HEALTH CARE POLICY AND FINANCE (HCPF) SATISFACTION SURVEY - FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF DENVER

HEALTH CARE POLICY AND FINANCE (HCPF) SATISFACTION SURVEY - FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF DENVER
Thank you for your participation in this stakeholder survey. Your answers are highly valued. Feel free to copy and paste this information widely to others.
The results will be published once the survey closes. No taxpayer dollars were used. 
This is an independent survey, and was not requested by HCPF. 
Your answers are important and are confidential.

https://udenver.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_50BjRhmjWR7wQkZ

Rocky Mountain Human Services restricts access to Denver Taxpayer Money, counter to City Ordinance and Voter Initiative

By Maureen Welch, Volunteer Activist

  1. Millions of dollars are available and Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS) is choosing not to get it out to qualified, needy and most vulnerable Denver Residents.
  2. Is RMHS planning to use it for expanding their own organization with more employees? The last board meeting in July 2018 shared hiring dozens of therapists, rather than use independent providers in the community. 
  3. The new contract allocates a maximum amount to RMHS of $8.5 million for the remainder of 2018, bringing the total mill levy funding for 2018 to $16 million. It also allocates $14 million for 2019, and $15 million for 2020. per RMHS post here. 
  4. "The new contract allocates a maximum amount to RMHS of $8.5 million for the remainder of 2018, bringing the total mill levy funding for 2018 to $16 million. It also allocates $14 million for 2019, and $15 million for 2020." according to the RMHS July 5, 2018 website.
  5. Rocky Mountain Human Services has unilaterally changed the allowable uses of Denver Taxpayer money intended for "unmet needs of Denver Residents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. This newsletter went out on August 30 and the change was effective the next day, September 1.
  6. This change was not considered by the Community Advisory Council, which supposedly "advises" RMHS on mill levy programs and priorities.Suddenly with no notice, 
  7. Another sudden change, RMHS has also stopped accepting proposals from community partners who use Mill Levy Monies to offer in-demand programming to qualified participants (Denver City and County Proper Residents who also have Intellectual Developmental Disability). It might reopen to requests after January 2018, the website states here.  
  8. See the new RMHS changes to the Client Assistance Fund overview, sent out as a link in their August newsletter. The flyer with new restrictions is below and   here.
RMHSClientAssistance.jpg

Why? So many unanswered questions.

  1.  Where is the Denver Human Services contracted Needs assessment report Health Management Associates completed in July 2018 which cost $50,000. of  mill levy tax funds. It was supposed to be released to the public, and used transparently to improve the ordinance directive.
  2.  The need in the community is great yet RMHS is not getting the money out. And they are not being inclusive OR transparent. They never ran this past the very council at RMHS which advises on mill levy, the Community Advisory Council.
  3. In the July 2018, Executive Director report to the Board of Directors , it states 86 percent increase in services for Denver residents’ individual needs requests. This demonstrates a great need, and rather than restrict, there should be automation to make requests faster and easier. 
  4.  State Deeper dive coming soon: The Office of State Auditor plans to release their statewide audit of Community Centered Boards in late 2018, including RMHS. 
  5.  Denver Deeper dive: The Denver Auditor's Office will do a follow up audit from the 2015 audit scandal of RMHS, to check in on local mill levy funds in early 2018.
  6. Denver City and County  has these local property tax mill levy funds allocated and they need to be used, to directly meet unmet needs of individuals rather than remain allocated in a budget, but never distributed. 

The Colorado Civil Rights Division: How it works.
Remedies, both non monetary and monetary, are possible, often through mediation. No Cost, no Attorney Required! 

 By Maureen Welch, Volunteer Activist  


What is the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD)?

Source: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/civil-rights

The Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) is charged with enforcing Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws in the areas of employment (Colorado Revised Statutes § 24-34-402), housing (Colorado Revised Statutes §24-34-502), and public accommodations (Colorado Revised Statutes § 24-34-602). 


How Does a Person file a Charge of Discrimination (a compliant)?

  • The Civil Rights Division investigates claims involving discrimination based on a protected class in three categories: employment, housing and places of public accommodation.
  • It is a State Funded Division, and a neutral party.
  • CCRD encourages use of no-cost Voluntary Mediation with their staff, for initial attempt at Dispute Resolution. This gets parties to the table within 60 days. Details at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/civil-rights/mediation
  • The mediation is a free 4 hour half day session, within 60 days of the Charge filing date. This can often result in resolution, if not, after 7 days post mediation, the case moves into investigation with CCRD.
  • Voluntary 4 hour initial mediation may result in a monetary or non-monetary resolution that can benefit and reduce costs for all parties.
  • Online filing, no attorney needed. It is easy for lay people to access online.  After filing online, an intake person calls to write up the official Charge of Discrimination. https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/caseconnect-0.
  • All cases are reviewed by intake staff for consideration of Charge of Discrimination.
  • If you have in past sought help without success, you might be surprised at how the Division take all complaints quite seriously, efficiently with timelines. 
  • If you are an individual with a disability and require an accommodation in order to access CCRD's services, please call 303-894-2997 (local), 800-262-4845 (voice), 711 TTD - Relay, Hotline Español: 720-432-4294,  send an email to dora_CCRD@state.co.us, or request an accommodation in person at CCRD's office.
  • Filing a Charge of Discrimination in person at CCRD:  When:  Tuesdays (that are not State holidays), between 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (no appointment necessary - first come, first served basis ). Location: Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), 1560 Broadway, Lobby Level Welcome Center, Denver, Colorado.
    • If you have a disability and need an accommodation while visiting the office, please contact our office in advance so they can make appropriate arrangements for you.
    • If you require the assistance of a language interpreter for a language other than Spanish, please contact the office in advance, so an appropriate arrangement can be made.
    • Your may complete your Complaint Intake Packet by using CaseConnect  online,  prior to filing of a Charge of Discrimination in person.
  • Department of Regulatory Agencies
    1560 Broadway, Suite 110
    Denver, CO  80202. 
    Hours:  Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST
    Tel:  303-894-7855  or  1-800-886-7675 - Toll Free
  • There are three areas covered: Housing, Employment and Accommodations. 
  • The  Colorado Civil Rights Division does not  have jurisdiction over claims involving:
    • federal employees filing against a federal employer
    • police and sheriff misconduct
    • judicial or court matters
    • prisoners' rights
    • characteristics such as personal appearance, political affiliation, lack of education and training, short-term disabilities, and personality conflicts
    • labor relations issues, including wage and hour matters not based on a protected class, and workers' compensation

What do I need to file a Charge of Discrimination?

It is helpful to have

  1. a charge of discrimination in one of three covered areas: Employment, Housing or Public Accomodations
  2. a summary of the discrimination, timeline helpful.
  3. a  list of individuals involved, full names, titles and contact information.
  4. the charge can be made for an Organization, Company, or related group (Board of Directors, Community Centered Board, School District, State, County or local Agencies, and almost every system). Within that charge of discrimination you can list the individuals involved. Managers are responsible for actions of their staff.
  5. an understanding that this process is transparent, meaning documents are all uploaded and available to complainant and respondent.
  6.  witnesses in a charge of discrimination are also protected.  If they experience discrimination as retribution for being listed, that can be used in the charge.

Intake Specialists will assist with the charge:

  1. The clearer your summary and timeline, the easier for the intake specialist. 
  2. Be aware of timelines for types of charges, and remember last contact can be related to an earlier incident.
  3. The Division will take your case seriously and assist with understanding the process. It is very user friendly and can result in resolution quickly.

Critical Details from CCRD Website here:

The Civil Rights Division investigates claims involving discrimination based on a protected class in employment, housing and places of public accommodation.

Colorado law prohibits discrimination in the following areas based on these protected classes, complete an Intake Packet if you wish:

  • Employment
    • Race, Color, Disability, Sex, Pregnancy, Sexual Orientation (including Transgender Status), National Origin/ Ancestry, Religion, Creed, Age, Marriage to a Co-worker, Retaliation
    • Legally, a charge of discrimination in Employment must be filed within six months of an adverse action in employment discrimination claims.
  • Housing
    • Race, Color, Disability, Sex, Sexual Orientation (including Transgender Status), National Origin/ Ancestry, Religion, Creed, Marital Status, Familial Status (families with children under the age of 18 or a pregnant woman), Retaliation
    • For Housing claims, there is one year timeframe to file from the last date of discriminatory harm to file a complaint with CCRD.
  • Public Accommodations 
    • Race, Color, Disability, Sex, Sexual Orientation (including Transgender Status), National Origin/ Ancestry, Creed, Marital Status, Retaliation
    • Legally, a charge of discrimination must be filed within sixty days of an adverse action in public accommodations claims.

What Authority does CCRD have in Colorado Statute?

  • Civil Rights Division and Commission sits at DORA- Department of Regulatory Affairs
  • Statutes related to the Colorado Civil Rights Division and Commission sit in statute under Title 24, Article 34,
  • Links to  Colorado Statute searchable here . 
  • Simpliest is to just look at full Colorado Revised Statute and choose Title 24, they click on Principal departments to see Article 34.
  1. CRS 24-34-306 (2)(a) After the filing of a charge alleging a discriminatory or unfair practice as defined by parts 4 to 7 of this article, the director, with the assistance of the division's staff, shall make a prompt investigation of the charge. The director may subpoena witnesses and compel the testimony of witnesses and the production of books, papers, and records if the testimony, books, papers, and records sought are limited to matters directly related to the charge. Any subpoena issued pursuant to this paragraph (a) shall be enforceable in the district court for the district in which the alleged discriminatory or unfair practice occurred and shall be issued only if the person or entity to be subpoenaed has refused or failed, after a proper request from the director, to provide voluntarily to the director the information sought by the subpoena.
  2. CRS 24-34-601 (2)  (a) It is a discriminatory practice and unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a group, because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation or, directly or indirectly, to publish, circulate, issue, display, post, or mail any written, electronic, or printed communication, notice, or advertisement that indicates that the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from, or denied an individual or that an individual's patronage or presence at a place of public accommodation is unwelcome, objectionable, unacceptable, or undesirable because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry.
  3. CRS 24-34-601 2 (b) A claim brought pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) that is based on disability is covered by the provisions of section 24-34-802.
  4. CRS 24-34-601 (2.5). Discrimination in places of public accommodation.  It is a discriminatory practice and unlawful for any person to discriminate against any individual or group because such person or group has opposed any practice made a discriminatory practice by this part 6 or because such person or group has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing conducted pursuant to this part 6.

 

 

Money Grab for Rocky Mountain Human Services, $37.5M contract with NO RFP/competitive bidding process

 

Written by Maureen Welch, Volunteer Activist and parent

of case management client at RMHS

 

 Protected under the First Amendment, freedom of expression. 

It's time to transition to a competitive process to ensure quality, conflict free choice of services for Denver residents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Denver has a unique property tax (or "mill levy"), which has always gone to one organization for past fifteen years. Currently, an incredible  of $17.5M is projected for 2018 Denver IDD Mill Levy. It is better to look at trying something completely new, rather than repeat what has already been done with limited success and unspent funds the last two years.   

Denver Ordinance was updated in early 2017 to allow the City the flexibility to contract with any organization or company, interested in meeting the unmet needs of residents of Denver for this $17.5M a year. Yet RMHS continues to be the sole agency of Mill Levy funds. Many local agencies are very interested in serving the IDD. Currently they must go to RMHS to ask for funding and must agree to their oppressive requirements, including IDD contractors to surrender rights to all their intellectual property. This limits who might apply to have to get paid through RMHS. It also places control of multiple millions in a private non profit's leadership top officers, most likely creating a relationship of fear and control. 

Access to individual funding for unique requests ("client assistance funds")  is arbitrary, and unclear with case managers acting as gatekeepers, issuing  verbal denials rather than true processing of requests. This calls into question all the client assistance approval/denial rate data shared from RMHS to Denver in the Mill Levy Reports. It also leads to question of how much need is not going to be requested, as word on the street is the process is long, difficult, requiring a lot of time with multiple letters just to be told no. 

It is well past time to move Denver IDD Mill Levy into the 21st century and out of the centralized "mother-may-I", human services with FTE heavy monopoly at RMHS.  Currently there is no room for innovation when one agency and people at the very top of leadership calling all the shots. 

New opportunities might emerge with competition. There is an established company with local presence, interested in making a proposal of an automated payment processing system, with client empowered access for use of approved funds. Open an RFP process for innovative ideas, not currently those categories of services already available. 

It takes a lot of chutzpah for RMHS to ask for 88% of the total tax fund given all their history, past and present.  Without a competitive bid process, this a simple Money Grab which grants Rocky Mountain Human Services' (RMHS) huge power over services for a vulnerable population. 

Not only does RMHS have control to all the millions, and keep $8M a year for their own organization, now they have the gall to request a raise the allowable administrative/overhead from 15 to 18%? Unbelievable! 

