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Vision and Mission

The ARD’s vision is to create a safe and promising future for children. Our mission is to strengthen the communities, families, and systems that work to make that future possible. As a neutral, third party, we do this by facilitating reviews, gathering and analyzing data, publishing research, and providing training and technical assistance to effect change in practice, policies, and programs that lead to improved outcomes for Colorado's children.


Program Description


Colorado's Administrative Review Division (ARD) serves as an independent third party review system under the auspices of the Colorado Department of Human Services. ARD is the mechanism responsible for the federally required Case Review System and a portion of the Quality Assurance System for both the Division of Child Welfare and the Division of Youth Corrections. With an ultimate passion of providing permanency and well-being for Colorado's children, the Administrative Review Division works closely with Colorado's counties to train, measure and assess their adherence to State and Federal regulations. The most prominent of ARD's requirements are the administrative case reviews which are required every six months for each child in out-of-home foster care; ARD conducts approximately 10,000 out-of-home reviews per year. Such regulations are in place to help prevent unnecessary moves for children in foster care and to assess (and encourage) that the needs of the families' and children are being appropriately addressed.


ARD's staff members comprise a closely knit team that truly operates with outward enthusiasm and optimism. ARD's employees maintain notable academic and professional credentials and utilize these skills to conduct reviews, create strong working relationships with their regions of responsibility, provide technical and compliance training to county caseworkers and supervisors and, most importantly, assist in achieving high quality and consistent care for Colorado's children.


Founded in 1991, ARD has collected and analyzed years of information from reviews, conferences, surveys and other forums and maintains extensive databases that have assisted in the production of professionally published white papers. ARD encourages its stakeholders and other industry professionals to utilize its publishings and research as a data source and an opportunity to systematically take steps toward ever-improving the field of child welfare.


Colorado's Administrative Review Division shares a common goal within the profession and amongst the community as a whole: the well-being of our children. ARD seeks your continued support to encourage families, care providers, and the community to promote healthy, safe, and positive outcomes for Colorado's children.


Organizational Structure


The ARD is located within the Office of Performance and Strategic Outcomes in the Colorado Department of Human Services. The ARD works cooperatively with both programs it reviews, the Division of Child Welfare and Division of Youth Corrections. In addition, the ARD has cooperative relationships with many external partners including: State Judicial, Office of the Child's Representative, Foster Parent Association, Denver Indian Family Resources Center, Colorado Coalition of Adoptive Parents, National Association of Foster Care Reviewers, National Center for Child Welfare-Organizational Improvement, American Humane Society, Butler Institute for Families at the University of Denver School of Social Work and many others. The ARD Steering Committee, comprised of many of the external partners listed above, guides the review processes and practices of the Division.