Parents, we need to connect with each other.

Parents, we need to connect with each other.

Parents, we’re only human. Under normal circumstances, we are under all kinds of stress trying to raise small humans to reach their full potential as adults. It is a lot of pressure and the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis has caused everything to change. School, work, child care, the list goes on and on. It is all uncharted territory and every parent has a lot to worry about right now. While everyone is encouraged to physically distance ourselves from each other, that doesn’t mean we need to socially isolate from one another.

In fact, now more than ever, it is important to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our kids and connect with one another to share support, tips, advice or just talk.

TO HELP KEEP COLORADO FAMILIES STRONG THROUGH THIS COVID-19 CRISIS, ILLUMINATE COLORADO HAS LAUNCHED A NEW FACEBOOK GROUP FOR PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS THIS WEEKEND AND SEVERAL ONLINE CIRCLE OF PARENTS GROUPS IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH WILL BEGIN NEXT WEEK TO CREATE A SPACE FOR PEOPLE RAISING KIDS TO VENT, CRY, AND LAUGH, AND JOKE, AND FIND OUT HOW OTHER PARENTS ARE NAVIGATING THIS NEW WORLD.

We recognize that the added stress of the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Colorado, the closure of schools and child care services and social distancing places children and families at greater risk for toxic stress and child maltreatment. We also know that social connections are critical in the prevention of child maltreatment.

To help keep Colorado families strong through this COVID-19 crisis, Illuminate Colorado has launched a new Facebook group for parents and caregivers this weekend and several online Circle of Parents Groups in English and Spanish will begin next week to create a space for people raising kids to vent, cry, and laugh, and joke, and find out how other parents are navigating this new world.

Illuminating Colorado Parenthood Facebook Group

Parenting is stressful on a normal day and these days are anything, but normal. Illuminate Colorado Facebook page continues to promote resources that may support parents in raising children of all ages. We also know it is important to keep your spirits high by sharing inspiring or funny memes to build your parental resilience. We want more of a two-way street. Join the Illuminating Colorado Parenthood Facebook Group to share your lived experience with other parents. Get answers to important questions like, just how many cups can one kid use in a day? While parents and caregivers might need to vent, this group is a positive space. We hope you will join together to encourage each other to enjoy time with your child during these stressful times and celebrate what you like about being a parent, in the midst of all of this. Or, may be you are having one of those days and you need a reminder yourself.

Circle of Parents – NEW Online Groups

Sometimes you just need to talk. llluminate has created several NEW virtual Circle of Parents groups for parents and caregivers that will begin to connect for a private video and telephone conference 1-hour chats this week. Join other parents and caregivers all around Colorado online to share support, tips and advice or just talk. Vent, cry, and laugh, and joke, and find out how other parents are navigating this new world. Talk about:

      • Activities to do at home with children of all ages
      • How to maintain self-care and self-kindness
      • Resources and tips to stay healthy and safe
      • How to talk about what’s going on with your children

… whatever you want to talk about!

A Circle of Parents online group for any Colorado parent of caregiver is meeting every week on Tuesday at 10:00 am and Thursday at 7:00 pm. Click HERE for Zoom Video Conferencing and telephone information.

Someone has to keep the conversation going, and that’s what a parent facilitator does. Sara Mirshamsi, is a mother of three daughters in Pueblo, CO and is a parent mentor for Illuminate Colorado, the Colorado Chapter lead for Circle of Parents.

An online group for parents and caregivers in recovery from a substance use disorder will meet every week on Wednesday at 9:30 am and Friday at 7:00 pm. Connect with others parents maintaining their recovery during these stressful times. Click HERE for Zoom Video Conferencing and telephone information.

This group is facilitated by Toni Miner, a mother of three daughters and legal guardian to two of her three grandchildren living in Arvada, CO. She recently celebrated 18 years in recovery and is a Family Support Partner for the Jefferson County Human Services Department facilitating a weekly Circle of Parents in Recovery group in Lakewood for the last four years.

Join other parents and caregivers of children with symptoms of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders meets the first Friday of each month at 12:30 pm. This is a private group. Email amichaelsboffy@illuminatecolorado.org for the online and teleconference information.

Many other existing Circle of Parents groups are learning to connect online while Colorado is physically distancing from one another to prevent the community spread of COVID-19 in many communities in Colorado. Visit each group page or contact the parent facilitator to find out if a specific parent group is meeting online during this crisis.

 We know communities are stronger together, so please encourage others to join you.

