Child welfare life changers recognized at the Colorado child welfare conference

When all was said and done nearly 700 caseworkers, supervisors, social workers, administrators and countless other professionals from county human service agencies, the State and nonprofit allied organizations attended the three-day conference in Loveland, Colorado last week.

It had been seven years since the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) sponsored a similar gathering and just like the last conference a highlight of the event was the awards given to recognize the life-changing work being done by county employees to help Colorado's children, youth and families. 

2018 Child Welfare Life Changers

The following child welfare life changers were recognized for their outstanding work in the field of child welfare: 

Please note that Marilyn is not pictured above. She was unable to travel to the conference to receive her award because she had a previous commitment to the children and families in Gunnison County. A special award presentation will take place in Gunnison County later this week. 

The conference was also an opportunity for Reggie Bicha, CDHS executive director, to recognize the numerous improvements in child welfare that have been made over the last several years including:

  • the redesign of the Child Welfare Training System,
  • the creation of the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline Reporting System,
  • establishment of enhanced screening, use of RED teams, and 
  • investment in prevention strategies linked to the child protections system and designed to assist families before they become a part of the system, to name a few. 

Governor Hickenlooper surprises Director Bicha! 

These reforms were also just a few of the reasons that Governor Hickenlooper wanted to surprise Director Bicha with this special video and a Change Maker Award at the conference. 

Honorable mention goes to all of the staff that were nominated for a child welfare life changer award listed below: 

Jennifer  Duncan    (Adams County)
Margrett Getchie    (Adams County)
Jennifer Rodriguez   (Adams County)
Julie Trim   (Adams County)
Shelly Martienz  ( Alamosa County)
Kimberly Domingo    (Archuleta County)
Danielle Bernard    (Boulder County)
Angie Dreier   (Boulder County)
Brenda Finney   (Boulder County)
Samantha  Frazee     (Boulder County)
Ashley  Hermes   (Boulder County)
Elena Martinez   (Chaffee County)
Shelah Huerta   (City and County of Denver)
Kristal Steeves    (City and County of Denver)
Shana Veesaert     (City and County of Denver)
Kelly Strouse    (Douglas County)
Dorthea  Hando    (Eagle County)
Bethany Johnson   ( El Paso County)
Christina McKinnley  ( El Paso County)
Linda Potter    (Fremont County)
Garfield County Child Welfare    (Garfield County)
Rachel Entsminger    (Jefferson County)
Nina Fullerton     (Jefferson County)
Nicole Hadley   (Jefferson County)
Selena  Jamison     (Jefferson County)
Randi Jones   (Jefferson County)
Lori Paluck     (Jefferson County)
Nicole  Prather     (Jefferson County)
Samantha Smith     (Jefferson County)
Anna Swayne     (Jefferson County)
Allison Timm     (Jefferson County)
Kelly    Zebroski   (Jefferson County)
Audrey    Johnson   ( Kiowa County)
Charmaine    Summers    (La Plata & San Juan Counties)
Kelsey  Fallon    (Larimer County)
Clancie Jones    (Larimer County)
Charise Rankin    (Larimer County)
Sarah Brown    (Logan County)
Toni Harms    (Logan County)
Sabrina Blevins    (Mesa County)
Melissa  Gutierrez     (Mesa County)
Julie  Duncan    (Park County)
Jesse Sena    (Pueblo County)
Desiree Flores    (Weld County)
Kathleen Jensen   (Weld County)
Kate Jensen    (Weld County)
Alyssa Loma    (Weld County)
Brandy Brophy    (Yuma County)

Thank you to all those who are a part of the child welfare system working to protect children and strengthen families. 

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Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437)
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.