The act defines "family time," changes the term "visitation" to "family time" in various places in statute, creates new requirements for dependency and neglect court proceedings, and requires the task force on high-quality family time (task force) to commission and evaluate a state study on family time.
On and after January 1, 2024, the act:
- Requires county departments of human or social services (county departments) to encourage maximum family time;
- Allows the court and the state department of human services (department) to rely on community resources, foster parents, or relatives to provide transportation or supervision for family time;
- Creates a presumption that supervised family time is supervised by relatives, kin, foster parents, or other supports (supports) and occurs in the community. This presumption can be rebutted if the health or safety of the child is at risk or if these supports are unavailable or unwilling to provide supervision.
- Limits the court's ability to restrict or deny family time to situations in which the child's safety or mental, physical, or emotional health is at risk;
- Requires the court to order family time in the least restrictive setting;
- Requires county departments to provide information to the court about proposed family time and participation in family time;
- Prohibits the court or county departments from limiting family time as a sanction for a parent's failure to comply with court-ordered treatment plans so long as the child's safety or mental, physical, or emotional health is not at risk;
- Prohibits the court, county departments, parents, or supports from limiting family time as a sanction for the child's behavior or as an incentive to improve the child's behavior;
- Requires the court and county departments to consider parents' and childrens' preferences when determining supervision, location, and timing of family time;
- States that a person's inclusion in family time does not confer rights not otherwise granted by law; and
- Gives the state board of human services the authority to promulgate rules to implement the provisions.
The act appropriates $142,000 from the general fund to the judicial department for use by the office of the respondent parents' counsel for personal services and $13,879 from the general fund to the department for use by the division of child welfare for Colorado TRAILS. The act also anticipates an appropriation of $7,473 in federal funds for use by the division of child welfare.
APPROVED by Governor June 1, 2023
PORTIONS EFFECTIVE June 1, 2023
PORTIONS EFFECTIVE January 1, 2024
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)