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OCR Contract Case Consultant Information Center

Starting in October 2020, OCR offers GALs the option to work or consult with a Case Consultant (CC) who contracts directly with OCR on an as-needed basis.

OCR attorneys: Scroll and read below for details on engaging with OCR-contracted case consultants. Contact with any questions.
CCs: Click the blue CC Login button to access the CC Toolkit.

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What is a Case Consultant?

Case Consultants are professionals who work with the GAL as part of the child’s legal team. Case Consultants have expertise and experience in social work, counseling, child development, education, and other fields. Their expertise, experience, and skill set enhance a GAL’s independent investigation and, ultimately, the legal positions the GAL takes on behalf of the child. Use of case consultants by attorneys can expedite time to permanency and case resolution, increase reunification, improve preservation of family connections, and increase adoption. The ABA, the DHHS Children’s Bureau, and NACC recognize the importance of an interdisciplinary team approach.

Placement Advocacy Guide

Placement Advocacy Guide Appendix Questions

Many Case Consultants throughout the state are already employed by or contract with attorney offices directly. OCR is now offering an alternative option for OCR attorneys to work or consult with an OCR-contracted Case Consultant on an as-needed basis.

Meet our current OCR-contracted Case Consultants below!

Isela Jamie Amaral
Case Consultant (Weld)

My name is Isela Jamie Amaral and I currently live in Weld County. I attended Mesa State University in Grand Junction, CO and earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. In 2014, I earned my master’s in criminal justice from Arizona State University. I thought that working in law enforcement was my calling; however, after working for law enforcement agencies and Community Corrections, I decided I could be more helpful working with families and children. I worked as a caseworker for child welfare for 7 years, I’ve held positions in assessment, ongoing, kinship / foster, and as a generalist. I am SAFE certified, bilingual (Spanish), and have incredible engagement skills.

I have been working as a private case consultant for the last 8 months and have really enjoyed being part of the GAL team. I enjoy learning new things, I love being an advocate for children and giving them a voice in situations where they may feel out of their control. I think too often the system is fixated on checking boxes versus really looking at the best interest of a child and the impact that any type of system involvement really has on their life. I believe that my experience, my education, and my ability to engage with families and children is a valuable resource in my capacity as a case consultant.

Margery Brennan
Case Consultant, MA, CAS (Mesa)

Margery is a Colorado native currently living in beautiful Palisade, the heart of fruit growing and winemaking on the Western Slope. She started her career as a teacher in a residential treatment center for youth involved in juvenile justice. Her career expanded from there to include coordinating non-residential services for a local non-profit, and prevention services for the school district 51. Her specialty is trauma informed care with an emphasis on brain regulation. Currently, she is in private practice offering healing centered engagement for children and their families, substance use evaluation and treatment and Restoration Services for OBH.

Matt Cloven
Education and Disability Case Consultant (Larimer)

Matt Cloven has worked with people with disabilities of all ages for approximately 20 years. In this time he has helped families, individuals, and professionals navigate the many systems that impact people with disabilities. Some of these systems include education (special education and 504), justice (restoration of competency educator, ADA expert and consultant in child welfare cases), and public services (Medicaid, DVR, SSI). Matt has been a disability advocate and consultant professionally since 2014 and has provided educational and systems support, as well as disability-specific training for families, GALs, and child welfare and community-based provider agencies across Colorado.

Though much of his knowledge comes from this work, Matt also has certificates from attending the William & Mary Law Institute of Special Education Advocacy. He is also a certified assessor for Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) and is a Court Visitor for guardianship and conservatorship probate cases in Larimer County. He holds his Masters in Cultural History and Philosophy.

Grace Combs
Case Consultant (El Paso)

Grace currently lives in El Paso County and has resided in Colorado since 2007.  Grace graduated with her degree in Psychology from California State University of San Marcos.  She got her MSW, with a concentration in Mental Health, from MSU Denver and is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW).  Grace has been working with children with developmental disabilities and/or acute mental health struggles for over 10 years, completing assessments, advocating and managing services, and providing clinical support.  More recently, Grace has gained experience at a Community Mental Health Center and at local emergency departments, providing crisis intervention and advocating for children who are experiencing abuse or in the midst of legal and dependency & neglect cases.  Grace has completed graduate internships with the OGAL office and a forensic mental health facility.

Tricia Denniger
Case Consultant (Denver)

Tricia is a Colorado native who earned an undergraduate degree from Hope College, MSW from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and JD from Barry University School of Law before returning home in 2012. Since that time she has worked in a residential treatment facility, mentored, volunteered extensively, ran a youth volunteering program as well as a program serving the needs of families seeking visitation services. This wealth of experience allows her to navigate children and family dynamics, the legal system and the diversity of clients and professionals within each. Her passion is improving the lives of children. Her vision is to provide resources and tools that will help each child to overcome obstacles and feel supported throughout their lives. In both her personal life and professional career, Tricia has worked extensively in both direct and indirect care with underserved populations.

