Preserving Family Relationships In Child Placement
When a child is taken into the custody of a county department of human or social services (county department) for allegations of neglect or for other reasons, the act requires the court to enter temporary visitation orders with the child's parent if such orders are in the child's best interests. The act sets forth the contents of those orders and requires contact to commence within 72 hours after a hearing unless the court delays the contact. Absent the issuance of an emergency order, a parent is entitled to a hearing prior to an ongoing reduction in, suspension of, or increase in the level of supervision, including a change from in-person visitation to virtual visitation. The act requires the court to enter visitation orders consistent with the act in various phases of the court proceedings.
The act sets forth requirements for an open adoption in Colorado, including provisions for entering into post-adoption contact agreements between a child and the child's birth parent or parents, a birth relative, or an Indian tribe if the child is a member. A post-adoption contact agreement may include provisions for contact, visitation, or the exchange of information. If a child is 12 years of age or older, the court shall not order a post-adoption contact agreement unless the child consents to all terms of the contact agreement. The act includes provisions for the enforcement, modification, and termination of a post-adoption contact agreement.
The act creates a task force on high-quality parenting time (task force) in the state department of human services to examine the current policies and statutes governing parenting time in dependency and neglect cases and to study best practices for the provision and determination of individualized plans for parenting time and to make recommendations to the general assembly for administrative or statutory changes to support high-quality parenting time. The task force includes a steering committee selected by executive branch agency directors, and members jointly appointed by the steering committee representing the judicial system and the child welfare system, as well as parents, social workers, and other members described in the act. The act includes specific areas of study by the task force. The task force shall submit a written report by October 1, 2022, to the governor, certain committees of the general assembly, the department of human services, and the child welfare training academy. The report must include the task force's findings concerning best practices to improve high-quality parenting services and practices in dependency and neglect cases and recommendations for changes to implement those best practices.
The act appropriates $13,879 from the general fund to the department of human services for use by the office of information technology services for Colorado TRAILS.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)