Placement Services

Removing a child or teen from their home can be traumatic for the entire family, so caseworkers avoid that whenever possible. When a child or teen is not able to continue living with their parent or caregiver, Family First provides federal funding for the following types of out-of-home placements:

  1. Kinship family
  2. Foster family
  3. A qualified residential treatment program for children or teens who need treatment
  4. Specialized settings for young people who are pregnant or parenting
  5. Independent living settings for young adults age 18-21
  6. Specialized settings for survivors of child sex trafficking 
  7. Family-based residential treatment facilities for substance use disorder

Kinship and foster families

If it is not possible to ensure the safety and well-being of a child or teen in their own home, a caseworker looks to family or friends willing to provide a temporary home while the parent or caregiver works to improve the situation at home. These families are known as “kinship families.” Any safe adult with an established and trusted relationship with a child or young person - grandmas, uncles, teachers, neighbors or even a friend’s parent - can be a kinship parent.

When no kin is available, foster families provide a safe, temporary home for children or teens to grow up in while their parent addresses safety concerns.

Qualified residential treatment program

Children and teens who can’t grow up safely at home should grow up in the least restrictive setting. Sometimes, these kids need more than foster care. They need a time-limited placement with treatment to provide services and stability before they transition to a family-like setting or return home.

Family First creates a new facility license type called a Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP). A QRTP must:

  • Be designed to be treatment-focused and temporary.
  • Engage the family in treatment planning and intervention.
  • Provide access to 24-hour nursing in accordance with the treatment model.
  • Provide six months of services for the child or teen and their family after they have transitioned out of the program.
  • Be accredited by a national accrediting entity.

Placement in a QRTP must be necessary, temporary and treatment focused. Any child or teen staying in a QRTP longer than 12 months (or six months if younger than age 13) requires review and approval by the Colorado Department of Human Services and a judge. 

Specialized care settings

In addition to care in a qualified residential treatment program, Family First allows for the use of federal funding for the following specialized care settings:

  • A setting specializing in providing prenatal, postpartum or parenting supports for young people
  • A supervised independent living setting for young adults age 18-21
  • A setting that provides high-quality residential care and support services to survivors of child sex trafficking or those at risk of becoming sex trafficking victims
  • Family-based residential treatment facilities for substance use disorder

Frequently asked questions about placement services

What supports are available to kinship and foster families? What if no facility is able to provide care or treatment? Answers to these questions and more in our FAQ section.

If not you, then who?
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.