Provision of child welfare services
- system reform goals
- out-of-home placements for children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities
(1)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)The state department shall adopt rules to establish a program of child welfare services, administered by the state department or supervised by the state department and administered by the county departments, and, where applicable, in accordance with the conditions accompanying available federal funds for such purpose. The rules shall establish a fee based upon the child support guidelines set forth in section 14-10-115, C.R.S., requiring those persons legally responsible for the child to pay for all, or a portion, of the services provided under this article. Notwithstanding the rules establishing a fee for services provided under this article, when it serves the best interest of a child, a county department may exempt a family from responsibility for payment of fees for core services, as defined in rules promulgated by the state department. The state department is authorized to promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this article relating to the allocation of funds to counties for the delivery of child welfare services.
(b)Upon appropriate request and within available appropriations, child welfare services shall be provided for any child residing or present in the state of Colorado who is in need of such services. Foster care fees shall be considered child support obligations, and all remedies for the enforcement and collection of child support shall apply. Foster care fees established pursuant to section 14-10-115, C.R.S., may be collected pursuant to the administrative procedures to establish child support enforcement set forth in article 13.5 of this title. Due process is guaranteed in all actions regarding any such administrative process concerning foster care fees, and a court hearing of the matter before the district court may be obtained in the manner prescribed in section 26-13.5-105. Nothing contained in article 13.5 of this title shall be construed to deprive a court of competent jurisdiction from determining the duty of support of any obligor against whom an administrative order is issued pursuant to this article.
(2)Reforms in child welfare and related delivery systems must be directed at the following objectives:
(a)More efficient and responsive service systems for children, youth, and families;
(b)Increased flexibility and collaboration across multiple agencies and funding streams to ensure the delivery of services based on the needs of the child or youth;
(c)Encouragement and authorization for a truly integrated service system that incorporates blended funding and administration;
(d)Focus on quality and outcome-driven services with accountability for an entire array of services that families need, rather than forcing families to be transferred from agency to agency;
(e)Development of data systems to support these goals and to allow administrators and policy makers to better manage and evaluate;
(f)Authority and incentives for creative solutions at the local level that are not bound by the constraints of current agency barriers and categorical funding streams, including authority for local policy makers to create new entities incorporating blended funding and administration;
(g)Successful training efforts directed at county staff, judges, court staff, providers, parents, and families and other appropriate entities that are involved in managed care service systems, which training efforts shall include, but not be limited to, the operation of the child welfare training academy created in section 26-5-109. Notwithstanding any limitation of the “M” notation of the appropriation in the annual appropriation act for child welfare services, the state department is authorized to expend any additional federal or private funding that may be available to support the training efforts identified in this subsection (2).
(h)Promotion of the development of a family-centered, community-based strategy for placement decisions that includes team decision making, family-group decision making, or other agency decision making processes that involve the family and community supports;
(i)Promotion of the local placement of children with families by recruiting and supporting foster care homes within the neighborhoods and communities in which identified children reside;
(j)Successful transition of individuals eighteen to twenty years of age with intellectual and developmental disabilities to adult services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities pursuant to section 25.5-6-409.5, C.R.S.
(3)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)On or before August 1, 2018, the state department shall develop a program to serve children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are placed by county departments of human or social services in a licensed out-of-home setting, as defined in section 26-6-903, and children or youth committed to or in the custody of the state department.
(b)The state department shall promulgate rules concerning the placement of children or youth in the program. The rules must include, but need not be limited to, quality assurance monitoring, admissions, discharge planning, appropriate length of stay, and an appeals process for children or youth who are determined to be ineligible for the program or who are being removed from the program before meeting discharge criteria, as defined by the child’s or youth’s treatment plan, and without the consent of a parent, legal guardian, or county department. The rules regarding the appeals process must include access to the interdisciplinary appeals review panel, referenced in section 26.5-5-314 (5). For an appeal pursuant to this subsection (3)(b), the panel shall include the members appointed pursuant to section 26.5-5-314 (5) and, at a minimum:
(I)A representative from a county department;
(II)A treatment director or coordinator for a residential treatment program;
(III)A staff member from a program-approved service agency that offers residential habilitation; and
(IV)A representative from the department of health care policy and financing with expertise in the children’s habilitation residential program, as described in this section.
