New and revised foster care rules in section 7.708

August 2, 2021

Several changes, additions and updates were recently made to the existing foster care rules in Colorado. This list of updates to Section 7.708 became effective on July 1 of 2021.  Each entry on the list marks sections where changes and additions were made and summarizes significant changes. Read the updated sections in the Code of Colorado Regulations Social Services Rules.

7.708.21 Suitability Section:

7.708.21.I.3 - Additions made to the existing smoking rules.

7.708.21.N. & O - New rules added related to the use of legal and illegal substances.

7.708.21.P. & Q - New rules added related to communication and comprehension.

7.708.21.1 - New subsection  - Health History Assessment:

7.708.21.1.A & B - All household members must disclose current and past mental health, physical health, and substance use, substance abuse, and treatment information. 

7.708.22.6 & 7- This section now clarifies that there must be an operating kitchen and bathroom.

7.708.22.B.!3 - New rules were added regarding swimming pools (in-ground, above-ground, and on-ground), hot tubs and spas, and kids’ wading pools regarding use and supervision.

7.708.25.C - Updates were made to include requirements for carbon monoxide detectors.

7.708.25.K - Updates were made to include a prominently posted written evacuation plan.

Section 7.708.31 Significant changes to Safe Sleep:

7.708.31.F.3 - New rule updates made to the entire Safe Sleep and co-sleeping section. Updates were made to the following areas:

  • Allowable infant beds
  • Sleep surfaces for infants
  • Foster parents sleeping in chairs, couches, etc. with infants
  • Bedding
  • Supervision and sleep when using swings, bouncies, car seats, etc.
  • Sleep positioning
  • Swaddling, swaddling training (CWTS Safe Sleep web-based training)
  • Crib safety

7.708.31.1 - New Subsection for Substitute Care, Respite Care, and Alternative Care

7.708.31.1.A - Updated section includes specific requirements for all three types of breaks and outlines rules regarding notification, consents for high-risk activities, and alignment with a child or youth’s Family Service Plan activities.

7.708.31.1.B - Changes to rules regarding substitute care in a foster parent’s home.

  • Increases allowable time from six to eight hours.
  • Adds sex offender checks to previous requirements for care lasting more than eight hours or overnight.
  • Copies of a substitute care provider’s driver’s license, insurance, and registration are required if children or youth will be transported.

7.708.31.1.C - Updates to respite rules for care in another foster home.

  • Split rule to include non-emergency respite and emergency respite causing overcapacity.
  • Outlines the maximum days that can be used without approvals.

7.708.31.1.D - Natural Support - Alternative care in a trusted person’s home. 

  • Maximum timeframes
  • Background checks and no fingerprint checks if in state 5 years or longer
  • Background checks and fingerprint checks if in the state less than 5 years
  • Introduce child/youth and alternative caregiver (alternative support)
  • Notification to the certifying agency
  • Consent form
  • Copies of alternative care provider’s driver’s license, insurance, and registration if children and youth will be transported
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