Foster Youth Bill & Child Welfare Overhaul Signed Into Law

(May 18) – Gov. John Hickenlooper visited Greeley today to sign two bills aimed at improving youths services in Colorado into law. 

SB18-254, sponsored in the House by Rep. Young, D-Greeley, and his fellow Joint Budget Committee member, Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, overhauls the funding structure for the state’s child welfare services and sets standards for the types of child welfare services that must be provided by county social services departments. 

“The goal is to fundamentally change the trajectory of Colorado’s child welfare system to be more people-focused and to produce better outcomes for children and families,” Rep. Young said. “This new law is the result of significant collaboration between counties, providers, advocates, the Department of Human Services, JBC members and staff, and I’m so proud that we were able to come together to get this done.”

HB18-1319, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Rep. Young, allows county social services departments of human or social services to provide transitional services to former foster care youth who have aged out of the system. Under the new law, former foster youth between the ages of 18 and 21 become eligible for assistance with employment, housing, education, financial management, mental health care and substance abuse treatment.

“This new law helps give foster youth the tools to transition to successful adulthood,” Rep. Singer said. 

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