New Colo. bill to increase background check requirements for child welfare services

increase and clarify the requirements of background checks for child welfare services in the state is expected to become law in the near future, as it passes through the final phases of scrutiny. This bill is supported by the Colorado Department of Human Services, and was created after Call 7 news service conducted an investigation into Denver Human Services and found that only 53 percent of background-checking requirements were being met when it came to child next-of-kin placement. The investigation was prompted by reports that three children, who were taken from their mother’s custody due to child abuse and drug convictions, were returned to their mother’s boyfriend, who is a convicted sex offender and has a history of violence. The children were then removed from his home, and placed with another family member, who also has a child abuse conviction. After an audit of the department, Denver Human Services proved to be behind on over 350 fingerprint background checks and was barely meeting half of the background-checking requirements mandated. The DHS manager had told investigators almost a year ago that all background check processes were “in place and working,” which was not true. Since then, four DHS workers were suspended; only one has continued to work with the department. The new bill will require five kinds of background checks to be conducted on foster parents before placing children in their home: FBI and CBI fingerprint background checks, a criminal record check, a sex offender registry check, and a review of a database that keeps track of incidences of child abuse.]]>

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