The Spectrum of Prevention in Action: Fostering Networks that Support Families Impacted by Substance Use

The Spectrum of Prevention in Action: Fostering Networks that Support Families Impacted by Substance Use

Welcome to the fourth installment of the 2024 Blog Series: The Spectrum of Prevention in Action!

Over the course of the year, join us as we take a deep dive into each component of the Spectrum of Prevention – Supporting Families through Direct Service, Building Public Awareness, Educating Communities & Professionals, Fostering Networks, and Influencing Policy – and how the Spectrum comes to life in Illuminate’s work

Used nationally to address complex public issues, the Spectrum of Prevention outlines a range of prevention strategies across different levels of influence within a community or society. Illuminate’s programs and initiatives strategically span an adapted version of the Spectrum of Prevention, ensuring a holistic and lasting approach to building brighter childhoods. By adapting and employing the Spectrum of Prevention, we can target prevention efforts at various levels, from building individual knowledge and skills to influencing policies and legislation.

Learn more about Illuminate’s Strategies & Frameworks.

Today, let’s explore how SuPPoRT Colorado fosters a network that serves families through the prevention and reduction of substance use during pregnancy.

Fostering networks emphasizes the importance of collaboration and networking among different organizations and community stakeholders. By working together, we amplify our impact. We’re able to pool resources, share expertise, and coordinate efforts across the state to prevent child maltreatment.

In 2008, the SuPPoRT Colorado Steering Committee was established as a subcommittee of the Colorado Substance Abuse Trend and Response Task Force.

The SuPPoRT Colorado Steering Committee is tasked with identifying and implementing strategies for reducing the number of families impacted by substance use during pregnancy and for improving outcomes for families across the lifespan.

The SuPPoRT Colorado Steering Committee exemplifies a collaborative approach to addressing community issues and continues to engage additional partners as appropriate to effectively address program targets.

SuPPoRT Colorado works as a cohesive network to convene, support, and guide the advancement of the following four priority areas:

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Reduce stigma around accessing substance use disorder treatment and recovery supports for pregnant and parenting people.

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Ensure systems, and the people who work within them, develop policies and practices with families that support warm handoffs, and standardize practices to address inequities.

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Build Colorado's statewide capacity to align efforts, apply lessons from our data, and recognize and respond to emerging needs.

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Build Colorado's statewide capacity to identify Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and support impacted families.

To further increase community collaboration and input from people with lived experiences, the Family Advisory Board (FAB) was formed in 2019.

The FAB identifies barriers and facilitators in seeking support and services, raises awareness about best practices when working with families, and informs priority-setting within the SuPPoRT Colorado Steering Committee to best serve the needs of families impacted by substance use.

SuPPoRT Colorado brings together subject matter experts, community partners, and individuals with lived experience, creating lasting impact for families impacted by substance use. 

Learn more about SuPPoRT Colorado’s work, get involved, and find resources on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, Plans of Safe Care, and Toxicology Testing here.

Stay up to date!

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So You Watched “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV”. Now What?

So You Watched “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV”. Now What?

Over the past few months, people across the country have been tuning in to watch the latest viral docuseries: Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV. The show gained popularity for uncovering the toxic and sexually abusive culture behind some of the most iconic children’s shows of the late 1990s and early 2000s. For the first time, audiences heard the stories of some of their favorite childhood actors and the trauma they endured on set. 

If you watched Quiet on Set and felt not only angry, sad, or triggered, but also at a loss for what to do, you’re not alone. 

We sat down with Sadie Rose Pace, one of Illuminate’s Education Program Managers and facilitator of child sexual abuse prevention trainings, to discuss what people might be feeling after watching Quiet on Set and actions they can take. Sadie shares her own thoughts on the docuseries, where to find educational trainings on boundary setting, and where victims can find support.

Let’s hear from Sadie.

While I was watching Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV it became apparent that there were a lot of areas in kids TV that could have been improved in order to have a higher standard of safety for both children and adults. Some simple ground rules including background checks, Codes of Conduct that provide boundaries around appropriate behavior, and ensuring that children and adults are in observable and interruptible situations (versus being one-on-one) would have made the work environment safer and more supportive for everyone.

These same kinds of ground rules can help us all create safer and more supportive environments for kids and adults alike–whether on a playdate, at school, at summer camp, or on a TV set. By setting clear boundaries and limits, we can reduce the risk of child sexual abuse.

Setting boundaries doesn’t have to be scary.

Sometimes when we are setting boundaries, it can feel overwhelming or impossible. When we break it down into skill sets that we can work on building, it gets much easier. 

Classes like Lines in the Sand: Identifying and Addressing Boundary Violations can help families and organizations learn why boundaries are so important to keep children safe, and how Codes of Conduct and policies are your opportunity to provide those boundaries.

