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Support  SB  15-­‐087  Safe  Placement  of  Children    

in  Foster  Care  Homes  
Based  on  a  Strike  Below  Amendment  

Senator  Newell/Representative  Singer
Background/Problem:  

A  Channel  7  investigative  report  discovered  that  there  were  gaps  in  records  of  required  
background  checks  being  conducted  of  potential  foster  care  parents.  
Thus,  CDHS  did  an  initial  internal  audit  and  found  that  there  were  indeed  gaps,  as  with  
Denver  Human  Services  that  had  only  53%  of  required  background  checks  completed  
before  placing  a  child  in  a  home.    Although,  one  or  two  were  at  100%  compliance,  some  
counties  were  as  low  as  12%.  
As  a  result,  during  and  after  the  audit,  some  children  have  even  been  removed  from  their  
placements  based  on  negative  background  check  results  or  Findings  of  re-­‐abuse  of  the  
children.  
This  has  demonstrated  a  critical  need  to  emphasize  consistency  across  all  counties  to  
ensure  all  required  background  checks  are  indeed  occurring  before  a  child  is  placed  in  a  
home.  

Solution/Components  of  the  Bill:  
This  bill  will  standardize  current  background  check  processes  for  placing  a  child  in  a  home  
to  ensure  a  child  is  in  no  physical,  emotional,  or  sexual  harm.  
• A  county  department  or  child  placement  agency  shall  not  certify  or  recertify  a  foster  care  
home  until  Five  types  of  background  checks  are  performed  on  the  applicant  or  any  adult  
residing  with  the  applicant  to  determine:  
o Whether  he  or  she  has  been  convicted  of  certain  speciFied  crimes;  
o Is  a  registered  sex  offender  in  the  state’s  sex  offender  registry,  or  in  another  state’s  
registry;  
o Has  been  identiFied  as  having  a  Finding  of  child  abuse  or  neglect  through  a  check  of  
the  automated  TRAILS  system  and  such  Finding  has  been  determined  to  be  an  unsafe  
placement  for  a  child;  
• Requires  that  the  background  checks  be  performed  for  any  adult  residing  in  the  substitute  
care  home.  
• Requires  that  the  same  Five  types  of  background  checks  be  performed  for  emergency  
placements  with  relatives  and  for  relatives  providing  noncertiFied  kinship  care.  
• Addresses  direct  access  by  county  departments  to  state  and  national  criminal  databases.  
• The  state  board  of  human  services  shall  adopt  rules  governing  the  background  checks  and  
documentation  and  what  shall  be  done  if  the  background  checks  expose  disqualifying  
factors.  
• Reorganizes  statutes  regarding  the  regulation  of  foster  care  homes,  kinship  foster  care  
homes,  and  noncertiFied  kinship  care  to  clarify  the  county’s  and  State’s  responsibilities  for  
background  checks.    
• DeFines  “kin,”  “kinship  foster  care  home,”  “non-­‐certiFied  kinship  care,”  and  “informal  kinship  
care.”  
Supporters  

Colorado  League  of  Women  Voters  
Court  Appointed  Special  Advocates  (CASA),  all  Colorado  Chapters  
Rocky  Mountain  Children’s  Law  Center  
Colorado  Association  of  Family  and  Children’s  Agencies  
Colorado  State  Foster  Parent  Association  
Chris  Langley,  Lakewood  Police  Department