Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

timeless...and pretty as a picture.

hope all your holidays are bright.

Tejon Street, 2011

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Friday, December 11, 2015

Racketeering & Extortion


Logo for "Under Oath Productions", a company linked to 
The Honorable Thomas L. Kennedy (Ret)
Colorado State Judge who oversaw the "trial"
that resulted in the removal of my children
and helped to cover up the medical malpractice
endured by my son at the hands of
Children's Hospital Memorial in Colorado Springs.
-- Spydra

This "forever home" propaganda that child protective services uses to justify their child trafficking operations is wearing a little thin with me. The very nature of TITLE IV and THE FEDERAL ADOPTION INCENTIVE law is based in monetary reward for the barter of human flesh. Period. That old saying, "If it walks like a duck..." Has never been truer than in the case of forced adoption for federal dollars by child protective services, private adoption agencies, their employees, and all the persons involved in the corrupt family court process.

Persons who defend child protective services choose to ignore the fact that jobs for caseworkers, CASA/GAL, judges, district attorney's, court appointed attorneys, court employees, DHS employees, and court ordered services, would not even exist, in the current numbers if it were not for the blank check of Title IV and The Federal Adoption Incentive funding.

The perfect example of this is the CASA program. A CASA is quick to say, "I'm a volunteer". They neglect to add that the entire CASA program was created in federal funding. The directors, planners, and organizers of CASA are not volunteers! While a CASA may "volunteer" a portion of "CASA time", that same person picks up a hefty fee for their duties as a Guardian Ad Litem". So it's not really the saintly, self sacrificing, position that the CASA volunteer touts.

The same holds true for the caseworker! People tell me time and again caseworkers don't receive financial rewards for taking children. The very nature of their job is based in the financial rewards of Title IV and The Federal Adoption Incentives! Same for the rest of the child trafficking crew mentioned above. Judges go to seminars to learn how to better "capture the funding". District attorneys offices receive a fee per case. So does the court appointed attorney. The court ordered related services sector is booming. How is any of this financial motivation in the best interest of the ‪#‎TAKEN‬ child?

The other person who benefits from forced adoption in several ways is your lawmakers. Both at the state level and in Washington, D.C. The fact is forced adoption is good for business in the communities that lawmaker represents. After all, those judges, caseworkers, CASA/GAL, court employees, administrative staff at child protective services and all those employees of court ordered services who get a paycheck off the bodies of #TAKEN children are a sure vote at election time. Putting a pretty picture and a nice name on forced adoption and backing from lawmakers does not mask the ugly business of forced adoption . The truth is lawmakers had to come up with a solution for long term foster kids that nobody wanted, so they put a price on it by incentivizing it with federal monies, and offering amazing tax credits to prospective adoptive parents to sweeten the pot! Now both foster care and forced adoption can be a highly lucrative career for "foster parents" and "adoptive parents". What job can you go to and make six grand a month? Get six kids from DHS and you've got that and more! Lawmakers are participants in the barter of flesh for federal dollars. They protect and promote the forced adoption industry. I recently found out there are lawmakers who actually have financial investments in group homes, adoption agencies, and private adoption. This certainly deserves the close scrutiny of EVERY American citizen. Another area of your scrutiny should be the windfall profits that employees of private adoption agencies are making. I was absolutely speechless at the totals! I will post the link in the comments.

So we know who benefits from forced adoption. Let's look at the losers in "forever homes" for profit. The children. The parents of #TAKEN children. Both the child and their biological families suffer a life sentence of the unknown. Children do not stop loving their biological families because they have been #TAKEN by DHS. The trauma those children experience is lifelong. They never stop wondering about their parent, no matter how pretty the "forever home" brigade paints it, the child is irreparably damaged by the trauma of being #TAKEN, possibly abused, and paraded on the adoption block as caseworkers advertise them like cattle at auction on those disgusting adoption websites. Biological families are sentenced to a life of the unknown, Depression, unbearable unhappiness, scrutiny, guilt, social isolation, and the knowledge that were found "unacceptable", which begs the question: At what point should our government violate constitutional law and the civil rights of its citizens for profit?

You are an American citizen. With all the rights accorded to you in the Constitution of the United States of America! Your government is sanctioning the forced removal of your child. For profit. Our constitution says our government cannot do what it it IS doing to your family. Family courts operate outside of constitutional due process. It is your right to get in your lawmakers face and demand change in the federal adoption incentive law and title I've funding. It is your right to take a look at your lawmakers tax returns to see if they are personally profiting from forced adoption, foster warehousing, medical kidnapping or forced removal. Lawmakers are getting away with what WE let them get away with! It is your job, and nobody else's to hold your lawmaker accountable! IF YOU DONT LIKE WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOUR FAMILY: DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Start with your lawmaker. Today!

Also:  Title iv is paying fully for degrees for social work. As a condition, graduates must work for cps. If they fail to meet this condition the tuition is due immediately, quitting fired or otherwise. With this payment outstanding, any state certification is suspended until paid.  By the time a new worker realizes what they have gotten themselves into this is hanging over their heads. Keep with the syndicate or owe the money and not be able to work in that field, those are the choices Does that sound like extortion to you?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Daddy issues

Re: “When dad is a pedophile

A very Zubeckesque* article; thank you, J. Adrian, for providing this slim icky slice of Nathan Larson's victimless life. 