202431May11:00 am1:00 pmLines in the Sand Training11:00 am - 1:00 pm(GMT-06:00) View in my timeVirtual Event

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth Serving Organizations is a great guide that has a helpful template in the back to keep track of what you need and what you already have. There is no one size fits all, but you should always feel encouraged and empowered to make changes to maintain boundaries and the safety of children. 

Where to turn if you or a loved one has experienced child sexual abuse.

For a lot of people watching this documentary, it brought up concerns or questions of abuse for themselves or others. Remember that no one ever owes you a disclosure or story of abuse. The Wings Foundation supports adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse to transcend trauma and lead their fullest, healthiest lives. They also have resources for loved ones to learn more. 

If you are concerned for the safety of a child, call the Colorado State Hotline at 844-CO-4-KIDS to make a report. Classes like Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children can teach you how to prevent, recognize, and report child sexual abuse. You can also learn more, as well as how to support your community, by reaching out to your local Child Advocacy Center. You can find a list of locations and more information about what Child Advocacy Centers do at the Colorado Children’s Alliance.

202417May12:00 pm2:30 pmStewards of Children Training12:00 pm - 2:30 pm(GMT-06:00) View in my timeVirtual Event

We all have the power to help build safer and stronger communities.

It can feel disheartening to watch these documentaries and hear stories of child sexual abuse. But your commitment to learning more and building safer communities is vital for moving forward. The resources listed here are free within Colorado. You can find class dates on our Event Calendar. We can also provide training to your group or organization by reaching out to Sadie Rose Pace at space@illuminatecolorado.org

Every single adult in Colorado has the power to make their community safer by supporting one another in preventing abuse.

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A Month in Review: Child Abuse Prevention Month 2024

A Month in Review: Child Abuse Prevention Month 2024

Child Abuse Prevention Month was a huge success!

Thank you to everyone who made April so special. Here at Illuminate, we are inspired by Colorado’s commitment to strengthening families and ensuring all children grow up healthy and thriving.

Join us as we look back on all of the amazing people, events, and progress that made 2024’s Child Abuse Prevention Month great!

We started off the month at the Colorado State Capitol for Pinwheels in the Chambers.

As the Child Abuse Prevention Month tribute was read on the Senate floor by five legislators, we filled the galleries with pinwheels to show our support for family strengthening policies in Colorado and beyond.

April 5th was Wear Blue Day!

Illuminate Colorado staff from across the state showed their commitment to building brighter childhoods by wearing blue and a smile.

At the 2024 Pinwheel Breakfast, we celebrated outstanding leaders in prevention by presenting six Leadership Awards.

We raised money to support families and prevent child maltreatment in Colorado!

On April 27th, we teamed up with Little Man Ice Cream to raise money for family strengthening programs. Guests chatted with Illuminate staff about our work, participated in fun giveaways, and 15% of the proceeds from the afternoon were donated to Illuminate!

Throughout the month of April, and largely due to our first ever National Day of Giving, we were able to raise over $18,200 to support our mission of preventing child maltreatment! We couldn’t have done it without the help of our generous supporters, so thank you!

That’s a wrap!

Thank you for joining us for yet another inspiring and energizing Child Abuse Prevention Month.

While Child Abuse Prevention Month may be over, our mission is far from complete. Preventing child maltreatment is an ongoing effort that requires the continued support of dedicated individuals like you.

Here are two things you can do right now to stay involved:

Learn about Our Work

Learn more about Illuminate’s work and how you can get involved by visiting our Programs & Initiatives page.

Become a Luminary

You can make a lasting impact by becoming a Luminary—a monthly donor to Illuminate Colorado. Your recurring donation will help sustain our vital programs and initiatives, ensuring that we can continue our work year-round.

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From the Photo Journal: Illuminate’s 2024 Pinwheel Breakfast

From the Photo Journal: Illuminate’s 2024 Pinwheel Breakfast

On April 24th, we celebrated outstanding leaders in child maltreatment prevention at our 2024 Pinwheel Breakfast. 

We were inspired, not only by our award recipients, but also by everyone who is committed to strengthening families, organizations, and communities to prevent child maltreatment.

Weren’t able to make it? Don’t worry–we took photos!

Join us as we look back on all of the fun we had celebrating Colorado’s leaders in prevention!

We started off the morning by welcoming guests to the Denver Children’s Museum and joining everyone for breakfast.

Colleagues, friends, and supporters of family strengthening efforts mingled and built connections before the awards begun. Many guests were able to read Illuminate’s 2023 Annual Report for the first time! 

Onto our speakers!