(b.5)All members of the interdisciplinary appeals review panel assembled pursuant to subsection (3)(b) of this section shall not be associated with the child or youth who is the subject of the appeal and the child’s or youth’s placement provider. If a parent, legal guardian, county department, program provider, or the state department is not satisfied with the interdisciplinary appeals review panel recommendation, that party to the appeal is entitled to a review by an independent hearing officer at a state hearing.
(c)On or before December 31, 2018, the state department shall contract with licensed providers for the delivery of services to children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are placed in the program. The state department shall utilize a request for proposal process to define the scope of the contract and to select the licensed providers. The providers must be approved by the department of health care policy and financing as service providers for children eligible for enrollment in the children’s habilitation residential program waiver established pursuant to section 25.5-6-903.
(d)A county department that wishes to place a child or youth in the program shall submit an application to the state department for review. Within seven days of making an application to the state department for placement of a child or youth in the program, a county department shall refer the child or youth to be assessed for enrollment in the children’s habilitation residential program, or assist the parent or legal guardian who retains legal custody to make the referral. The county department shall provide to the state department evidence that the county department or the child’s parent or legal guardian has referred the child or youth for enrollment in the children’s habilitation residential program or evidence of either enrollment in or denial of enrollment in the children’s habilitation residential program, depending on whether the child or youth is eligible or ineligible for such enrollment. The state department shall approve admissions into the program and determine discharge criteria for each placement. Enrollment of a child or youth in the children’s habilitation residential program does not constitute automatic placement with a service provider contracted with pursuant to subsection (3)(c) of this section. A county department that has applied for the admission of a child or youth into the program must be notified in writing of a placement approved by the state department.
(e)For the duration of the treatment, as defined in the approval letter from the state department, and for thirty days after the completion of treatment, the state department shall reimburse the provider directly for costs associated with the placement of a child or youth in the program.
(f)The state department shall notify the county department that is responsible for the placement of the child or youth of the date on which the reimbursement eligibility will expire. Upon expiration of the reimbursement eligibility, if the child or youth remains in placement at the facility, the county department is responsible for one hundred percent of the placement costs.
(g)A county department that has placed a child or youth in the program retains the right to remove the child or youth from the program any time prior to the discharge date specified by the state department.
(h)The state department shall reimburse the provider one hundred percent of the cost of unutilized beds in the program to ensure available space for emergency residential out-of-home placements.
(j)Any family that is voluntarily applying for placement with assistance from any entity defined in subsection (3)(i) of this section shall work directly with the provider to determine responsibility for payment.
(k)The state department may maintain up to three open beds specifically for children and youth in the custody of a county or committed to or in the custody of the state department who may need services on an emergency basis.
(l)On or before February 1, 2023, and, notwithstanding the provisions of section 24-1-136 (11)(a)(I), every February 1 thereafter, the state department shall report the following information from the previous calendar year to the health and human services committee of the senate and the public and behavioral health and human services committee of the house of representatives, or any successor committees:
(I)The number of children or youth who met transition or discharge criteria and left the program;
(II)The total number of applications received for the program during the applicable year and the number of applicants who:
(A)Met program eligibility criteria;
(B)Did not meet program eligibility criteria;
(C)Were admitted to the program; and
(D)Were added to the wait list;
(III)The number of children or youth removed from the wait list and placed in the program;
(IV)The number of children or youth removed from the program before meeting transition criteria and the reason or reasons for removal;
(V)The number of appeals to the interdisciplinary appeals review panel during the previous year, including the number that were approved and the number that were denied;
(VI)The number of beds during each month that were:
(A)Open or unoccupied;
(C)Used for emergency placements; and
(VII)The average length of stay.
(4)As used in this section, “county department” means a county department of human or social services.
Section 26-5-102 — Provision of child welfare services - system reform goals - out-of-home placements for children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities - reporting - rules - definition,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-26.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).