Leadership changes, but the priorities remain the same

Earlier this month the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) announced that the current director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), Dr. Robert Werthwein, would be transitioning to become the director of the CDHS Office of Behavioral Health. He begins his new duties September 29. While leadership may change, the priorities of the OCYF remain the same because there is still much work to be done to improve the lives of Colorado’s children, youth and families.

With less than two years remaining, Werthwein created a "punch list" outlining priorities which the OCYF aims to accomplish before the end of this administration on January 1, 2019 to create lasting change in Colorado’s child welfare, juvenile justice and domestic violence systems. 

Luis Guzman will assume the role of acting director of the OCYF overseeing the Division of Child Welfare, Division of Youth Services and the Domestic Violence Program. For the past two years, he has served as the deputy director for the OCYF and will continue to serve in both capacities until CDHS selects a new director. Prior to joining the CDHS, Guzman worked as an attorney and a U.S. diplomat in Washington DC, Nicaragua, Nepal, Myanmar and Kosovo managing human services delivery to vulnerable populations around the world.  

Under Guzman's direction, the OCYF will continue to focus on addressing complex issues impacting all children and youth served by OCYF including juvenile justice and child welfare cross-over issues, permanency, human trafficking and child well-being. He will also press forward to accomplish the action items outlined in the OCYF "punch list" by continuing to solicit feedback from all stakeholders, including holding a series of town hall discussions with foster parents over the coming months.

Next week, the second in a series of blog posts will be published on this blog digging deeper into each idea currently on the OCYF punch list.  

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