPO’s Mandatory Reporting Task Force page: https://coloradocpo.org/special-initiative/mandatory-reporting-task-force/

Meeting 13 times over the next two years, the task force will review national best practices and consult with numerous experts, researchers and people with lived experience. In January 2025, a final report of findings and recommendations will be submitted to the General Assembly, Governor’s Office and Colorado Department of Human Services.

The next meeting of the task force is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. (MST), on February 1, 2023, and will be open to the public via Zoom.