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Respondent Parents’ Counsel work group seeks applicants for commission to govern new office

Thursday, January 8, 2015

DENVER – A work group formed in 2014 to improve the Respondent Parents’ Counsel system and prepare for establishment of a new Office of the Respondent Parents’ Counsel (ORPC) has begun seeking applicants for members of the office’s governing commission.

Though details of the commission have yet to be determined via legislation, the work group anticipates needing representation from all parts of the state.  Membership may include both attorneys and non-attorneys.  The application period will close Feb. 2, 2015. More information and applications are available at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Supreme_Court/Committees/rptf.cfm.

The Respondent Parents’ Counsel program provides legal representation for indigent parents in dependency and neglect proceedings.  Respondent parents’ counsel play a critical role in achieving positive outcomes for children involved in these proceedings by protecting the legal rights of parents, presenting balanced information to courts and promoting the preservation of family relationships.

In May 2014, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law Senate Bill 14-203, sponsored by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Jenise May, establishing the ORPC, effective Jan. 1, 2016. The Respondent Parents’ Counsel Work Group, previously established by the State Court Administrator’s Office to issue recommendations to improve respondent parent representation, was then charged with recommending an operational structure for the Office of the Respondent Parents’ Counsel.  The work group determined formation of a stand-alone office focused solely on parent representation was the most appropriate option to carry out the intent of the legislation.  Additionally, the group recommended the establishment of a governing commission to oversee the office.

Completed applications should be sent by close of business Feb. 2, 2015, to Dawn Tremblay, c/o State Court Administrator’s Office, 1300 Broadway, Suite 1200, Denver, CO 80203, fax 720-625-5933. For more information, contact her at hrja@judicial.state.co.us.

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