CIRCULO DE PADRES – Para Todos Los Padres y Cuidadores

Padres, ustedes solo son humanos y los humanos son criaturas sociales, y somos más felices y saludables cuando regularmente pasamos tiempo con otros. Conectarse con otras personas puede reducir el estrés y ayudarlo a recordar que otros se preocupan por usted. En este momento, tenemos que hacer eso en línea.

Únase a otros padres y cuidadores en todo Colorado en línea para compartir apoyo, consejos y sugerencias o simplemente hablar. Vente, llora, ríe y bromea, y descubre cómo otros padres están navegando en este nuevo mundo. Hablar sobre: ·

      • Actividades para hacer en casa con niños.
      • Cómo mantener el autocuidado y la bondad
      • Recursos y consejos para mantenerse sano y seguro.
      • Cómo hablar sobre lo que está pasando con tus hijos

… de lo que quieras hablar!

Alguien tiene que mantener la conversación, y eso es lo que hace un facilitador de padres.

Este grupo es facilitado por Maria Soto, una madre de dos hijas y una nieta en Denver, CO. Maria es una profesional de apoyo familiar con Families First en Shiloh House y ha estado facilitando un Círculo de Padres semanal durante siete años.

En línea: Zoom Videoconferencia en línea AQUÍ
Teléfono: +1 346-248-7799; Access code: 926 760 054#
Cuando: Lunes a 9:30 am y Miércoles a 6:30 pm

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Parents, we need to connect with each other.

Keeping Families Strong during COVID-19 – IMPORTANT UPDATE

In this unprecedented and uncertain time, we wanted to share updates on our work to keep families strong in the age of COVID-19. We recognize that the added stress of the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Colorado, the closure of schools and child care services and physically distancing from each other places children and families at greater risk for toxic stress and child maltreatment. 

We are living our mission now more than ever and we are doing everything we can to strengthen families, organization and communities to prevention child maltreatment. To continue to inspire support and connection for families, communities, and our field – we wanted to share with you some adaptations and opportunities through Illuminate to engage in a new and different way:

  • The Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families (CPTF) and Illuminate Colorado are convening a conversation on Keeping Families Strong during COVID-19 on Tuesday, March 24th, at 3:00 pm. Join representatives from Illuminate Colorado, the Kempe Center, the Family Resource Center Association, state and local government agencies, and many more community-based nonprofits to share adaptations, responses, and needs to strengthen families during these unprecedented times. Join us HERE.
  • To help keep Colorado families strong through this COVID-19 crisis, Illuminate Colorado has launched a new Facebook group for parents and caregivers this weekend and several online Circle of Parents Groups in English and Spanish will begin next week to create a space for people raising kids to vent, cry, and laugh, and joke, and find out how other parents are navigating this new world.
  • Coming soon – we’ll be streaming yoga, mindfulness, and breathing videos for relaxation, stress relief, and entertainment – for parents and caregivers, children and teens, and professionals.  Stay tuned.

We know this time of uncertainty and change can feel scary and overwhelming. We hope you all stay calm, healthy, and well. We’re here for each other.

Illuminate Colorado makes adjustments to reflect the ongoing support and health for our employees and the communities we serve.

Illuminate Colorado makes adjustments to reflect the ongoing support and health for our employees and the communities we serve.

As you can imagine, as an organization that works to strengthen families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment, we are beginning to face many difficult decisions. Based on information we have reviewed, including the close monitoring of local and national health reports and directives regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) and inconsideration of the many school closures that have impacted our employees and community partners daily lives, we have adjustments to reflect the ongoing support and health for our employees and the communities we serve. Including:

  • Cancelling or postponing all in person events through the end of March. We will be focused on a digital first experience at Illuminate Colorado. Our office is not closed, but Illuminate employees are working virtually as much as possible through March 27 at which time it will be determined if there is the need for an extension of this general practice. During this period of time, staff will be answering phone calls and emails. Please call the main phone line at (303) 413-3460 if you need assistance or visit a staff directory
  • Ramping up digital training and education starting next week. Our goal is to help share more tips, training, and education on how you can leverage social during this challenging time to raise awareness for the prevention of child maltreatment and strengthen families. Illuminate Colorado cares about your community – help us stop the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to spread awareness for the prevention of child maltreatment during this time.
  • Launching a new community on Facebook to provide a space for parents and caregivers to connect to one another during this stressful time. We recognize that the added stress of the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Colorado, the closure of schools and child care services and social distancing places children and families at greater risk for toxic stress and child maltreatment. We also know that social connections are critical in the prevention of child maltreatment. This added communication platform will be a place for you to connect with Illuminate Colorado employees as well as other parents and experts statewide. 

