Child Welfare

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Protecting Those Who Cannot Protect Themselves

Every Child Has The Right To Feel Safe & Be Safe in Eagle County

The child welfare program investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect and provides protective services to children and youth who are victims of child abuse and/or neglect. Using family engagement processes, the program provides services and support for children, youth and families.

Protective services for children focus on the safety of the child and assisting families in developing the skills needed to ensure the safety and stability of all family members. Services include child and family assessments, family engagement meetings, support planning, safety planning, ongoing case management, individual and family counseling, parenting education services, and coordination of mental health, substance abuse and domestic violence treatment.

To Report Suspected Abuse and Neglect of a Child Please Call!
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Additional Resources

Child Welfare: LEARN MORE
Child Protection Team
The Child Protection team includes representatives from public and private agencies. The Child Protection Team meets every other week in Eagle. The purpose of the Child Protection Team is to review child abuse and neglect referrals and investigations to determine whether the department's responses were timely, adequate and in compliance with state law.

The Child Protection Team includes representatives from law enforcement, school districts, mental health organizations, the District Attorney's Office and local community resources.

Get Involved

If you have a passion for serving at-risk children and families in your community and want to find out how to get involved, please contact Melissa Barbour at melissa.barbour@eaglecounty.us or 970-328-7675.
Foster Care and Adoption
Foster care and adoptive homes are important to child welfare services in Eagle County and across Colorado. If you are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please contact Heather Lawdermilk at 970-328-8854 or at heather.lawdermilk@eaglecounty.us, and we will refer you to agencies that assist individuals and families to become foster and adoptive homes.
Reporting Abuse or Neglect
To report suspected abuse and neglect of a child please call:

  • 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437).
Be assured that personal information, including the name of the reporting party, must be kept confidential as mandated in the Colorado state statute.

Eagle County practices enhanced screening on our child abuse hotline in order to make the best decisions possible about how to help a family. Before you make a report please prepare as much of the following information as possible in regard to the child(ren) you are concerned about.

Mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect in the community are individuals who work in the following professions:

  • Medical Professionals
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Clergy
  • Parole and Probation Officers
  • Educators
  • Coaches
  • Human Services Staff
  • First Responders
To see a full list of mandated reporters please visit the Mandatory Reporters Training website.

Please call if you are concerned about a child or family.
What happens once a child abuse or neglect report is made?
Flow chart for child welfare reports
Each report made to the 24/7 Colorado child abuse and neglect hotline is taken by a call center worker at the Hotline County Connection Center. They are specially trained with advanced screening techniques to collect as much information as possible that will be shared with a county caseworker. The on-call county caseworker and supervisor will then assess if the report requires an immediate response to ensure child safety and if not a team will review the report the following business day in a process called Review, Evaluate, and Direct (RED team) which uses a structured framework to determine if child welfare becomes involved with the family. In the RED team, the professionals review all information provided in the report and consider the following areas: danger/harm, complicating factors, a family’s prior child welfare involvements, criminal background information, cultural considerations, gray areas and family strengths. Ultimately, the Colorado Children’s Code guides the decisions made in the RED team and determines when child welfare becomes involved with a family reported to the hotline.

If a report is accepted for child welfare involvement, a caseworker is assigned to interview the alleged child victim, siblings, parents and other members of the household. The child welfare caseworker will collect information from collateral contacts, complete safety and risk assessments and determine if an incident of child abuse did or did not take place and if child welfare ongoing services are required, or requested, to ensure the safety of the child(ren) in the future.

If a report is screened out, no caseworker is assigned to meet with the family. The family may be eligible for child abuse prevention services, including Colorado Community Response. Depending on the child abuse allegations in the report, the information may be cross-reported to local law enforcement agencies or a different agency to provide services. Again, the Colorado Children’s Code guides this decision.
Youth in Conflict
Eagle County offers services that focus on families with youth who are experiencing serious difficulties with the law, truancy, running away and other self-harming behaviors. These services include needs assessments, referrals to community services, counseling, case management and specialized treatment programs.

To report a youth in conflict or to gather more information, please call the child abuse/neglect reporting hotline.

Statewide Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
Please call 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437)
Family Engagement Services
Eagle County strives to engage families and their support systems to partner in order to make decisions about child and family safety. Family engagement meetings enable families and their support systems to make decisions about resources and services needed to decrease risk factors and increase safety of children.

During a family engagement meeting, the group discusses the family’s strengths, the risk and safety concerns and develops an action plan. Family engagement meetings are held at regular time frames (either every 3 months or 6 months) and span throughout a child welfare assessment and case. Family engagement meetings are especially helpful when children are at risk for out of home placement, when children have been placed outside of the family home and at case closure.
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