Turning the child welfare system upside down in Colorado isn’t easy, or cheap (CO Sun)

Jen Brown, The Colorado Sun

“Colorado’s child protection system is in the midst of a shakeup as the state tries to drastically reduce the number of kids sent to institutions and group homes and instead place them with foster families or keep them home…

The 2018 law, called the Family First Prevention Services Act, is based on a simple premise: It’s healthier for children to live with relatives or in families than in what’s called “congregate care.” Also, preventing child abuse and neglect before it causes enough damage that a child ends up in an institution is good policy…

Tennyson Center for Children is among the residential programs embracing the overhaul. In the last decade, the center has refocused its model to emphasize community-based care.

Tennyson has 24 kids living on its campus, but its therapists work with more than 300 children in their homes and schools in order to spare them from a round-the-clock treatment center.

‘Every single kid in our residential facility, if someone had acted earlier and interacted with that family before it was a crisis, there is a real likelihood they wouldn’t be here,’ said Ned Breslin, president and CEO of Tennyson. ‘It’s high-cost, it’s low-impact, it’s too late.’”

Read the entire article here.

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