The Spectrum of Prevention in Action: Tip Colorado Educates Communities and Professionals on How to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

The Spectrum of Prevention in Action: Tip Colorado Educates Communities and Professionals on How to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

Welcome to the second 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 Tip Colorado focuses on educating communities and professionals to prevent child sexual abuse.

Educating Communities & Professionals focuses on training and educating communities and professionals who work with children and families. By sharing knowledge and best practices, we can equip communities and professionals with the skills to safeguard children. In 2020, Illuminate created Tip Colorado to empower adults to protect children in every community in Colorado from experiencing child sexual abuse.

Child sexual abuse is a major public health concern in Colorado communities. National experts estimate that one in 10 children will be sexually abused before the age of 18¹, and 90% of children who experience sexual abuse know their abuser².

The good news? We know that child sexual abuse is preventable. 

It is up to us as adults to create communities that all children deserve–ones where they can grow up healthy and reach their full potential.

In order to prevent child sexual abuse, adults need to take greater responsibility to educate themselves on how to create safer communities where everyone is actively thinking about how to prevent children from experiencing sexual abuse. If enough adults in a community take a FREE live, interactive online training then we can create a new standard of child safety throughout Colorado. Together, we can reach a tipping point where children grow up happy, healthy and safe in communities that prevent children from experiencing sexual abuse.

What is your community tipping point?

This map, last updated in June 2023, reflects how many of the individuals who have been trained reported that they live or work in a particular county. Since there are three qualifying child sexual abuse prevention trainings, numbers may be duplicated if an individual has taken more than one of the trainings. Kiowa County has already reached the tipping point!

Trouble viewing the map? Open it in your browser or make sure third-party cookies are enabled and refresh this page.

Help Colorado Reach the Tipping Point

Since the creation of Tip Colorado, Illuminate, along with local facilitators, has trained over 10,000 people. Thanks in large part to support from the Colorado Child Abuse Prevention Trust Fund in the Department of Early Childhood, all Coloradans can currently take these three trainings FREE in-person or online.

Lines in the Sand

Lines in the Sand: Indentifying and Addressing Boundary Violations provides important context about setting boundaries and identifying behaviors that have been identified within the sexual grooming model.

What to Expect When Talking the "Talk"

What to Expect When Talking the “Talk”: Preparing for Conversations about Sexual Development throughout Childhood provides important information about apporaching conversations that impact positive sexual development.

Stewards of Children®

Stewards of Children® is a trauma and evidence-informed training that teaches adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.

 

“Each training is strength-based, discussion-focused, and aims to increase confidence and knowledge on how we each play a role in preventing child sexual abuse.”

Anne Auld

Deputy Director, Illuminate Colorado

While Educating Communities & Professionals is just one part of the Spectrum of Prevention, it is an incredibly important one. With the correct education, skills, and guidance, all of our communities can become safe spaces where children and families thrive.

Explore Upcoming Trainings!

Citations

1. Townsend, C. & Rheingold, A.A. (2013). Estimating a child sexual abuse prevalence rate for practitioners: A review of child sexual abuse prevalence studies. Charleston, S.C., Darkness to Light. Retrieved from www.D2L.org.

2. Finkelhor, D. (2012). Characteristics of crimes against juveniles. Durham, NH: Crimes against Children Research Center.

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The Spectrum of Prevention in Action: Illuminating Child Care Supports Families through Direct Service

The Spectrum of Prevention in Action: Illuminating Child Care Supports Families through Direct Service

Welcome to the first 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 Illuminating Child Care supports families through direct service!

Supporting Families through Direct Service focuses on providing information, education, and skills-building opportunities to individuals. By offering targeted services, we empower parents and caregivers with the tools and resources they need to create safe, nurturing environments for their children.

Illuminating Child Care, one of the multiple ways Illuminate is offering direct support to families, provides an innovative systemic-approach to increasing access to child care for parents and caregivers navigating complex life situations, like mental health concerns, substance use disorders, or employment challenges, as they seek to strengthen their families. The program provides both community navigation support that connects families to resources, as well as mobile child care classrooms that offer child care to caregivers on-site where they’re getting the support they need. 

Access to child care is critical for all parents and caregivers in order for children, families, and communities to thrive. When families struggling to manage life’s challenges and the demands of raising children are also faced with the challenge of finding high quality child care, it can stand in the way of strengthening families.

“Research shows that difficulty finding child care is a stronger predictor of maternal neglect than almost any other factor, including mental health, severity of drug use, history of abuse as a child, & use of public assistance.”