As with its stories on Jan Tanner, Coy Mathis, Josh Carrier, the police brutality series, and countless other subjects, this Indy spotlight on Nathan Larson is hardly heavy-hitting or in-depth, and barely scratches the surface. It's called 'the lie of omission' and makes for great misinformation, disinformation, and all-around sloppy, inflammatory, irresponsible journalism. 

Get a job -- oh wait, you already have one; okay, well, then DO your job -- oh wait, you already are...and a fine job at that: Alinsky beams with pride for you, your employer, and your credulous readers.

For some of the thought-provoking 'rest of the story' ignored by the red rag known as The Colorado Springs Independent, please see:

You're welcome.

Posted by Spydra 1 on 11/25/2015 at 10:02 AM 

     * Pam Zubeck, writer for the Colorado Springs Independent

* * * * * * * *

When dad is a pedophile 

In Colorado courts, parents have rights — even if they admit they're attracted to children

  • Courtesy Nathan Larson
  • Nathan Larson, who is attracted to children, is seeking custody of his infant daughter.
In October, Nathan Larson traveled to Colorado Springs, where an El Paso County jury faced the decision of entrusting him with the care of his infant daughter.

Larson is a 35-year-old part-time accountant who lives with his parents in Virginia and is engaged to a citizen of the Philippines. He's also a felon who once threatened to kill President George W. Bush, and although he wouldn't call himself a pedophile, he admits to having sexual feelings toward both adults and children.

Larson says he doesn't think he would molest his own daughter but isn't sure, since he's "never been in that kind of situation before." He does, however, think it's OK for adults to engage in sexual acts with children, as long as there is what he refers to as "consent," although the age at which a child can "consent" to such activities depends on the child, he says, because some children are "precocious."

Any traumatic outcomes from these acts, he believes, are mostly the result of a child feeling betrayed or of the shame enforced by societal norms.

"I think society should ... leave it to individuals to experiment," he says. "That's the only way we'll gain more information and learn what the truth is."

Larson was facing what is legally termed a "dependency and neglect" case, and had requested a jury trial. These are civil cases aimed at protecting kids from neglect and abuse. They don't determine the custody of a child, but they can prevent a parent from taking immediate custody, says El Paso County Attorney Robert Kern.

It was Kern's job to prove that Larson posed a "prospective harm" to his then-8-month-old daughter, and it's hard to imagine how Kern could fail. He called on multiple arguments during the trial, including the fact that Larson was open about his attraction toward children, both in person and online.

For instance, Larson once took to the web to discuss "boylove," explaining that he is interested only in girls.

"The way I feel about it is that if I had a son, I don't think I would have any interest in engaging in those activities with him," he wrote. "My attitude would be, if he's going to [be] involved in incestuous activities, that may as well be with a sibling or his mother or something."

"The jury was visibly disgusted," says Kory Phairchyld, who testified at the trial about Larson's tendencies.

Larson's own legal papers revealed arguments that claim he has a right to free speech (even on pedophilia), that pedophilic desires are common, that pedophiles comprise a stigmatized sexual orientation deserving of civil rights, that molestation doesn't necessarily lead to psychological damage, and that the age of consent is historically and currently inconsistent.

Moreover, Larson doesn't seem clued in to the repulsion people commonly feel toward child molesters. In a phone interview with the Independent, he says he had held out hope that the jurors would see his point of view, especially since he had only met the girl once, in a supervised visit.
"I could see it going either way," he says, "because there hadn't been any harm done."

The jury, unsurprisingly, didn't think Larson would make a fit parent.

Kern won his case, and Larson's daughter continues to live with her maternal grandparents. But, Kern warns, "At any point, the child could be returned to him."

See, dependency and neglect cases aren't aimed at removing a parent from a child's life; they're aimed at reuniting them. If a parent is found unfit, like Larson, they are ordered by a judge to go through various programs that might transform him or her into a better parent.

Larson says he's been ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation, followed by a treatment plan.
"This isn't the end of the case," Kern says. "This is the beginning of the case."

Larson's daughter, whom the Independent will not name because she is a juvenile, was born into fraught circumstances that culminated in her other parent's suicide on June 3.

Obituaries list various names for the other parent, including a birth name and the legal name at the time of death, Augustine Larson. But close friend Kory Phairchyld says that he was a transgender man who preferred to be called "Finn." Larson refers to his ex as "her" and uses the name "August."
For purposes of this article, the Independent will use the name "Finn" and "he," as the reporter was introduced to the subject as such earlier this year.

Phairchyld, who is also a transgender man and a leader of the local group Queer Collective, says the last months of Finn's life were traumatic. Phairchyld says Finn suffered from mental health problems, including PTSD, which he says Finn said stemmed from an abusive relationship with Larson.

Finn did have a restraining order against Larson, though Larson claims that their rocky marriage, which lasted less than a year, only included verbal altercations.

In an email that was an exhibit for the case, however, Larson admits to abuse, including raping Finn, and apologizes that his desire to molest their children caused Finn stress.

