Governor Polis signs Senate Bill 20-162 - Changes Related To Federal Family First Policy

July 2, 2020

On Tuesday, July 2, Governor Polis signed into law Senate Bill 20-162, Changes Related To Federal Family First Policy. 

During the virtual bill signing, Minna Castillo Cohen spoke on behalf of the Colorado Department of Human Services. Watch the bill signing above and read Minna's remarks below. 


Minna Castillo Cohen, SB20-162 Bill Signing Remarks
As prepared for delivery

Thank you, Governor Polis. My name is Minna Castillo Cohen and I am the Director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families at the Colorado Department of Human Services. I am pleased to be here with you Governor Polis and the many, many partners who made Senate Bill 162 possible. In particular, I want to thank the bill’s sponsors, Representative Gonzales-Gutierrez, Representative Ransom, Senator Rankin and Senator Moreno. During this abbreviated session, this bill would not have passed without your dedication and leadership.

Senate Bill 162 represents the next step for Colorado in continuing our implementation of reforms across the child welfare system. These reforms mirror the core tenets of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, help us keep children safely with their families and avoid the traumatic experience of entering out-of-home placements. It emphasizes the importance of children growing up with families and helps ensure children are placed in the least restrictive, most family-like setting appropriate to their needs.

Once signed into law, Senate Bill 162 will provide the necessary clarity to our larger child welfare community, including county partners, community providers, judicial partners and others to guide us as we make needed systemic changes.

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting physical distancing bring to the forefront the importance of our work to keep families together. For many of us, the security and comfort of family and community are needed more now than ever before.

I know the Department and our partners are proud of the work we’ve already done to serve parents and their kids together. Thank you Governor Polis for signing this bill and when you do, you reaffirm that work and solidify Colorado’s commitment to providing quality prevention and early intervention services to keep families whole.


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