Family First, juvenile justice work group forming

October 17, 2019

The Colorado Department of Human Services is creating a new work group to ensure youth who are at risk of or involved with the juvenile justice system and their families have access to prevention services and quality placements if they cannot remain safely at home. 

The work group will:

  • Develop an education tool describing the intersection of the juvenile justice system and child welfare.
  • Clearly define for Colorado how youth at risk of or involved in the juvenile justice system are eligible for prevention services through Family First. 
  • Clearly define the programming and process for delinquency cases to follow the QRTP requirements and how to connect the CANS with the other assessments required by the juvenile justice system.
  • Discuss and provide recommendations on specific evidence-based prevention services that can be utilized for this population as well as possible current services that Colorado would like to explore as being evidence-based.
  • Discuss the changes to the out-of-home placement continuum and what out-of-home placement services are options throughout a delinquency case before adjudication, through a Division of Youth Services commitment.
  • Discuss what other entities or agencies need to be better informed or continued to be updated around Family First with more of a juvenile justice lens, such as probation officers, public defenders, etc.
  • Discuss and ensure that the work of the Juvenile Justice Reform Bill (SB 108) Task Force and the work of Family First is aligned, as much as possible, or at least coordinated.
  • Continue to work with the DU Action Lab to determine the best way to measure and ensure youth are not pushed into the juvenile justice systems, as a result of a lack of other available placements; as per the Act.

Gretchen Russo, Judicial and Legislative Administrator for the Office of Children, Youth and Families and a member of the Juvenile Parole Board, will serve as the state lead with Dan Makelky, Douglas County Human Services Director, serving as the county co-lead.

Individuals interested in joining the work group should email gretchen.russo@state.co.us.

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