Impact of legislative changes on the children, youth and families served by the CDHS Office of Children, Youth and Families

July 10, 2019

During the 2019 legislative session, 33 bills that may impact the children, youth and families served by OCYF were passed and signed into law. Review a brief summary of legislation that impacts child welfare, domestic violence, sexual health education and juvenile justice in Colorado. To read a bill in its entirety, visit www.leg.colorado.gov.

For some bills, CDHS plans to publish additional guidance in the form of an agency memorandum to provide more direction or information regarding the legislative change. Subscribe to the OCYF memo series or update your email preferences to receive a copy of every memo issued by the Office.

Topics

Child Welfare - Colorado Sexual Health Initiative - Youth Services - OCYF/Child Welfare and Youth Services

Child Welfare Related Bills

HB19-1219 Child Welfare Permanency Planning: This bill updated and modernized the permanency statutes in Colorado, including updated Federal laws.  The bill was part of the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Legislative Agenda for the 2019 Session. OCYF and Child Welfare staff provided testimony in the House and Senate Committees to help get this bill passed with almost unanimous support by the General Assembly. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 20th.

Please note an operation memo will be sent out to provide guidance on this.

HB18-1232 Aligning Indian Child Welfare Act Requirements:  This bill helped to bring Colorado statute in line with the Federal Regulations for the Indian Child Welfare Act. The bill was part of CDHS’ Legislative Agenda for the 2019 Session. OCYF and Child Welfare staff provided testimony in the House and Senate Committees to help get this bill passed with almost unanimous support by the General Assembly. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 28th.

SB19-178 Program To Subsidize Adoption For Children And Youth: This bill repeals and reenacts the Adoption Assistance Program to codify rules and make modifications. CDHS actively supported SB19-179. OCYF and Child Welfare staff provided testimony in the House Committee to help get this bill passed with unanimous support by the General Assembly. The bill was signed into law by Governor on May 14th.

Please note rules will be updated as a result of this bill.

SB19-185 Protections For Minor Human Trafficking Victims: This bill expanded the definition of human trafficking to include labor trafficking; it also provides protections for youth who may have experienced labor trafficking.

HB19-1288 Foster Youth Sibling Bill Of Rights: The bill establishes certain rights for sibling youth in foster care, unless the rights are not in the best interests of either sibling, regardless of whether the parental rights of one or more of the foster youth's parents have been terminated. CDHS actively supported HB19-1288. OCYF and Child Welfare staff provided testimony in the Senate and House Committees to help get this bill passed with unanimous support by the General Assembly. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 20th.

Please note rules for this bill will be drafted and more information will be shared in the next few months.

HB19-1133 Colorado Child Abuse Response And Evaluation Network: The bill establishes the Colorado child abuse response and evaluation network (CARENetwork) to provide medical exams and behavioral health assessments to children who are subject to physical or sexual abuse or neglect. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is to contract with a nonprofit organization to act as a resource center. The bill specifies duties of the resource center.

SB19-025 Information To Students Regarding Safe Haven Laws: This bill requires some schools to include information related to state laws that provide for the safe abandonment of newborn children to specific persons, including firefighters and clinic or hospital staff, within 72 hours of birth.

HB19-1197 Protect Social Workers' Personal Information On the Internet: This bill provides protections for state and local caseworkers from having personal information available on the Internet.

SB19-258 Child Welfare Prevention and Intervention Funding:  The bill extends the repeal date of the Title IV-E waiver demonstration project by one year to June 30, 2020. The bill clarifies provisions relating to the annual close-out process for small- and medium-sized counties and for all counties, including provisions relating to the allocation of unspent appropriations. The bill creates two accounts within the child welfare prevention and intervention services cash fund (fund) and relocates general provisions relating to the fund within the statute. The bill clarifies that all money in the fund must be used for the delivery of child welfare prevention and intervention services that have been approved by the department of human services.