1. It is prudent to make a shorter term contract, to examine several forthcoming audit reports on Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS) coming forth in next year. Also, Denver Human Services has a consultant working on a needs assessment due in July.

  • State: The 2015 Denver Auditor office report cited major deficiencies which triggered state legislation for increased transparency  and Office of State Auditor is wrapping up a state wide audit of all 20 CCBs, including RMHS, per SB16-038.  
  • Local: The Denver Auditor Office has RMHS scheduled for an audit team in first quarter of 2019.
  • In my late March 2018 newsletter, I shared that RMHS allowed funds from mill levy to be used inappropriately.  Both Denver Human Services (DHS) and RMHS failed to ensure recipients were both Denver residents with intellectual/Developmental Disability (IDD) status. 

2. RMHS Discriminatory Treatment: Several State Civil Rights Division complaints at Colorado Civil Rights Division have been filed against RMHS, more are coming, and at least one is cross filed at EEOC (Federal level). Many are too fearful to file these due to the centralized control of RMHS and the monopoly of controlling Mill Levy dollars. 

 

3. The word on the street is that RMHS likely has misused funds from the Denver Mill Levy.

  • Allowing one organization and its CEO/leadership team, far too much control over $17.5M a year in flexible funding might by many, be considered a very high risk move. It allows one organization, already with a monopoly of captured IDD clients with no local choice, to have unwieldy power over access to these funds by a vulnerable population, the IDD. 
  • I, Maureen Welch, had raised concerning findings at a board meeting in May, and CFO of RMHS, John Wetherington, stated that “Denver Human Services said it was ok" that some funds were not used for Denver or IDD. 
  • CEO at RMHS, Shari Repinski, stated that Denver Human Services auditor was constantly monitoring.
  • Approximately the same time, a DHS internal auditor assigned to this RMHS contract, Cynthia Hinojosa, went on leave and now “no longer works for DHS” (per Justin Sykes of DHS). Official details are not available, since it is a human resources issue, but the action raises eyebrows about who is protecting who and if there is the cover-up?

5. The Community Advisory Council (CAC) at RMHS is bogus. The City was lead to believe that this group would  have input into the use of mill levy funds when in fact, they only learn of expenditures/decisions after they are already made. Several members have expressed frustration and asked what their purpose was, if their areas of expertise were not consulted before RMHS made large commitments for these dollars.  

 

6. Open Denver Mill LevyFunding to a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

  • When the Council codified the Mill Levy for IDD into Ordinance, it created flexibility for City contracting with other with other organizations to meet the unmet needs of Denver residents with IDD.
  • The city is no longer limited to using just a CCB, RMHS as it was historically.
  • There will be multiple case management agencies in Denver in the near future per federal Final Rule. 
  • RMHS has proven they do not have efficient processes to get money “out the door”, demonstrated by the balance in the cash account of nearly $9M which went unspent in last two fiscal years.

7. Just say “NO"  to raising the allowable overhead from current 15% to 18%. Those are millions of dollars that potentially would go into a private non profit, rather then directly reach Denver's IDD residents.

  • RMHS already steers nearly half the mill levy to themselves, about $8M a year for their own services provided (case management, behavioral services, and coordination). 
  • The Denver Auditor’s Office expressed serious concerns about overhead cost containment; It was an area of focus in the 2015 Denver Auditor’s RMHS audit report.
  • RMHS appears to be a greedy, controlling and oppressive gatekeeper. As a pass through, they wield their power and control, making many individual client requests so lengthy and burdensome so many just give up.  
  • For community partners, RMHS takes high overhead to act as no more than a “pass through”; Mill levy Subcontracting Community Partners are forced to sign over  their intellectual property to RMHS and take on huge insurance policies.
  • Why not allow Community Partners to respond to RFPs for services directly rather than have a “mother-may-I” relationship to RMHS, costing 15%?

8. RMHS announced it will be awarded the CDHS “transition specialist” contract for nearly $5M a year to transition patients from the state’s two mental institutions Fort Logan and Pueblo into community living. They is a shiny new revenue source for them, in mental health services. Many in the medicaid community of providers have expressed surprise and wonder about how RMHS won this lucrative contract, since they don't have expertise in this arena. 

———-

Attend a community meeting Monday June 11th afternoon at 4:30 pm or at 5:30pm  to share YOUR opinions/experiences about Mill levy and Unmet need,  hosted by Health Management Associates (HMS) . HMA was hired by Denver Human Services for $50,000, to conduct and submit a needs assessment. 

Public meeting on DHS' needs assessment of services for residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

 

You may also join the discussion via phone at 1-877-668-4493 (access code 732 060 503#) or via Webex (http://bit.ly/2sB8lzx). In addition, the first presentation session of the meeting (4-5:30 p.m.) will be broadcast via Facebook Live from the Denver Human Services Facebook page.

 

Open to the public, providers, people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, and other stakeholders.

 

Monday, June 11, Two sessions, at 4pm and 5:30 pm

Laradon, 5100 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO 80216

 

Survey results from the City and County of Denver’s Assessment of Services for Denver residents with I/DD will be presented at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

 

Attendees will have the opportunity to react and provide additional feedback after each presentation.

 

 

 

Questions? Contact Robyn Odendahl, Health Management Associates, rodendahl@healthmanagement.com.

 

A sign language interpreter or open captioning via CART provided upon request by contacting SignLanguageServices@denvergov.org.

________

 

Both the 2.5 year $37.5M contract and raise of 3% for administrative overhead (from 15 to 18%). City Council Action Items are up at SAFEHOUSE Committee Wed 6/13/18 10:30am

*Briefing, Public comment and Action will be taken in Committee on June 13 at 10:30 am City and County Building 1437 Bannock St., Rm. 391 Denver, CO 80202.

*Comment limited to two to three minutes a person. Fine to bring written hand out.  To sign up to speak, early, before 10am if possible, sign up closes at 10:15.  There is a max of 15 minutes total of comment allowed, so get there early to make sure you are top of the speaker list.

*If you cannot come but want someone attending to read a written very short statement, that is acceptable. They also can submit written statement for you. And you can email the committee staff contact  Shelly Smith shelley.smith@denvergov.org or call Phone: 720-337-2000 and ask for her. 

18-0588 Bill approves a $37.5 million contract with Rocky

Mountain Human Services, over two and a half years. (Three segments are delineated in this contract, 1- initial five month contract for rest of 2018, a second optional extension for 2019 and Third optional extension for for 2020.)  According to staff, this contract allows for Denver Human Services to extend the contract under this bill for these two additional, one year terms.

18-0589 Ordinance Change: Amends Section 53-550 of the Denver Revised Municipal Code (DRMC) to authorize the use of dedicated mill levy revenue to provide services to children up to age five with developmental delays and people seeking a developmental disabilities or delays determination and to increase the allowable administrative and overhead percentage to 18%  (currently is 15%) of total expenses through 2020.

1. Here is link to committee meeting info https://denver.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=607830&GUID=8004BBF4-F22B-4C75-B9FE-DE08FD20F75D&Options=info&Search=

2. Link to contract request (18-0588) and June 13 Powerpoint for committee https://denver.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=3504798&GUID=CCD4F698-06F6-4ED1-BF70-EBDDCB0C3B95

3. Link to ordinance change request (18-0589 to raise admin/overhead to 18%  and includes updated draft language.

https://denver.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=3504799&GUID=FADA53C0-9CAF-4FAF-989D-ABCB0E8ED052&Options=&Search=

Secret Gestapo tactics of Adult Protective Services in Colorado Counties - callous disregard of Colorado rules, regs and legislative intent.

 By Maureen Welch, Volunteer Activist


All Content is my own, protected under the
First Amendment of the Constitution

     They simply do not want to believe it. I share real world experiences, from the community. For months, and for some boards, years,  I keep coming back.  No matter how unpleasant those "chosen" voting members make it, I return. Why? They are more committed to believing their version of "truth" than reality. My comments contradict their version of the truth, which is threatening.  

    Systems, like state government and their privatized sevice subcontractors- only want well behaved stakeholders who "know their place" and after voicing their concerns, they nod in agreement in group think and go away, to never return.

     When stakeholders present information which threatens or questions the systems, they are are treated disrespectfully, scolded for sharing new information, and their time is cut short when others are allowed to go on for twenty minutes. Regardless of this patronizing, dismissive and discriminatory treatment, I will keep showing up and speaking out. 

    Yes, we need adult protective services to protect the most vulnerable. Sadly there are many real cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation.  However there is a  need for guardrails to avoid unintended consequences. 


The content of my public comment threatens many, because I share reports from the community which trigger a defensive, emotional response because these challenge what they believe is the "truth". 

  • My testimony is direct, an untethered independent voice with clear "asks" to increase process, transparency, accountability and justice.

  • I work with many, many families to voluntarily guide them, free of charge, to get what they need and to which they are entitled. This activism covers many silos: school systems,  medicaid/waiver benefits, Social Security Administration, local mill levy funding and more recently, Adult Protective Services. Many comment that I am much more helpful than the paid people supposedly there to help. 

  • My facts are based on my interactions with individuals and their families who live with disabilities. People trust me with their most disturbing experiences.

  • It continues to amaze me that few impacted members of the public participate, but after being treated poorly, I am reminded that most would not subject themselves to these negative experiences.

  • Ultimately, it threatens the status quo and people in positions of power prefer to dismiss us as "a couple of advocates" rather than care enough to welcome, listen and respond.


May 2018 State Board of Human Services

1. On May 4th, 2018, during the board meeting, State Board Member Bernie Buescher, waged an attack and criticism of my Newsletter that compared Adult Protective Services operations as "Gestapo like". His feeling of being offended was more important to share than the violations of rights of the At Risk Adults that I highlighted.

2. During this same May State Board meeting, after Bernie's scolding my newsletter, per first amendment right to free speech, no one else at the table, neither the Board Chair David Ervin or CDHS Executive Director Reggie Bicha, a governor appointee, said anything to support a stakeholder in exercising their right to free expression. This makes the entire board culpable to discouraging a member of the public from sharing real experiences from the community.

3. Cognitive Dissonance is systemic at State Board of Human Services (CDHS). 


How does this injustice happen with Adult Protective Services (APS)?

  1. APS is an administrative program. They do not rise to criminal justice standards of "beyond a reasonable doubt". Yet judges overwhelmingly defer to their recommendations regarding guardianships based on questionable "investigations".

  2. Be aware that per Colorado Rules and Regulations, APS can  investigate anyone, without them being aware because notifications are only made after a substantiation.

  3. APS often tries to pulls in everyone for interviews, from other family members, providers, neighbors, friends and case managers. This can even be distant people, remember that they are looking for anything that can be twisted or interpreted to validate their position. 

  4. All this information gathered by County APS is required to be recorded in a data base called the CAPS system (for Colorado Adult Protective Services). They have a similar data base for Child Welfare called TRAILS.

  5. The information in the data base can remain, in perpetuity, without anyone's knowledge.

  6. Local Counties run the APS operations, with State supervision. APS training of investigators is minimal. The APS "investigators" are trained with an online Pre Academy (PAW) workbook, which is based in elder research. Then they eventually attend a 5 day training  "Academy" (sounds like pseudo- law enforcement) hosted by the State APS staff (to be expanded to 7 days), and then receive laterally by coworkers in on the job training. The state declined to provide much detail as to the content of this APS "Academy" besides a short basic outline.

  7. These local APS investigators are making recommendations on their judgement of cognition and competency (which is actually a separate legal process in a court proceeding) without appropriate credentials.

  8. APS investigators are also conducting "interviews" of complex individuals with IDD. They are not trained in the complexities of such forensic interviewing, usually done by a licensed psychologist with special endorsements. They fail to offer ADA accommodations and denied individuals the right to counsel,  stating those with IDD do not have capacity to select legal representation. APS interview operations are wholly inappropriate for this IDD population. One local psychologist shared that he now is treating patients with IDD  for the trauma from these APS interrogations.

  9.  Once all this information from questionable interviews are entered in the CAPS data syste,, they can and will use this past information to assist with fabricating their false narrative.

  10. Then APS waits, ready to pounce when they see an opportunity. Common situations include: treatment in an Emergency room for routine interventions, a hospital admission, a  filing for voluntary guardianship by a family member or a short term voluntary respite stay.  they seen an entry point. They file for emergency guardianship and the judges seem to believe them and rarely consider or engage the person with IDD or their families in courtrooms. If one doesn't have funds for an attorney to fight for their loved one, they are at a huge disadvantage.

  11. After July 1, 2018 there will be a registry of substantiated "perpetrators". Family caregivers/members and seventeen year olds are not excluded. Employers can submit names for cross check with this Registry to check an applicant. 

  12. Clearly there are many abuse, neglect and exploitation cases which are quite real and valid, worthy of substantiation. However I am hearing more and more cases where APS had pulled adults from their own family home, to have County APS get guardianship awarded by a judge, based on mistruths.

