Colorado Child Welfare System Legislative Interim Committee


The Child Welfare System Legislative Interim Committee met throughout this summer, with significant engagement from the Kempe Foundation. This Committee, made up of eleven members of the Colorado General Assembly, focuses on Children & Domestic Matters as well as Human Services. The Kempe Foundation presented before the committee on August 22nd2023 with leadership from Kendall Marlowe, Dr. Kathi Wells, Michelle Davis, and Dr. Suzanne Kerns (right to left in the photo above) on challenges before the child welfare system and strategies to address these challenges and inequities. Similarly on September 12th, Dr. Becky Orsi-Hunt also represented Kempe on the Presentation on Safety Assessment Tool panel.


The following bills will be introduced as Child Welfare System Legislative Interim Committee bills:


  • Bill A Kinship Foster Care Homes – The Kempe Foundation supported this bill and engaged in the stakeholder group discussions.
    • Reduces administrative obstacles for kin to care for children in child welfare, and provides for partial foster care payment to unlicensed kin caregivers who are currently only eligible for a $141 monthly TANF payment
  • Bill B Children’s Behavioral Health Statewide System of Care – The Kempe Foundation lent our name in support of this bill
    • Broad, ambitious effort to build a comprehensive system of care for behavioral health for all children/youth; massive fiscal note may prevent passage into law
  • Bill C High-acuity Crisis for Children & Youth
    • Increases capacity of residential beds and step-down placements for children/youth in child welfare with the highest levels of therapeutic needs
  • Bill D Accessibility for Persons in Child Welfare Matters
    • Pared-down bill now addresses accessibility of child welfare system communications to non-English speaking populations
  • Bill E Child Welfare System Tools
    • Creates a time-limited evaluation of risk and assessment tools currently in use in Colorado child welfare

As with last year, we expect many bills to be introduced during the 2024 legislative session that the Kempe Foundation will engage with. Listed below are two bills that we expect to be introduced in January:

  • Bill of Rights for Foster Youth
  • Indian Child Welfare Act Solidification

The Kempe Foundation is looking forward to advancing evidence based policies in support of children and families involved with the child welfare system this legislative session.