As the nation celebrates the class of 2020 and the resilience of graduates during a worldwide pandemic, it can be easy to forget that some students face huge challenges to high school graduation even in “normal” times. Living in foster care can make school feel like a perpetual marathon. In Jefferson County, a program called Fostering Opportunities helps them cross the finish line.
Roughly one third of Colorado youth who spend at least a day in secure detention each year live in communities without a licensed MST provider. MST is an intensive home-based intervention for youth ages 12-17 whose behaviors put them at high risk for juvenile justice involvement and/or have problems with substance abuse. This pilot project evaluates the impact of the MST expansion on youth recidivism in eight Colorado counties.
Family First Prevention Services Act is sweeping child welfare legislation aimed at keeping families together with a focus on preventative services. This project supports the state in developing and implementing the evaluation components of the Family First Prevention Services Plan.
Following child abuse and neglect reports, families can become involved in investigations that span multiple government systems including law enforcement, child welfare, and the health system. With so many entities involved, the investigation process can be confusing and frustrating for families. This study assesses the impact of a coordinated multidisciplinary team response used in an urban Colorado county as well as caregiver perceptions of the investigation process.
Preventing homelessness of youth formerly in foster care begins with understanding characteristics of those most at risk. This project connects child welfare to homeless services data in the Denver metro area to inform policies and practices aimed at ensuring youth aging out of foster care have stable housing.