About the Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman

The Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman (CPO) serves as an independent, neutral problem solver that helps citizens navigate a complex child protection system in an expert and timely manner.

The CPO is charged with receiving the public’s complaints concerning services administered by a public agency or provider that receives public moneys for the safety, permanency or well-being of children.

The CPO has independent access to child protection records that are not otherwise available to the public.
This allows the CPO to objectively review and investigate complaints, deliver recommendations and drive systemic reform through research and education. Through objective study the CPO works to improve the delivery of services to children and families within the child protection system.

CPO Jurisdiction

The CPO receives “complaints concerning child protection services made by, or on behalf of, a child relating to any action, inaction, or decision of any public agency or any provider that receives public moneys that may adversely affect the safety, permanency, or well-being of a child.

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Our Approach

  • Provide citizens free and confidential services.

  • Help citizens navigate the child protection system and direct them toward needed services and resources.

  • Objectively research and investigate concerns about the delivery of services to children and families within the child protection system.

  • Illuminate the strengths and weaknesses within the child protection system that are directly impacting the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families.

  • Make recommendations to the public, child protection agencies and providers, the General Assembly and the Governor that help reform and improve outcomes for children and families.

Stephanie Villafuerte

Letter from the 
Child Protection Ombudsman

Stephanie Villafuerte, Esq.

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Citizen Contacts
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Violations Identified
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Questions Answered

Since its inception, the CPO has worked with hundreds of families and dozens of agencies and providers to improve how services are delivered to children and families in Colorado.

CITIZENS AND STAKEHOLDERS SAY

The staff was very professional and listened to my concerns. They followed through on checking out my concerns with a very thorough investigation. They kept me advised of what was going on with the situation and answered all of my questions. It was a very positive experience.

COMPLAINANT

As a county practitioner, it can be frustrating to feel as if we are scrutinized from multiple sources, but the reality is that the Child Protection Ombudsman’s office is one of the few outside entities that has an understanding about what we are trying to accomplish and shares the same overall child protection philosophy. It is, at times, actually reassuring to know that families or other professionals may call and have a different, impartial voice be able to explain that our actions were in accordance with rule or statute.

COUNTY HUMAN SERVICES PARTNER

I really enjoyed my time meeting [CPO staff member]. I appreciate her taking the time to ask me about my caseworker.

JUVENILE COMPLAINANT