Jade Woodard

Executive Director, Illuminate Colorado

Not only do Illuminating Child Care Teachers provide navigation services to caregivers, they are also trained to provide developmental planning services to families to ensure that every child is receiving the support they need to thrive. After about two weeks with Illuminating Child Care, families begin to work with teachers to complete the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, which helps to identify any areas where children may need extra support.

Teachers also work to build genuine, trusting relationships with parents. Illuminating Child Care teachers prioritize what each parent wants for their child, including how to best align with the schedules kids are on at home, in order to create a consistent and safe environment for learning.  

Check out our blog on the role of an Early Childhood Teacher!

Using direct services to help families build a holistic foundation of knowledge– of where to access community resources, how to nurture their child’s developmental progress, and where they can go to receive quality, trusted child care– is a critical step in strengthening families to prevent child maltreatment.

Did you know that Illuminating Child Care recently welcomed a new mobile child care classroom?

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Celebrating the Connections Between Black History Month and Parent Leadership Month

Celebrating the Connections Between Black History Month and Parent Leadership Month

In honor of February as both Black History Month and Parent Leadership Month, we are recognizing the sacrifices that Black caregivers have made for their children throughout history. All caregivers make sacrifices in their lives to be the best parents they can be and create healthy environments for their children. Today, throughout the month, and all year long, it is important to recognize the extreme sacrifices that Black parents and communities have made to ensure the well-being of the next generation. 

Recently, we had the chance to speak with Shana Shaw, Illuminate’s Circle of Parents Specialty Program Manager, about how sacrifice and parenthood go hand in hand, and how Circle of Parents groups provide safe spaces where caregivers can relate over their shared sacrifices, and grow together.

All caregivers are leaders, and every caregiver makes sacrifices.

Like we talked about in this blog, every parent is a leader in their own way, supporting their children, other caregivers, and their community. It takes leadership for a parent to see a better future for their children and then make the sacrifices needed to achieve their vision. Caregivers everywhere give up the ease and flexibility of a life focused on themselves in order to build routines and environments where their children can thrive. Sacrifice is the ultimate form of parent leadership – and every parent can relate to that.

Shana Shaw

Circle of Parents Specialty Program Manager

Across cultures, parenthood is about sacrifice.

While it may look different across cultures, all caregivers make sacrifices in order to create better lives for their children. Shaw explained that in Black communities, unthinkable sacrifices have been made by caregivers in order to ensure the next generation experiences less struggle and pain. She thinks about the sacrifices of her grandparents, which allowed her mother the right to an education, and then of her own mother, which have allowed Shaw to experience greater freedom in her life. Forward movement within systemically racist systems and social structures requires sacrifice, and is a gift that has been passed down through generations in Black communities in order to secure better lives for their children. 

Circle of Parents groups provide safe spaces where caregivers can connect over shared challenges

Although all caregivers make sacrifices, it’s crucial to recognize that these sacrifices aren’t simple or easy. It can be extremely difficult for parents to deprioritize parts of themselves that they view as essential to their individuality – such as their independence, their close friends, or even hobbies. Shaw explained that parents are also working through their own trauma, which is not a small task – it is a sacrifice in itself for parents to do the work of processing their past in order to become better caregivers for their children. Putting a child’s best interests above your own takes a lot of work, and it isn’t easy to get used to. 

That’s why it’s important for parents to have safe spaces where they can connect with other parents who are experiencing similar challenges. Circle of Parents groups offer safe spaces where caregivers can feel supported in their journey of examining themselves and exploring ways that they can show up as better parents for their children, Shaw explained. Caregivers often feel isolated and alone in the sacrifices they make during parenthood, which is why groups like Circle of Parents are so vital. 

Spaces where caregivers can show up as nothing else but their authentic selves, ready to learn and grow, make all the difference.

There’s a Circle of Parents group for everyone.

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Meet the Safe Babies Team!

Meet the Safe Babies Team!

In December of 2023, Illuminate welcomed Safe Babies, a program with a bottom-up approach to system and policy shifts that address the unique needs of infants, toddlers, and their caregivers who are entering or at risk of entering the child welfare system. The effort is rooted in honoring the experience of the individual family, respecting community culture, and using data to inform statewide efforts that globally support the well-being of all babies and their families.

Safe Babies consists of two components: Safe Babies Court Teams, an evidence-based intervention for families entering Child Welfare with at least one child under three; and Best for Babies, an innovative approach to preventing newborns from entering Child Welfare.

