Contact Person: Lorendia Schmidt, LCSW, CACII, CAPTA Administrator
Contact Address: Division of Child Welfare, Colorado Department of Human Services, 1575 Sherman Street, 2 nd Floor, Denver, CO 80203
Contact Phone: (303)-866- 4268
Founded In: June 1999
Funding: CAPTA/ CJA
2013-14 Colorado Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Act (CAPTA) Citizen Review Panels:
Children’s Justice Act (CJA) Task Force
The CJA Task Force is established in accordance with the Child Abuse and Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), (codified at 42 USC Sl06c) which authorizes grants to states to develop, establish, and operate programs designed to improve the:
Membership in the CJA Task Force must be multi-disciplinary, in accordance with federal statutory requirements. General membership shall include the following disciplines, law enforcement community, civil and criminal judicial representation, prosecution, defense, Guardians ad Litem, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), health professional, mental health professional, child protective services agencies, an individual experienced with working with children with disabilities, and a parent group representative, an individual experienced with working with homeless children and youths, and an adult former victim of child abuse and or neglect. The Task Force shall also include other individuals that can represent areas of specialization they deem important to the implementation of the purpose and activities of the Task Force. The Task Force will strive to have cultural and ethnic diversity that is reflective of our state's population.
Members are elected for a period of three years and may be re-elected. Members must participate in at least fifty percent of regularly scheduled meetings. The Task Force will make best efforts to allow for telephonic participation at all meetings. Voting on significant issues can be in person, electronically or by proxy. Issues to be voted upon will be provided to members at least ten days prior to the meeting, in case participation in person or by phone will not be possible.
Institutional Abuse and Neglect Review Team (IART)
The Institutional Abuse Review Team (IART) meets monthly to review reports of investigations of abuse and neglect in 24-hour out-of-home licensed and certified childcare settings which includes foster homes, child placement agency foster and group homes, residential child care facilities, Division of Youth Corrections juvenile facilities, and Colorado Office of Behavioral Health institutions for children. The Team is mandated to ensure that the county protective service investigation is in compliance with the requirements of State statute. It also reviews the county’s involvement and coordination with community agencies and related state entities.
IART identifies areas of concern needing to be addressed and makes both county-specific recommendations and those that are applicable to other community agencies, licensing, 24-hour monitoring, and other state agencies. The county investigations require coordination with many state and community agencies and this characteristic adds to the difficulty and complexity of the work. IART’s composition mirrors this coordinated approach, with members representing the various members that may be involved in the investigation, such as:
Review information is used to make recommendations about training needs and to identify areas of concern requiring remediation to ensure the safety and well-being of the children in out-of-home care. IART reviews over 600 reports each year and from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, IART reviewed a total of 618 cases.
Child Fatality Review Team (CFRT)
Prior to 2011, the Colorado Child Fatality Prevention Act addressed Colorado’s two Child Fatality Review processes in the State, with the majority of the statutory authority in the Act assigned to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The Child Fatality Prevention Act assigned limited statutory authority for the provision of a child fatality review process to the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS).
During the 2011 legislative session, House Bill 11-1181 was adopted, codifying the CDHS’ Child Fatality Review Team (CFRT) and providing statutory authority through section 26-1-139 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. The statute outlines the objectives and duties of the county departments, CDHS, and the CFRT regarding reporting procedures and the fatality review process, and defines the structure and membership of the CFRT.
In 2012, Senate Bill 12-033 was adopted, amending statute to require the addition of a review by the CFRT of both near fatalities and egregious incidents of abuse or neglect, and public disclosure of non-confidential information.
Beginning August 1, 2012, all County Departments of Human/Social Services (DHS) began reporting egregious incidents, near fatalities, and fatalities suspicious for child abuse and neglect to CDHS, within 24-hours of becoming aware of the incident. Within three days of being notified by the county, CDHS posts public notifications on its website, indicating that Information regarding a qualifying incident was received; whether or not the child was living in their home or in an out of home placement; whether or not the case will be reviewed by the CFRT; and the child’s age and gender. The CFRT conducts in-depth case reviews of incidents of egregious child abuse or neglect, near fatalities, or fatalities within 30 days of receiving the necessary documentation from the county DHS when the following criteria are met:
A case-specific review report is written within 30 days of the CFRT review. Once the report is completed, county DHS representatives have 30 days to review the report and submit written comments. CDHS has another 30 days following the receipt of written comments from the county DHS to finalize the report. The Case-Specific Executive Summary Report, absent confidential information, is posted on the CDHS website within seven days of finalizing the report. Statute further requires that, on or before April 30, 2013, and by each April 30th thereafter, CDHS shall prepare an Annual Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Report, absent confidential information, summarizing the reviews conducted by the team during the previous year. The report is to be transmitted to the Governor, appropriate legislative committees, the Colorado State Child Fatality Prevention Review Team, and made available to the public on the CDHS website.
As intended per legislative declaration and statute, the annual CFRT report has the following objectives: