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Mar 21

Jefferson County Leads the Way in Passing Legislation Supporting Children & Families

Posted on March 21, 2023 at 9:31 AM by Nathan Day

As a team of Jefferson County staff, legislators and other key partners looked on, Governor Jared Polis signed into law HB1043, Emergency And Continued Placement With Relative Or Kin on Friday March 17. The bill would make it easier for children when needing to be placed outside their home – to be placed with kin.  

The genesis of the bill came from Children, Youth, Families and Adult Protection Associate Director Natalie Mall, who recognized the challenges presented by previous statutory sections and advocated for changing the law. Originally she proposed the idea for the change two years ago, but one obstacle or another stood in the way of getting the bill passed last year. The Jeffco team pulled together, working through Colorado Counties Inc., and mobilized several stakeholder meetings to talk through the fine points and educate policy makers on the issue. Through perseverance the legislation was finally introduced at the beginning of the 2023 legislative session. The bill made it to the governor’s desk through teamwork and communication of all involved. 

Attendees at the bill signing included Commissioner Andy Kerr, Human Services Executive Director Mary Berg, deputy county attorney Jennifer Mullenbach, bill sponsors Reps. Mandy Lindsay and Rose Pugliese, Senators Joann Ginal and Janice Rich,  and several other partners who all worked hard to involve many stakeholders and educate legislators on the issue. 

Kudos to CYFAP Associate Director Natalie Mall, who not only recognized the problem inherent in the previous writing of the law, but also a solution that created a better situation for countless children and families across the state of Colorado!

Several people stand in front of a cloth backdrop as governor Jared Polis signs a bill

Jeffco staff, legislative sponsors, and other key stakeholders look on as Governor Polis signed HB1043, Friday March 17.