The House Committee on Public Health Care and Human Services today passed Representatives Cathy Kipp and Brianna Titone’s bill that allows youth who are 15-years-old, or older, to directly consent to receive shelter services from a licensed facility. The bill is also sponsored by Senators Joann Ginal and Rob Woodward. The committee passed the bill by a vote of 10-3.
“Homeless youth are one of the most vulnerable populations in Colorado, and it’s up to us to protect them,” said Rep.Titone, D-Arvada. “This bill would remove barriers towards homeless kids receiving the support they need from licensed and regulated services. We can’t have teens falling through the cracks, and this bill puts their safety first.”
“When it comes to homeless youth, safety is our concern,” said Rep. Kipp, D-Fort Collins. “This bill would allow homeless teens in our state to advocate for their own safety and well-being, and will no doubt lead to better outcomes.”
SB20-106 would allow homeless youth facilities, including foster or family homes, to provide shelter and “crisis intervention” to homeless youths who are 15-years-old. The youths must consent, in writing, to receive these services and do not need the consent of a parent or legal guardian.
The bill also states that a person who provides shelter to a homeless child without the consent of a legal guardian must notify the legal guardian and authorities within 24-hours after shelter has been provided. Additionally, if the authorities come to the conclusion that the youth cannot be returned to the legal guardian, they must notify the county so proper living arrangements can be made.
The bill passed the Senate 32-1.