Kimberly Hardesty
Case Consultant (Denver)

My education includes a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs in 2002 and a Master of Arts in Counseling Education, Community Counseling track, from Adams State University in 2009. I also am an LPC. I began my work in human services in 2006 as a generalist caseworker for Alamosa County, which is where I grew up after moving from Salida. I went on to gain experience as a therapist in residential treatment, ages 10 and up, as well as family preservation services and supervised visitation. I worked as a Caseworker for El Paso County in Kinship, completing kinship assessments, SAFE certified home studies, and family search as well as for Pueblo County in the Children’s Intensive Treatment Program, often supporting drug-exposed infants and their families, then in their Crisis Unit. I am currently in private practice as a therapist, with a specialty in trauma. I have found there is often a consensus that can be reached when the proper amount of time and support is offered.

Jessie Hazen
Case Consultant (Denver)

My name is Jessie Hazen and I currently live in Denver County. I hold a master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the State of Colorado and have been practicing in the social work field for the past 20 years. Currently, I work at Denver Health Medical Center Lake School Based Clinic as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and provide therapy to children ages 5 to 18. Additionally, in my time at Denver Health Medical I served as the supervisor of both the Mobile Crisis Unit and Inpatient Behavioral Health Units. Through this experience I gained a strong understanding of both mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Prior to working at the Denver Health Medical Center, I worked for the Denver Department of Human Services from 2000 to 2013. My position included but was not limited to working as a Lead Social Caseworker on an Emergency Response Team, completing investigations into child abuse and neglect, including both Institutional Abuse and Child Fatalities investigations, providing in home family preservation services and as a lead worker on the Family Finding Unit.

I am trained in trauma informed care, and I work through a trauma informed and attachment lens. I understand the importance of family systems and believe that connecting and engaging families leads to the best results for children. I look forward to utilizing the combination of my child welfare experience, therapeutic experience, and crisis intervention skills to assist children and families.

Brinda Jacques
Case Consultant (La Plata)

I have a bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Southeastern University and a master’s degree in Social Work from University of Denver. I am a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in the state of Colorado. Additionally, I currently attend University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and I am working towards earning my Juris Doctor degree. I was an intake caseworker in La Plata County, where I interacted with Dependency and Neglect proceedings, which provided me with skills working with children of various backgrounds. I have been a foster parent since 2015, where I have also interacted with D&N proceedings, developed skills in trauma-informed care, identified needs and resources for children in care, and worked with various professionals involved in a case. I also have experience as a domestic violence advocate where I learned how to identify domestic violence and assist those who are experiencing domestic violence.

Leah Lefever
Case Consultant (Morgan)

My name is Leah Lefever and I currently live in Morgan County. I have a master’s degree in social work from Campbellsville University and am a Licensed Social Worker. My most recent experience includes being a school social worker. As a school social worker, I conduct evaluations, support the mental health needs of students, and link families to community resources, amongst other things. One of the accomplishments I am most proud of as a school social worker is leading an effort to ensure that all staff are trained in NME, how we can apply our knowledge of brain development and trauma to our work with children.

My other experiences include working in child welfare and medical social work. As a caseworker I primarily worked in the ongoing and adoption units, therefore I have a good understanding of the child welfare system and Dependency & Neglect cases. I am appreciative that I have been able to support families and they have allowed me to be part of their journey during their most vulnerable time. I am passionate about supporting families and am excited about being able to continue to advocate for children as a case consultant!

Rachel Minor
Case Consultant (Arapahoe)

Rachel Minor, LCSW, earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice and a minor in Legal Studies from the University of Northern Colorado. She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Child Welfare and a certificate in Animal Assisted Social Work from the University of Denver.

Rachel is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with experience in child welfare as an adoption social worker in Arapahoe County, school social work, and residential treatment. Rachel has worked collaboratively with GALs as part of the Model Law Office Pilot Project and as a Contract Social Worker with OADC since 2017.

Meaghan Normington
Case Consultant (Douglas)

My name is Meaghan Normington and I currently live in Douglas County. I am a licensed professional counselor and have spent the last two years as a youth ongoing caseworker at Denver Human Services. Prior to my time at DHS, I worked with youth and their families as an inpatient trauma-informed clinician.

