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Home Courts Supreme Court Committees Court Improvement Committee Respondent Parents� Counsel Task Force
Respondent Parents’ Counsel Program

Respondent Parents’ Counsel Work Group

Respondent Parents’ Counsel play a critical role in achieving positive outcomes for children involved in dependency and neglect proceedings by protecting parent’s due process and statutory rights, presenting balanced information to judges and promoting the preservation of family relationships. The Respondent Parents’ Counsel Work Group was established in January 2014 to analyze the current RPC program and issue recommendations for ways to improve the system.  The Work Group was charged with issuing recommendations on the development of policies and procedures to address: the contract and evaluation process, training requirements, the complaint process and billing procedures.  The group was also charged with evaluating the appellate process and making recommendations for improving the quality of advocacy in this area.  In addition, the Work Group was instructed to analyze whether the administration of the RPC program should be centralized.

On May 29, 2014, Governor Hickenlooper signed SB-203 which establishes an Office of the Respondent Parents’ Counsel effective January 1, 2016.  The legislation defers to the RPC Work Group’s final recommendation regarding the operational structure of the Office of the Respondent Parents’ Counsel. Therefore, the primary focus of the work group will now be to analyze the various oversight options available in order to recommend an operational structure to oversee the RPC program.  The final report containing the Work Group’s recommendations will be submitted to the State Court Administrator by September 30, 2014. Minutes from the meetings will be posted on this website.

A public meeting will be held on August 14, 2014 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. The meeting will be held on the court side of the Ralph Carr Justice Center located at 2 East 14th St., Denver 80203.  It will be held in the first floor Court of Appeals courtroom. This will be an opportunity for interested individuals to provide input regarding the structure of the new office, ask questions of Work Group representatives and to provide feedback regarding the preliminary recommendations of the group.  The preliminary recommendations are posted below on this web page. The meeting will also be live broadcast at the link below for those who cannot attend in person.  If you wish to submit questions during the meeting you may do so at the following address: RPCWorkGroup@judicial.state.co.us

RPC Work Group Recommendations


June 17, 2014 Minutes
May 30, 2014 Minutes
March 14, 2014 Minutes
Feb. 12, 2014 Minutes
Appellate Subcommittee Minutes March 14, 2014
Billing Data Subcommittee Minutes March 6, 2014
Contracts Evaluations Subcommittee Minutes March 12, 2014

Respondent Parent’s Counsel Task Force 

In 2005, the Colorado Supreme Court through the Colorado Court Improvement Program created the Respondent Parents’ Counsel Task Force, a group of child welfare professionals, to review the issues facing respondent parents’ counsel and to make recommendations to the Supreme Court and the Colorado Legislature.

To assist in identifying needs of attorneys, areas in need of improvement and baseline data for potential reform efforts, the Task Force commissioned a needs assessment. This assessment, performed by the National Center for State Courts, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the National Association of Counsel for Children, provides both a statewide overview of factors impacting Respondent Parents’ Counsel performance as well as an in-depth analysis of four counties: Denver County, El Paso County, Teller County and Weld County.

Executive Summary of the Respondent Parents’ Counsel Task Force Needs Assessment

Respondent Parents’ Counsel Task Force Needs Assessment

Final Report to the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court

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