News - 2014 Archive
The Colorado Department of Human Services will launch a new statewide child abuse and neglect hotline – 1-844-CO-4-KIDS on Jan. 1. Governor Hickenlooper’s Child Welfare Plan “Keeping Kids Safe and Families Healthy” called for the creation of the hotline to promote greater safety for Colorado’s children.
Designed to provide one, easy-to-remember phone number for individuals to use statewide to report suspected child abuse and neglect, the hotline serves as a direct, immediate and efficient route to Colorado’s 64 counties and two tribal nations, which are responsible for accepting and responding to child abuse and neglect inquiries and reports. All callers will be able to speak with a call-taker 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“Everyone in the community plays a role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect,” said Reggie Bicha, executive director of the CDHS. “The statewide hotline is one more tool to help us keep kids safe and families healthy.”
The new hotline system will capture critical information and ensure that calls across the state are handled quickly and appropriately with the ultimate goal of ensuring that no child is harmed.
December 16, 2014 - The Colorado Department of Human Services held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new hotline connection center in Lamar.
The center will serve as the hub for the Colorado’s first-ever, toll-free statewide hotline to report suspected child abuse and neglect. The hotline will provide one, easy-to-remember number and is a component of Governor Hickenlooper’s Child Welfare Plan “Keeping Kids Safe and Families Healthy.”
December 8, 2014 - The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) has named Ron Hale as the new Superintendent of the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP).
Hale most recently served as the Hospital Administrator at The Alaska Psychiatric Institute / Alaska Recovery Center in Anchorage. He has nearly 30 years of health care leadership and administrative experience.
“Ron will help CMHIP continue to provide high-quality patient care that is built around trauma-informed care,” said Dr. Patrick Fox, M.D., Deputy Director of Clinical Services. “He will provide a firm commitment to foster the positive outcomes CMHIP has achieved in reducing seclusion and restraint, as well as the leadership to direct us to find new ways to best serve our patients.”
Hale earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Park University in Parkville, Missouri, and his MBA in Health Services Management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
Hale begins his duties January 5.
December 5, 2014 - The Colorado Department of Human Services has promoted Katie Griego to the position of Director of the Division of Employment and Benefits in its Office of Economic Security.
The Division of Employment and Benefits oversees Colorado Works, (Colorado's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), Adult Financial Assistance Programs (Old Age Pension, State Burial Assistance, Aid to the Needy Disabled, Aid to the Blind, AND/AB Supplemental Security Income, and Colorado Supplement), ReHire Colorado, the state's transitional jobs program designed to connect individuals to meaningful employment opportunities.
Griego will continue to create and develop programs that assist individuals who have aspirations to find lasting employment. She will also focus on making efficient and effective economic public assistance programs, so individuals and families receive the right assistance at the right time for their circumstances.
Griego formerly served as the Programs Manager for the Division she now leads. Prior to joining CDHS in 2008, Griego worked in Arapahoe County and Jefferson County in their respective Workforce Development Centers providing direct services to families.
Griego holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Midland University, and was the 2013 CDHS Employee of the Year.
December 5, 2014 - Colorado’s Child Welfare system has improved over the last four years and is on the right path to keeping kids safe and families healthy.
The Legislative audit conducted by the Office of State Auditor from July 2013 through October 2014 and released today had several administrative findings, most of which have already been completed as part of the implementation of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2012 and 2013 child welfare plans, "Keeping Kids Safe and Families Healthy."
"The Office of State Auditor’s report reaffirms the work already under way as part of the Governor’s child welfare plans," said Reggie Bicha, executive director, Colorado Department of Human Services. "I am proud to say that we have already accomplished many of the findings in the audit, and we are seeing system improvements as a result.
Colorado’s state supervised/county administered system provides the best model to achieve the onging improvements from the Governor’s plans and the audit because counties have the clearest understanding of the needs of their local communities and available resources. The State places a high value on the partnership with counties and the joint ownership and accountability of the child welfare system.
Over the past four years, the State and counties together have implemented nearly every component of the Governor’s plans, including:
"We recognize the vast amount of work that has been done over the last four years to improve our child protection system," added Bicha. "The State Auditor’s report is affirmation of the work already being done since the inception of the Governor’s child welfare plans for Colorado. We are on a journey of continuous improvement to ensure positive outcomes for children and families."