As a caseworker in child welfare, I have worked in the court system through Dependency & Neglect and Juvenile Delinquency cases. I have experience with assessing a family’s needs and individualizing treatment planning to address the presented concerns. I am familiar with the life of a case and have a working knowledge of services that are available to children and their family. In my daily work, I emphasize the importance of family systems, parent-child interactions and cultural competency. I’m a firm believer that the utilization of family, whether it be immediate or extended, leads to permanency success for children. I use my therapeutic background with children and families to approach their stories and experiences with empathy, as well as to better manage the crises that may arise during visits and meetings. I am intentional when working with children and strive to ensure that their voice is always heard.

I look forward to using my child welfare experience and therapeutic background to better serve and advocate for the children in the state of Colorado as a case consultant.

Tricia Roberts
Case Consultant (El Paso)

Tricia Roberts has a B.S. in Parks, Recreation, and Leisure with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation and is a nationally certified CTRS with years of experience providing therapeutic services in many environments to include state mental health facilities and prisons. Tricia also has a Masters of Science in Criminal Justice and Behavior Management with a focus on Behavioral Analysis and utilized these skills to work with juveniles in residential treatment centers, providing BT work with kids on the Autism spectrum; and in her work as a Case Consultant when working with youth who exhibit significant behavioral concerns and in understanding assessments, and approaches to education. Tricia also holds a Masters of Education in Education Policy and Leadership.

Tricia has been working as an independent Case Consultant since 2016 and has built an excellent reputation amongst professionals Tricia also brings to the table additional experience and training with the Department of Justice- PREA Investigation and Implementation as well as policy development. Tricia has legislative advocacy experience and has partnered with The Opportunity Institute, The NAACP Education Legal Defense Fund. The Dignity in Schools Campaign on research projects and policy development and system needs identification and COVID specific research and quality and compliance issues on a state and federal level, specifically in Colorado at an RCCF level.

As a mother of 4 Twice-Exceptional children and personal experience as a twice-exceptional child/adult have fueled her passion for educational advocacy. In addition, her military experience has allowed her to refine her skills and ability to commit to hard work with difficult teammates to work together and accomplish seemingly impossible goals. These skills, coupled with her life and career experience navigating complex medical issues and the red tape in bureaucratic systems, have inspired her to shine a light on issues that often get overlooked, such as competency.

Brittany Williams
Case Consultant (El Paso)

My name is Brittany Williams, I have my MSW from the University of Southern California, with an emphasis on children and families, and earned my LCSW while working for the El Paso County Department of Human Services as a Lead Intake Caseworker for the past 4 years. Prior to working for EPCDHS, I completed 2 internships, one with El Paso County Texas DFPS and one with Harrison School District as a Social Worker for Special Education students.

My experience in the child welfare field has given me the opportunity to gain a solid understanding of the child welfare system, especially Dependency and Neglect cases involving complex mental health and substance abuse, domestic violence, and parent-child conflict. I have extensive knowledge and experience assessing child safety, safety planning, and connecting families to needed resources in the community.

My passion is for people. Advocating, empowering, and attempting to understand and meet each individual person right where they are on life’s journey to help them reach their goals and potential.

Below, click the plus (+) signs below to expand other information you want to see.

  • Interested case consultant applicants complete the online application process.
  • OCR engages in an interview, background check, and reference process to determine contracts.
    • OCR evaluates OCR-contracted Case Consultant performance through attorney, stakeholder, and youth feedback, and review of case consultant activities.
    • OCR investigates complaints concerning contract case consultants.
    • OCR trains Case Consultants, provides practice supports, and staffs cases with consultants.


      • Consider case consultants when your case presents the following issues (or other challenging issue): mental health; medically fragile; family offenses; sex offenses; drug abuse; truancy; domestic violence; trafficking, difficult to engage clients. Consider case consultants when your case presents the following issues (or other challenging issue): mental health; medically fragile; family offenses; sex offenses; drug abuse; truancy; domestic violence; trafficking, difficult to engage clients.


      • Click here for instructions to request a CC for one of your appointments in CARES.


      • Contact OCR’s Case Consultant Coordinator (Email) with any questions about the request process or your request.
      • Within 24 hours OCR will confirm receipt of your request.
      • After conflict check, the case will then be available for CCs within 48 hours from submission to select the case.
      • If there is an emergency need shorter than 24 hours call the Case Consultant Coordinator.
      • As an additional safety measure, the GAL has 24 hours after notice of assignment to reject it, otherwise the CC will be assigned.
      • If a Case Consultant is assigned, OCR will send an introduction email and provide you with the name and contact information of the CC.
      • If for some reason a CC cannot be assigned, the Case Consultant Coordinator will reach out within 24 hours of that determination.
      • If there are clarifying questions the Case Consultant Coordinator will reach out for clarification.
      • The Case Consultant invoices OCR directly via CARES and OCR pays the case consultant directly.
      • OCR may seek your input in reviewing the reasonableness of case consultant billing.
      • Case Consultants who recently became an LCSW, LPC, or LMFT can request a higher OCR billing rate (“Case Consultant II”) in CARES here.
      • Request case consultants early in the case.
      • Use a Case Consultant to Assist with:

• Ongoing contact with children/youth
• Observation of parent-child interaction
• Attending staffings/ meetings
• Communicating with schools
• Investigating potential placements
• Ensuring the child/youth understands the legal issues in a developmentally appropriate way.