"It didn't concern me that given my history of raping you, as well as the gravity of what I was proposing doing with the children, I might irreparably destroy our relationship and any prospect of my ever seeing the children (especially unsupervised)," he wrote.

And in a legal document that Finn filled out to waive child support in February, he writes of Larson, "During our relationship, he was severely emotionally and sexually abusive towards me. He stated multiple times that he wanted to have sex with a child. He talked about how he would manipulate and trick the child into giving him sex, told me he wouldn't love the child if they did not have sex with him, and stated he had no interest in children other than sexual ... [He] raped me until I was pregnant and stated his intention to have sex with my child after she was born."

Finn also states that she told Larson she had miscarried after leaving him and that Larson did not know the child existed. Indeed, when the reporter met Finn earlier this year, he asked that the child not be photographed for fear that the "abusive" father would seek custody. Larson was informed of the child's existence after Finn's death.

In the last months of Finn's life, Phairchyld says he struggled to help his friend, taking Finn to various mental health centers, only to be turned away. Eventually, the problems became pronounced enough that authorities removed Finn's daughter from his care and sent her to live with her maternal grandparents.

Child Protection papers from the time allege abuse and neglect, and reference Finn's unstable mental condition. Finn was eventually admitted to a mental health program before taking his own life.

Phairchyld says he had hoped a couple from the local LGBT community who were close with Finn would be able to adopt the girl, but he's simply relieved that the child is safe.

"At least we know that she's not the subject of abuse at this point," he says. Adding, "The thought of [Larson] taking that child to Virginia alone was terrifying."

Court documents show that Larson viewed his case as a small piece of a larger civil rights battle for pedophiles — which Phairchyld says he found outrageous.

"He really saw his daughter as the easy pawn for that," he says. "He really wants to be the martyr."
Kern agreed that Larson seemed to want to use the opportunity to make a point — though he says many parents behave similarly (though with different subject matter).

"The feeling was definitely that this was an opportunity for a forum," he says, "and I would say that a parent using this process as a forum isn't really unusual."

While there is a Constitutional right to parent your child, Kern says courts in dependency neglect cases are required to think about the best interests of a child, not a parent.

Ultimately, though, the court tries to reunify a family, as that is often thought to be the best outcome. In many cases, that includes counseling and treatment — for instance, help with kicking drug or alcohol addiction. But a parent who is outspoken about his or her pedophilia is unusual to say the least.

Larson will likely get testing and treatment in Virginia. If he successfully completes it, he can continue to seek custody of his daughter, and he says he will continue to fight as long as he believes he stands a chance of winning.

"I'm kind of just taking it one step at a time," he says.

Larson says he feels like his rights are being trampled — both as a parent and as an individual. For instance, he says he feels the ban on child pornography is an attack on his First Amendment rights.

Paul Isenstadt, a local licensed clinical social worker who previously served as the director of programs and residential services at Comcor, Inc., has been working in his business since 1965, and doing sex offender evaluations since 1980.

People who truly have pedophilic disorder — they act on sexual urges for pre-pubescent children — are exceedingly rare, he says.

But they often find ways of justifying their behavior — such as Larson's belief that a child can "consent" to sexual acts. (Children are not developmentally capable of consenting to sexual activity.)

The current philosophy, endorsed by the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board, is that pedophilia in adults cannot be cured, but can be managed.

Isenstadt says a variety of methods are used, including drugs that suppress sexual urges and various forms of conditioning — this usually means subjecting someone to an arousing story or image and then causing them to associate it with something unpleasant. For instance, a subject might be asked to use smelling salts made from decayed cow placenta.

Isenstadt says that it's rare for a person to have pedophilic urges, especially exclusively — often a subject is attracted to adults and children, as Larson is. But when they do, he says it's referred to as pedophilic sexual orientation. The people he has counseled with this condition tend to have been molested as children (Larson has no recollection of being molested), though Isenstadt stresses that the vast majority of children who are molested do not grow up to be pedophiles.

Recent research suggests that the brains of pedophiles are different, suggesting a biological component. In fact, pedophiles appear to have lower IQs, on average, than other sex offenders and the population as a whole, according to research by Canadian doctor James Cantor.

Despite the apparent unchanging nature of the condition, Isenstadt says it's obviously something that must be controlled. The trick, he says, is to convince people with such urges to play them out only in their minds, or as he puts it "to live in their heads."

"Is there a risk?" he asks. "Certainly. Does that mean the person will act on their interest? Not necessarily. And that's where the controversy comes into play."

Isenstadt, however, says he would never recommend placing a child in a home with someone who is outspoken about his urges to molest children.

In an August letter to Finn's parents, Larson articulates his opposing viewpoint, saying government should allow children to be raised by their parents, regardless of the circumstances.

"They should just leave it to natural selection to weed out the parents who will destroy their kids, rather than intervening," he says. "[F]or example, we won't need to worry about Casey Anthony passing on her infanticidal tendencies to her daughter, since her daughter is dead now."

Monday, October 19, 2015

Splitting the baby

...and not wanting her baby cut in half, the real mother let go of her child...