  13. Then County APS as guardian becomes their captors, dictating in which host home they reside, change their service plans/day programs, restrict or forbid contact with others, and monitor phone and visitor conversations. The person with IDD  loses all their rights, their dignity and their right to privacy.

  14. From cases shared with me, APS appears to targets those struggling with cost of living, often single parents, and those they know will be unable to hire legal representation. 

  15. Emergency Guardianship is supposed to be life-threatening situations, but County APS is being granted this for much less. 

  16. Guardianship by statute is only supposed to be over placement (where they live) and medical per statute. 

  17. Yet APS is taking over all aspects of their "ward's" life: including restricting visitation, concocting charges against family members to keep them away from their family member with Intellectual Disabilities and not informing family members where their loved one even lives!

  18. Wards in guardianships DO HAVE RIGHTS. By statute they have a right to have their preferences considered regarding who is their Guardian and who is their lawyer.

  19. Yet many judges fail to listen to ward or their family at all. They all default to the local APS staff and county attorney. This is so wrong and unjust. 


Advice about APS:

  1. Information is power. Protect it. Tell those close to you to be wise and to share as little as necessary. Assume there is no privacy. Know that what you tell one person in a system will likely get to another, breaking confidentiality.  (IE some Providers, CCB to APS to HCPF to CDHS to Judicial Branch).

  2. It does not help cases to cooperate with APS once they have set their machine into motion. 

  3. Never sign anything. Tell your loved one with IDD and people close to him/her, to never sign anything. Also practice saying "I do not to talk to anyone alone, and I want a lawyer." 

  4. The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) applies for accommodations during APS proceedings. Ask for the accommodations needed due to disability status. 

  5. It does help to refuse to talk to APS until your lawyer is present. Yes, even if you have done nothing wrong.

  6. The person with IDD has rights even if there is a guardian, including legal counsel and input to their guardian appointment. Cases stopped in tracks were those who got an attorney for the person with IDD before any interview occurred, and was told he was to be contacted for anything related to his client. 

  7. Lawyer up. Don't talk. Information can be twisted and can be used against you.

  8. Contact me. I have an intake form to help you organize your case, create a timeline. I also have list of attorneys and also can help you with free options.

  9. A free option is a Colorado Civil Rights Division complaint, free and forces the parties to a table in mediation. The Division can subpoena documents (note APS  information limited to court orders for access), individuals and make award "adjudicatory powers". This is done fast, over the phone and computer. Mediation is free, gets both parties to the table within weeks and their staff is most helpful.  https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/civil-rights

 

State Board of CO Human Services Member publicly admonishes free speech of mother of a child with Down Syndrome


Written content by Maureen Welch, volunteer
Video content by David Owen, family advocate

"This is not about me personally, it is about holding government accountable. I will continue to do so, regardless of how I am treated. This is what Democracy looks like." -Maureen Welch, volunteer activist.

During the public State Board of Human Services (CDHS) on May 4, 2018, State board member Bernie Buescher, attorney, former State Representative, former governor appointed secretary of state and medicaid agency director,  rebuked volunteer stakeholder Maureen Welch for her last email newsletter.  Mr. Buescher stated that her emails "challenge the integrity of state employees and county employees". He continued stating this "makes it harder for me to listen to you. I was angry after reading your last email." 

The First Amendment protects Freedom of Speech and the Press. It is clear that the Board is not happy with Ms. Welch's role in calling out department shortcomings as a citizen whistle blower. Just moments prior to Mr. Buescher's lambasting, she shared recent changes by the department which brought CDHS into compliance with the Colorado Open Meetings Act. These changes only occurred after she attended and made public comment for several months at Department of Human Services Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) and Sub PAC bodies. The transparency of these advisory bodies are critical, as they review draft rules, which then go to State Board for a vote (more info on PAC and Sub PAC click here). Department rules are the "how" to implementing legislative changes to the statute, which are the "what".

At Colorado Human Services' PAC and Sub PAC meetings over last months, the department of Human Services staff insisted they were not subject to the Colorado Open Meetings Act, and they were "following the law". After repeated comments to the contrary by Ms. Welch, the department asked the Assistant Attorney General for legal interpretation. The AAG's review determined that these advisory bodies are indeed subject to Colorado's Open Meeting law. So now the information is available online. The PAC on May 3, even added the Open Meetings clause for the first time to their new bylaws draft. Now there are pages online with the meeting documents, agendas, minutes for public to access.

This experience results in a perception, that that the State board is more vested in defending the "mistakes" by state/county workers, and maintaining the department practices, than listening to critical stakeholder experiences. It is no wonder that the public hesitates to participate in the stakeholder process when the Board castigates public comment by stakeholder in the disability community in a scathing manner.

The State Board has so far voted the APS rule drafts in, even after valid concerns are made by stakeholders who stepped forward. These concerns regarding APS Rule packets for for APS Registry/Background Check rules stemming from HB17-1284.
a.) overreach of statute (no severity levels or mention of substantiating minors ages 10-17)
b.) employer concerns regarding the $35 cost maximum and 10 day wait possible for registry check,
c.) allowing minors from 10-17 to be substantiated and put on the registry of perpetrators
d.) the inclusion of social security number in rule packet 3 as an indentifier
e.) questions around quality and training of APS investigators, such as the PAW training  listing Emergency room visits as an indicator of abuse/neglect
f.) concerns around the security of all the data in the CAPS data system, which remains even if no substantiation occurs.
g.) lack of consistency in application across counties


Video 1- May 4, 2018Public Comment- CDHS process at PAC and Sub PAC was not compliant with State Statute (law). Maureen Welch talks about Process and Trust. 


Video 2- May 4, 2018- just over one minute, State Board CDHS meeting. 

After Ms Welch shared the recent changes made by the Department to come into compliance, Mr. Buescher shares his "anger" with Ms. Welch while defends the "mistakes" of State and County Employees. State Board members are appointed by the Governor

Here is Mr. Buescher's comment to Ms. Welch:
"I have to make a comment. I appreciate your passion, and your “stick-to-it ness”, on many issues I agree with you. At the same time, your language sometimes does not help build trust, your most recent email that uses the phrase “Gestapo tactics” offended me and makes it harder for me to listen to you. I was angry after reading you last email.

When you send out emails that challenge the integrity of state employees and county employees who I believe sometimes make mistakes but who they are good people trying to do their best. I ask you to be thoughtful about the rhetoric you use because I don’t think sometimes that it helps your cause. "

Videos highlight major issues in Co Dept of inHumane Services Adult Protective Services Rule Packet 3!

Content By Maureen Welch, Volunteer

Videography by David Owen

Rule packet 3 for the May 4 State Board approval vote, is https://bit.ly/2rgiuzM This is last of recent rule packets from HB17-1284 to create a registry of substantiated persons of Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation of at-risk adults, including the intellectual/developmentally disabled.

4 top issues in this packet which need to be severed out before a State Board of Human Services vote are:

1. Minors as young as 10 years old could be investigated as substantiated perpetrators! The investigation information will be in system forever (even if it is not substantiated, it remains) and they could be added to the Registry of substantiated persons ("perpetrators") for abuse, neglect, exploitation and self-neglect.  This is absurd. Including minors ages 10-17 were not directive of statute per HB17-1284 and should be severed out prior to State Board approval.

2. Severity Levels- This rule packet has severity levels for substantiated persons. This is to allow "negotiation" by persons. Severity levels are not a directive in statute per HB17-1284 and should be severed out prior to State Board approval. 

3. $35 Cost and wait time of the APS background check The registry check can cost up to $35 and take up to 10 days to hear back. This is a barrier for providers to hire with rate structure and competitive job market. The amount ceiling should be lowered prior to State Board approval. 

4. The Department plans to only have the employer registration open for only one month prior to launch date of December 1, 2019. The disaster launch of HPE/DXC new medicaid payment system comes to mind with "systems crashing" and staff out for holidays. The department must have a reasonable plan to registering employers who will use the CAPS check or it will crash and will harm services for at risk adults.


Video 1 https://bit.ly/2retPQZ 

March 28, 2018 Stakeholder Meeting- State APS confirms that under proposed rule packet 3, (up for board vote 5/4/18) minors age 11-17 can be placed on the substantiated “perpetrator” registry (blacklist), even if they have intellectual or developmental disabilities themselves! Shocking!


Video 2 https://bit.ly/2Fz8hDO 

April 4 &5, 2018- Peg Rogers from State Adult Protective Services at Colorado Department of inHumane Services seems to have some memory issues around her own comments. Confidentiality is critical and yet they are seeing "a lot of violations"? And Peg seems to feel it is ok to wait to a quarterly meeting to address this BREACH of public trust?


Video 3 https://bit.ly/2jlpRCD 

March 28, 2018 Jim Tatten, J.D., raises issue the point that these rules go beyond statute. Mindy Kemp, CDHS APS,  diverts to an Assistant Attorney General opinion. "Further defining statute" is not the the role of a rule making body; it crosses the line to making law. 


Video 4https://bit.ly/2I1afSX

March 28, 2018- What happens if the CAPS system Crashes? An employer stakeholder expresses her concerns that January 1, 2019 launch date might be a huge crash. This raises the memories of HPE/DXC payment debacle with Medicaid payment. 

 Peg Rogers believes one month in December is sufficient for employers to log in, register and be verified prior to a January 1, 2019 live date. This seems naive, especially with holiday time of year, a brand new background check requirement that is not well known . One month when much of regular staff is on holiday,  is not sufficient. This can and will harm at risk adults if hiring is impacted due to lack of planning by CDHS APS staff.


Participate- Multiple options. Anyone can still give input!

Colorado Department of inHumane Services (CDHS) has their State board meeting

Friday May 4, 2018 State Board CDHS

Location: Colorado Department of Human Services, 1575 Sherman Street, 8th Floor, Denver, CO 80203
1. Come in person
2. Remote options to listen in webinar or phone
3. Phone Comment possible with at least 24 hours comment.  
4. Email comment anytime, to Board staff  beth.kline@state.co.us 

8:30 AM Work Session (No public Comment)

  • Competency and Restorations, Robert Werthwein
  • An Economic Analysis of Early Care in Education in Colorado, Meg Franko 

10:00 AM Rulemaking Session

  1. Attendance
  2. Call to Order
  3. Open Comments Period for items not on Agenda
  4. Board Business
  5. Rule Making Session- Comment period precedes each item on agenda.
    1. Document 1: Adult Protective Services Program Revisions (12 CCR 2518-1) 17-06-26-03
    2. Document 2: Medication Consistency in Designated Facilities (2 CCR 502-1) 17-12-20-01
    3. Document 3: Updates to Broad Based Categorical Eligibility (10 CCR 2506-1) 18-02-07-02
    4. Document 4: Big Rule Updates (10 CCR 2506-1) 18-02-07-03
    5. Document 5: Aid to the Needy Disabled State Only and Home Care Allowance Grant Increase (9 CCR 2503-5) 17-11-28-01
  6. Other Business
  7. Departmental Update

Note: Agendas may be modified at the discretion of the Board.

ShowRule Making Session Agendas & Minutes

Live Meeting Broadcasts

CDHS broadcasts all State Board meetings. Click to join the live GoToMeeting broadcast. 

Or call 866-899-4679 to listen by phone. Access Code: 758-645-967

Please be advised that the time and place for scheduled meetings is subject to change and the broadcasts will only occur when meetings are in session. A "waiting for organizer" message may appear if access to the service is attempted prior to launching of the broadcast.

Remote Testimony

The State Board meetings are broadcasted by webinar. Members of the public should call in to the listen-only line. Please note the line is unmuted during public testimony so that registered individuals may speak. 

If you wish to testify remotely, you will need to register with the State Board Administrator by 10:00 A.M. on the previous business day. Email beth.kline@state.co.us with the following information:

1. Your name. Use the same name when logging in to testify.

2. Name of group or organization you represent.

3. Agenda item (public comment or rule number).

4. Mailing address.

5. Whether you support or oppose the rule.

6. Written summary as backup is encouraged.

APS VIDEO Edition, & Millions of Colorado Targeted Case Management mis-billed.

By Maureen Welch, Volunteer Activist, self funded newsletter, past editions are archived at www.changecoidd.com

Hot Off Press: Feds find millions $ of issues with Colorado Medicaid: 

1. Managed Care has poor safeguards, state's $10B annual program.

"Colorado officials vowed to improve oversight of the managed-care portion of the state’s $10 billion Medicaid program after a federal audit found poor safeguards against waste, fraud and abuse."

https://www.denverpost.com/2018/04/07/colorado-medicaid-audit-fraud-abuse/ 

2Colorado Claimed Millions in  Unallowable Medicaid Payments for Targeted Case Management Services

"The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (State agency) claimed Federal Medicaid reimbursement for some Targeted Case Management (TCM) services that did not comply with Federal and State requirements for fiscal years (FYs) 2014 and 2015."

