State lawmakers say too many children in the child welfare system are disappearing for weeks at a time without anyone looking for them. They also say most of the children rescued from sex trafficking are in the foster system.

Right now lawmakers say there are 57 children missing from Colorado’s child welfare system. Nobody knows where they are and too often there is little effort to find them, according to lawmakers. They say Colorado’s most vulnerable children deserve better.

A child sex trafficking sting during the National Western Stock Show last week was just the latest example of what state lawmakers call a disturbing trend — a foster care to prostitution pipeline.

Sixty percent of children rescued from sex trafficking have at one time have been in the custody of a welfare agency or foster home, according to lawmakers.

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Families form in Adoption Awareness month

Happiness filled the courtroom last week as 197th District Court Judge Migdalia Lopez finalized the adoption of three children into Cameron County families.

With the arrival of National Adoption Awareness Month, Lydia and Jorge Abundiz adopted Jodee Lydia Abundiz, 1, who they have had in their care since the child was four days old. The family felt great to finally have Jodee officially part of the family.

“She has always felt like our family,” Lydia Abundiz said.

Rolando and Cristina Garzoria adopted Trey Austin Garzoria, 8, who have been in the child’s life as foster parents for four years.

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Clark County may settle child welfare lawsuit for $2 million

Seven former foster children alleging abuse and neglect in the child welfare system may soon receive a settlement in excess of $2 million from Clark County.

Clark County has spent spent $1.4 million on attorney fees, which covered outside counsel, and other costs in defending the case, according to Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa.

The $2.075 million settlement will go before the Clark County Commission for approval during its Tuesday meeting.

“These children and youth, who are subject of the settlement, were injured physically and mentally,” Bill Grimm, the attorney representing the children, said Friday. “Every single one of them went down this long road because they entered (the lawsuit) to improve the system for the children that came after them. They certainly remain hopeful that they will send a message to the system.”

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