General Assembly Report

2022 General Assembly Report

OCR spent 8% of its budget on its central administrative office, which is dedicated to fulfilling the OCR’s statutory mandates. OCR expended $22,590,135 on attorney services for children and $62,980 (including grant funding received by the OCR) to providing high quality and accessible training to GALs and other stakeholders throughout Colorado. The general assembly passed $1,550,000 through OCR’s budget to Colorado CASA for distribution to local CASA programs.

OCR currently contracts with approximately 265 attorneys who provide high quality legal representation to children and youth in all 22 judicial districts in Colorado. OCR attorneys are skilled in child welfare and juvenile law and processes. They are knowledgeable of evidence based social science research and trained in child welfare and/or juvenile delinquency representation best practices. Depending upon the case to which the attorney is appointed, the attorneys are known as Guardians ad litem (GALs), Counsel for Children or Youth, or Child Legal Representatives (CLRs).

The OCR is statutorily required to provide an annual report of its activities to the State Court Administrator’s Office and the General Assembly by September 1 of each year.

For information about your legislators, please clink on the link below to go to the Colorado General Assembly Homepage.

Colorado General Assembly

For additional information concerning legislation, please follow the following links:

Colorado General Assembly House Bills

Colorado General Assembly Senate Bills

OCR’s Performance Management System and Performance Plan

The State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act, as revised in 2013, requires the OCR to prepare and publish a Performance Measurement System and an annual Performance Plan. The OCR’s Performance Measurement System and Performance Plan are a reflection of its statutory mandate, mission, and vision.

Performance Plan – July 2022

OCR Performance Management System – 2022

Annual Performance Evaluation – November 1, 2022

Empowering Youth: Transition to Client-Directed Representation

The OCR is pleased to announce that HB22-1038 passed unanimously in both chambers and was signed by Governor Polis on April 12, 2022. The bill provides youth aged 12 and older in a dependency and neglect (D&N) case with client-directed counsel instead of a best interests Guardian ad Litem. The bill goes into effect on January 9th, 2023. This exciting change gives youth in Colorado a more authentic voice in their D&N proceedings and is an important part of ensuring procedural justice. This change also brings Colorado in line with national recommendations and advances equity for youth.

HB22-1038: Client Directed Counsel in D&N Cases Bill Summary

Click below to listen to the youth testimony for HB22-1038!

Nuts and Bolts of HB22-1038

Implementation Checklist

Resources from the Legislative Process

Client Directed Counsel Factsheet – 2022

Client Directed Counsel Memo – 2021

Comparative Chart of Child Representation Models – 2021

Practice Comparison Chart

CAPTA and Client Directed Counsel

Colorado Newsline Article – January 4, 2022

NACC Supports HB 22-1038 – February 2, 2022

ABA Supports HB 22-1038 – February 9, 2022