Judicial and Legal Community

Family First designates Colorado’s Court Improvement Program (CIP) to train judicial officers and legal professionals on key provisions of this legislation.

In Colorado, CIP has and will continue to collaborate with the following stakeholders to help increase understanding of the significant changes brought about by the passage of Family First:

  • Colorado Department of Human Services
  • Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel
  • Office of the Child’s Representative
  • County Attorneys’ Association
  • County Attorneys’ Association
  • County Human Services Directors Association
  • The Juvenile Justice Community
  • Local Best Practice Court Teams

Training by all of the above named partners will help to ensure that Colorado’s children, youth, and families have a more positive experience in the child welfare system.  The focus will include wellbeing, not just safety, as a stand-alone factor. Judicial training has and will continue to include reasonable efforts, risk vs. safety and prioritizing how to keep children and youth in their homes or with kin through effective targeted services, and reconceptualizing placements as treatment and not for containment through the use of the QRTP process and bench card.

Putting Families First

Training on these topics play a role in the success of Family First implementation in Colorado. However, CIP sees bold and lasting change happening through local level efforts. The Best Practice Court Team (BPCT) infrastructure has the capacity to bring this legislation to life. Locally, many teams have started meeting, taking stock of what exists and what does not exist in their communities, and developing strategies to do better for families. If your BPCT has not yet had these conversations, it is not too late! Utilize the resources on this page, and reach out for support to get started!

The QRTP bench card was created to help judicial officers and members of the legal community understand rules and regulations that should guide their work related to placing a child or youth in a QRTP. 

Bench Card Recorded Trainings

Training for Judicial Officers

Watch additional bench card trainings on the CDHS YouTube Channel

Tool for Engaging the Legal Community in Implementing Family First

The American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law has published a Tool for Engaging the Legal Community in Implementing Family First. This tool lays the groundwork for state and local child welfare agencies to partner with the legal community to identify and address the Act’s potential legal implications as part of the implementation process. The goal of the tool is to facilitate conversations and collaboration with the legal community to maximize Family First’s positive impact for children and families.

Download: Tool for Engaging the Legal Community in Implementing Family First.

Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 A Guide for the Legal Community

Presented by the Colorado Court Improvement Program in collaboration with the ABA Center on Children and the Law, Colorado County Attorney’s Association, Office of the Child’s Representative and Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel, this three-part training series introduces how Family First may affect individual roles and cases. Using the ABA Center’s The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018: A Guide for the Legal Community, presenters highlight the impact of selected areas on agency/County attorneys, guardians ad litem, counsel for children, respondent parents’ counsel and judges.

Download: Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 A Guide for the Legal Community

Watch the training series on Vimeo.

Download presentations below.

Meaningful implementation of Family First is already underway in communities across Colorado. We have asked several Best Practice Court Teams in Colorado to share their experiences collaborating as they train staff and prepare for Family First. Videos of these conversations are coming soon. Subscribe to the Family First Digest to receive them in your inbox.

In July 2021, judicial and delinquency partners in the 18th judicial district (Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties) hosted an event to increase knowledge of system reform efforts around Family First and Juvenile Justice Reform SB19-108. The event recordingpresentation materials, and follow-up Q&A are available as a resource to all jurisdictions interested in facilitating similar conversations.

Download: Family First Juvenile Justice Reform Flowchart