The Kempe Foundation is gearing up for an important 2018 legislative session. Throughout the summer, the Foundation has been networking with legislators and other stakeholders, laying the groundwork for policy priorities that will continue to improve the quality of life for Colorado children and families. As we head into the 2018 session, the Kempe Foundation has three primary legislative priorities:
- Strengthening our Foster Care System. The Kempe Foundation has worked with stakeholders and other partners to identify areas where better support is needed for foster care kids, parents, and families. The Child Welfare Training System continues to add modules so foster care families have the right tools and training to best serve the children in their home. We continue to be involved and generally supportive of efforts underway by the Department of Human Services as well as county department of human services to create an environment so children and families thrive in the foster care system.
- Access to Mental Health Services for Kids. Kempe was involved in the initial passage of the Colorado Child Mental Health Treatment Act to ensure families can access community, residential, and transitional treatment services without entering the child welfare system. This year the Act is up for reauthorization and Kempe is at the table in discussions as to the Act should look like moving forward. The Governor has requested additional money to fund the program in the next fiscal year so it can serve additional children.
- Budget Support for Prevention, Intervention, and Wrap Around Services. The Kempe Center is home to many amazing and impactful programs including Fostering Healthy Futures, the Child Welfare Training System and SafeCare Colorado which the Center operates in partnership with the Department of Human Services. Each year the Kempe Foundation plays an integral role ensuring continued funding for both SafeCare and the Child Welfare Training System. The Kempe Foundation also works closely with the Department to educate legislators on the importance of both programs and how the improve the quality of life for caseworkers and families alike. Kempe also supports and will support efforts to increase funding for the Tony Grampsas Youth Services grants of which Fostering Health Futures is a recipient.