Pueblo County Department of Human Services (PCDHS) has an adoption unit and a foster care unit (known as the Family Resource unit).  The adoption unit caseworkers help to finalize adoptions of children in our system.  The foster care unit licenses and monitors foster homes.

Adoption Supervisor:                                                          Foster Care Supervisor:
Amanda Ledbetter                                                               Josette Jaramillo
719-583-4716                                                                     719-583-6889
Amanda.ledbetter[email protected]                                [email protected]

The best way to get started is to read everything you can about foster care and adoption.  Research the topic on the internet, as there is a ton of good information out there.  We will also provide additional links to learn how Child Welfare works in Colorado. Colorado is a state-monitored, county-administered system.  All 64 counties follow the same rules regarding foster care and adoption.  A family can be licensed through their local county department or through a Child Placement Agency (CPA).

There are several types of licenses:
*Foster Parent – means that you are only interested in fostering children
*Fos/Adopt Parent – means that you are interested in foster care and if a child becomes available for adoption, you would be interested in adopting that child.
*Kin Foster Parent – means that you are interested in providing foster care for a relative child
*Kin Fos/Adopt Parent – means that you are interested in fostering a relative child and would 
consider adoption.

All licensing requirements are the same.  There is no difference in requirements for Foster Parents verses Kin Foster Parents.

Outside of Pueblo County DHS, families can consider three local Child Placement Agencies (CPAs):

Bridges CPA
1225 N. Main Street, Suite 102, Pueblo, CO 81003 Telephone: 719-583-2200

Kids Crossing CPA
414 Broadway, Pueblo, CO 81004 Telephone: 719-545-3882

Maple Star CPA
635 W. Corona Ave, Suite 209, Pueblo, CO 81004 Telephone: 719-286-0014

Training:
All prospective foster/adoptive families are required to take a training class called Foster Parent Fundamentals.  This is a 13.5-hour training and is a requirement.  This class gives a general overview of the foster care system in our state and also requires several webinars to be viewed prior to the training. Foster Parent Fundamentals is typically taught on a Friday evening and an all-day Saturday.  This class is a Hybrid model that requires web-based courses and the virtual course for completion.  Due to Covid-19, these classes are all virtual right now.  The website to create a learner profile and register for the class is https://www.coloradocwts.com/  If a couple is seeking to be licensed, then both will need to participate and create a profile separately on this website.   Some CPA’s may do these trainings on site, so remember to inquire about this when calling the CPA directly.  This is a state sponsored website and offers multiple topics of training.  Additional training hours are required through the year, and this is a good place to sign up for additional trainings.  In addition to the Foster Parent Fundamentals, a 2-hour Orientation staffing must also occur.  The county department or CPA’s will offer the orientation to start the process and to provide the application and other items needed to begin the background checks.  This is also a way to learn a little bit of information about the program.

This website will take you to one of the state’s websites with all sorts of information about foster care & adoption.

 https://www.co4kids.org/foster-care-and-adoption
On this site, you can also find a list of all CPA’s operating in the state.

Every foster family must also be trained in infant, children & adult CPR/First Aid.  This training must also be repeated & refreshed over the years.

Each family member in the potential Foster Home must also have a Health Evaluation completed.  Talk to your coordinator, as there is a specific form to be used.

A Home Inspection is required to ensure there are no safety issues in the home.  Each foster child must have a bed and a place to store their clothing.  Medications, in most circumstances, will need to be locked & stored so that it’s out of the reach of the child.  Firearms must be locked & stored separately from ammunition.  Large bodies of water need to have a safety plan in place.  There must also be at least a 5# fire extinguisher on premises, within easy access. There are many, many rules regarding foster care, but these are just a few & these are not the complete rules.

Once you decide on an agency to work with, you will be assigned a coordinator or case manager to walk you through the process.  It is a process and usually will take about 4-6 months to get licensed and sometimes it can take longer.

The Safe Home Study is also a part of the process, and which usually takes the longest.  The home study is a little mini book about you, your family, and your home.  All the paperwork you complete, information gathered through interviews and observations of the home study worker are all gathered or written into a home study about the family.  The home study has different aspects to it such as References, Interviews with each potential foster parent, interviews with the couple together (if applicable), as well as interviews with other people, including children, living in the home.  The home study is a summary of how the potential foster parents were raised, how they raised their own children, how they are currently raising their children (if app), along with motivation as to why the family wants to be licensed.  This is a very short summary of the home study process and does not include everything.

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs/child-welfare-0
This will take you directly to the CDHS website about Child Welfare. All foster children will be provided with Colorado Medicaid.

Adoption:
If you are only interested in adopting a young child, the best recommendation is to apply to be a Fos/Adopt Foster Parent.  Typically, children under the age of six (6) years old are placed in a Fos/Adopt home.  Children are removed due to being unsafe.  If the child can’t be safe with the birth parents, the Department will ask the family what other family members could help provide a safe home.  If there are no available options with relatives, and the child won’t be safe with birth parents, then the next option is to place in a Fos/Adopt home.  The Department will work with birth parents to provide a safe environment for the child, but if this is not possible the Department will ask the Fos/Adopt family if they are interested in adopting the child.  This keeps the child from hopefully moving again.

If a family is not interested in fostering and only interested in adoption, it is still best to become a certified Fos/Adopt family so that when the right child comes along, the family is already licensed.

Pueblo County DHS will very seldom recruit an adoptive family for a child under the age of 10 years old. The reason for this is because, generally speaking, if a child/youth doesn’t have an adoptive resource, then the Department doesn’t generally seek to terminate parental rights if a resource is not in place.

Pueblo County Adoption Unit will photo list available children on the Colorado Heart Gallery and Adopt US Kids websites.

https://www.coheartgallery.org/

https://www.adoptuskids.org/


Relative Guardianship Assistance Program is another permanency option.  See this website for 
details:

https://cdhs.colorado.gov/relative-guardianship-assistance-program

This program is supervised by:

Amanda Ledbetter
719-583-4716
[email protected]
 


Colorado Trails Check:
Colorado-based Child abuse & neglect checks can be accessed here: 
https://www.coloradoofficeofearlychildhood.com/OEC_Providers?p=Providers&s=Background-
Checks&lang=en