HB19-1023 Foster Children Driving Licenses: The bill clarifies certain driver license and instructional permit requirements for foster children and requires the Transportation Legislative Review Committee to study the issue during the 2019 legislative interim. CDHS actively supported HB19-1023. OCYF and Child Welfare staff provided technical support to help get this bill passed with unanimous support by the General Assembly. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 20th.

OCYF and Child Welfare will assist as needed in the interim committee.

HB19-1308 Foster Care Prevention Services: This bill established the enabling language for Colorado to implement the Families First Act, it defines some of the elements required in the Federal Families First Act. CDHS actively supported HB19-1308. OCYF and Child Welfare staff provided supportive testimony in the House and the Senate Committees to help get this bill passed with unanimous support by the General Assembly. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 23rd.

Please note changes to many Colorado Statutes will need to continue in future legislative sessions to be in full compliance with the Families First Act.

HB19-1063 At-risk Information Sharing Between County Departments: This bill allows adult protective services (APS) to access child abuse or neglect records and reports when the information is necessary for APS to adequately assess the safety, risk, or provision of services for an at-risk adult.

Please note rules may be updated and a memo will be released.

HB19-1142 Safe Family Option for Parents: This bill allows a child placement center to operate a temporary care assistance program to assist a parent or guardian with the process of providing temporary care of a minor. CDHS actively worked on HB19-1142. OCYF and child welfare provided technical testimony in the House and the Senate Committees. The bill was renamed the Kyle Forti Act and passed with unanimous support by the General Assembly. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 23rd.

CDHS is working with Safe Families on Licensing.

HB19-1193 Behavioral Health Supports for High-risk Families: The bill amends existing programs that provide access to substance use disorder treatment to pregnant and parenting women. The bill creates a child care pilot program for parenting women engaged in substance use disorder treatment.

HB19-1316 Modernizing Marriage Laws for Minors: The bill prohibits a person under 16 years of age from obtaining a marriage license. CDHS worked on the initial bill HB19-1251 and helped get it defeated, so this bill could come forward. This bill did not impact CDHS, but OCYF and Child Welfare were instrumental in getting this new version proposed.

SB19-185 Protections for Minor Human Trafficking Victims: This bill clarifies definitions in the Colorado Children’s Code concerning victims of human trafficking or a minor for involuntary servitude and for sexual servitude. CDHS supported SB19-185. OCYF and Child Welfare staff provided technical assistance testimony in the House and the Senate Committees to help get this bill passed with unanimous support by the General Assembly. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 6th.

SB19-228 Substance Use Disorders Prevention Measures: This bill provides funding for the implementation of several programs for the prevention of opioid and other substance use disorders in CDHS, CDPHE, local public health agencies and the University of Colorado.

(back to top)

Colorado Sexual Health Initiative

HB19-1032 Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education: The bill clarifies content requirements for public schools that offer comprehensive human sexuality education and prohibits instruction from explicitly or implicitly teaching or endorsing religious ideology or sectarian tents or doctrines, using shame-based or stigmatizing language or instructional tools, employing gender norms or stereotypes, or excluding the relational or sexual experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals. This bill was signed by the Governor on May 31st.

(back to top)

Youth Services Related Bills

SB19-210 Juvenile Detention Beds: The bill lowered the capacity of juvenile detention beds across Colorado from 382 beds to 327 beds effective July 1, 2019. Each facility housing detained youth will be capped at a lower census.

SB19-231 Colorado Second Chance Scholarship: This new law adds a scholarship program for secondary education for youth that were committed to the DYS. DYS anticipates that 25 scholarships with the maximum of $10,000 each will be awarded per year to youth. The program is coordinated out of the Commission of Higher Ed, with a new position to oversee. The scholarship program includes a board (which includes the DYS Director) which will determine the award recipients. 

HB19-1092 Animal Ban for Cruelty to Animals Conviction: For youth that are committed for cruelty to animals, the court may enter an order prohibiting the youth from owning, possessing or caring for a pet animal unless the youth's treatment provider makes a specific recommendation not to impose the ban and the court agrees with the recommendation. 

