By the time a child custody case reaches this level, there are commonly numerous written reports from mediators, social workers, therapists, doctors, and other professional personnel associated with the custody case.
Perhaps the saddest example, nationally, of children being with the wrong parent is the Josh Powell case.
For those who don’t remember, Josh was the dad who grabbed his two boys from the social worker at the front door, pushed the social worker out of the way, and slammed the front door in her face. He then proceeded to ignite a homemade explosive device, which, in turn, blew up the house with him and the two children in it, thus killing them all.
Obviously, Josh Powell had no business having his children in his care. So how can incidents like the Powell tragedy be prevented from happening?
New Colorado Child Custody Law
In May 2013, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper took a huge step at protecting at-risk children like those of Josh Powell. Hickenlooper signed a bill that allows closer scrutiny of inconsistencies in child abuse and neglect reporting at the county level.
The new law comes with implementation of a hotline on Jan. 1, 2014. According to Colorado State Representative Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, the hotline:
“…will give our workers the training and resources that they need. It’ll give the public an easy access number that’ll allow them to be good, active citizens without a lot of red tape. And, lastly, this is going to give our kids a future.”
One important aspect of this “best interest of the child bill” is that it mandates emergency medical workers to report child neglect and child abuse.
It also mandates social workers to give extra consideration to a child’s best interests when recommending parenting time in child custody cases.
Not only is such a measure in the best interest of a single child, it is actually in the best interest of all children in the state of Colorado because it provides better oversight and streamlines the process for ordinary concerned citizens who want to provide information on child neglect and child abuse.
Colorado’s children will reap the benefits because custody and parenting time officials will be considering the child’s best interests over every other factor.
This new child abuse and neglect hotline will be one more safety and precautionary measure being implemented and funded by a state with a legislature dedicated to making decisions on child custody and visitation that are always in the best interest of Colorado’s children.