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May 6, 2024

House Passes Bill to Support Colorado Kids

DENVER, CO – The House today passed legislation sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Jennifer Bacon and Representative Junie Joseph that would require more inclusive reporting in the child welfare system.

“We all want to ensure the health and wellness of Colorado children and youth, but we also must acknowledge how cultural differences and biases influence decisions made in the child welfare system,” said Assistant Majority Leader Jennifer Bacon, D-Denver. “The goal of this legislation is to help dismantle tropes associated with racial and cultural minorities within our child welfare system to increase positive outcomes for families and decrease bias. This is an important step in keeping families and kids safe and together while also breaking down impacts from racial differences.” 

“Our child welfare system is important in protecting Colorado youth and their families, but the lack of DEI training has had long-lasting impacts on families,” said Rep. Junie Joseph, D-Boulder. “By increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion training into our welfare system, we can ensure that cultural differences are taken into account so we can respond to family disruptions in an inclusive and effective way. This bill will help us create a child welfare system that works for all.” 

SB24-200, which passed by a vote of 44-18, would address equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) disparities in Colorado's child welfare system by requiring the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) to make updates to reporting and training.

Under the bill, CDHS would work with counties to update their annual reporting on EDI to: utilize state and national child welfare data, identify additional demographic data not currently collected, make recommendations based on data collection, and report on the state’s progress around data collection.

Additionally, CDHS would be required to improve staff training on EDI, provide training recommendations for county staff, and evaluate local counties EDI policies and trainings in child welfare.

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