Text Size
Increase text size
Increase text size

Latest News


Training and Certification Opportunity
Adolescent Community Response Approach (A-CRA)
Location of training will be at the Holiday Inn, 7390 W. Hampden Ave., Lakewood. CO


The Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Corrections, Senate Bill 94 Program is pleased to announce a training and certification course for the Adolescent Community Response Approach (A-CRA) to current Office of Behavioral Health (OBH)licensed providers and providers who are actively pursuing licensing through OBH.


Please review the information and selection criteria for providers below.  There will be two trainings in the spring of 2015 with space limited to 20 providers (2 staff per provider) in each training.

Current licensed providers:  At minimum must meet the following conditions:

  1. Agencies must be in compliance with all Behavioral Health Treatment Rules, 2 CCR 502-1, 21.210, Agencies Licensed to Provide Substance Use Disorder Services and be licensed to provide and in compliance with 21.200.2, “Licensed Substance Use Disorder Agencies Treating Youth”, that is in good standing.
  2. Agencies shall, at minimum, be licensed to provide ASAM Level 1: outpatient level of care.  ASAM Level 11.1, Intensive Outpatient may be required for some youth. 
  3. Must have appropriately credentialed staff with documentation of training, supervision and experience in adolescent development and prevention, intervention and treatment approaches.  Clinician will have a minimum of 2 years’ experience in the field of adolescent SUD treatment.
  4. If agency has submitted  an application to the Office of Behavioral Health, and it is pending or the agency has been issued a provisional license
  5. Agency must be willing to comply with Colorado Department of Human Services contractor requirements.


It is the goal of the Division of Youth Corrections and the Office of Behavioral Health to increase evidence based capacity for substance abuse treatment across all 22 judicial districts in Colorado with this training.  Therefore, consideration will be given to applicants based not only on their interest and capacity to participate but also their geographical location within the state.


Agencies interested in participating in this training will need to submit their answers to the following questions.  

  1. Please provide the agency name and contact information for this application.
  2. Please describe how many youth you currently serve per year and how many are juvenile justice involved.  Include the cultural makeup (that includes race, ethnicity, and sexual /gender orientation) of the communities you serve.
  3. Describe how family members or other supportive adults will be involved in the treatment of the youth?
  4. Describe your geographic location within the Judicial District you represent, and which counties you receive referrals from.
  5. Provide the names of staff, along with their credentials, who would be attending the training. (Clinicians attending training will have at minimum, 2 years’ experience working with youth) Provide clinical supervisor’s information as well.
  6. Is your agency willing to comply with all CDHS contract requirements?
  7. If currently licensed by OBH, how long has your agency been licensed and for what services?  (Offender, youth, DUI, etc.)  If you are not currently licensed please provide details of where your license is the OBH licensing process. 
  8. How will you incorporate Positive Youth Development into your agency?


Please submit to Matt Friesen, Division of Youth Corrections Senate Bill 94 Coordinator, by February 4th 2015 at matthew.friesen@state.co.us


If you have questions related to CDHS contracts or Senate Bill 94 contact Matt Friesen at matthew.friesen@state.co.us.


If you have questions related to either the A-CRA/ACC or Office of Behavioral Health license requirements contact Katie Wells at Katie.wells@state.co.us .



The Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) and Assertive Continuing Care (ACC)

A-CRA clinicians help adolescents and families develop a more rewarding life by connecting with positive activities in the community, and improving relationships with family and friends. In turn, this helps youth live a more engaged and rewarding life without the use of alcohol or other drugs. With nearly 1,000 certified clinicians and clinical supervisors in over 200 provider organizations in the USA, A-CRA is one of the most widely-used treatments for adolescents with substance problems.  Assertive Continuing Care (ACC) is a protocol for working with adolescents after they are discharged from a treatment program. 


A-CRA Treatment Session Structure
  • 10 individual sessions with the adolescent
  • 4 sessions with caregiver
    • 2 individual sessions
    • 2 sessions with the caregiver and the adolescent


Services may be provided in an office, the client’s home and/or in the community.

ACC Session Structure


ACC is usually offered in 12 to 15 sessions (with either the adolescent individually, the caregiver, or the two together) typically in a three-month period following the adolescent’s discharge from treatment. ACC has two critical components including community reinforcement approach (CRA) procedures and case management.

ACC is delivered primarily through home visits.



Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) and Assertive Continuing Care (ACC)

Expectations and Requirements- Training and Certification


THE FIRST DATES OF IN-PERSON TRAINING WILL BE MARCH 2-4, 2015 (with alternate dates of March 23-25, 2015 if needed).  The second session dates are TBD.  Training will be held in the Denver Metro Area. Selected applicants from outside of the Denver metro area may apply for lodging, per diem and mileage reimbursement after attending the training.   


A-CRA/ACC Certification Requirements:

A-CRA in-person training is a required three-day training followed by an approximately six (basic certification) to twelve month (full certification) period of oversight by Chestnut Health Systems.  During this time period, clinicians are required to submit digital session recordings (DSRs) of their treatment sessions and participate in coaching calls. 