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Financing Child Protective Services

Information Request of the Month

Question: How Are State Child Welfare Programs Funded?
Answer: Child Welfare Financing 101
Funding state child welfare services involves a complicated web of funding streams, including federal, state and local money. The largest source of funding dedicated to child welfare comes from the federal government, specifically, Titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act. Title IV-B includes the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Child Welfare Services Program and Title IV-E includes Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, Guardianship Assistance and the John H. Chaffee Foster Care Independence programs. While all states may receive these funds to use for their designated purposes, some states have been granted Title IV-E Waivers, which allow them to operate innovative demonstration projects to improve the safety, permanency and well-being of children in out-of-home care, and in some instances work to prevent the need for foster care altogether.
Title IV-E
The Title IV-E foster care maintenance payments program allows states to be reimbursed by the federal government for maintenance payments made to provide shelter, food and clothing for eligible children. In addition, it covers administrative costs, training of child welfare staff and foster parents, recruitment of foster parents and data collection. A child is eligible for these payments if he or she entered foster care through a voluntary placement or judicial determination, was considered “needy” by Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) standards prior to removal, and currently resides in licensed or approved foster care. Traditionally these payments would cease upon the child’s 18th birthday. In 23 states and the District of Columbia, however, payments may be continued until the child reaches 21.This extension was authorized by the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Fostering Connections Act).
Title IV-E Adoption Assistance funds must be used to place children with adoptive families in a timely manner, provide for financial and medical assistance, reimburse states for associated administrative costs, and train employees and adoptive parents. Children are eligible for adoption assistance funds if they meet one of five criteria:
  • They are considered needy, according to the AFDC.
  • They remained in the pre-removal situation.
  • They are eligible for Social Security income.
  • They are the children of minor parents who are receiving Title IV-E foster care maintenance payments.
  • They were eligible for adoption assistance previously but their adoptive parents died or had their parental rights terminated.
The Fostering Connections Act increased the overall amount of federal spending on adoption assistance payments to adoptive families by phasing out the income eligibility requirements for those payments over time (de-linking eligibility from income). As federal spending on adoption assistance payments was expected to increase and state spending was expected to decline, Congress required states to reinvest any state savings from this change in child welfare programs. However, according to the latest Child Trends survey, federal expenditures from the Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Program actually declined for the first time, probably because states no longer receive enhanced reimbursed rates through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and a decrease in the number of eligible children. 
Title IV-E Guardianship Assistance is similar to adoption assistance and foster care maintenance in that it also covers the training of child welfare staff and guardians in addition to administrative expenses.
The primary purpose of guardianship assistance is to provide federal reimbursement to kinship guardians, or relatives, who serve as legal guardians and have previously served as foster parents for the child. For the child to be eligible for these payments, he or she must be leaving foster care in exchange for a legal guardianship with relatives and meet four further criteria:
  • The child must be eligible for Title IV-E foster care maintenance payments while residing in a prospective kinship placement for six consecutive months.
  • The state must determine that returning home and adoption are not appropriate permanency goals for the child.
  • It must be demonstrated that there is a strong attachment between the child and the prospective relative guardian and that the guardian is committed to the guardianship.
  • Children age 14 or older must be consulted about the potential placement.
The Fostering Connections Act provides states the option to use federal Title IV-E funds for reimbursement for kinship guardianship assistance payments on behalf of eligible grandparents and other relatives who have assumed legal guardianships of children. Since passage of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act in 2008, at least nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted provisions related to subsidized guardianship.
Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration Projects, discussed in more detail below, allow states to apply for more flexibility in the use of Title IV-E federal reimbursement. These demonstration projects must aim to increase permanency for all children in foster care and/or help children make a successful transition out of care when they reach 18, or in some states, 21; improve child welfare outcomes by focusing on safety and well-being; and prevent child abuse and neglect through early intervention, while also reducing the instances of re-entry into foster care by reducing instances of maltreatment.
The Title IV-E John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program funds are designed to help older youth in foster care achieve independence and self-sufficiency. The program targets children who are expected to be in care when they turn 18, those who are 16 or older and are placed in kinship care or adoptive placements, and youth ages 18-21 who have aged out of foster care. Assistance with education, employment, financial management, housing, emotional support and assured connections to caring adults are just a few of the services to which these funds are dedicated.
Other federal funding for state child welfare services includes Title IV-B of the Social Security Act, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG).
Title IV-B, Subpart 1 of the Social Security Act, titled the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Child Welfare Services, offers states flexibility in creating or expanding child and family services, in partnership with community-based agencies, to ensure that kids can stay safely at home. Some services include preventive intervention to reduce the need for foster care, alternative placements including kinship care or adoption, and reunification efforts to keep the child at home whenever possible.
Title IV-B, Subpart 2 of the Social Security Act, Promoting Safe and Stable Families, encourages family support and preservation; time-limited family reunification services and services to support adoption. This flexible-use funding allows states to develop, establish or expand community-based programs to support family preservation.
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act  (CAPTA) State Grantsfirst enacted 40 years ago, and re-enacted most recently in 2010, seeks to improve child protective systems with an emphasis on collaboration between child protective services, health, mental health, juvenile justice, education, and other public and private agencies. As part of the CAPTA amendments, the Community-Based Grants for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect was created in 2003 to provide states with funding to “develop, operate, expand and enhance community-based, prevention-focused programs to strengthen and support families in order to prevent child abuse and neglect.”
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Title IV-A of the Social Security Act, provides federal block grants to states. This flexible funding stream can be used for any purpose, so long as it furthers one of the four main goals of TANF, including providing assistance to families so children can be safely cared for in their own homes. These funds may also be used for foster care or adoption assistance for children who are not Title IV-E eligible. 
The Social Services Block Grants (SSBG)allow states to implement locally appropriate social services  to increase self-sufficiency and independence, reducing dependence on social services. With five policy goals, including reducing and preventing child abuse, and 28 service categories, states are allowed to tailor services to meet the needs of their residents. Categories include foster care, substance abuse, case management, adoptive services, counseling, protective services, housing, employment services and more.
Medicaid is an important source of funding for health services—which can include medically necessary health care and mental health— for children and youth in foster care. It is an open-ended entitlement. States must provide a match based on their population. Key services include Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) and optional targeted case management (limited), rehabilitation services, Medicaid-funded therapeutic foster care and certain administrative costs. All children eligible for Title IV-E are eligible for Medicaid, and states may extend Medicaid to adopted children or former foster youth ages 18-21 who are not eligible for Title IV-E.  As of Jan. 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act extends Medicaid coverage for former foster youth up to age 26. Medicaid is an open-ended entitlement equal to each state’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) rate.
State and Local Funds
State and local funds are typically used to match federal funds or to draw down federal dollars. The use of state and local funds for child welfare services varies depending on the state and whether it operates a state- or county-run child welfare system.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Digest of Bills - 2015


