Nearly a year ago, Mesa County was closing approximately 40% of assessments of child safety within 60 days. The State set a goal to have 90% of all assessments in Colorado closed within this 60-day time frame. Over the last quarter Mesa County has consistently exceeded this goal, closing 99.1% of all assessments within this time frame according to this week's data update.
Maintaining children safely in their home
Our belief is that children deserve to remain home when safely possible. We have seen the difference Mesa County’s new in-home multi-disciplinary team has had on maintaining children safely in their home. By using staff expertise, even an in-house therapist, Mesa County has exceeded our statewide goal of maintaining children safely in their home for the last three months – ensuring that more than 90% of the children they are working with remain in their homes and don’t have to experience the trauma that out of home care can cause.
Reducing the use of congregate care
Data shows that Mesa County shares our value that congregate care may be necessary to stabilize a child, but it isn’t where a child should grow up. We want to create a system where each child gets the right care at the right time. Our 2104 goal has been to right size congregate care in the state to 21.7%, with a goal of the national average of 15% in 2015, to help kids grow up in a family-like setting whenever possible. Mesa County staff, working with community partners, are making this a reality for more and more kids, with only 15.5% of Mesa County children in out of home placement living in a congregate care setting.
Ensuring that legally freed children find permanency before their 18th birthday
Lastly, we know that the outcomes for youth that age out of our system without a permanent family are dismal.
- More than 1 in 5 will become homeless after age 18
- Only 58% will graduate high school by age 19
- 71% of young women are pregnant by 21
- At the age of 24, only half are employed
- Fewer than 3% will earn a college degree by age 25
- 1 in 4 will be involved in the justice system within two years of leaving the foster care system
The most impressive part about Mesa County’s transformation is that there is evidence that the entire continuum of care for children and families has improved, from front-end services to better outcomes for our most vulnerable youth. We know that even more improvements are on the horizon in Mesa County.
Special thanks is highly deserved for all of the child welfare supervisors and case workers in Mesa County. We know that your hard work is not only transforming your child welfare system, it is transforming the lives of children, youth and families in Mesa County.
Below are this week's data updates:
GOAL: Timeliness of Assessment Closure: 90%
Status: Colorado state performance: 87.6%
Timeliness of Assessment Closure measure performance decreased this week from 88.2% last week to 87.6% this week, with 36 of the 64 Colorado counties achieving the goal of closing 90% of assessments of all concerns of suspected child abuse or neglect within 60 days.
However, we want to recognize Jefferson, Larimer and Logan counties for the noticeable improvement on the measure this week:
Click HERE to learn more and download this week's data update on Timeliness of Assessment Closure.
All my best,
Julie Krow, M.A., L.P.CDirector | Office of Children, Youth and Families
1575 Sherman Street, 2nd Floor | Denver, CO 80203
O: 303-866-5414 | Julie.Krow@state.co.us
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