Senator Fields, bill sponsor, presented House Bill 19-1133. This bill establishes the Colorado Child Abuse Response and Evaluation Network (CARENetwork) in the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The CARENetwork is created to support the provision of medical exams and behavioral health assessments to children age 5 and under in suspected cases of physical or sexual abuse or neglect, and children age 12 and under in suspected cases of sexual abuse.
CARENetwork resource center. The CDPHE is required to award a contract to a resource center to establish the CARENetwork by September 1, 2019. The resource center must be a nationally recognized organization specializing in child abuse pediatrics with the expertise to establish standards for the CARENetwork, and to provide education and training for designated providers. The resource center will:
- work to increase local capacity of providers to perform health assessments for suspected cases of physical or sexual abuse or neglect;
- develop best practice standards, including a review of national accreditation standards, for exams and assessments;
- develop a streamlined medical and behavioral health referral process;
- establish a structure to ensure a coordinated response to suspected cases of abuse;
- encourage participation and enhance the role of providers in multidisciplinary teams in local communities to provide support for the CARENetwork;
- collaborate with existing local programs to provide education, training, collaborative mentorship, and support for providers, including education and training about signs that children may be at risk of abuse and resources available to families;
- collect and analyze data to identify and monitor outcomes of the CARENetwork; and
- report annually to the CDPHE and the Department of Human Services (DHS).