S.B. 15-12 Colorado works program - child support pass through to assistance recipients - appropriation.Pursuant to the Colorado works program, while a recipient is receiving assistance, the recipient must assign to the department of human services (state department) his or her right to receive child support for purposes of reimbursing the state for the assistance paid to the recipient. Effective January 1, 2017, upon the state department's notification that the relevant human services case management systems, including the automated child support enforcement system and the Colorado benefits management system, are capable of managing the distribution process for the pass-through, the act requires the state department to pass through to the recipient current child support collected by the state department pursuant to the assignment.
The act requires the state department to annually report to the joint budget committee the amount of child support passed through to recipients. Further, the amount of the child support pass-through will not be included in income for purposes of calculating the amount of the applicant's or participant's basic cash assistance paymenthowever, the child support payments, with applicable disregards, are considered income for purposes of determining eligibility.
The general assembly may appropriate to the state department moneys sufficient to reimburse the counties for fifty percent of child support collections and the federal government for its share of child support collections. In any fiscal year in which the general assembly does not appropriate the full amount necessary to reimburse the county for the pass-through, the county is not required to, but may, implement the child support pass-through.
The act appropriates $315,509 in general fund moneys to the state department for changes to the automated child support enforcement system and for implementation contractor costs. In addition, the act anticipates that the state department will receive $553,386 in federal funds for use by the office of self sufficiency. The federal funds will be used for the same purposes as the general funds.
APPROVED by Governor June 5, 2015
EFFECTIVE August 5, 2015
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause. For further explanation concerning the effective date, see page vi of this digest.
S.B. 15-65 Use of electronic benefit cards - prohibited locations. Federal law requires states to prevent recipients of public benefits from using electronic benefits transfer cards (EBT cards) at liquor stores, gambling establishments, and adult-oriented entertainment establishments. Current Colorado statutes prohibit the use of EBT cards by recipients at automated teller machines (ATM) in liquor stores, gambling establishments, and firearms dealers. The act extends the Colorado prohibitions to establishments licensed to sell marijuana or marijuana-infused products and to adult-oriented entertainment establishments.
The act requires the owner of an ATM to reprogram the machine to allow recipients to use the machine when it is moved from a prohibited location.
APPROVED by Governor May 1, 2015
EFFECTIVE May 1, 2015
S.B. 15-87 Foster care - emergency placement - placement with noncertified kin - criminal background checks and other background checks - rules. A county department of human services or of social services (county department) or child placement agency is required to perform and document that the following 5 types of background checks have been performed of the applicant, an employee, or any adult residing in the foster care home prior to placing a child in a foster care home and when certifying or recertifying the applicant or operator of a foster care home:
  • A fingerprint-based criminal history record check with the CBI;
  • A fingerprint-based criminal history record check with the FBI;
  • A comparison check of the criminal history records on the state judicial department's ICON system;
  • A check that the individual is not a registered sex offender on the state's sex offender registry or in another state as checked on the national sex offender public registry operated by the U.S. department of justice; and
  • A check through the state department of human services' automated database system that the individual has not been identified as having a finding of child abuse or neglect.
These background checks must be performed for any adult residing in the foster care home, not just those who reside in the home and are acting as a caregiver for the child.
The act revises the definition of "foster care" to clarify that it includes a kinship foster care home. The act defines "kin", "kinship foster care home", and "noncertified kinship care". The act revises the definition of "county department" to reflect that county departments are referred to as county departments of human or social services. The act repeals the definition of salaried foster parent related to a pilot program repealed in 2009.
The act amends the existing list of disqualifying criminal offenses for persons providing foster care or other types of out-of-home placement to include any offense involving unlawful sexual behavior, not just felony offenses.
The state board of human services (state board) shall adopt rules governing the background checks and documentation for foster care homes and concerning what the county department or child placement agency must do if a disqualifying factor or problem is found from the background checks. The rules must also specify sanctions that the state department of human services (state department) may place upon a county department or child placement agency that fails to perform or document background checks for foster care homes.
The act requires the county department to share with the guardian ad litem the reports of fingerprint-based criminal history record checks from the CBI and the FBI if the court orders the county department to share that information with the guardian ad litem.