Today, we invite you to meet the exceptional professionals who make this program possible!

AnnaMarie Neal, LSW

Director of Safe Babies

As the Director of Safe Babies, AnnaMarie Neal manages the Safe Babies team, helping to strengthen families in complex situations impacted by public and government systems.

AnnaMarie comes to Illuminate as a Licensed Social Worker with a master’s degree in social work. AnnaMarie loves to watch families grow to their fullest potential and is passionate about supporting system shifts to ensure families can access the resources and support they need to thrive.

Erin Baker-Ojeda

Community Coordinator

As a Community Coordinator in Arapahoe, Erin Baker-Ojeda works on the family, agency, and community levels to advance systems change to better serve infants and their families who are involved in the child welfare system. She also partners with the community to bolster prevention efforts of child maltreatment and neglect.

Erin’s expertise in early childhood programming and passion for strengthening families drives her work in the Safe Babies program as they partner with families to navigate complex systemic challenges.

 

Veronica Ibarra, MPA

Community Coordinator

As a Community Coordinator, Veronica Ibarra works to provide families who are involved in the child welfare system the resources and connections they need to thrive. In addition, Veronica will be launching a Safe Babies Court Team in Huerfano County.

Veronica has extensive experience in Early Childhood Education, working with children 0-6 years old, as well as mentoring, training, and monitoring staff in early childhood programs. With a passion for working with individuals in her community to develop skills and knowledge to reach their goals, Veronica helps to provide resources and access to helpful programs.

Katie Newell

In-house Counsel and Safe Babies Statewide Manager

As the In-house Counsel and Safe Babies Statewide Manager, Katie Newell supports existing Safe Babies sites and assists with facilitation of the statewide expansion of the Safe Babies approach. She also leads the Safe Babies State Advisory Group.

Katie comes to Illuminate with experience as an attorney working in nonprofit law firms. Katie is committed to addressing the unique needs of children and their families so that all children have opportunities for success.

Melissa Pino

Pueblo Community Coordinator

As the Pueblo Community Coordinator, Melissa Pino provides a trauma-informed approach to working with children ages 0-3 who are involved in the Dependency and Neglect System.

Melissa comes to Illuminate with over 25 years of education and work experience in the Human Services field, working with people of all ages and genders. Throughout her career, Melissa has found a passion for helping others, and loves to see healthy and safe outcomes for families.

Sydney Salas

Best for Babies Program Family Navigator

As a Family Navigator, Sydney Salas works with new and expecting mothers who struggle with substance use or their mental health. Sydney provides resources to parents and connects them with basic needs to help get them back on track.

Mothers who struggle with substance use have a special place in her heart. Sydney has lived experience in this area, and has grown to see the beauty on the other side. Sydney’s hope is to help others see that same beauty, as well as help to ensure that children have healthy, happy parents.

Learn More About the Safe Babies Approach

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Get Ready for Child Abuse Prevention Month!

Get Ready for Child Abuse Prevention Month!

Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAPM) in April is fast approaching! Illuminate Colorado is so excited to team up with partners like you to celebrate and advocate for stronger families, healthier communities, and thriving children.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how to get involved during CAPM!

Become a campaign partner

Our partners…

    • Promote the campaign throughout April using the campaign toolkit (below!) and campaign messaging.
    • Encourage other Coloradans to take part in the campaign.

Download our CAPM Partner Toolkit

This year’s theme is “Building a Hopeful Future, Together.” Throughout Child Abuse Prevention Month, Prevent Child Abuse America and Illuminate Colorado are building a narrative of hope for children and families through collaboration and the creation of an ecosystem of primary prevention. You can get involved by downloading and sharing the campaign toolkit.

Find information on events, trainings, and other important dates on our community calendar

Building healthy communities takes work. We all have a responsibility to ensure children have positive experiences and to make sure families have the resources they need, when they need them. Check out our Community Calendar to see upcoming trainings about creating positive childhood experiences, preventing child sexual abuse, and building protective factors to strengthen families, or attend an event that builds families up.

Physical and virtual pinwheels

This year, you are able to order pinwheels and other pinwheel-branded items directly from the Prevent Child Abuse America web store!

Don’t want to order physical pinwheels? Throughout the campaign, you can make a tax-deductible gift to help build a virtual pinwheel garden. You can plant a virtual pinwheel for only $10 to help strengthen families and prevent child abuse in Colorado. 

Get updates about CAPM as April approaches

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