Building Brighter Childhoods
Our Vision: A Colorado where all children and families thrive.
Our Mission: Illuminate Colorado strengthens families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment.
With a research-based approach that emphasizes building promotive and protective factors, we address systemic and multi-sector issues by collaborating with families and partners at the community, state and national level to develop and implement powerful programs, policies and initiatives that keep kids safe in Colorado.
What Does Illuminate Colorado Do?
Preventing child maltreatment is work that’s both broad and complex. Illuminate Colorado tackles this by approaching the issue in different ways and at multiple levels of society. Only in this way can we truly create lasting impact.
We strengthen families by providing services and resources directly to families; by conducting trainings for parents and caregivers that equip them with the skills they need; and by advocating for policies that support families.
We strengthen organizations by providing education and support to professionals through trainings, conferences, and publications; and by changing organizational practice through implementing new policies, identifying areas for improvement, and providing technical assistance to increase organizational capacity.
We strengthen communities by providing trainings and resources that make our communities stronger; by advancing social norms that make it okay to ask for help; by supporting coalition spaces that foster multi-sector, family and system collaboration; and by advocating for policies that support communities.
To learn more about Illuminate Colorado’s programs and initiatives, visit our programs page!
Our organization's values serve as the guiding principles that define who we are, what we stand for, and how we operate. They provide a framework for decision-making, behavior, and communication that aligns with our mission and vision. Our values are more than just words on a page - they are the cornerstone of our culture and the driving force behind everything we do.
We are innovative and responsive to the needs of families, partners, and the field of child maltreatment prevention.
We pursue growth and continuous quality improvement.
We practice empathy with everyone, everywhere, and in every situation.
We demonstrate integrity in our personal and professional lives.
Our foundations are the building blocks upon which our values are constructed. They are the fundamental principles that anchor our organization and provide a solid basis for our values to thrive. Our foundations transcend individual values but are critical to living them out.
Equitable & Inclusive
We root our approach to strengthening families and communities in the acknowledgement that risk and protective factors for child maltreatment are impacted by structural inequities, including pervasive and systemic racism and white supremacy, both overt and passive.
Family & Community Driven
We embrace all perspectives and definitions of family and community. Our strategies, decisions, and actions are driven by the voice and input of Colorado families and communities.
We see child and caregiver well-being as interdependent and all people as part of family and community structures. Every approach to and with families encourages and creates the benefits of connections.
We recognize that all parts of our work are interconnected. Each level of the Spectrum of Prevention is key to achieving our mission by seeking to identify and understand strengths, risks, and how individuals, communities, organizations, and systems are situated.
The development of Illuminate Colorado was the result of careful consideration, strategic planning, and due diligence. The thorough planning and implementation process would not have been possible without the generous support of our Board of Directors, the Denver Active 20-30 Children’s Foundation, and Social Venture Partners Denver.
In October 2014, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (Colorado DEC) voted to explore a partnership with Prevent Child Abuse Colorado (PCA Colorado) and the Colorado Chapter of FASD United (formerly the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) following years of close collaboration.
In January 2015, Colorado DEC was selected as one of two inaugural investees in a Social Venture Partners Denver and Denver Active 20/30 Children’s Foundation Capacity Building Project. This project focused on uniting the work of the three organizations, and after a year of careful consideration, strategic planning, legal research, and financial due diligence, Illuminate Colorado was formed in December 2015. Governed by a single Board of Directors and operating under a joint services agreement, programs are fully integrated to leverage resources and increase capacity to implement powerful programs to keep kids safe.
Beginning October 1, 2016, Illuminate Colorado added a fourth agency to the strategic partnership – Sexual Abuse Forever Ending (SAFE). SAFE works to educate and empower children and adults to reduce stigma and prevent child sexual abuse.
Full consolidation of the four organizations was complete on January 1, 2017.
Illuminate Colorado acknowledges that our work in the state of Colorado takes place on the traditional land and unceded territories of the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Peoples. We also recognize the 48 contemporary Indigenous Tribes and Nations who have historically called Colorado home.
We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from these lands, and the role that U.S public policy played in it. We respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land and give thanks to all Tribal Nations and the ancestors of this place.
May this acknowledgment express Illuminate’s commitment to grow and deepen its relationships with the vibrant Indigenous communities who continue to thrive and uphold their sacred relation to this land.
Why is this important?
“To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgments do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol.” – Northwestern University