Hickenlooper Signs Colorado Child Welfare Bills

DENVER (AP) – The governor has signed a package of bills revamping Colorado’s child welfare system after criticism over several cases of children who died of abuse or neglect while under some form of state care in recent years.

Emergency medical service providers will now be required to report suspected child abuse or neglect. And state officials will begin work to create a hotline to report child abuse. The hotline must be operational by January 2015.

Other legislation requires local public health agencies to establish review teams to investigate child deaths and make recommendations on how to prevent fatalities. Courts will also be required to consider a child’s best interests when deciding custody cases to ensure they’re in homes free of domestic violence or neglect.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the measures Tuesday.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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