The health and safety of our staff and the communities that we serve are our top priority and this decision to postpone meetings was not made lightly, but out of an overabundance of caution. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make decisions about events and meetings in April in the next few weeks and update you accordingly. We also encourage the community to continue hand washing and follow other recommendations from the CDC about how to avoid the spread of illness and visit Colorado’s COVID-19 website for more information.

Behind the scenes, we will continue to operate to ensure that we return to business as usual as soon as it is safe to do so. We appreciate your support and understanding during these difficult times. For the latest information, please continue to check our blog at www.IlluminateColorado.org/news  

It is difficult to be experts in all things, to all families.

It is difficult to be experts in all things, to all families.

ILLUMINATE COLORADO CAN FACILITATE AND PROVIDE EXPERT CASE CONSULTATION ON COMPLEX CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT CASES ACROSS COLORADO WITHIN AS LITTLE AS 3 TO 5 BUSINESS DAYS IF NECESSARY.

This week, the Colorado Department of Human Services announced, due to a reprioritization of funding allocations and activities, Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) funds may be limited and the financial support for expert case consultations may be reduced or eliminated after September 30, 2019. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), [P.L. 108-36.], is a federal grant which is utilized to support a wide array of child welfare programs in Colorado. 

For the last four years, this funding has supported expert case consultations services provided by both the Kempe Center and Illuminate Colorado. We deeply appreciate the Department’s partnership to allow Illuminate the opportunity to give case workers, guardian ad litem (GAL) attorneys and law enforcement the support that they need to achieve the best possible outcomes for children, youth and families. Our organization remains committed to providing this support to any county department of human services, GAL or local law enforcement agency requesting consultation, now and into the future, to help improve the safety, permanency, and well-being of the children in Colorado. 

Child Abuse & Neglect Expert Staffing (CANES)

Illuminate’s Child Abuse & Neglect Expert Staffing (CANES) program is a multidisciplinary team of experts who provide timely and expert consultation on challenging and complex child welfare assessments, investigations, and cases. Our staff facilitate and provide expert case consultation on complex child abuse and neglect cases across Colorado within as little as 3 to 5 business days if necessary.

CANES has been an invaluable aid to those on the front-line navigating the complexities of child maltreatment in Colorado. One of the more than 110 professionals who needed our expert case consultation over the last four years put it best by saying, The information that we have gained from these consultations has been instrumental and useful to improve our practice and provision of services to promote the health and well-being of many children, youth and families served in our community”. 

It is difficult to be an expert in all the issues that arise when trying to protect children and strengthen families. That is why easily accessing a network of experts is essential to achieving better outcomes for children, youth and families. Illuminate, and our many partner experts, are proud of the consultation we’ve provided case workers, police officers and GALs, on cases impacting the lives of 219 children over the last four years, as they made critical decisions on a variety of issues. 

Areas of Expertise

CANES Areas of Expertise include:

  • Medical
  • Legal
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Human Trafficking
  • Domestic Violence
  • Divorce and Custody Issues
  • Child Development – 
  • Developmental Expectations Developmental Delays
  • Pediatric Mental Health
  • Child Trauma
  • Adult Behavioral Health –  Mental Health & Substance Use
  • Adolescent Behavioral Health -Mental Health & Substance Use
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Homelessness

We are proud to support those professionals on the front-line in child protection.

We, like the Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Children, Youth, and Families, continue to explore all funding options for this service; and hope that the necessary data sharing agreements can be put in place prior to September 30 to enable counties to share case-specific information with outside experts. Should that not be possible, Illuminate is committed to evolving the CANES program to operate under any new parameters to help prevent child maltreatment in Colorado.

Illuminate urges Department of Housing and Urban Development to withdraw proposed changes

Illuminate urges Department of Housing and Urban Development to withdraw proposed changes

Illuminate Colorado provided public comment in the form of a statement this week in response to a Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposed changes in rule regarding “verification of eligible status,” published in the Federal Register on May 10, 2019 (RIN 2501-AD89; HUD Docket No. FR-6124-P-01). The proposed rule changes would decrease housing stability for children and their families, which has a negative impact on multiple dimensions of child well-being.

Illuminate Colorado knows that secure housing is foundational to child well-being and we must ensure that every child and family has a safe, stable place to call home. By maintaining policies that build protective factors in families, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of child maltreatment and strengthen resilience in families identified as being at higher risk. Family stability is a protective factor and is crucial to the healthy social emotional development of children.

We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule and urge HUD to withdraw the proposed rule in its entirety, and keep HUD’s long-standing regulations in effect.

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