Previously, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges [NCJFCJ] and the Colorado Court Improvement Program [CIP] designated the Nineteenth Judicial District as a Model Court site on Dec. 23, 2007. This designation allows our community to implement new practices and programs that will improve the lives of our children and families. Today, the court functions as a Best Practice Court maintaining a high standard of service to families and the community.
The Weld County Child Welfare Collaborative [CWC] was established on June 9, 2005. Its mission is to “promote and restore our children’s well being by coordinating community efforts and resources within child protection systems, and adapting new and promising programs that support and sustain safe and healthy families.”
The trust and collaborative culture created through the CWC placed our community in a favorable position to be tapped as a Model Court site because of our proven willingness to critically examine our present system and make the changes necessary to make our system more humane for families and to assure the safety, permanency and well-being of children.
Through the Weld County Best Practice Court, new programs and practices have been established including:
· Assisting parents and other family members to understand the court process;
· In court, on-line scheduling of drug and alcohol evaluations for parents and special respondents;
· In court preparation and distribution of orders to all who attend hearings;
· Family Treatment Courts that assist parents who are drug addicted in becoming the parents that their children need;
· Streamlining the court process so that parents are provided a clear path to success and children are provided with permanency in a timely manner;
· Visitation protocols that promote the best interests of children and provide parents an opportunity to interact with their children in the most relaxed and family-like atmosphere possible;
· Programs to assist youth who age out of the foster care system;
· Programs to assure the educational success of children in foster care;
· Programs to promote the dental health of children and their families who are involved in the child welfare system;
· Providing a voice to children and youth through attendance at their court hearings and through the Voices of Youth program.
Judge Marcelo Kopcow - Division 9