Issue Brief

Mandatory Reporters: How Colorado’s mandatory reporter law lacks the necessary infrastructure to support those charged with reporting suspected child abuse.

Colorado, like many other states in the country, has had a series of high-profile cases that raise questions about the effectiveness of mandatory reporting laws. The Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman (CPO) has received dozens of inquiries from citizens, professionals and mandatory reporters themselves, seeking clarification regarding what the law requires of them. These …

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Bridging the Gaps: How current law limits the effectiveness of Colorado’s child fatality reviews.

When a child dies in Colorado, there is no consistent and transparent process that guarantees all systems – including law enforcement, schools and hospitals – are notified of their roles. This includes cases in which the child died of abuse and neglect. Conversely, there is no accountability mechanism for ensuring that all systems capable of …

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Prioritizing Child Protection Workers: To ensure the safety and well-being of Colorado’s children, we must take steps to protect those caring for them

County human service departments respond to 40,000 reports of possible child abuse or neglect throughout Colorado each year. Roughly 100 times a day, child protection workers serve as first responders to these reports, typically by entering families’ homes at their own risk. As the spread of COVID-19 overwhelmed Colorado, the reports of abuse or neglect …

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Inadequate Access: Improving Transparency and Participation in the Division of Youth Services’ Rulemaking Process

Unlike most state agencies in Colorado, the Division of Youth Services (DYS) – which is overseen by the Colorado Department of Human Services – develops its polices internally among agency leadership with no opportunity for outside entities to participate or observe. This raised questions about whether the DYS operates in compliance with state laws that …

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