News

Part One — One Year of COVID: CPO analysts describe the impacts of the pandemic on the child protection system.

One year ago, as the COVID-19 pandemic settled into Colorado, the Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman (CPO) staff sat together around a conference table to discuss what the next few weeks would entail. Like many agencies, we anticipated staff would work remotely for 2 to 3 weeks. Maybe a month. This year marks the …

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The Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

The Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman opened its phone lines to Colorado citizens in 2011. Today, nearly a decade after receiving its first call from a citizen, the CPO has connected with more than 4,800 citizens, stakeholders and legislators with concerns or questions about Colorado’s child protection system. Since its inception, the CPO has …

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Learning to Listen: How the art of mediation enables ombudsmen to listen, understand and help.

The phone call came in around 12 p.m. I answered, “Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman, how can I help you?” The static on the cell phone call was distracting. Yet her words were raw and brutally clear. She cried hard, from the depths of her soul. Grief stricken. Helpless. Desperate. “I need your help. …

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CPO in the News: “Colorado’s juvenile prisons have avoided COVID-19 outbreaks, but advocates worry about the future”

Ombudsman Stephanie Villafuerte spoke with the Denver Post about remaining vigilant when it comes to protecting youth in the Division of Youth Services during COVID-19. “These are the most hidden kids in our community, and because they are literally hidden from community view, they are at the most risk.” -Ombudsman Stephanie Villafuerte for the Denver …

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How We’ve Been Working for Colorado: CPO May Newsletter

As the COVID-19 outbreak stretches into the spring, children and families across Colorado continue to face uncertainty and hardship. During the past weeks, the Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman has continued to respond to concerns from Colorado citizens, monitor statewide policies that will impact services, support child protection workers and connect with youth impacted …

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Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman Helps Secure Masks for Child Protection Workers

As the outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted all of Colorado’s crucial services, the Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman has remained concerned about the lack of protective equipment provided to child protection workers. These county department employees continue to respond to reports of abuse and neglect, entering homes and other locations without the equipment necessary …

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Check on the Children: A Message from Children’s Ombudsman in the Time of COVID-19

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. In the time of stay-home orders and closed schools, children are walking a tightrope without a safety net. They are more at risk than ever before for abuse and neglect. The network of public services like schools, after school programs, and health care providers that weaves together a …

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Avoiding the gulf: How “social distancing” has the potential to separate families more than six feet.

As the United States and other countries around the world race to delay the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Coloradans, like millions of others around the globe, have been required to engage in a relatively new practice called “social distancing.” One must look no further than social media — where the hashtag, #StayAtHome, has been …

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