To kick off the event, Jade Woodard, Illuminate’s Executive Director, provided opening remarks and spoke on the importance of recognizing the individuals and organizations in our communities who work tirelessly to help children and families thrive.

Jade then introduced guest speaker Niki W. Gill Adams, M. Ed, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility at the Colorado Department of Early Childhood.

Niki discussed how our communities can thrive when all families are encouraged to show up exactly as they are, regardless of race, culture, and background, to receive the support they need.

She explained that we are ALL leaders when it comes to strengthening families, and it is up to us to decide what type of leaders we will be.

Next, the awards!

Anne Auld, one of Illuminate’s Deputy Directors, presented the Community Leadership Award to Lisa Blake.

Lisa has been a force in multiple coalitions and networks supported by Illuminate. As a lived experience expert, Lisa brings valuable insight to The Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families and CO-ECCS, two initiatives working to build systems and communities that help families thrive.

Left to right: Anne Auld, Lisa Blake, Jade Woodard.

Angela Shehorn (left) and Eric Chervenak (right).

Eric Chervenak, Illuminate’s Child Care Operations Manager, presented the Dynamic Leadership Award to Angela Shehorn.

Angela leads a team of nine dedicated individuals who serve children and families in 11 counties in southeastern Colorado, and has been an instrumental force in the effort to relaunch Illuminating Child Care services in southeastern Colorado.

Lex Loutzenhiser, Illuminate’s Policy Manager, presented the Courageous Leadership Award to Representative Chris deGruy Kennedy.

Rep. deGruy Kennedy has a record as a champion of policy changes that strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment, most notably through his role as Chair on the Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Study Committee.

Left to right: Jade Woodard, Rep. deGruy Kennedy, Lex Loutzenhiser.

Left to right: Jade Woodard, Dr. Nia Cantey, Kelly Sim, Jillian Fabricius.

Jillian Fabricius, one of Illuminate’s Deputy Directors, presented the Catalytic Leadership Award to Casey Family Programs.

Casey Family Programs has made strategic investments over many years to catalyze programmatic and systems change work in the state of Colorado, with a particular emphasis on building Colorado’s capacity for including people with lived experience.

Kelli Sutton, an Illuminate Strategic Initiatives Manager, presented the Innovative Leadership Award to Dr. Lauren Bruns.

Dr. Bruns has shown an unwavering commitment and innovative approach to improving outcomes for birthing people and infants. Dr. Bruns is leading change and reform across Colorado in order to support equity for our most vulnerable and underserved populations.

Dr. Lauren Bruns (left) and Kelli Sutton (right).

Left to right: Toni Miner, Judge Gail Meinster, Jade Woodard.

Toni Miner, Illuminate’s Circle of Parents Recovery Program Manager, presented the Lori Moriarty Leadership Award to Judge Gail Meinster.

Judge Meinster is the Presiding Juvenile Judge for the First Judicial District in Colorado and hears delinquency, dependency and neglect, and domestic relation cases, and presides over the Family Integrated Treatment Court, a dependency and neglect drug court. Her entire career – on the bench, as a county attorney, and as a nonprofit leader – has been dedicated to supporting families.

Thanks for joining us!

Learn more about child abuse prevention and get involved at COPinwheelsforPrevention.org.

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Request for Proposals: Strategist for Family Connects Colorado

Request for Proposals: Strategist for Family Connects Colorado

Overview

Illuminate is seeking a Strategist to to support the development of a multiyear scaling and sustainability strategy for Family Connects Colorado. Statewide scaling of Family Connects will unquestionably transform the way the state of Colorado supports the health and well-being of all families after the addition of a child to their families.

Family Connects Colorado Overview

Family Connects is an evidence-based model that provides nurse home visitation to all families with newborns. The service is simple: A registered nurse visits a family’s home around 3 weeks after birth to check on parent, baby, and the whole family. Nurses offer expert support on everything from feeding and sleeping to child care options, identifies existing mental or behavioral health concerns, stressors that may cause future concerns and make connections to resources tailored to each family’s needs. Based on the randomized control trials for the model, for families receiving a Family Connects nurse home visit, community connections increased by 13-15%. There is no cost to families, and anyone with a newborn can participate, including foster, adoptive, kinship, immigrant, and refugee families. By reaching all families in a community, Family Connects improves health outcomes at the population level—connecting every family with a healthy future. The program is currently being implemented in Boulder, Eagle, and Jefferson Counties with anticipated expansion in 2024 and beyond.

Term of Contract

Upon execution (anticipated May 15) – December 31, 2024

Budget

Up to $20,000

RFP Submission

Proposals should be digitally submitted to tkorb@illuminatecolorado.org with “Family Connects Strategist” in the subject line by 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time on May 30th, 2024. Proposals should not exceed 4 pages, excluding budget and other attachments.

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