Time commitment:  It takes an average of 29 weeks and 17 digital session recordings (DSRs) to reach basic level of certification.  Fully certified clinicians on average took a total of 55 weeks and 33 DSRs to reach full certification.   It is the expectation that all clinicians will receive full certification.

Certified Clinical Supervisor requirements can be accomplished simultaneously during the time of full certification.  It is expected that one of the clinicians attending the in-person training become a Certified Clinical Supervisor.

Clinicians attending the training will commit to completing all expectations of clinician certification, and when indicated Clinical Supervisor certification, of A-CRA as well as certification for ACC.

New Title 27, Article 65

On May 16, 2013, Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law HB13-1296, creating the Civil Commitment Statute Review Task Force under C.R.S. §27-60-102.
Pursuant to C.R.S. §27-60-102 (3), the Civil Commitment Statute Review Task Force studied the definition of “danger to self or others” as set forth in section C.R.S. §27-65-102 (4.5) and, considering the civil liberties and public safety concerns of that definition, ratified the definition by a majority vote.


C.R.S. § 27-65-105, the section that governs mental health emergency procedure, continues to read “imminent danger to others or to himself or herself…”  
“Danger to self or others” has been further defined to read:


a) “With respect to an individual, that the individual poses a substantial risk of physical harm
     to himself or herself as manifested by evidence of recent threats of or attempts at suicide or

     serious bodily harm to himself or herself; or”


b) “With respect to other persons, that the individual poses a substantial risk of physical harm
     to another person or persons, as manifested by evidence of recent homicidal or other violent

     behavior by the person in question, or by evidence that others are placed in reasonable fear of

     violent behavior and serious physical harm to them, as evidenced by a recent overt act, 

     attempt, or threat to doserious physical harm by the person in question.”


Additionally, the Civil Commitment  Statute Review Task Force informally considered the definition and application of the term “imminent” in C.R.S. § 27-65-105.  The plain language meaning of “imminent” should be applied, and can be found here.  In section 105, the term “imminent” applies to the proximity in time of the dangerousness.  More specifically, the term “imminent” applies to a determination of whether the danger to others or himself or herself is current; it does not apply to how soon in time a specific dangerous act may be undertaken.

Click here for the Colorado Revised Statutes, C.R.S. § 27-65-101 - 131


Click here for more detailed information regarding C.R.S. §27-65-102 (4.5).









Transition Age Youth with Behavioral Health Challenges: Current Status and Future Directions 

An Informational Report and Recommendations to Improve Outcomes for Colorado's Transition Age Youth and Their Families. 





The Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) announces a Request for Applications for Law Enforcement Assistance Funds (LEAF) prevention programs related to impaired driving.  The funds are designated for fiscal year 2014-2015 which begins on July 1, 2014.  Please review the documents and be aware of important deadlines as well as the OBH contact to answer any questions.




Please join the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) training on the recently integrated Behavioral Health Rules.
  • Assessment and Service Planning - February 20, 2014
  • 27-65 and Commitment - February 26, 2014
  • CMHTA - March 17, 2014, 10am - Noon
  • OBH Integrated Rules Training Overview - March 27, 2014, 9am - Noon
  • Licensing and Designation - April 23, 2013, 9am - Noon 
  • OBRA/PASSAR - May 21, 2014, 9am - Noon
  • Methadone - June 11, 2014, 9am - Noon
  • DUI and Criminal Justice - July 16, 2014, 9am - Noon
  • Grievance and Complaints - August 6, 2014, 9am - Noon
  • Care and Treatment of Children, Youth and Families - August 13, 2014, 9am - Noon

 **All dates and times are subject to change. Please continue to check back for updated dates and times.


Any questions regarding the training can be referred to Anh Le, anh.le@state.co.us.



OBH Rules Presentation:  Integrated Behavioral Health Rules Slide Presentation  


The Office of Behavioral Health Rules effective 11/1/13 can be found on the Secretary of State's website through the following link: Code of Colorado Regulations - CDHS/OBH Behavioral Health Rules and Regulations


The crosswalk of the former Volume #'s of Behavioral Health rules to their corresponding section in Volume 21, 2 CCR 502-1 can be found here: Where former Rules have been Integrated into 2 CCR 502-1, Volume 21





The State of Colorado through The Office of Behavioral Health (OBH), is sponsoring a series of training sessions in the Strategies for Self-Improvement & Change (SSC) curriculum.  The curriculum is an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral treatment model for the substance abusing adult offender.  Counselors who wish to participate in this training must complete the application and pre-test.  The application must be legible, all questions must be answered and an e-mail address and phone number must be provided.  After the training is closed, applicants who have been selected for the training will be notified via e-mail with the specifics for that training.  Due to the number of applications received for this training and with only 20 counselors being able to participate in this training at one time, I am sorry that not all applicants are guaranteed a spot in the training by just applying.  