      • Explain the role of the Case Consultant to professionals, family members, and children/youth.
      • Explain how you are members of the same team and how that will work.
      • Discuss communication styles and preferences at the outset.
      • Regular communication between GAL and CC helps avoid misunderstandings and increases efficiency.
      • Use a Case Consultant, among other reasons, to investigate/inform your position on the following topics:
Topics Practical Tips/Questions to Consider
Temporary Custody & Safety Planning • Talk to all possible parties.
• Build relationships.
• Explore additional family/friends.
• Look for consensus between parties.
• Identify multiple safe resources.
• Create concrete step safety plans.
• Where are emergency short-term options?
• What is the ideal long-term resource?
• Is there bias, conscious or unconscious with resource options?
• How may these choices be viewed in 5, 10, 15 years?
• Can some family/community connection be maintained?
• Review and assess Safety and Risk assessment.
    • • What are the services provided, what modality?
    • • Who provides the services, their qualifications?
    • • Are they addressing a need?
    • • Are there better resources in the community available?
    • • What is the involvement of the family?
    • • How can family be involved?
    • • What is the plan for leaving or independence?
    • • What are the support systems for leaving?
    • • Revisit community options regularly.
    • • What pro social activities are located nearby?
    • • What extracurricular activities are provided?
    • • If in a facility make a point of visiting.
    • • What are plans for holidays and special occasions?
    • • What are rules and expectations?
    • • What are arrangements for interviewing privacy?
    • • Which staff have connections with child?
    • • Develop good communication with providers.
    • • Identify resources and support systems for placement kin placement.
    • What level of normalcy is the placement providing?
Family Time
    • • How can it happen?
    • • Evaluate safety vs. imperfect family.
    • • Evaluate increase in time/frequency and/or unsupervised. On going.
    • • Are there helpful family resources that can participate/help?
    • Do different siblings need different plans?
    • • Evaluate desires/needs, best interests of the individual siblings.
    • • Family/community resources that could help connect siblings?
    • • Are visits tailored to interests.
    • • Explore use of technology to facilitate.
    • • Young children 0-3 years and issues of attachment.
    • ½ siblings, can both families buy in?
Non-Custodial Parents
    • • Identify and investigate them and their family members.
    • • Build relationship.
    • • Understand their role, stated and practical.
    • • Identify and investigate them and their family members.
    • • Build relationship.
    • • Understand their role, stated and practical.
    • • How can they be supportive?
    • • What is their side of the family’s involvement?
Relatives, Kin, Diligent Search
    • • Develop relationship with members.
    • • Explore all possible family, revisit over time.
    • • Evaluate child’s opinion on family members.
    • Who are potential resources/supports?
Disposition, Treatment Planning
    • • Does it meet need?
    • • Are there unnecessary parts?
    • • Anything additional needed?
    • • Think proactively to influence/get DHS buy in.
    • • Who/what are morale supports?
    • • What are short- and long-term goals?
    • • Who is responsible for what, when, where?
    • • Can child explain proposed plans for them or their family in their own words?
    • Discuss long term support and connections.
Education, Disabilities, & Accomodations
    • • Gather historical and family information
    • • Are there additional family/community resources that can be a support?
    • • Evaluate needs and services.
    • • Develop relationships with professionals.
    • • Participate in meetings.
    • • What level of visibility does child want with your role?
    • • What is the child’s view on school stability?
    • Coordinate with OCR education specialists.


      • Q: Are there limits to the type of case for which I can request a CC?



      • No. Most CCs work on D&N and JD cases but they are available for other case types. Click here for instructions to request a CC for any of your appointments in CARES.


      • Q: Are there geographical limits to requesting a CC?



      • Yes. The hope is OCR will have additional CCs to be available throughout Colorado, but until then there will be a limit to how far CCs can travel. That does not prevent GALs in other parts of Colorado requesting a CC, who is closer to their child/youth, be assigned to a case. 
      • Q: Does the OCR attorney need to pay the CC or request reimbursement to do so?


      • No, OCR-contracted CCs invoice OCR directly via CARES.
      • Q: Do I need to provide a 1099 or other tax documentation for CCs?


      • No. OCR will be responsible for OCR-contracted CCs’ tax documentation.
      • Contact OCR’s Case Consultant Coordinator (Email) with any questions about the request process or your request.

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