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. The Work Group then shifted its focus to analyzing the various oversight options in order to recommend an operational structure to oversee the RPC program. A public meeting was held on August 14, 2014. The preliminary recommendations of the Work Group were discussed. These recommendations and the results of the statewide surveys were discussed during the meeting.
The final report containing the Work Group’s recommendations were submitted to the State Court Administrator on September 30, 2014. An abridged version of the report is available below.
June 17, 2014 Minutes
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.
Home Courts Supreme Court Committees Court Improvement Committee Respondent Parents� Counsel Task Force
Home Courts Supreme Court Committees Court Improvement Committee Respondent Parents� Counsel Task Force Respondent Parents’ Counsel Program