"We recommended that the State agency refund approximately $2.2 million to the Federal Government for unallowable TCM claims". 


Colorado Department of inHumane Services- Adult Protective Services Registry, a plethora of concern and civil right violations

VIDEO EDITION

By Maureen Welch, Volunteer Activist, self funded newsletter, archived at www.changecoidd.com

Many many thanks to videographer extraordinaire, David Owen. Davideowen01@gmail.com , https://deowenandassociates.com 

     House Bill 17-1284 created a registry for Adult Protective Services. The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) has authority to "propulgate" (write) rules to implement the bill. This process involves several stops at various committees. And after stakeholder concern, they held three evening sessions at CDHS. 

    We have some video short highlights below, from the many hours of meetings. Get out the popcorn! 

     Also more are on the youtube channel, "APS Debacle" . Bookmark it, subscribe, and  look under playlists for video queue, organized by date. 

    May 4 meeting details- rule packet 3 to be introduced, with a Board vote at the June meeting. 


1:32 clip- Memory issues? This video says it all. Peggy Rogers, Manager of Adult Protective Services at Colorado Department of Human Services, admitted on tape April 5, 2018 there are "MULTIPLE VIOLATIONS" of confidentiality in their units and would "ADDRESS AT NEXT QUARTERLY MEETING". Yet the following day, she shakes her head no!


2 minute clip- Emergency room visits are "red flags" that are listed as reason to investigate someone, and is "watched for" by APS.  Yet many are sent to Emergency rooms by their regular doctors with standing orders for chronic conditions. It is inappropriate to train APS employees that visits are reasons to investigate. Doctors are mandatory reporters and already report suspicions to authorities.


2:59 Clip- Preponderance of Evidence is a low threshold, former State Senator Rob Hernandez during his public comment, is abruptly interrupted, out of order, by Assistant Attorney General Ted McCombs without the Chair's acknowledgement.


Jim Tatten, who lives with a Brain Injury, also testified on 4/6/18. Strong 2 minute commentary on issues at State Capitol with "Preponderance of Evidence":

 Concerns regarding allegations My concerns results from the discussions on floor of senate earlier this week, and some allegations. I don’t want this board to use these rules to fall into a legal, PR hole that the legislature has fallen into…. 

I saw a public stoning of the floor of the State senate I heard stories from an individual and his family being harmed… 

We have a shared goal, to protect… what I don’t want is for a system to be in place that falls apart as the process is moving forward, like we saw in the House and Senate.”

Colorado Department of inHumane Services and APS Debacle Continues- Rule Making

Written by Maureen Welch, Volunteer Activist

Video credit to David Owen, Family Advocate, Camera man extraordinaire! 

Child Welfare rules state that the "age of culpability" is 11 years of age. 

In proposed rule packet 3, scheduled for State Board on May 4, minors from ages 11-17 could be substantiated with abuse, neglect, exploitation and self neglect charges.

  • Here is a link to a video clip from March 28, 2018 Stakeholder meeting confirmation HERE.
  • APS violates all civil rights of children, declaring them "substantiated" without access to legal counsel. 
  • APS violates the Sixth Amendment in the process.
  • The APS administrative investigation is secretive, these situations would likely also alert Child Protective Services action.
  • Children are children. Let them be that. They learn as they grow. They should not be on a blacklist as minors!  Let them eat donuts!
  • It is concerning especially as peer on peer issues are common, and adolescents and especially the intellectually and developmentally disabled should not have an adult label placed administratively. 
  • A charge of self-neglect between 11-17 years of age seems preposterous.

There is a pattern of CDHS exceeding the statutory language in promulgating rules and stepping out of bounds to write law.

  • The two areas of biggest concern are the severity levels in rule packet 2 (up for State Board vote on April 6)  and the age 11 as "age of culpability" in rule packet 3 (presented to State Board on May 4)  .

  • Neither take direction from HC17-1284 but rather they are replicating Child Welfare rules.   

  • This is not the intent of the legislature.

  • These clips are from the March 28, 2018 meeting. This short video clip with independent advocate Jim Tatten, who happens to have a law degree, is about the fact that the Department is not a law making body and exceeding statute is wrong. HERE


Family Caregivers and small PASAs can be investigated and put on the Registry as Substantiated "perpetrators" and never see the accusations or investigation information (per the rules, one needs a court order to get access).
Also APS can apply for guardianship and change the person's placement, and service plans. 

Believe it, it is happening now. 
 

  •  Your Best protection is to LAWYER UP Remember even if you know you have done nothing wrong.
  • It is best to refuse to talk to APS without your counsel present.
  • This can stop the harassment. 
  • Also consider a Colorado civil rights complaint, fast, free, no attorney needed and done online/over phone HERE !
  • Read www.changecoidd.com past newsletter about Colorado Civil Rights Commission under the News Tab.

State Board for Human Service Meeting on Friday April 6, 2018
Colorado Department of Human Services, 1575 Sherman Street, 8th Floor, Denver, CO 80203.


8am State APS 101 Presentation to Board
10am Regular Work Meeting,

General open Public comment at start of meeting at 10 in person or over phone (must give notice for this accommodation).
You can also submit written comment to beth.kline@state.co.us .
Later, during agenda,  public comment is limited to Rule Packet 2 feedback.

State Board Website link here 
Link to documents here
Live Meeting Broadcasts

CDHS broadcasts all State Board meetings. Click to join the live GoToMeeting broadcast. 

Or call 866-899-4679 to listen by phone. Access Code: 758-645-967

Please be advised that the time and place for scheduled meetings is subject to change and the broadcasts will only occur when meetings are in session. A "waiting for organizer" message may appear if access to the service is attempted prior to launching of the broadcast. If you receive this message, wait a few minutes and try again. Potential unforeseen technical difficulties may affect availability of the broadcast. After clicking the meeting link, you may be prompted to install the GoToMeetings application. Follow the onscreen instructions, and the meeting will launch once the application has installed. 

If during the broadcast you lose the connection, click the broadcast link again to rejoin the meeting.

If you have any suggestions or comments, please e-mail our technical support team.Live Meeting Broadcasts CDHS broadcasts all State Board meetings. Click to join the live GoToMeeting broadcast. Please be advised that the time and place for scheduled meetings is subject to change and the broadcasts will only occur when meetings are in session. A "waiting for organizer" message may appear if access to the service is attempted prior to launching of the broadcast. If you receive this message, wait a few minutes and try again. Potential unforeseen technical difficulties may affect availability of the broadcast. After clicking the meeting link, you may be prompted to install the GoToMeetings application. Follow the onscreen instructions, and the meeting will launch once the application has installed. If during the broadcast you lose the connection, click the broadcast link again to rejoin the meeting. If you have any suggestions or comments, please e-mail our technical support team.

Remote Testimony
The State Board meetings are broadcasted by webinar. Members of the public should call in to the listen-only line. Please note the line is unmuted during public testimony so that registered individuals may speak. 
If you wish to testify remotely, you will need to register with the State Board Administrator by 10:00 A.M. on the previous business day. Email beth.kline@state.co.us with the following information:
1. Your name. Use the same name when logging in to testify.
2. Name of group or organization you represent.
3. Agenda item (public comment or rule number).
4. Mailing address.
5. Whether you support or oppose the rule.
6. Written summary as backup is encouraged.


You may be under investigation by Adult Protective Services and not even know it!

That is because the rules don't require notification until the end, at point of substantiation. Then to appeal it can take up to 18 months to do an administrative appeal OR one can take APS to court where there is assured due process. The CAPS registry has a low bar for "preponderance" of evidence. Also only APS can actually see the files for, for anyone including persons involved with the investigation, CAN ONLY see their files with a Court Order, which requires a judge.

Chronic health conditions which require Emergency Room visits can also trigger APS involvement, including investigations PASAs.  A short video clip with former Senator Rob Hernandez on this topic from 3.28.18 is HERE 


Do you run a PASA? Do you remember the HPE/DXC medicaid revalidation debacle? Many PASAs are still struggling with that and now THIS with CDHS?

 The Colorado Department of  Human Services will have 30 days period before start date (in December of course) for employers to register for the required background checks in Adult Protective Services CAPS system. Then on January 1, 2019 employers will pay up to $35 per employee (this could go even higher if lots of appeals happen) for employment registry check and wait up to 10 days for the manual check. 

This is the administrative process of substantiating not criminal. Due process with "preponderance of evidence" is severely lacking under CDHS Administrative process. Law enforcement is separate with a much higher criminal "beyond reasonable doubt" measure.


RMHS again doing what they please with Denver Taxpayer Million ($17.5M for 2018) Time for Denver to have Direct oversight of these public dollars

Deja Vous? Rocky Mountain Human Service admits misuse of Denver Taxpayer money. Repeat of 2015?

By Maureen Welch, Volunteer Activist

• On March 21, I made public comment to the RMHS Board meeting. I shared my Denver City Council testimony from  Monday March 19 regarding the  oppressive RMHS subcontractor agreement for Mill Levy Monies which included forced assignment of all intellectual property to RMHS as well as changes in insurance requirements and grievance procedure.

• These contracts were sent out late, and essentially coerced small providers into agreeing, or they would not be paid for services already rendered. This new contract is discriminatory against independent providers of disability services. RMHS now has these agreements signed "under duress" and now can steal all the hard work of these companies. RMHS could essentially run the same programs under their names legally. 

• I then asked the Board about use of monies, and how they ensure that funds are only used for Denver residents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

• CEO Shari Repinski grew hostile, and kept repeating that they have ongoing audits from City and County of Denver, Department of Human Services.

• CFO John Wetherington grew more angry at the questions during the Public Board of Directors' meeting. He stated that they are indeed using local tax payer money without verifying Denver residency or Disability status.

• Mr. Wetherington became quite agitated and defensive after a public comment and inquiry about use of Mill Levy Monies.

• He shared that Denver Human Services (DDHS) said it was acceptable to use funds this way.

• The member of the public mentioned that this in fact violates their agreement with DDHS and the Denver Ordinance. 

• The voters who passed this Property Tax (“mill levy”) in a ballot initiative knowing it would be specifically for Denver residents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

• Mr. Wetherington make his heated response in front of his entire board, public attendees, Mill Levy Program Manager from DDHS, Justin Sykes, and RMHS's corporate Attorney, Richard Westfall. 

• After the CFO’s comment, I mentioned aloud that Denver City Council would be very interested to hear that they are not respecting the ordinance.  

• I was quite shocked that no one in the entire meeting advised RMHS against admitting such actions. The Denver Human Services Mill levy Manager said nothing. 

• RMHS Corporate attorney said nothing during the meeting to his client.

• After the meeting, I introduced myself to Richard Westfall, and asked for  his role on Board. He was outright hostile with me, "I have been Corporate Counsel for RMHS, Hale-Westfall, for many years". I asked if he wrote the Subcontractor agreement. He replied dismissively with , "Ask Shari", and he pushed past me, practically bumping my shoulder. 


So many questions

• What is the point of paying a high-cost corporate attorney to attend Board meetings if he fails to advise them? Perhaps this is an expense RMHS could consider slashing to give more to the clients on the waitlist for services? Just a thought.

• What is the point of having a full time Denver DHS program manager (Justin Sykes) and a full time DHS  Senior Internal Auditor (Cynthia Hinojosa), both dedicated to this IDD Mill levy? Who at DHS advised RMHS that they could violate the ordinance? 

• The Denver City Council should have direct oversight over this $17.5M a year for IDD services.  The updated ordinance does not require the City to contract with RMHS. 

• Rocky Mountain Human past and current actions make one question whether they are trustworthy stewards of these public taxpayer funds for the most vulnerable in Denver.   

• RMHS is working with Denver Human Service on a new contract starting July 1, 2018. Please contact the committee members who are over this mill levy ASAP and share your concerns about the dangers of rewarding an private non-profit with unchecked control of $17.5M a year. RMHS is not who they present to be, look at their actions.

• Contact the City Council Committee members of Safety, Housing, Education, & Homelessness with your thoughts.
Copy and paste emails below: 

paul.kashmann@denvergov.org, kniechatlarge@denvergov.orgpaul.lopez@denvergov.orgstacie.gilmore@denvergov.org, districtone@denvergov.org, ortegaatlarge@denvergov.org

Colorado Civil Rights Division By Maureen Welch, Volunteer Activist

1. Have you or a loved one ever been treated wrongly and felt that the treatment was discriminatory?

2. But did you "let it go" because of barriers like time, money for attorney, or fear of retaliation?

3. Did you know there is a place for YOU to get an impartial investigation without an attorney, and with transparency so persons can see the documents which are uploaded.

4. The  types of settings can be interpreted broadly. It can be for private or government services. (Think hostile work environment- can include family being paid to care for loved ones, Community Centered Boards, Division of Vocational Rehab, School Districts,  , Employment discrimination, Housing discrimination, Public amenities failing to provide accommodations. Examples might include: recreation centers/ public programs /schools /libraries /museum /parks, and reasonable accommodation provisions to participate- example person/nurse attending camp as a support at a public recreation center or public facility).

