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Older Youth Case Closure and Re-Entry Workgroup

In 2018, the Colorado legislature passed HB 18-1319 to create a steering committee charged with making bold recommendations to improve the lives of young people, ages 18 to 21, who are exiting foster care. With its final report, the Former Foster Youth Steering Committee recommended changes to ensure every youth who leaves foster care in Colorado has the tools necessary to be safe, healthy, educated, connected, and contributing young adults.

One of the recommendations is to "Allow youth ages 18-21, who have left foster care, to return if they decide they need continued support," with an emphasis that services should be voluntary for youth over age 18. Because of the complexity of this recommendation, the Steering Committee further recommended "a workgroup of county, state, non-profit, and youth stakeholders continue meeting to consider the details necessary to implement this complex change."

The workgroup will consider what legislative changes are needed to allow youth to return to child welfare up to age 21 and under what circumstances cases for older youth should be closed (e.g., when a case may close if a youth has run away, using emancipation transition plans to determine when/if emancipation is appropriate). Seethe whole report, linked above, for more details. If/when it is determined rule changes are needed, DCW will prepare a policy submittal for the Child Welfare Sub-Policy Advisory Committee to ensure the rule process is followed.


Agendas and Minutes


The membership of this workgroup will be posted soon.