Colorado has a long history of efforts supporting families of children and youth with serious mental health challenges. A key aspect of these efforts has been to make family advocates available to families of children and youth with serious mental health challenges. This has included:
Colorado is unique among all states in having legislation that recognizes the importance of providing support to families of youth with mental health challenges who are in, or at-risk of becoming involved with the juvenile justice. First, HB 07-1057 authorized the development and evaluation of three family advocacy demonstration programs focused on this population. These initiatives focused on three different settings - schools in Montrose County, the juvenile assessment center in Jefferson County, and a youth detention facility in Denver.
Second, HB 11-1193 kept the family advocacy framework and definitions intact and requires the Colorado Department of Human Services to develop rules and standards, 2 CCR 502-1, 21.200.4 , and provide technical assistance to aid in the development of family advocacy programs. The rules and standards cover areas such as policies, training, supervision, and data collection.
For more information and technical assistance in developing a family advocacy program contact:
Bill Bane, MSW, Manager
Children, Youth, and Family Mental Health Programs
Colorado Office of Behavioral Health