The act clarifies what background checks are required and the sequence of steps for background checks when a child is taken into temporary custody and placed with a relative in emergency placement. The county department or a local law enforcement agency must immediately perform the initial criminal history record check prior to placing the child in temporary custody with the relative. The local law enforcement agency is required to immediately provide the county department with a verbal response regarding the person's criminal history based on the initial criminal history record check. The child may not be placed with the relative if the initial criminal history record check reflects a criminal history of committing certain disqualifying crimes. If the relative has not been disqualified as an emergency placement, then the relative shall report to a local law enforcement agency, or to the county department, if the county department has a fingerprint machine, to submit fingerprints for a fingerprint-based criminal history record check used to determine if the child may remain in that emergency placement. The county department is required to confirm within 15 days that the relative has self-reported to a law enforcement agency to obtain a fingerprint-based criminal history record check. If the relative is found to have committed certain crimes, the county department or law enforcement agency must remove the child from the relative's care.
If the relative was not disqualified as a continued emergency placement after the fingerprint-based criminal history record check, the bill requires the county department to conduct the following background checks of the relative and of any person residing with the relative:
  • A check of the judicial department's ICON system to determine the status or disposition of any criminal charges;
  • A check of the state department's automated database to determine if the person has been identified as having a finding of child abuse or neglect and whether such finding presents an unsafe placement for the child; and
  • A check of the state sex offender registry and the national sex offender public registry to see if the person is a registered sex offender.
If information is found from the additional background checks of the relative that indicate that continued placement with the relative would no longer be safe for the child, the county department is required to remove the child from that placement.
The county department is required to request that a local law enforcement agency perform a fingerprint-based criminal history record check of any person residing in the home. The local law enforcement agency is required to provide the results of the criminal history record checks within 48 hours. If the fingerprint-based criminal history record check indicates that a person residing in the home has committed certain disqualifying crimes or the other background checks raise issues about the safety of the child in the home, the county department shall evaluate the continued placement of the child in the home and develop a plan to address the issues within 14 days. The county department shall remedy the situation as quickly as possible and no later than 2 weeks after placement. The state board shall promulgate rules to address child safety and what must be considered in the evaluation.
The county department does not need to repeat fingerprint-based criminal history record checks of relatives or other persons residing in the home if those checks have been performed within the preceding 3 months; except that the county department shall repeat the other background checks and contact local law enforcement to verify if there were any new charges for offenses filed against the relative or other persons residing in the home. The county department may also request flagging of the fingerprints and automatic notification of new arrests when the person is also applying for foster care certification.
A county department is required to conduct background checks for a relative who is providing noncertified kinship care when the placement with a relative is not an emergency placement. A county department shall not place a child in noncertified kinship care if the kin or an adult who resides with the kin at the home:
  • Has been convicted of certain disqualifying criminal offenses;
  • Is a registered sex offender in the state sex offender registry or national sex offender registry; or
  • Has been identified as having a finding of child abuse or neglect through a check of the state department's automated database and that finding has been determined to present an unsafe placement for the child.
However, a county department may make a placement with noncertified kin that would otherwise be disqualified or allow continued placement with noncertified kin if an adult residing in the home would otherwise be disqualified if such placement occurs according to rules on reviewing placement and addressing safety issues promulgated by the state board or if there is county-initiated court involvement and an order of the court affirming placement of the child with the kin.
The state board shall adopt rules on reviewing the placement of children in noncertified kinship care, including rules requiring the performance and documentation of criminal background checks and other background checks of relatives and residents in the home, reviewing placement and addressing safety issue when there are disqualifying factors or safety issues, and identifying alternative remedies to removal of the child from the placement.
The court is directed to inquire whether there is documentation that a foster care provider or family member who is seeking to care for a child and any person residing with the foster care provider or family member have had the required criminal and other background checks when a child is in out-of-home placement and the court is placing a child in the legal custody of a family member or, after termination of the parent-child legal relationship, when the court is placing the child in the legal custody of a county department for placement in a foster care home, or when a family member requests that a child be placed with the family member.
APPROVED by Governor June 2, 2015
EFFECTIVE June 2, 2015
S.B. 15-178 Colorado commission for the deaf and hard of hearing - membership - duties - terms of office - continuation under sunset law. In accordance with the recommendation of the department of regulatory agencies contained in its sunset review, the act continues the Colorado commission for the deaf and hard of hearing for 9 years, until 2024. In addition, the act:
  • Requires the commission to report to the general assembly annually, on or before September 1 of each year, with recommendations for administrative and legislative changes that would benefit the deaf and hard of hearing community;
  • Limits the terms of commissioners to 2 consecutive 4-year terms;
  • Repeals the requirement for senate confirmation of commissioner appointments;
  • Clarifies that the commission also serves persons who are deaf-blind;
  • Changes the membership of the commission to add a commissioner who is deaf-blind in place of the existing position for a member of the public; and