5. It may covers retaliation (for engaging in a civil rights-protected activity).

6. This is a little known but effective, transparent and time-sensitive process for Coloradans who deserve equal treatment. It can be very effective. 

7. This can cover discriminatory experiences while advocating for one's services/rights, being treated in a hostile and discriminatory manner, and when seeking employment, public accommodations or housing. 

8. You can call the Division, they have Tuesday morning sessions by appointment or drop in for assistance. It is very user friendly. 303-894-2997. They are at 1560 Broadway, Suite 825
Denver, CO 80202.

9. Don't delay, fill out form or call for an appointment!

Yes, the Division does have adjudicatory power.  

• The result of the adjudication process is a legally-binding judgment; the stipulations and demands of the judgment are legally upheld by a local or federal governing body. 

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/civil-rights

• This division has been in the news lately as a possible "sunset", or closure, due to their involvement in the Masterpiece Cake Case, which was appealed to the Supreme Court. Now is the time to file, and get cases in the pipeline. They are still active and accepting cases, until the legislature figures it out. There is a bill at the Capitol for continuing their funding here.  If the Division is important to you, let your Colorado State Senator and Representative know! Here is link to find their contact info here

• There is a legal requirement that a charge must be filed within a specific period of time (statute of limitations) from the date of notice of the last discriminatory act. After the statute of limitations has passed the Colorado Civil Rights Division does not have jurisdiction.

Colorado timelines

• Employment filing deadline: six (6) months

• Housing filing deadline: one (1) year

• Public Accommodations filing deadline: sixty (60) days

Federal timelines for EEOC are longer, an an option as well here.


How does it work?
(source for below is the 2015-16 CCRD annual report here

1. File complaint online, free. Call if you have questions call the Division at 303-894-2997. They have Tuesday morning walk in or by appointment support as well, call to check in advance. Colorado Civil Rights Division 1560 Broadway, Suite 825 Denver, CO 80202.

2. It is ok to not be completely sure of all details, the Division will help once it is filed. The process is transparent, all persons involved can view uploaded documents for easy response and resolution.

3. After a complaint is filed, an investigation is launched. The investigation involves the collection of documentary evidence, witness interviews, and any other evidence relevant to resolving the charge.

4. Once the investigation is completed, the Division Director issues a decision as to whether sufficient evidence exists to support the allegations of discrimination.

5. If the decision is that no discrimination occurred, a Complainant may appeal the decision to the Commission.

6.  If the Division finds that discrimination occurred, the statute requires that the Division attempt to settle the matter through a mandatory mediation. If mediation is unsuccessful, the Commission determines whether to set the case for an adjudicatory administrative hearing.

7. In order to resolve matters at the earliest possible stage in a case, the Division offers an Alternative Dispute Resolution (mediation) program early in an investigation, which can identify viable options for the early constructive resolution of cases.


The Civil Rights Division investigates claims involving discrimination based on a protected class in employment, housing and places of public accommodation. (Source https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/civil-rights ) 

Colorado law prohibits discrimination in the following areas based on these protected classes:

Employment

◦ Race, Color, Disability, Sex, Pregnancy, Sexual Orientation (including Transgender Status), National Origin/ Ancestry, Religion, Creed, Age, Marriage to a Co-worker, Retaliation

Housing

◦ Race, Color, Disability, Sex, Sexual Orientation (including Transgender Status), National Origin/ Ancestry, Religion, Creed, Marital Status, Familial Status (families with children under the age of 18 or a pregnant woman), Retaliation

Public Accommodations

◦ Race, Color, Disability, Sex, Sexual Orientation (including Transgender Status), National Origin/ Ancestry, Creed, Marital Status, Retaliation


From the State Website: The Civil Rights Division investigates claims involving discrimination based on a protected class in employment, housing and places of public accommodation.

Colorado law prohibits discrimination in the following areas based on these protected classes, complete an Intake Packet if you wish

Enforcement

The Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) is charged with enforcing Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws in the areas of employment (Colorado Revised Statutes § 24-34-402), housing (Colorado Revised Statutes §24-34-502), and public accommodations (Colorado Revised Statutes § 24-34-602).  We promote awareness of civil rights laws through training and education to groups and individuals across the state.  We work in cooperation with federal and local agencies, such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development/Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (HUD/FHEO), as well as community-based organizations that promote and protect civil rights.  CCRD maintains formal cooperative agreements with EEOC and HUD/FHEO to avoid duplication of efforts on those cases where joint jurisdiction (state and federal) exits.

Our staff assists aggrieved parties who want to file a formal complaint of discrimination with CCRD by drafting their allegations into a legal charge.  The charge is served on the Respondent and the investigative process is initiated.  The Respondent will be asked to provide a written response to the allegations.  Once the reply is received, a copy of the position statement is provided to the Charging Party, who is given an opportunity to provide a rebuttal statement. 

Colorado CIvil Rights Complaint Link:
https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/caseconnect-0 

Info about process in PDF:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2RqMM3zUzjtYWwyclVtTUlHbnc/view

 


The Civil Rights Division has a Commission, which holds public meetings. They do have executive session regularly, due to confidentiality, but much of the meeting is open. 

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission is a seven-member, bipartisan board whose mission is to:

• Conduct hearings regarding illegal discriminatory practices

• Advise the Governor and General Assembly regarding policies and legislation that address illegal discrimination

• Review appeals of cases investigated and dismissed by CCRD

• Adopt and amend rules and regulations to be followed in enforcement of Colorado's statutes prohibiting discrimination

Here is info about the Commission: 

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/civil-rights/commission

• The Commission meets to develop policy and hear appeals in discrimination cases.  Unless otherwise announced, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission holds meetings on the fourth Friday of the month at 1560 Broadway, Denver, CO 80202, beginning at 10 a.m.  

• Dates on website for 2018 meetings are March 23, April 27, May 25 and June 22. 

What is this Rule making versus Statutes?

by Maureen Welch, Volunteer Activist



Come learn more March 28 at a Stakeholder meeting. 

1. Legislature makes laws which go into State Statute (Telling What to do)

2. Executive branch departments promulgate (make)  the Rules (Telling all how to do it). 

3. Each department in Colorado Government has a rule making body, to keep rules updated to statute or make changes in rules that do not require legislative direction. (Rule making meetings publicly posted on department calendars)

4.  At the department rule making body, there is open comment available and the proceedings are live streamed and archived. The members of these rule making bodies are nominated by the Governor and approved by the State Senate. They are considered Governor Appointees with designated terms in their bylaws. The internet conveniently allows access to these bodies, agendas, minutes and audio links.

5. The Colorado Department of Human Services has the rule making body, State Board of Human Services. Health Care Policy and Finance has the Medical Services Board. Each department has their own board. Here is a link to the State of Colorado info on Rule Making: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora-oprrr/coprrr-process

 


When Do The People participate?

1. During State Legislative Process, if awareness is raised to garner participation. Sometimes stakeholders must demand more meetings as we did with this rule making for APS HB17-1284.

a. Testimony is afforded at each committee in both the House and Senate.

b. The public can also communicate with their elected officials or those on the appropriate committee.

2. During Rule making process,

a. At subcommittee meetings in appropriate department

b. At the Department's Rule making body/board.

c. The Attorney General can review rules if the department requests it, which is charged to the Department budget.

3. Legislative Legal Services at Capitol

a. They review the rules to ensure they reflect statutory intent.

4. The rule is active! Can always go back to State board for more amendments or clarifications. 


Colorado Department of Human Services will have its third Stakeholder Meeting. This packet is about the Registry for substantiated persons. It is critical we participate.

APS Rule Packet 17-06-26-03 Review Meeting —Proposed revisions to APS rules related primarily to the process for CAPS background checks 

Wednesday, March 28th, 5:30-7:30pm, CDHS, 1575 Sherman Street, Denver Conf Room 4A/B

Call in option:  1-302-202-1110 access code 171769  

Link to register for the webinar:    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/216150081276809986

Note: For those attending in person, please plan to arrive a few minutes early and bring a photo ID to sign in with the security guard and receive a guest badge.

• Purpose:  Gather stakeholder feedback on Draft Rule Packet 17-06-26-03 in advance of the State Board initial reading planned for May 4th 

• Format:  We will review the portions of the rule that feature proposed additions of language and deletions, discussing the rationale and requesting specific feedback from stakeholders

• How you can help:  Please read the draft rule packet and bring your feedback to the meeting. Rule Packet 3 is available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jaTDBtHQb5qmlwla5A_ZplNmZILG6V_k/view


Attend the State Board CDHS in Denver Friday April 6, 2018

Final stop for the Rule packets to be reviewed or amended.

8:30am Board Work Session Presentation by APS staff to State Board "APS 101" overview of program

Rule Packet Three at the State Board meeting

APS Presentation Friday April 6, 2018 at 8:30am, 10am Board meeting Opens with Public Comment and also public comment for Agenda Item.

Location: Colorado Department of Human Services, 1575 Sherman Street, 8th Floor, Denver, CO 80203

Webinar option https://app.gotomeeting.com/?meetingId=758645967
Call in option:  1-302-202-1110 access code 171769  

• 8:30: APS 101, MIndy Kemp Presentation

• 9:30: Competency and Restorations, Robert Werthwein and Patrick Fox

10:00 AM Rulemaking Session

A. Attendance

B. Call to Order

C. Open Comments Period

D. Board Business

E. Rule Making Session

1. Document 1: Transportation for an Immediate Evaluation Hold in a Designated Facility (17-11-29-01)

2. Document 2: APS Rule Additions Related to Perpetrator Due Process (17-06-26-02)

F. Other Business

G. Departmental Update

Note: Agendas may be modified at the discretion of the Board.

 

News on APS Registry, Rules delayed at State Board, Legislature pulls out line item in figure setting CDHS treatment of public concerning

Coloradans, this is our government, of the people,

by the people and for the people. 

At-risk adults are full citizens in our communities, and have liberty to live well, free from worry and fear of APS allegations of arbitrary  "substantiations" which do not have due process.

It is good that the rule making body, State Board of Human Services, validated the lack of input from the impacted stakeholders, after public meeting comment, in December 2017. Robust and thoughtful Board discussions in February, resulted in additional delays for the rule making process for a presentation to State Board on April 6th, as well as additional community meetings.

The Board admonished the department  to authentically engage in a stakeholder process. It is clear the Board has many reservations and urge the Department to proceed carefully.

 

Momentum is building, more Coloradans are

standing up, calling in, sharing, participating to raise hard and important questions. Now is the time to come out of the shadows  of fear and shame to unite for civil rights, due process and reasonable parameters to balance liberty and dignity with reasonable government interference.

 

Implementation of the Colorado Adult Protective Agency (CAPS) Registry is under serious legislative scrutiny (from HB17-1284) at the Legislature. Line item funding for the APS CAPS registry was pulled out, and "PAUSED" at JBC Budget Figure setting. 


 

Catch Up Summary:

1. Community members attended three CDHS meetings on March 8th:

Aging and Adult  SubPAC,

Full Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) and

Evening Stakeholder Meeting: APS 101.

• Aging Adult SubPAC, they added public comment, not on agenda. We updated the group to the concern since  State Adult Protective Services (APS) Staffers Peg Rogers and Mindy Kemp failed to do so. It was clear that the SubPAC members were not aware of the Board, Legislature or community concerns.

2. Thanks to State Senator Smallwood for attending the evening Stakeholder meeting March 8th. He has heard from many stakeholders that there is concerning lawlessness in APS operations.

 

3. Stakeholders attending these public meetings continue to met with rude treatement from CDHS employees, refusing to provide information/documents from public meetings and barking that we could make CORA requests to get copies of minutes. Overall there is an obvious and visible distain for stakeholders attending public meetings.

 

4. CDHS has a palatable culture of animosity toward public engagement.  This begins the moment one has to produce a State ID to enter their building, to then be told we can't have documents they are viewing during meetings. 

 

5. Many have a new twist on the department name: Colorado Department of "inHumane" Services. 

 

6. We must continue to attend and participate in public comment, no matter how uncomfortable they attempt to make it. We have to protect the civil rights of everyone, and this is OUR government and community!

 

WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL about these rules?

• Rules have the force of law once passed. The statute, passed in legislative branch, tells you what you can do and the rules tell you how to do it.  

• The bills give authority to the appropriate Department to implement and integrated the statute into Rule. 

• The Rule making body considers and votes on the administrative rules from the Department. The state has a rule making free 20 minute tutorial is online here. 

• State Board members are appointed by the Governor and may receive some reasonable expenses reimbursed.


What are biggest trends and concerns with APS and the CAPS registry?

1. No persons, even the at-risk adult, can see information about the investigation without a court order.

2. Lack of Due Process- see packet 2. There is no notification to any persons of their rights at the start of an investigation. Often the investigation stays open indefinitely. This creates fear and secrecy.

