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Photo Of Kyle B. Sawyer

Charged With A Crime? It Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty.

Trails Listing At DHS

Trails Listing For Child Abuse And Neglect – State Level Fair Hearing Attorney For Arapahoe County And Denver

Whenever the Department of Human Services (Social Services) thinks that you have committed an act of Child Abuse or Child Neglect, they will make a determination that you have a “Founded” or “Confirmed” allegation, entitling them to list your name in their Trails database. With a listing on the Trails database, you can quickly be disqualified from most any organization which works with children. Colorado law provides that you can request a State Level Fair Hearing, as part of the Trails appeals process.

Who Uses The Trails Database System In Jefferson County and Why?

Trails are the go-to place to check and see if an applicant to work in the child care industry across Colorado has a record or not. This includes day care agencies, child service organizations like the boy scouts and girl scouts, church child care programs (Sunday School), school parent volunteers and civic organizations like the Boys’ Club. While no longer labeled the Child Abuse Registry, it operates the same as that registry did.

How Names Are Submitted To Trails (Child Abuse Registry) In Douglas County

Douglas County, Colorado, has its own DHS (Department of Human Services or Social Services) office. County-level organizations like this get calls from interested (and nosy) people who want to report possible child endangerment. This call triggers an investigation by DHS, and the allegations are either Founded, a/k/a Confirmed, or Unfounded, at the county level. All counties in Colorado have these DHS offices, and all operate similarly under the leadership of the state-wide administrative DHS. If Founded or Confirmed, the county will refer the finding to the statewide DHS for listing on Trails.

Founded Or Unfounded Child Abuse Allegations In Adams County: State Level Fair Hearing

Like with the Adams County Department of Social Services (or Human Services), caseworkers will investigate the allegations. Normally, this just means they will interview the adults and children involved, and if the child says something happened, then it is seen as true. Really. We regularly see cases where adults and their adult witnesses say something could not possibly have happened, but if a child says it did, “The Department” will conclude it did and make a finding that the allegations are Confirmed or Founded. People who don’t want you to be involved in a child’s life (such as their parents who lost custody due to neglect, violence or drug use), will coach the kids on what to say to DHS. We often see this during or after a divorce. DHS workers are blind to this reality, which anyone else can see. All Founded/Confirmed reports are then sent to the state level DHS office for listing in the Trails database. To keep your name off the registry you must timely request a State Level Fair Hearing appeal.

The Appeal Of A Trails Listing Of Child Abuse Or Neglect In Colorado

Fortunately, you have a chance to appeal this Confirmed/Founded report which lists your name on Trails. You may be able to keep your name from being listed. Under tight deadlines, you can make an appeal to have the record reviewed concerning the Trails listing, by someone at the DHS state Trails appeals office, and if that does not go your way, an administrative law judge. This is called a State Level Fair Hearing request/appeal. There are special procedures that a DHS Trails listing defense attorney can use to try and keep your name off the Trails listing. Remember though, you must quickly hire a lawyer after receiving a notice from the Department of Human Services, to avoid missing a deadline.

Call our Child Abuse attorneys at 303-731-0719. Sawyer Legal Group, LLC has the experience to fight for mothers and fathers facing child abuse charges throughout Colorado. Together, we can protect your family’s future.

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