  • Makes technical changes to the commission's enabling statute to remove obsolete or conflicting language.
APPROVED by Governor May 1, 2015
EFFECTIVE July 1, 2015
S.B. 15-204 Child protection services - abuse and neglect - office of the child protection ombudsman - appropriation. Currently, the office of the child protection ombudsman (office) operates within the department of human services (department), with the administration of the program and office awarded by the department through a contract. The act removes the office from the department and establishes it within judicial department as an independent agency. An independent nonpartisan child protection ombudsman board (board) is established and membership criteria set forth.
The board's duties include overseeing personnel decisions related to the child protection ombudsman (ombudsman); ensuring accountability and consistency in the operating policies and procedures for the office; working cooperatively with the ombudsman to provide fiscal oversight for the office; assisting with the memorandum of understanding, to be signed no later than November 1, 2015, between the office and the department; and collaborating with the judicial department and the office on the creation of an administrative memorandum of understanding between the judicial department and the office, to be signed no later than November 1, 2015, with an effective date of no later than January 1, 2016.
The current contract under which the office operates may be extended until December 31, 2015, and may be revoked earlier upon the agreement of all parties, but no sooner than the effective date of the memorandum of understanding between the judicial department and the office.
The office is given the authority to make direct funding recommendations to the joint budget committee of the general assembly for the office's operations. The office is required to submit its own annual SMART performance report to the general assembly.
For the 2015-16 state fiscal year, $351,086 is appropriated to the judicial department for an additional 2.2 FTE for administrative matters related to the office, capital and infrastructure maintenance related to the office, and actual operations of the office.
APPROVED by Governor June 2, 2015
EFFECTIVE June 2, 2015
S.B. 15-240 Individuals with disabilities - independent living centers - funding. The act instructs the state department of human services to promulgate a rule for the distribution of state moneys to independent living centers.
APPROVED by Governor May 1, 2015
EFFECTIVE May 1, 2015
S.B. 15-241 Collaborative management of multi-agency services program - appropriation. With respect to collaborative management of multi-agency services provided to children and families (program), the act:
  • Clarifies that children or families do not need to be in the child welfare or foster care system to receive services under the program;
  • Clarifies that the department of human services (department) is responsible for ensuring statewide consistency relating to the requirements for program memoranda of understanding;
  • Clarifies the definition of the target population for the program;
  • Requires the department and specified persons to develop performance measures for the system of collaborative management, which measures may be modified biennially;
  • Requires parties to a program memorandum of understanding to identify performance measures, report to the department concerning those measures, and participate in an annual program evaluation of their success in meeting the identified performance measures;
  • Clarifies that incentive funding is provided to parties to a memorandum of understanding who have successfully met or exceeded the identified performance measures as reported to the department;
  • Removes references to "elements of collaborative management"; and
  • Authorizes the department to use general fund moneys for program incentives.
The act appropriates $1,856,635 to the department for use by the division of child welfare for implementation of the program, administration, program incentives, and annual program evaluations.
APPROVED by Governor May 1, 2015
EFFECTIVE May 1, 2015
S.B. 15-242 Child welfare - staffing - funding - allocation formula - appropriation. The act directs the child welfare allocations committee (committee) to develop a formula to allocate additional funding (allocation) to counties in addition to the child welfare block grant for the specific purpose of hiring new child welfare staff at the county level. Any county receiving such an allocation shall continue to fund any child welfare staff existing as of January 1, 2015, through its child welfare block grant. Each county that receives an allocation shall provide a 10% match to state and federal moneys; except that a county that qualifies as tier 1 or tier 2 for purposes of the county tax base relief fund shall be funded at 100% of state and federal funds provided.
The state department of human services (department) is authorized and required to contract for an external study concerning the child welfare caseload by county. The results of the study shall be provided to the committee, which shall modify the formula as necessary after receiving the results of the child welfare caseload study.
The act appropriates $6,320,443 to the department to implement the act.
APPROVED by Governor May 1, 2015
EFFECTIVE May 1, 2015
S.B. 15-243 Medicaid - regional centers - prohibition on transfer of state-operated beds. The act prohibits the department of human services (department) from closing or selling, prior to May 16, 2016, state-operated beds licensed pursuant to the Medicaid home- and community-based services for individuals with developmental disabilities waiver. Further, individuals transitioned to the community unsuccessfully within the preceding six months must be permitted to return to a state-operated regional center, and the department shall maintain an adequate number of beds at the regional centers for these individuals.
APPROVED by Governor May 1, 2015
EFFECTIVE August 5, 2015
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause. For further explanation concerning the effective date, see page vi of this digest.
H.B. 15-1078 Child welfare - missing children - report to law enforcement.The act requires the state department of human services or a county department of human or social services that has legal custody of a child or youth to report the child's or youth's disappearance to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and to law enforcement immediately, or no later than 24 hours after learning of the disappearance. Law enforcement authorities shall notify the Colorado bureau of investigation for transmission to the federal bureau of investigation for entry into the national crime information center database.