3. The threshold for civil term "substantiation" is a "preponderance of evidence".  Preponderance is very subjective, that something had a  50% likelihood of happening.

4. In rule packets, they use the criminal term "substantiated perpetrator". Perpetrator is a word used in criminal contexts. The Cambridge dictionary definition is:  Perpetrator- someone who has committed a crime or a violent or harmful act. 

5. Time and cost of CAPS background check ($35 for now, and up to 10 day process) is a barrier to timely job offer and hiring.

6. The trend is that APS "jumps to judgement" and applies for emergency guardianship before an investigation is complete. Usually the same APS person is both guardian and investigator, a conflict of interest. The courts generally accept APS testimony, sometimes not allowing family or interested parties to even address the court.


Mark your Calendar: The Department of "inHumane" Services hosts two more evening stakeholder meetings in March. Come in person, call in (anonymously if you prefer), or use the webinar format. 

• The State Board has "strongly cautioned" CDHS to actively engage and listen to stakeholders.

• In December 2017, the State Board of DHS were informed of major concerns and DELAYED the rule process to INCLUDE STAKEHOLDERS. 

• They can pull out sections of rules from vote, and send back for more work. 

• The State Board CDHS information is stored here.  At next meeting April 6,  they requested APS to make a presentation at 8:30 before their 10am meeting. Packet 2 is up.

• March 13 and 28, from 5:30-7:30 are Stakeholder meetings to review Rule Making Packets 2 and 3. 

• The Rules are promulgated from Departments to come into alignment with Statute/Legislation. It can feel very technical, helps to read it and review in advance of the meeting. 

• Read the packet from APS Stakeholder meeting #1 from March 8 here. Realize it was written by State APS and local unit operations differ. 

#2 APS Stakeholder Meeting-Rule Packet 17-06-26-02 Review- Due Process Rights and Appeals- 
Tuesday, March 13, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

1575 Sherman St, Denver, CO 80203, USA (conference room 4A/4B) 

Description APS 17-06-26-02 Packet Updated 2.21.18

To receive the document listed above, please email tara.franck@state.co.us.

Webinar Link

Call In Information:  1-302-202-1110  access code 171769

"Please click on "more details" to be directed to the calendar notice to obtain the document pertaining to this meeting"

Please note: For those attending in person, please plan to arrive a few minutes early and bring a photo ID to sign in with the security guard and receive a guest badge

#3 APS Stakeholder Engagement Meeting - - CAPS Registry Check- Rule Packet 17-06-26-03 Review

Wed, March 28, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

1575 Sherman St. Denver, CO 80203 conference room 4A/4B 

Description *The Department is in the process of developing a final draft of this rule packet. Once a final draft is completed, it will be posted here for review.

Webinar Link

Call In Information:  1-302-202-1110 access code 171769

For those attending in person, please plan to arrive a few minutes early and bring a photo ID to sign in with the security guard and receive a guest badge

Meeting Purpose:  Gather feedback on Draft Rule Packet 17-06-26-03 prior to the State Board second reading planned for May 

Meeting Format:  We will review the portions of the rule packet that feature new language and deletions to existing APS rules, discuss the rationale and request specific feedback on changes from stakeholders.


"Keep Calm and Lawyer Up!" 

If you need a lawyer and are struggling to find one, reply back as we have a growing list of attorneys, civil rights and guardianship, across the State.

Many are asking for information to gain guardianship and whether they should pursue it. It is wise and good to consider all choices. 

Remember to protect yourself. Being open with APS has only caused regret by families who "had nothing to hide". Many have had their loved ones moved against their will, and have limited contact. 

We continue to ask for a "Safe Bridge" to communicate the lawlessness of these actions.

So far it seems legal representation is extremely effective in slowing or stopping the LAWLESS METHODS OF APS.


Many have asked where are the people who claim to represent at risk adults like our loved ones with Disabilities?

We must not expect others to represent

our unique individual interests. It is up to us. 

Now is the time to learn the process, as these rules and statutes can be used wrongly, and hurt at risk adults in the name of "protecting them".

Is it easy or enjoyable? It is debateable, but we live this everyday and it better have guardrails to ensure rules that mitigate future misuse.

• The State Board delayed rule making timeline.

• The JBC pulled out the line item in figure setting.

• Leadership at Capitol are getting involved.

• Multiple stakeholder groups have concerns about the unintended consequences of the CAPS Registry.

• Now is the time to step up and learn, as this affects lives and liberty!

Millions of local tax monies earmarked for Intellectually Developmentally Disabled residents How to access the funding & other Meeting Updates

All content written by Maureen Welch, Volunteer

Local Mill Levy Funds Millions $$$! Opportunity for Unmet Needs of County Residents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Where does your local mill levy go?

      Many Colorado Counties have a property tax dedicated to the Intellectual and Developmental needs of their residents (aka Mill Levy). Make sure you ask your county commissioners/city council officials about this opportunity. And ask the board of your community centered board.
    I support the County/City who collect the millions,  to manage it. Currently, nearly all of it goes to one contract with the local case management agency/Community Centered board (CCB). Many people with IDD do not use a community centered board at all. And with Conflict Free Case Management coming, people need direct access to funds not thru a CCB.
      There is no requirement to be on medicaid, or a waiver. There is flexibility in its use (think summer programming, waitlisted individuals needing additional supports, or items to support living a full life).
     Residency and IDD disability determine the funding. If you run into challenges, contact me. In Denver they collect $17.5 Million annually. In Arapahoe/Douglas counties the total is a bit less. Did you know of this opportunity? Follow up and reach out if you hit roadblocks! If all the money goes to contracts,  suggest ways to get money to fund needs with least amount of overhead.

APS issues? What can YOU DO? You can help Hit the PAUSE button.

1. First off, if you or anyone you know gets APS involved in their lives, tell them to refuse interviews, LAWYER UP and always  have their  attorney present. Those who have gotten counsel have halted the lawless actions of county APS. Those who knew they had "nothing to hide" and cooperated, lost out in the end, with APS gaining emergency and ongoing guardianship. As one local civil rights attorney said: "APS and their actions are LAWLESS!" Contact me if issues getting legal representation.

2. Get involved in active work to PAUSE this APS Trainwreck of Terror.  See options to listen, learn and comment. Telephone call in allows for full anonymity.

3. If you or someone you care about is involved with APS, contact me offline to share the situation. I will keep identities in confidence.

Learn about Adult Protective Services, Remote options!
3 Evening Denver Meetings Announced. 


Participate: After extended concerns  at the February State Board meeting, Colorado Department of Human Services will be hosting the following three evening meetings during the month of March to continue the stakeholder engagement process related to the APS Program and proposed rule revisions to be considered by the State Board of Human Services.  

Come to one or all, in person, on webinar or call in on the phone.

Meeting 1:APS Program Overview Meeting    Thursday, March 8th, 5:30-7:30pm, CDHS, 1575 Sherman Street, Denver Conf Room 4A/B

Call in option:  1-302-202-1110 access code 171769  Link to register for the webinar:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5687295751834330626

Note: For those attending in person, please plan to arrive a few minutes early and bring a photo ID to sign in with the security guard to receive a guest badge. 

• Purpose:  Raise awareness of how the APS system operates, including the legal foundations, protection framework, roles and responsibilities of County Departments of Human Services and the State

• Format:  The APS leadership team will solicit questions, deliver an “APS 101” presentation, and engage in a dynamic question and answer session

• How you can help:  Send any questions you would like to have addressed to mindy.kemp@state.co.us

Meeting 2: APS Rule Packet 17-06-26-02 Review Meeting—Proposed changes related primarily to the addition of due process Tuesday, March 13th, 5:30-7:30pm, CDHS, 1575 Sherman Street, Denver Conf Room 4A/B

Call in option:  1-302-202-1110 access code 171769  Link to register for the webinar:   https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2560135148858034690

Note: For those attending in person, please plan to arrive a few minutes early and bring a photo ID to sign in with the security guard and receive a guest badge.

• Purpose:  Gather feedback on Draft Rule Packet 17-06-26-02 in advance of the State Board of Human Services second reading planned for April 6th 

• Format:  We will review the portions of the rule packet that feature new language and deletions to existing APS rules, discuss the rationale and request specific feedback on the proposed changes from stakeholders

• How you can help:  Please read the draft rule packet and bring your feedback to the meeting. The most recent version of APS Rule Packet 17-06-26-02. This version is dated 2.21.18. 

Meeting 3: APS Rule Packet 17-06-26-03 Review Meeting —Proposed revisions to APS rules related primarily to the process for CAPS background checks Wednesday, March 28th, 5:30-7:30pm, CDHS, 1575 Sherman Street, Denver Conf Room 4A/B

Call in option:  1-302-202-1110 access code 171769  Link to register for the webinar:    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/216150081276809986

Note: For those attending in person, please plan to arrive a few minutes early and bring a photo ID to sign in with the security guard and receive a guest badge.

• Purpose:  Gather stakeholder feedback on Draft Rule Packet 17-06-26-03 in advance of the State Board initial reading planned for May 4th 

• Format:  We will review the portions of the rule that feature proposed additions of language and deletions, discussing the rationale and requesting specific feedback from stakeholders

• How you can help:  Please read the draft rule packet and bring your feedback to the meeting. The Department is in the process of finalizing this draft rule packet and will post the document in the meeting notice on the CDHS Public Meetings Calendar for this meeting when it is finalized at:  https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs-boards-committees-collaboration

 

 

Time to hit the PAUSE BUTTON

Time to hit the PAUSE button on this Run Away train called the Adult Protective Services Registry, a Data System check of Abuse Neglect! It is headed to a derailment if the CAPS registry goes active per HB17-1284.


HB17-1284 had many NO votes**, and for good reasons. The CAPS registry is scheduled to go active on July 1, 2018:

1. There is No Due Process, a constitutional right under both the 5th and 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, that no one shall be "deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law."

2. The CAPS registry is essentially a Blacklist; Blacklists are illegal in Colorado State Statute.

3. Many in the IDD service world as well as doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, daycares and school systems are concerned that they may be in the CAPS system and not even know it, since the process is secretive and APS reports/records are not available for anyone to see, even the persons directly involved! 

4. Barrier to hiring: The 10 day delay in waiting on the CDHS registry CAPS review in hiring,  will be a barrier to good applicants. Many will take another job or not bother applying at all, if they need work immediately.

5. There are no checks and balance to ensure that the State oversight is sufficient on local county APS units.

6. The State should hit the PAUSE button and re-evaluate BEFORE the CAPS is set to go active on July 1, 2018. 

** Final vote on HB17-1284 had  25 no votes in the House on final versions, and 10 no votes in the Senate. Details here under VOTES https://leg.colorado.gov/content/hb17-1284vote78910b


What can YOU DO? You can help Hit the PAUSE button.

1. First off, if you or anyone you know gets APS involved in their lives, tell them to refuse interviews, LAWYER UP and always  have the  attorney present. Those who have gotten counsel have halted the process. Those who knew they had "nothing to hide" and cooperated, lost out in the end, with APS gaining guardianship. As one local civil rights attorney said: "APS and their actions are LAWLESS!"

2. Get involved in active work to PAUSE this APS Train! See options below, call in allows anonymity.

3. If you or someone you care for is involved with APS, contact me offline to share the situation. I will keep identities in confidence.


This Friday March 2, The State Board of CO Department of Human Services (CDHS) rule making body will  meet at 8:30am for a work session at 1575 Sherman Street Denver,  with a presentation about  Due Process for Child Welfare. APS is being inappropriately modeled after the very broken Child Welfare system, so this does affect APS.

At 10am the State Board has regular meeting, which does have an early general open public comment period for anything not on agenda. Agenda for March 2 and document at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1X2Iy0uWuc8b-RZSv81K6ZSQOOv41eXQB

For the 10am meeting, there is audio streaming: https://app.gotomeeting.com/?meetingId=758645967

Also mark your calendar for Friday April 6, 8:30 work session with APS presentation and 10am State board meeting. Denver CDHS location.


Participate: After extended concerns  at the February State Board meeting, Colorado Department of Human Services will be hosting the following three evening meetings during the month of March to continue the stakeholder engagement process related to the APS Program and proposed rule revisions to be considered by the State Board of Human Services.  

Come to one or all, in person, on webinar or call in on the phone.

Meeting 1:APS Program Overview Meeting    Thursday, March 8th, 5:30-7:30pm, CDHS, 1575 Sherman Street, Denver Conf Room 4A/B

Call in option:  1-302-202-1110 access code 171769  Link to register for the webinar:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5687295751834330626

Note: For those attending in person, please plan to arrive a few minutes early and bring a photo ID to sign in with the security guard to receive a guest badge. 