December 5, 2014 - On Saturday, the Colorado Department of Human Services honored five adoptive families from across the state who provide loving and permanent homes for kids.
Nearly 100 people attended the recognition luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion, part of the Department's celebration of National Adoption Month.
The families honored were:
In 2014, 476 children and youth were adopted from the foster care system in Colorado. CDHS expects that number to increase after National Adoption Day on November 22, with another 110 adoptions taking place during eight adoption day celebrations around the state.
To learn more about adoption and foster care in Colorado, visit www.COFosterandAdopt.org.
December 5, 2014 - The Colorado Department of Human Services announced four new SafeCare Colorado sites in 12 counties.
The prevention program, a component of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s child welfare plan "Keeping Kids Safe and Families Healthy," is designed for at-risk families with children ages 0-5 years. The evidence-based behavioral parent training program teaches skills that address home safety and children’s health needs.
The sites and 12 partnering counties that are part of the expansion of services include:
These four new sites join four existing SafeCare Colorado sites that have received referrals for and engaged in outreach efforts towards 631 families.
CDHS partners with the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect to administer SafeCare Colorado throughout the state.
With the addition of these four new sites, the SafeCare Colorado program is now offered in 30 Colorado counties and the State’s two Indian Tribes.
Existing SafeCare Colorado Programs:
September 23, 2014 - The Colorado Department of Human Services gave a "Best of C-Stat" award to the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan (CMHIFL) for reducing the use of seclusion at the facility to near zero for the last 15 months.
CMHIFL reduced the use of seclusion from 8.63 hours per 1,000 patient hours in February 2011 to an average of significantly less than one hour per 1,000 patient hours for the first six months in 2014. In fact, in June 2014, CMHIFL had zero incidents of seclusion and has exceeded the goal for the last 16 months.
CDHS Executive Director Reggie Bicha was joined by members of the Department’s senior leadership team including Deputy Executive Director of Enterprise Partnerships Dee Martinez and Office of Behavioral Health Director Dr. Lisa Clements in presenting the award to Dr. Christopher Burke and the CMHIFL management team.
September 18, 2014 - The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) today announced a new online training opportunity for mandatory reporters who are required by law to report suspected child abuse and neglect.
Under Colorado law, nearly 40 professions are required to report suspected child abuse and neglect. A recent CDHS survey found that while 79 percent of mandatory reporters surveyed knew that they were required to report abuse or neglect, nearly half could not recall if they have received any training to help them know when to report or how to report.
CDHS Puts Mobile Technology in the Hands of Child Welfare Workers to Keep Kids Safe and Families Healthy
April 14, 2014 (Denver) - The Colorado Department of Human Services is distributing mobile technologies throughout the state as part of Governor John Hickenlooper’s Child Welfare Plan "Keeping Kids Safe and Families Healthy 2.0" announced in February 2013. The plan reflects the importance of having well-trained, highly-qualified caseworkers with the best supports and tools available to meet the needs of Colorado’s children and families.
Southern and Southeastern counties will receive a total of $245,849 in mobile technology devices, as follows:
Baca - $1,734
Bent - $4,913
Crowley - $$7,589
Elbert - $8,099
El Paso - $115,467
Fremont - $20,048
Kiowa - $1,210
Huerfano - $3,425
Las Animas - $10,548
Otero - $15,528
Prowers - $15,579
Pueblo - $$29,199
Teller - $12,510
Southern and Southeastern county child welfare workers spend a great deal of time away from the office; visiting families in their homes; working with parents, foster parents and treatment professionals; and testifying in court hearings. When away from the office, workers have limited access to data systems and cannot always record information in a timely manner.
With an investment of more than $245,000 in mobile devices - laptops, tablets and smart phones – Southern and Southeastern county child welfare workers will be more efficient and effective in their jobs.
"Social workers pursue this line of work to help our most vulnerable children and families. By utilizing technology we can help them be more efficient to make a difference for kids," said Julie Krow, director, CDHS Office of Children, Youth & Families. "There is a significant amount of time spent waiting between appointments and court hearings. Now, caseworkers can spend that time completing documentation that allows real-time information sharing that enhances child safety."
Mobile technologies are being distributed to child welfare workers in 53 county human services departments throughout the state. CDHS is working with the remaining 11 counties to identify and purchase mobile devices over the next two months.