APPROVED by Governor March 20, 2015
EFFECTIVE January 1, 2016
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause. For further explanation concerning the effective date, see page vi of this digest.
H.B. 15-1188 Vocational rehabilitation. The act addresses concerns identified by a recent audit of the state vocational rehabilitation program for persons with disabilities (program). Several areas of statute are repealed because they did not comply with federal regulations. The act clarifies that the program does not entitle an eligible person with a disability to unlimited services from the program. Numerous duties are statutorily assigned to the state department of human services, including the responsibility to complete a comprehensive assessment and develop employment outcomes or goals, including time frames, for each person with a disability receiving services; the requirement to develop a fee schedule for goods and services; and the requirement to close the record of services in a timely manner for a person with a disability after he or she has achieved his or her employment outcomes or goals. The state department of human services shall also establish a review process to allow for exceptions to the new requirements in unique cases. Language concerning recovery of state moneys for vocational rehabilitation services received through misrepresentation, fraud, collusion, or criminal conduct is added to statute.
APPROVED by Governor March 30, 2015
EFFECTIVE March 30, 2015
H.B. 15-1248 Screening foster care parents - child placement agencies - access to reports of child abuse and neglect - appropriation. The act allows a designated person at each child placement agency, in accordance with certain conditions outlined in the act, to access records and reports of child abuse or neglect (TRAILS system) for the purpose of screening current or prospective foster parents, any adult residing in the home of a current or prospective foster parent, and specialized group facilities. The department of human services shall monitor the child placement agencies' access to TRAILS to ensure compliance with statute.
The act appropriates $37,138 to the department of human services for use by the division of child welfare to monitor TRAILS usage by child placement agencies and for information technology services for TRAILS.
APPROVED by Governor June 5, 2015
EFFECTIVE July 1, 2015
H.B. 15-1255 Electronic benefit transfer cards - reports on improper use - rules for prohibited establishments. The act requires the department of human services (department) and the department of revenue to submit reports to specified committees of the general assembly on improper use of electronic benefits transfer cards (EBT cards) at certain prohibited locations.
The act requires the department to adopt rules enforcing the prohibition against the use of EBT cards at prohibited establishments, including increasing penalties for repeated violations.
The act requires the department of revenue to promulgate rules for establishments regulated by the department of revenue:
  • Requiring the operators of establishments in which EBT cards are prohibited and in which an automated teller machine (ATM) is located to post a sign notifying users that they are prohibited from accessing benefits with an EBT card at the ATM. The bill specifies a statement that must appear on the sign.
  • Requiring operators of such establishments to take measures to prevent clients from using EBT cards at ATMs in their establishments;
  • Establishing methods to enforce measures by operators to prohibit clients from using an ATM at prohibited locations, including increasing penalties; and
  • Exempting an establishment from the above requirements if it provides to the department of revenue a statement from the owner or operator of each ATM in the establishment that the ATM will not accept EBT cards, but authorizing the department of revenue to impose sanctions for unauthorized use.
APPROVED by Governor May 1, 2015
EFFECTIVE May 1, 2015
NOTE: Certain sections of the act are contingent on whether or not Senate Bill 15-065 becomes law. Senate Bill 15-065 was signed by the governor May 1, 2015.
H.B. 15-1358 Child abuse or neglect - differential response program. The differential response pilot program for child abuse or neglect cases of low or moderate risk was created in 2010 and scheduled for repeal on July 1, 2015. The act establishes the pilot program as a permanent program by removing the repeal. Participation in the program by county departments of human or social services is voluntary. The reporting requirements for the pilot program are repealed.
APPROVED by Governor May 14, 2015
EFFECTIVE May 14, 2015
H.B. 15-1365 Tony Grampsas youth services program - membership. The act adds 2 youth members to the Tony Grampsas youth services board and allows the youth members to receive a per diem compensation for their service.
APPROVED by Governor May 29, 2015
EFFECTIVE August 5, 2015
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause. For further explanation concerning the effective date, see page vi of this digest.
H.B. 15-1370 Records - county human or social services departments - access by county auditor. Access to or publication of certain records containing personal identifying information that are held by a county department of human or social services is prohibited or limited under current law. This includes county department records relating to public assistance and welfare, at-risk adults, and child abuse and neglect. The state department of human services also has authority to establish rules restricting the use and disclosure of this information.
The act requires a county department of human or social services to provide an auditor who is conducting a financial or performance audit of the county department access to these records, including any personal identifying information necessary to achieve the purposes of the audit. The authorization applies to an auditor retained by a county or authorized pursuant to a county charter or ordinance.
The act prohibits an auditor from disclosing or releasing to any person or in an audit report any information, including personal identifying information, that is obtained pursuant to a county department audit and required to be kept confidential by law. A person who unlawfully releases this confidential information is subject to the applicable criminal penalty.
APPROVED by Governor June 5, 2015
EFFECTIVE June 5, 2015