• Purpose:  Raise awareness of how the APS system operates, including the legal foundations, protection framework, roles and responsibilities of County Departments of Human Services and the State

• Format:  The APS leadership team will solicit questions, deliver an “APS 101” presentation, and engage in a dynamic question and answer session

• How you can help:  Send any questions you would like to have addressed to mindy.kemp@state.co.us

Meeting 2: APS Rule Packet 17-06-26-02 Review Meeting—Proposed changes related primarily to the addition of due process

Tuesday, March 13th, 5:30-7:30pm, CDHS, 1575 Sherman Street, Denver Conf Room 4A/B

Call in option:  1-302-202-1110 access code 171769  Link to register for the webinar:   https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2560135148858034690

Note: For those attending in person, please plan to arrive a few minutes early and bring a photo ID to sign in with the security guard and receive a guest badge.

• Purpose:  Gather feedback on Draft Rule Packet 17-06-26-02 in advance of the State Board of Human Services second reading planned for April 6th 

• Format:  We will review the portions of the rule packet that feature new language and deletions to existing APS rules, discuss the rationale and request specific feedback on the proposed changes from stakeholders

• How you can help:  Please read the draft rule packet and bring your feedback to the meeting. The most recent version of APS Rule Packet 17-06-26-02. This version is dated 2.21.18. 

Meeting 3: APS Rule Packet 17-06-26-03 Review Meeting —Proposed revisions to APS rules related primarily to the process for CAPS background checks

Wednesday, March 28th, 5:30-7:30pm, CDHS, 1575 Sherman Street, Denver Conf Room 4A/B

Call in option:  1-302-202-1110 access code 171769  Link to register for the webinar:    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/216150081276809986

Note: For those attending in person, please plan to arrive a few minutes early and bring a photo ID to sign in with the security guard and receive a guest badge.

• Purpose:  Gather stakeholder feedback on Draft Rule Packet 17-06-26-03 in advance of the State Board initial reading planned for May 4th 

• Format:  We will review the portions of the rule that feature proposed additions of language and deletions, discussing the rationale and requesting specific feedback from stakeholders

• How you can help:  Please read the draft rule packet and bring your feedback to the meeting. The Department is in the process of finalizing this draft rule packet and will post the document in the meeting notice on the CDHS Public Meetings Calendar for this meeting when it is finalized at:  https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs-boards-committees-collaboration

 

Meeting 1:APS Program Overview Meeting    Thursday, March 8th, 5:30-7:30pm, CDHS, 1575 Sherman Street, Denver Conf Room 4A/B

Call in option:  1-302-202-1110 access code 171769  Link to register for the webinar:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5687295751834330626

Note: For those attending in person, please plan to arrive a few minutes early and bring a photo ID to sign in with the security guard to receive a guest badge. 

• Purpose:  Raise awareness of how the APS system operates, including the legal foundations, protection framework, roles and responsibilities of County Departments of Human Services and the State

• Format:  The APS leadership team will solicit questions, deliver an “APS 101” presentation, and engage in a dynamic question and answer session

• How you can help:  Send any questions you would like to have addressed by email to mindy.kemp@state.co.us

Meeting 2: APS Rule Packet 17-06-26-02 Review Meeting—Proposed changes related primarily to the addition of due process

Tuesday, March 13th, 5:30-7:30pm, CDHS, 1575 Sherman Street, Denver Conf Room 4A/B

Call in option:  1-302-202-1110 access code 171769  Link to register for the webinar:   https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2560135148858034690

Note: For those attending in person, please plan to arrive a few minutes early and bring a photo ID to sign in with the security guard and receive a guest badge.

• Purpose:  Gather feedback on Draft Rule Packet 17-06-26-02 in advance of the State Board of Human Services second reading planned for April 6th 

• Format:  We will review the portions of the rule packet that feature new language and deletions to existing APS rules, discuss the rationale and request specific feedback on the proposed changes from stakeholders

• How you can help:  Please read the draft rule packet and bring your feedback to the meeting. The most recent version of APS Rule Packet 17-06-26-02. This version is dated 2.21.18. 

Meeting 3: APS Rule Packet 17-06-26-03 Review Meeting —Proposed revisions to APS rules related primarily to the process for CAPS background checks

Wednesday, March 28th, 5:30-7:30pm, CDHS, 1575 Sherman Street, Denver Conf Room 4A/B

Call in option:  1-302-202-1110 access code 171769  Link to register for the webinar:    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/216150081276809986

Note: For those attending in person, please plan to arrive a few minutes early and bring a photo ID to sign in with the security guard and receive a guest badge.

• Purpose:  Gather stakeholder feedback on Draft Rule Packet 17-06-26-03 in advance of the State Board initial reading planned for May 4th 

• Format:  We will review the portions of the rule that feature proposed additions of language and deletions, discussing the rationale and requesting specific feedback from stakeholders

• How you can help:  Please read the draft rule packet and bring your feedback to the meeting. The Department is in the process of finalizing this draft rule packet and will post the document in the meeting notice on the CDHS Public Meetings Calendar for this meeting when it is finalized at:  https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs-boards-committees-collaboration


Rule making for APS is now linked to the Aging and Adult SubPAC (Policy Advisory Committee), a critical meeting for our community. Call in option,  303.636-2017

10:45am Aging and Adult SubPAC Meeting

Thursday  March 8, 10:45am – 12:45pm

Arapahoe County DHS, 14980 E Alameda Dr, Aurora, CO 80012, USA 3rd floor

Agenda topics for this meeting will include:

Overview of the Role of the Governor's Senior Advisor on Aging

APS Task Group and APS Allocations Task Group Updates

Review of APS Rule Packet 17-06-26-03

Differential Response Discussion

 


APRIL/MAY: APS Task Group meetings

The agenda has the date, time, location and call in number and webinar registration link on top.  

April 12, 2018 - 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

and May 16, 2018- 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

1575 Sherman St. 

8th Floor C-Stat Room

Denver, CO 80203

You can get to this information on the APS Task Group page with Agendas and documents, etc  at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs-boards-committees-collaboration/adult-protective-services-task-group

State Board urged CDHS to have an open and inclusive stakeholder process in rule making for Adult Protective Services. Due Process is critical.

 We got their attention!

February 10, 2018

By Maureen Welch, Volunteer Activist

      Adult Protective Services' (APS) lawless operations are tearing apart loving families/living situations with ridiculous accusations, ignoring doctors' orders, gaining APS emergency guardianship when family/friends are interested and stealing disabled people's liberty as well as their civil rights. Chairman of the State CDHS Board, David Ervin, CEO of The Resource Exchange cautioned CDHS and APS to have an "an open and inclusive stakeholder process" with rule making and his desire "to underscore the need for caution".

    On February 2, 2018 in Fort Collins, the State Board of Colorado Human Services met to promulgate rules to implement statutory changes from legislation. The State Board heard justifications from Mindy Kemp, Director, Division of Aging and Adult Services. She summarized the January 25, 2018 stakeholder meeting, held after community requests to review the Proposed Rule Packets. 

    The February 2 discussion was rich in content, dialogue and desire to grasp the severe negative unintended consequences  of this whole APS debacle. It is clear that the State APS unit has many issues and may even be promulgating rules that are not required by statute.

Big Progress at Feb 2 meeting

   The State Board heard testimony by two volunteer stakeholders on final reading of APS rule packet 1 and agreed that the collection of Social Security numbers at initial contact was concerning. After discussion, they removed the social security number from the rule in the motion, second and voted affirmatively on the rest of the rule packet #1. Members agreed there are other ways to identify people than to collect that personal data which poses security risks since it is shared in reports.

    A robust discussion followed on the initial reading of APS rule packet #2. The overall tone from both stakeholders, as well as  the Board, was great concern about due process and severity levels. The Department staff (Mark Wester, Mindy Kemp, Peg Rodgers) gave answers which were dismissive, defensive and justified rules based on Child Welfare rules, even though statutes are not requiring such rules for either Child Welfare or APS. Mr. McCombs was there from the Attorney General's office as well for clarification. 

    Board member Bernard Buescher, a former state legislator and the former Secretary of State, stated he was very concerned about statutes as roadblocks to constitutional rights”. He also shared that this state supervised,   but county implemented APS conundrum was the "toughest discussion" since he has been on the board. 

     LaPlata County Commissioner and State Board member Julie Westendorff  questioned the absence of a training requirement addressing cultural competency/disability specific approaches. She astutely noted the difference between an at risk adult and minor in child welfare system.

    Board member Ms. Taye-Channell, of Florence Crittenton Services,  did sense that there was a lack of trust in the community and asked, “what can we do to build training to build trust in the community?" She later expanded and shared, "Perform on what you say you will do… that is how to build trust." She also asked if persons are given a sheet with their rights when an investigation begins including due process, answer was "no". There is actually no notification of the start of an investigation in rule, only notification of substantiation.

    Board member Stephen Johnson,  a Larimer County Commissioner and former State Legislator, had concerns about the APS investigators also gaining emergency guardianships. He noted that courts indeed make the decision but "they look to APS for direction". Ms. Kemp agreed. A discussion followed about whether people would be "reluctant to file complaints due to fear of retribution" and members wanted specifics on the number of cases of emergency guardianships initiated by APS. 

    Board member Connie Rule, of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver made valuable analysis about the pitfalls of using Child Welfare as a model for much of the proposed rules for APS. "Encourage us not to use an existing system because it has been in place. While we don’t want to reinvent the wheel, sometimes it is time to reinvent the wheel."

APS #2 Packet also Delayed In n response to stakeholder request at the February 2, 2018 State Board meeting, CDHS ("The Department") is planning additional stakeholder sessions. They will delay second reading of APS #2 packet until April.  The department will provide education and information about APS as a program, review the current rule packet under consideration and answer any questions stakeholders have at that time. The Department plans to invite any State Board members who would like to attend these sessions.    

    The Department is preparing a presentation for the Board to review the components of the APS program and the manner in which it functions. CHDS will make presentation of APS program at the April 2018 meeting, during the ‘work session’ prior to the beginning of the meeting. The purpose is to provide additional context and an understanding of the APS program.

    The Department will delay the second reading of APS rule packet #2 until their April 6th, 2018 meeting in Kit Carson County, to afford enough time to have robust stakeholder meetings. Ms. Welch requested the board consider a standing state board meeting accommodation for remote telephone public comment for those unable to attend due to caregiving, disability, work or transportation. She is waiting to hear back on that. 

    The Department will provide the board with an APS update during the Board of Human Services meeting March 2nd in Denver. More information to follow. 

    Stakeholders requested the Board and Department consider how to make a "safe space" for the community to share experiences without fear of retaliation or judgement. As of this newsletter, there was no comment on this request. 

Links and more info

Links and more info

• APS Rule draft packets 1 & 2 is available to review

• Link to the Colorado  Dept. of Human Service State Board page: here

• Scroll down page halfway until  to Rule Making Session Agendas & Minutes

• Choose 2018-02-02 Agenda and Documents 

• APS rule packet one and two are labeled document 3 & 4 for the Board Meeting. 

• Audio recording (sorry, very poor quality) is also on the same link as agenda and documents.

• Additional APS Rule packets are being drafted as well. APS Task Group meets 9-12 Noon on Wednesday February 14 at 1575 Sherman Street if you are interested to come in-person. Also conference call Information: Dial 302-202-1110, access code 915771. Webinar Link: here 

• APS Task Group documents are here 

Suggestions if APS shows up:

• make sure you are very clear, state your name and say you need your lawyer with you before any conversation.

• ok to let them see the at risk adult and confirm no one is in direct harm

• do not allow them to isolate, talk to or interview anyone, especially the persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities

• this is for providers as well as families, there is a pattern of pressuring PASAs to allow private access to persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities 

• immediately call your lawyer or go  get "lawyered up". 

• it is best speak with APS only with your legal representation present. It is your right. 

• better safe than sorry! 

• you do need legal representation, even when you have done nothing wrong and have nothing to hide, is not advised to talk without counsel. 

• current APS actions are lawless, and any voluntary cooperation with APS, although it seems the right thing to do, can and likely will be twisted around and used against you

Next Steps: 

• The stakeholder meetings will be determined and shared in this newsletter. If you have more information to share, contact with a reply to this email.

• The delay and time for the board to learn and reflect, is progress in slowing down the train, before the wreck. 

• Have hope and get involved to make sure the system has due process and safeguards for those falsely substantiated as perpetrators.

• Make sure the focus is on getting the bad players, and protecting at risk adults.

• If you have a story, contact me. I can protect identifiers when I share your story.

• Come out of the shadows don't let shame or fear isolate you. If you have been falsely accused and unsure what to do, you are not alone. 

• Feel free to forward this email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

 

 

State Board of Colorado Dept of Human Services 2/2

State Board of Colorado Dept of Human Services meets on Friday Feb 2nd, 10am at the Larimer County Courthouse Offices, 200 W. Oak Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524. 
*This board is the Rule Making body for Colorado's Department of Human Services (CDHS). *They update rules in the executive branch to come into alignment with changes to state Statute from the Legislative branch. They are only over civil issues. The judicial branch is over criminal charges/cases.

