On April 3rd, Illuminate Colorado spent the day at the Colorado State Capitol celebrating the beginning of Child Abuse Prevention Month. In the morning, we joined legislators in the Senate and House of Representatives as the Child Abuse Prevention Month tributes were read in both chambers, followed by an afternoon rally for supporters of prevention efforts across the state. If you weren’t able to join us, don’t worry– we took photos!

In the morning, State Senators and Representatives read the Child Abuse Prevention Month tributes in both chambers.

State Senators Rhonda Fields and Barbara Kirkmeyer reading the Child Abuse Prevention Month tribute on the Senate floor.

State Representative Judy Amabile reading the Child Abuse Prevention Month Tribute on the House floor.

State Senators Rhonda Fields and Barbara Kirkmeyer with members of Illuminate Colorado, Raise the Future, Kempe Foundation and Kempe Center, Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Department of Early Childhood, and the Child Protection Ombudsman of Colorado.

Illuminate Colorado Executive Director Jade Woodard with the Child Abuse Prevention Month tribute. 

A big thank you to our legislative sponsors Senators Rhonda Fields, Cleave Simpson, and Barbara Kirkmeyer, and Representatives Judy Amabile, Tammy Story, Regina English, Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Mary Young, and Mary Bradfield.

In the afternoon, we joined the Colorado Department of Human Services for a Child Abuse Prevention Month rally on the West Steps!

Supporters from across the state joined us with pinwheels to show their commitment to strong families and communities. 

People from across the spectrum of prevention shared how the work of strengthening families has touched their work or their lives.

First, we heard opening remarks from Mekialaya White, an anchor at CBS4.

Illuminate Colorado Executive Director Jade Woodard spoke about how we can all band together to in collective ways to help children and families thrive. 

“We all benefit when friends, families, and neighbors work together to collectively care for children.” – Jade Woodard

Lupita Cardoza, a parent with lived experience, shared how Sister Carmen and the Circle of Parents program provided community support when she needed it most.

“I learned a lot about advocating for myself and for others, how to raise kids and deal with teenagers, how important it is to know where to go for resources and information.” – Lupita Cardoza

 

 

Mary Alice Cohen, the Deputy Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Early Childhood, highlighted organizations and partners that support Colorado families.

Timiya Jackson, Executive Director of the Heart & Hand Center Denver, shares how resource centers provide families with the resources and support they need to thrive.

Minna Castillo Cohen, Director of the Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Children, Youth, and Families, shared how the Office is evolving the child welfare system to more effectively connect families to the resources they need, as well as offer support for families who are struggling.

In closing, Stacy Tracey, a Prevention Social Caseworker at Denver County’s Department of Human Services, expressed how important it is to really listen to families and to meet parents where they are.

“Serving in this position is the best job I’ve had and the opportunity to meet families where they are and help them get to where they want to be has been incredibly rewarding.” – Stacy Tracey

The Illuminate Colorado team on the West Steps!

Didn’t get to join us at the rally?

You can get involved with Child Abuse Prevention Month all throughout April. Visit COPinwheelsForPrevention.org to learn mroe, sign up for trainings, and download the partner toolkit!

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