Recent changes to CRS 19-3-502 provide all children/youth the right to attend and fully participate in their D&N proceedings. Such attendance and participation is supported by national legal organizations, social scientists, Colorado youth surveyed by OCR, and OCR’s Lived Experts Action Panel (LEAP). In articulating the benefits of such participation, the NCJFCJ referenced an increased sense of predictability and control for the youth, powerful reminders to judicial officers that youth’s lives are drastically affected by the child welfare system, and the provision of additional evidence to assist judicial officers’ understanding of youth views regarding issues affecting their lives.
OCR Youth in Court Reports (which reflect GAL entries into OCR online case management and billing system reflect that 21.2% of youth aged 12+ attended benchmark, permanency, and review hearings during the second quarter of FY22-23. The following districts exceeded that average: 2nd at 22.5%, 4th at 23.7%, 5th at 40%, 7th at 22.9%, 11th at 54.7%, 12th at 44.7%, 13th at 21.4%, 14th at 33.3%, 15th at 44.4%, 16th at 35.7%, 20th at 21.8%, and 21st at 40.4%.
To increase youth court attendance in your area, please consider:
- emailing email@example.com to request a facilitated discussion of local data, challenges, and strategies, and/or
- visiting Resources for Youth and Resources for Professionals for practical resources and tools.