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DHS names new chief for children and families program, Minna Costilla Cohen

Author: Joey Bunch - November 7, 2017 - Updated: November 8, 2017

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Minna Castillo CohenMinna Castillo Cohen (Photo courtesy of the Colorado Department of Human Services)

At the end of the month Minna Castillo Cohen will take over as director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families, taking over the position vacated by Robert Werthwein, when he became director of the state Office of Behavioral Health in September.

Both agencies are part of the Department of Human Services.

Costillo Cohen will direct programs and facilities that “improve the safety, independence and well-being of Colorado’s children, youth and families,” DHS said. Besides the divisions of Child Welfare and Youth Services, she well oversee the state’s Domestic Violence Program and Juvenile Parole Board.

Castillo Cohen is the vice president of community impact for the Mile High United Way, where she has worked on issues and services involving young people, families and individuals.

“In recent years, the Colorado Department of Human Services has had many opportunities to work with Minna and we’ve always been impressed by her dedication and passion to improving the lives of Colorado’s children,” DHS executive director Reggie Bicha said in a statement Tuesday. “Her intense commitment to public service and her collaborative, dynamic nature will make her an excellent leader of the Office of Children, Youth and Families.”

Castillo Cohen has 20 years of experience with nonprofits dealing with issues similar to those she’ll take on with the state.

“I’m excited to join an incredible leadership team working to ensure positive, sustainable outcomes for our community,” she said in a statement. “It is an honor to serve Colorado’s children, youth and families.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.


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