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DHS and Denver Public Schools Launch Pilot Coordination Program

Social Case Workers Now in Place at Three DPS Schools

DENVER October 29, 2015 – A new pilot program designed to improve coordination between Denver Human Services (DHS) and Denver Public Schools (DPS) as it relates to child safety is now underway at three local DPS schools.  Three DHS social caseworkers are now on site at select schools throughout the city to help facilitate communication between the two departments. The program stems from the initial recommendations of Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s Child Safety Net Impact Team.

“DHS social caseworkers work alongside families to help improve safety and strengthen critical parenting skills,” said DHS Executive Director Don Mares. “We hope this pilot program will help our social caseworkers forge relationships with families who are struggling, to get them the help they need to raise strong, healthy children, and avoid the child welfare system.”

The new pilot program also provides an opportunity for DHS staff to get to know children and families better and help identify necessary support and family wellness training to parents and kids who would benefit from it. In addition, the social workers will serve as training and education resources for school staff.

“We’re certain this move will not only improve communication and coordination between our respective departments but also serve to benefit the youth in our schools,” said John Simmons, executive director of Denver Public Schools’ Division of Student Services. “A child’s home life has a tremendous impact on their performance in the classroom and this program will help us to recognize issues, work with parents to address them quickly, and reach better outcomes for everyone involved.”

In addition to the deployment of social case workers to DPS schools, DHS continues to work with the Mayor’s Child Safety Net Impact Team to implement recommendations to improve coordination and communication between the city’s safety net agencies as it relates to child safety.

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Contact:
Julie Smith
720-944-1422 (D)
Julie.Smith@denvergov.org