 SSC Training Information - December training is now closed 11/19/14


 SSC Training Application




Speak Now



A new statewide effort has been launched in April called “Speak Now” to get parents to talk to their teens about the dangers of underage drinking.  The campaign, created by the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health, provides parents with the resources they need to start a conversation with their teen and discuss the issue of teen alcohol consumption before unpleasant behaviors develop. 


The Speak Now campaign encourages parents through its campaign website (www.speaknowcolorado.org) to have prompt and continued conversations with their kids about the dangers of teen drinking. The interactive website helps parents start a conversation by sending a personal text to their teen directly from the site, and also provides a “how to start a conversation” video that includes testimonials from other Colorado parents and local law enforcement. Downloadable resources address the latest Colorado underage drinking laws, statewide statistics, and effective ways to speak about alcohol and drugs.  The site also links to community resources throughout Colorado.  Much of the website’s content is also available in Spanish at www.hableahoracolorado.org.









The Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) proudly announces its 12th training for stakeholders in Colorado’s Impaired Driver services arena.  These training sessions are part of OBH’s continuing efforts to improve the quality of Education and Treatment services provided to Impaired Drivers throughout Colorado. Past sessions have been rated beneficial to providers by the providers themselves. 


So mark your calendars and join us as we share critical information and exchange ideas about changes and new expectations for defining, assessing, educating, and treating impaired driving in Colorado.  click on link to view Dates and Times


Free Training

This training is for counselors who have been facilitating DUI groups for at least one year and would like to renew their skills and walk away with practical ideas, exercises and strategies to use in group.


click on link for more information and to download the application



(Please share this information with other staff)


1. TRAINING UPDATE - Register Early, Limited Enrollment!

A.  Interlock Enhancement Counseling (IEC) – it is an OBH licensing requirement that every DUI licensed site have at least one, preferably all, DUI counselors trained in IEC.  PO’s are welcome to attend. A lot of info about interlocks and DMV.  Call 303-442-5780 to register.
  • 3/5 Golden
  • 5/7 Loveland
  • 5/11 Golden
  • 5/22 Glenwood Springs
  • 6/3 Colorado Springs
B.  Driving With Care (DWC) – DUI counselors using the DWC curriculum must complete this two-day training. Call 303-442-5780 to register.
  • 4/28 - 29 Loveland
  • 5/4 - 5/5 Golden
C.  The Change Companies Impaired Driver Education & Treatment Program (IDEP) - DUI counselors using the IDEP curriculum must complete this one-day training.
  • 5/18 Denver. Call 888-889-8866 to register.
D.  Group Facilitation Skills Training – This is an enhanced group skills training specifically for DUI counselors that supports counselors in balancing a manualized curriculum with individualized care, and with keeping groups interesting and fresh. Call 303-669-8047 to register.
  • 3/2 Denver
  • 4/10 Loveland
  • 5/8 Colorado Springs
  • 5/18 Grand Junction
  • 6/22 Steamboat Springs
E.  12th Annual Regional Impaired Driver Treatment Training – OBHs annual networking and training event for DUI system stakeholders. Registration information will be available soon.
  • May 06  (Wednesday) - Greeley
  • May 13  (Wednesday) - Pueblo
  • May 20  (Wednesday) - Denver
  • June 04 (Thursday)     - Denver
  • June 11 (Thursday)     - Cortez
  • June 24 (Wednesday) - Grand Junction



  • Makeup classes are only allowed for education, NOT therapy. The education makeup class must cover the content from the missed group


  • Clients must be assigned to a specific group; “drop-ins” are not allowed


  • Rationale: to provide a measure of clinical quality, consistency and continuity in treatment


  • OBH rule 21.240.3, C.  Individuals shall be assigned to a specific class, group or individual session throughout the treatment episode. Individuals attending DUI/DWAI education may make up sessions missed by attending other education sessions that cover the missed content.



3. ASSESSMENT AND SERVICE PLANS – rule clarification

  • A comprehensive assessment must be completed within 7 days of admission. It must include all the components identified in OBH rule 21.190.3


  • If the client completes the assessment on their own, it must be reviewed by a clinician


  • The findings of the assessment must be incorporated into the admission summary (see definition 21.190.1) 


  • Counselors delivering services must have knowledge of the findings of the assessment in order to provide individualized treatment.



4. SERVICE PLANS – rule clarification

  • An initial service plan must be developed to address immediate needs within 24 hours of assessment


  • A comprehensive service plan must be developed with 14 days of assessment for clients in outpatient


  • Service plans must be individualized, integrated, comprehensive, collaboratively developed, goal focused and include specific components; as identified in OBH rule 21.190.41


  • Each client must have a service plan that reflects their individual issues/problems identified in the clinical assessment. Treatment notes must reflect progress made on identified issues/problems


  • Both client and counselor together develop an individualized and meaningful service plan, whether this is done in a group or an individual setting.