Foster care sibling rights
(1)Sibling youth in foster care, except youth in the custody of the division of youth services created pursuant to section 19-2.5-1501 or a state hospital for persons with behavioral or mental health disorders, have the following rights, unless they are not in the best interests of each sibling, regardless of whether the parental rights of one or more of the foster youth’s parents have been terminated:
(a)To be placed in foster care homes with the youth’s siblings, when it is in the best interests of each sibling and when the county department locates an appropriate, capable, willing, and available joint placement for the youth siblings, in order to sustain family relationships, pursuant to sections 19-3-213 (1)(c), 19-3-500.2, 19-3-507 (1)(b), 19-3-508 (1)(c), 19-3-605 (2), and 19-5-207.3 (2);
(b)To be placed in close geographical distance to the youth’s siblings in order to promote continuity in the siblings’ relationship;
(c)To obtain temporary respite placements together, when possible;
(d)To be placed with foster parents, placed with potential adoptive parents, and assigned to child welfare caseworkers who have been provided with training on the importance of sibling relationships;
(e)To be promptly notified, as permitted pursuant to state or federal law, about changes in sibling placement, catastrophic events, or other circumstances, including but not limited to new placements, significant life events, and discharge from foster care;
(f)To be included in permanency planning discussions or meetings for siblings, if appropriate;
(g)To maintain frequent and meaningful contact with the youth’s siblings pursuant to section 19-7-204 (2), if placement together is not possible;
(h)To be actively involved in each other’s lives and share celebrations, if the siblings choose to do so, including but not limited to birthdays, graduations, holidays, school and extracurricular activities, cultural customs in the siblings’ native language, and other milestones;
(i)To annually receive contact information for all siblings in foster care, which may include a telephone number, address, social media accounts, and e-mail address, unless a foster parent has requested the foster parent’s identifiable information not be disclosed pursuant to section 19-1-303 (2.7)(a), and to receive updated photos of siblings regularly by mail or e-mail, as appropriate;
(j)To have more private or less restrictive communication with siblings as compared to communication with others who are not siblings;
(k)To be provided with an explanation if contact with a sibling is restricted or denied, as permitted pursuant to state or federal law;
(l)To expect that the youth’s guardian ad litem advocate on behalf of the youth for frequent family time with siblings, unless the guardian ad litem determines through the guardian ad litem’s independent investigation that the contact is not in the best interests of the youth;
(m)To have family time with siblings encouraged in any adoptive or guardianship placement; and
(n)To receive an age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate document from the department of human services setting forth the rights described in this section:
(I)Within thirty days of the date of any placement or any change in placement;
(II)On each occasion that a youth’s case plan is modified;
(III)At each placement where the youth resides; and
(IV)On at least an annual basis.
(2)Adult siblings of youth in foster care have the right to be considered as foster care providers, adoptive parents, and relative custodians for their siblings, if they choose to do so.
Section 19-7-203 — Foster care sibling rights,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-19.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).