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April 10, 2024

Young’s Bill to Increase Care for Foster Children and Youth Passes Committee

DENVER, CO – The House Health & Human Services Committee today passed bipartisan legislation to improve kinship care options for foster children and youth in Colorado. SB24-008, sponsored by Representative Mary Young, would streamline additional resources to families, kin and relatives.

“When searching for placement, relatives, family friends, godparents, teachers and those with a significant relationship with a child or youth can be a great option to support those in foster care,” said Rep. Mary Young, D-Greeley. “We know that children and youth living with kinship care are more likely to experience positive outcomes, including improved behavioral and mental health and stronger feelings of belonging and love. Building on the work conducted by the child welfare interim committee, we’ve crafted this legislation to remove barriers to kinship care by making it easier for relatives or others who have a significant relationship to the child to access certain resources such as housing, clothing and training. There are many children and youth in foster care who need a stable, supportive home and this bill directs financial reimbursement to non-certified kinship foster care while expanding the pool of possible placements to best support our foster children and youth.” 

SB24-008, also sponsored by Minority Leader Rose Pugliese, R-Colorado Springs, would provide additional resources to families and kin caring for youth and children involved in foster care. Specifically, this bill would extend foster care certification to kinship placements, allowing kin to access training, resources, and financial assistance to help meet the basic needs of children and youth in their care. It defines the differences between kinship foster care and non-certified kinship care homes and allows for emergency financial assistance to these placements in order to help meet a child’s basic care and needs. SB24-008 passed unanimously. 

Kinship placements maintain family connections and provide normalcy and support for children who have been removed from their homes. Kinship care can promote safer and faster reunification with biological parents, and prevent further long-term involvement in the child welfare system. The bill is a result of recommendations from the 2023 Colorado's Child Welfare System Interim Study Committee Report.

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