The Colorado Department of Human Services failed to properly supervise county child welfare services as they decided whether allegations of child abuse and neglect merited investigation, reports the Denver Post. A 239-page audit of the agency was presented to a legislative committee Wednesday during a tense, five-hour hearing. The report listed dozens of deficiencies in the child welfare system, from the inception of an abuse allegation to the review process of children who died.
Auditors found that caseworkers improperly screened some calls about abuse allegations and made incorrect risk assessments in half of the 40 cases reviewed. But a common thread in the audit was a lack of state oversight of the 64 county human services departments. The shortage of guidance provided to county departments creates inefficient standards in the way child protection workers assess and handle cases of child abuse and neglect, the audit found. Executive Director Reggie Bicha sharply rebuffed several findings in the audit.