HB19-1149 Age of Delinquency Study: The Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice will study serving emerging adults (age 18-25) in the juvenile justice system. The required research and report is due in June 2020.

SB19-136 Expand Division of Youth Services Pilot Program: Expands the "Aspen Program" (Pilot Program) at Lookout Mountain to a second location --an additional pod-- in 2020. 

(back to top)

Bill related to OCYF or both youth services and child welfare

HB19-1120 Youth Mental Health Education and Suicide Prevention: A mental health professional may provide psychotherapy services to a youth 12 years of age or older without the signed consent of a parent or guardian under certain circumstances. This lowers the age from the current age of 15 for consent, to the age of 12.

HB19-1310 Interest on Orders of Restitution: Interest on orders of restitution will no longer accumulate while a youth is in a juvenile delinquency case and is under the age of 21. Currently youth are paying 8% interest on restitution. 

HB19-1335 Juvenile Records Expungement Clean-up: The bill will benefit DYS in three ways. 1) It will increase the time DYS has to process an expungement order from 30 days to 90 days. 2) The bill removes DYS from receiving court ordered expungements for youth that have not been placed in DYS for commitment, detention, or receive care through the CYDC. 3) It will require Client Managers to automatically generate and send a discharge report to the court and additional parties outlined in the bill within 14 days of a youth's discharge from DYS. This is for youth with expungeable offenses as indicated on the court mittimus. This will remove the court order process for the discharge report--and the requirement for DYS Client Managers to contact the youth and provide updates on their progress post discharge from DYS.  

SB19-049 Statute of Limitation Failure to Report Child Sexual Abuse Claims: This new law moves the statute of limitations from 18 months to 3 years for charges against a mandatory reporter when the mandatory reporter has reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to unlawful sexual behavior or observed the child being subjected to circumstances or conditions that would reasonably result in unlawful sexual behavior. 

SB19-108 Juvenile Justice Reform: The bill created a juvenile justice reform committee of 30 members with representation across the juvenile justice system. The committee begins meeting quarterly in June 2019 and will be charged with the oversight of areas such as adopting a validated risk and needs assessment tool(s) to be used statewide (including in DYS), and adopting a validated mental health screening tool. 

In addition the bill: 

  • Adopts a research based detention screening instrument for implementation by January 2021.
  • Develops a graduated response matrix for youth on parole to help guide juvenile parole officers/client managers. 
  • Requires several reporting processes be established or generated.

HB19-1042 Extend Court Jurisdiction For Vulnerable Youth: The bill extends the jurisdiction of the court for guardianship proceedings and proceedings concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities for certain unmarried youth under 21 years of age who meet the requirements for such orders, as well as criteria specified in the bill, and for whom findings are sought from the court that may support an application for special immigrant juvenile classification under federal law. The bill clarifies that juvenile courts exercising jurisdiction for certain purposes may also enter findings establishing eligibility for special immigrant juvenile classification under federal law.

SB19-177 Background Checks Persons Who Work With Children: Current law specifies what entities and agencies have access to child abuse or neglect records and reports. The bill adds to that list the department of human services, when requested in writing by an individual to check records or reports of child abuse or neglect for the purpose of screening that individual when such individual's responsibilities include supervision of children or unsupervised contact with children.

SB19-195 Child And Youth Behavioral Health System Enhancements: This bill directs multiple state agencies to coordinate the implementation and provision of behavioral health services for children and youth.

SB19-228 Substance Use Disorders Prevention Measures: The bill provides a number of changes to allow for more prevention and intervention services to address substance use disorders including at risk youth and families.

HB19-1031 Child Patient More Than One Primary Caregiver: Under current law, a medical marijuana patient is limited to having one primary caregiver at a time. The bill makes an exception for a patient who is under 18 years of age and allows each parent or guardian to serve as a primary caregiver. The bill also clarifies that if the patient is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, the judge presiding over the case may determine who is the juvenile’s primary caregiver.

(back to top)

Back to the Blogs
Share:
Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
Available 24 hours a day, every day. Don't hesitate to call and get help. 
Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately.