Colorado Child Welfare Officials Tour the State to Get Feedback on the System

Colorado Department of Human Services Executive Director Reggie Bicha presents in Garfield County during the 2017 Summer Planning Tour that state officials are set to embark on next week. Photo courtesy Colorado DHS

Next week, Colorado Department of Human Services (DHS) officials will continue the annual tradition of touring the state to gather feedback and suggestions about the child welfare system.

DHS Executive Director Reggie Bicha and other DHS officials will attend each of the six planned stops on the fifth annual Summer Planning Tour.

“Every summer, our executive team hits the road to travel the state, meeting with community leaders, stakeholders and anyone with an interest in human services to talk about accomplishments from the previous year, and find out, on a local level, what Coloradans’ top priorities are for the coming year,” said Nourie Boraie, deputy director of communications for DHS.

DHS has been doing a Summer Planning Tour since 2013, and Boraie said the agency uses findings from the tour to help create priorities for the upcoming year. In 2016, feedback on child care in rural communities prompted the agency to implement rural child care expansions into its 2017 plan. While discussions in 2017 on the intersection of child welfare and mental and behavioral health led to DHS adding new initiatives to this year’s plan, according to Boraie.

The tour also helps the agency develop its Performance Improvement Plan, which is part of the federal oversight process, Child and Family Service Review (CFSR).

“This year we want to emphasize the strong work we’ve done throughout the administration, discuss collaborative strategies that have seen success in our communities and determine if they could be shared statewide and learn from Coloradans what they think are the top human services priorities should be as we enter a new administration,” Boraie said.

The tour began with visits to Morgan and Denver counties in late June, and includes stops in four more counties: Archuleta, July 24; La Plata, July 25; Mesa, July 26; and Moffat, July 27.

Colorado residents can click here for details on the location of each tour stop.

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Kim Phagan-Hansel
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