In an effort to stop the abuse and neglect of children that has led to 45 deaths in recent years, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper unveiled a set of new initiatives Thursday to improve the state’s child welfare program. In an interview with the Denver Post
, the Democrat said the fixes would bring more transparency to the program and would use data and information “more effectively” to track children and to hold the system more accountable.
Hickenlooper said the changes would also ensure that more information is made public if children are abused or killed after they’ve been in recent contact with social workers. Colorado social workers have been accused of not doing enough to stop many of the deaths of children over the past five years for which Colorado has been criticized.
“Our laws currently require that when there is an issue around a child-abuse case, that we can’t say anything,” Hickenlooper said. “We are exploring some legislation that could require disclosure of some information.”
The fixes, Hickenlooper noted, are modeled after a Wisconsin program that helped reduce child abuse and neglect.
The governor hired the director of the Wisconsin program, Reggie Bicha, a year ago as his executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services to help improve the state welfare program.
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