What We Do
OCR is the state agency mandated to provide competent and effective best interests legal representation to children involved in the Colorado court system. OCR was created by the General Assembly in 2000 to improve representation for Colorado’s most vulnerable children by establishing minimum practice standards and providing litigation support, accessible high-quality statewide training, and oversight of the practice. The OCR oversees attorneys that provide legal representation as guardians ad litem (GAL), counsel for children in dependency and neglect proceedings, and child legal representatives (CLR).
OCR attorneys’ responsibilities are dependent upon the case type in which the attorney is appointed and the role the attorney serves in that case. OCR trains all of its attorneys on the law, social science research, child development, mental health and education issues, and best practices relating to issues impacting children involved in court proceedings. Specific case types include:
- Dependency and Neglect (child abuse)
- Juvenile Delinquency
- Domestic Relations
- Adoption, Truancy, Probate, Mental Health, and Paternity
Click on a case type above or another heading below to learn more.
The Office of the Child’s Representative (OCR) was created under H.B. 00-1371 in the 58th General Assembly legislative session. The purpose of the statute authorizing the OCR, Colorado Revised Statute C.R.S. § 13-91-101 et seq, is to empower Colorado’s most vulnerable children with uniform, high-quality counsel.
In July 2001, the OCR became responsible for enhancing the legal representation of children, establishing fair and realistic rates of compensation for attorney services, setting minimum practice and training standards, and working collaboratively with the state CASA to develop local CASA programs in each Judicial District. In 2010, the General Assembly made the OCR a permanent state agency.
The mission of the Office of the Child’s Representative (OCR) is to provide effective legal representation to Colorado’s children involved in the court system because they have been abused and neglected, impacted by high-conflict parenting time disputes, or charged with delinquent acts and without a parent able to provide relevant information to the court or protect their best interests during the proceedings. As a state agency, the OCR is accountable to the State of Colorado to achieve this mission in the most cost-efficient manner without compromising the integrity of services or the safety and well-being of children. The OCR is committed to ensuring that its attorneys provide these children, Colorado’s most vulnerable and marginalized population in the courts, the best legal services available to protect and promote their safety and well-being and to have their voice heard throughout all aspects of a case.
1. Accountability: Colorado’s children, attorneys, and taxpayers can count on OCR to ensure that each decision we make and action we take advances our mission in a fair and transparent manner.
2. Efficiency: OCR strives to accomplish its mission and conserve resources by streamlining efforts, adhering to deadlines, resolving conflict constructively, and honoring well-defined projects, processes, and roles. We balance our drive to achieve with thoughtful planning and implementation.
3. Empowerment: OCR cultivates an environment of respect and honesty. We value the experience and expertise of the children we serve, our contract attorneys, and our staff. We invest time to connect, focus on strengths, value feedback, and recognize success. We support each other in our mission to empower children.