*Statewide concerns about unchecked power of local County APS units.
*State APS helps fund the local APS units, and provides supervision and oversight.
*However local APS staff are employed by the county. 
*Reports from across the state indicate a wide local variance of operations and interpretations. Having 64 different counties doing it 64 different ways is not fair or equitable. The State rules, regs and statutes should be applied in a fair and even handed manner across our State. 
*Many question the function of State CDHS oversight and supervision. 
*Open public comment is available, in person only,  for each agenda item 

*The Public can listen remotely, via Go To Meeting.  The audio is also archived.

https://app.gotomeeting.com/?meetingId=758645967

*The board likes to limit comment to changes in rule.

https://drive.google.com/drive/mobile/folders/1zEfpLyhefMb3Fsv-CPlHOL0TaTWnJk7F

*Here is info on state board website https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1zEfpLyhefMb3Fsv-CPlHOL0TaTWnJk7F 
*Docs 3&4 for the Feb 2 meeting are the rules up for review regarding Adult Protection Agency (APS). https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs-boards-committees-collaboration/state-board-human-services

*Feel free to share this announcement as well!
*More information on APS and past newsletters with individual cases are archived under news,  at my website www.changecoiodd.com.
 

Rules for APS are being promulgated, affecting at-risk adults, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Many in the community are being victimized by APS even in hospital rooms and the safety of their own homes. APS is using KGB tactics, showing up without just cause or warrants, gathering social security numbers and stripping people of their rights via emergency guardianship.

Many feel unable to go into the community for fear of overzealous mandatory reporting . It is time to leave the shadows and move past fear and give our input. Afraid of retribution? Can be done anonymously by listening on the phone, and texting me in real time at 720-436-4121, or emailing me your feedback on proposed rules. Make sure you read the rules, link below.

Why ? The purpose of this meeting on 1/25/18 is to seek feedback from community stakeholders on the proposed changes to Adult Protective Services (APS) Rules outlined in APS Rule Packet #1 which will go to the State Board of Human Services (CDHS) for final review on February 2nd and APS Rule Packet #2 which will go to the State Board of Human Services for first reading on February 2nd.

See links for documents of proposed rules and changes, at the bottom of this email.

What are rules? The legislature passed several bills over the last sessions that direct Colorado Department of Human Services the authority to add or change rules to come into alignment with the changed or new statute. The State Board of CHDS These rules drive department operations and procedures. If you prefer to share your feedback to me, and I can share anonymously, just reply to this newsletter to share with me. 


When? The meeting is on Thursday January 25, 5:30-7:00pm

How? Three ways to participate:

In person downtown Denver, call-in, or preregister for webinar.
In Person: Colorado Department of Human Services, 1575 Sherman Street, Denver
in the 8th Floor C-Stat Conference Room. The State board of CDHS is currently in the midst of "promulgating" (writing and approving rules) for APS using recent legislation and current statute as their guides. 

There is metered on-street parking and several pay-for-parking lots in the area. For those attending in person, they will need a photo ID to sign in at the security desk to receive a badge to enter the building.

Remote participation  For those that would like to attend via phone and/or webinar, the information to call in is 302-202-1110, passcode 171769. You can mute your phone and stay anonymous.

Register for Webinar and to register for the webinar the link is https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1621008181777061378.


Prepare for Meeting and to discuss rules being considered

Rule packets (17-16-26-01 and 17-16-26-02). Stakeholders that would like a hard copy are asked to print and bring to the meeting.(I will request some are printed for the meeting by CDHS  for those unable to print own copies.) There are three files total to examine:

Link  to review document #1 (Look for file: Doc1 IR #1 APS 17-6-26-01 Packet) from Dec 1, 2017 CHDS Board meeting http://bit.ly/2CXJWXK .

Link to Rule packet #2 (look for file: Rule Packet #2 11.29.17 Pdf)  and third item:  DRAFT OM for Severity Levels 11.28 (look for file: DRAFT OM Severity Levels 11.28.pdf), the two APS documents from Dec 5, 2017 APS task group meeting both located at:  http://bit.ly/2myaZTB    

If you wish to see the referenced legislation, they are available by searching by bill number at http://leg.colorado.gov/bills .
Access to current Colorado Revised Statute is at http://bit.ly/2rkp7Vm.

CO Adult Protective Services (APS) actions are "lawless" according to one civil rights attorney

What to do when Adult Protective Services (APS) shows up at your door,  day program or other setting.

By Maureen Welch, 

Volunteer Activist and Mother to child receiving Colorado Medicaid waiver services

What triggers an APS visit? 

• There is a pattern of APS targeting Individuals with Intellectual and Developmentally Disabilities (IWIDD)  who are their own guardians. Some families are choosing to apply for guardianship now, as a precaution, if they had not already started that process. 

• At least one Community Centered Board(CCB) is requiring parents who are applying for emergency 24/7 care via Developmental Disability HCBS waiver to “check a box” stating they are neglecting their child. This is not a good idea, as it may result in a call to APS for investigation.

• Critical incident reports are triggering visits from APS. It appears the CCB calls into APS for a few small things like arriving to day program with some drool on their shirt.  Several CCBs report that they have been pressured multiple times, by a Director at the state’s Medicaid agency, Health Care Policy and Financing, to call a report into APS.

• Several law enforcement officers have shown up claiming that APS has falsely reported that the IWIDD has “visible cuts and bruises”, only to justify a visit. More than one county has realized the reports were fabricated, and being used for harassment. Law enforcement told APS they would not further respond after their initial check, especially after finding that the IWIDD were indeed happy, safe and healthy.


2. What to do when APS shows up? 

• Through the door, ask if they have a warrant. You do not have to let them into your home without a warrant. Often they arrive with someone from local law enforcement (LLE).

• APS are not law enforcement officers, they are investigators for a State program. APS operates at the county level with state funding from Colorado Department of Human Services. 

• Their training consists of short few days of “academy training” and on the job with other APS employees. 

• Exercise your right to have an attorney present! Then immediately get one! 

• Read more about your rights at the ACLU website https://aclu-co.org/know-your-rights/ 

• The fourth amendment of the US Constitution: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


3. Be very careful with any information shared

• Respect confidentiality of personal information.

• You are not obligated to share personal information like dates of birth, social security number or names of friends, family or acquaintances.

• Under no circumstances should APS be allowed to isolate the IWIDD for private interviewing. It has been reported that APS traps the person, unlawfully detains them without an attorney or anyone to assist, twists things around, asks confusing questions and keeps them isolated in a room until they sign documents, which they do not understand. APS refuses to release these documents, signed or blank, after forcing the IWIDD to sign it.  

• APS is very creative in how they question/pressure people. The intent of APS is to remove the person and get emergency guardianship. 

• Some cases report that people wanted to be “helpful” with information about clients’ family members and contacts, only to find out APS harasses them and has even charged them also with abuse and neglect as well. 

• Law Enforcement officers in the past have instructed APS to leave the property, after seeing the client was safe and healthy, and the report of injuries were a fabrication. The officer sent APS away since they did not have a warrant and immediate danger was ruled out.

• Colorado is a “one party consent” recording state, meaning it is legal if just one person in the conversation wants to record it. Many feel a recording of an interaction is the best record possible for documentation in the future. Phones or small digital recorders are convenient tools.


4. What happens once an “APS investigation” is opened?

• It has been shared with me that after APS gets guardianship, the CCB calls the Program Approved Service Agency (PASA or Direct Service Provider Agency)  and  pressures them to move the residential placement. The IWIDD is moved, often against their will to another residential setting.

• Often the new residential setting is far away from day program or employment, so that is changed also. Their entire world is turned upside down. 

• There is little to no communication from APS to the alleged perpetrator(s). Per APS draft rules, “It is important to note that the perpetrator’s intent is not a factor in making a finding”.

• Mandatory reporting rules state that mere “suspicion” is sufficient to make a report to APS.

• After the client  signs the APS document, APS gains “emergency guardianship”. Within a few days, there is a court proceeding and APS gains guardianship. Then the judge has deferred to APS, has often not allowed the attorney for the IWIDD or family to speak. 

• At the court proceeding, APS has implied the existence of overwhelming evidence of abuse or neglect when the investigation had hardly been opened. Guardianship is frequently awarded to APS. This has happened even when family members desired to apply to serve as guardian, although the judge did not allow anyone except APS to speak. 

• It is important to note that the State’s own Public Guardianship Advisory Group in their report deemed it a conflict of interest for APS to have guardianship. 

• When a IWIDD has retained an attorney, APS claims the client is incompetent to retain legal counsel. However, APS simultaneously claims the same individual was competent enough to sign a paper which APS forced upon them! 

• The pattern from many counties has been reported that after signing the paper, APS gains emergency guardianships. Within a few days, there is a court proceeding and APS gains guardianship. Then the judge defers to APS, has often not allowed the individual with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IWIDD) or family speak, and guardianship is awarded to APS, sometimes overriding family members willingness to be guardian. APS during these court proceedings twists things around so it appears there is overwhelming evidence from investigations when people have not even been interviewed yet.

• It is important to note that the State’s own Public Guardianship Advisory Group has deemed it a conflict of interest for APS to have guardianship. When a IWIDD has retained an attorney, APS then claims the client is incompetent to chose their counsel, although APS claimed the individual was competent enough to sign a paper which APS forced upon them.


5. What does it take for Abuse/Neglect to be “substantiated”?

• APS is working currently without rules however the proposed rules state a “greater than 50% chance of the report happening is enough to substantiate”. 

• That manner of determining a person’s future with an abuse neglect charge is arbitrary and appears more like a weather report more than a legal determination by the State!

• Many under “investigation” report going months without hearing anything from APS.

• The proposed rules state that once a case is substantiated, a level of severity will be determined and that person will be placed on the Colorado Adult Protective Services registry (CAPS) indefinitely. That registry is for potential employers to use for background checks.

 


6. What can you do to protect yourself?

• Do not let APS into your home or program. Know your rights.

• State your name and nothing more. Don't talk to them any further.

• Get a lawyer. Have them do all the talking. 

• It is wise to discuss procedures with families, neighbors and service providers to be prepared knowing procedure for a visit from APS and or Law Enforcement.


7. Participate and express your concerns

• Contact your local and state elected officials to raise awareness.

• Attend the State Board at CDHS on Feb 2,2018 and sign up to make public comment about APS lawlessness. More info at http://bit.ly/2mT1CNy 

• Call-in or attend the APS Stakeholder rule making review meeting. The meeting will take place on Thursday, January 25, 5:30-7:00pm at CDHS, 1575 Sherman Street, Denver in the 8th Floor C-Stat Conference Room. CDHS is currently in the midst of "promulgating" (writing and approving rules) for APS using recent legislation and current statute as their guides. 

The purpose of this meeting is to seek feedback from community stakeholders on the proposed changes to APS Rules outlined in APS Rule Packet #1 which will go to the State Board of Human Services for final review on February 2nd and APS Rule Packet #2 which will go to the State Board of Human Services for first reading on February 2nd. Please feel free to forward this information to your contacts. 

◦ There is metered on-street parking and several pay-for-parking lots in the area. For those attending in person, they will need a photo ID to sign in at the security desk to receive a badge to enter the building. 

For those that would like to attend via phone and/or webinar, the information to call in is 302-202-1110, passcode 171769 and to register for the webinar the link is https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1621008181777061378.

◦ Rule packets (17-16-26-01 and 17-16-26-02). Stakeholders that would like a hard copy are asked to print and bring to the meeting.(I will request some are printed for the meeting by CDHS  for those unable to print own copies.

◦ Link  to review document #1 (Rule making packet #1 "DOC 1") from Dec 1, 2017 CHDS Board meeting http://bit.ly/2CXJWXK . Link to Rule packet #2 and DRAFT OM for Severity Levels 11.28 , the two APS documents from Dec 5, 2017 APS task group meeting http://bit.ly/2myaZTB    

◦ If you wish to see the referenced legislation, they are available by searching by bill number at http://leg.colorado.gov/bills . Access to current Colorado Revised Statute is at http://bit.ly/2rkp7Vm.


8. How can this lawlessness be happening? 

• Embarrassment or shame are keeping many in the shadows. Now is the time to be outraged. 

• The rules for the multiple pieces of legislation that created this lawlessness are not yet promulgated. It appears they are “winging it” as they go. 

• Rules, regs and statutes seems to “not apply”. 

• People cooperate with APS since they know they are innocent of abuse and neglect.

• One civil rights attorney even referred to this APS guardianship process as “lawless”. 

• There is a new Office of Public Guardianship in formation in the Judicial Branch, with a projected eventual annual budget over $7M with a state funded staff of 81 full time employees! It could be  that this artificial “need” of IWIDD will be used to justify emergency state “supplemental” funding. 

• Inherent in the conflict of interest with APS is that guardians determine placement for services which drives dollars to their preferred providers, often via CCB recommendations.