by Sarah Packard | May 5, 2023 | CAPM
Colorado saw lots of wins for children and families during Child Abuse Prevention Month.
We advocated for family strengthening policies at the capitol, raised awareness for prevention efforts happening across the state, and raised funds for programs and services that help families thrive.
We kicked off Child Abuse Prevention Month at the Capitol.
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!
We recognized leaders in prevention.
On April 13th, the Illuminating Leadership Awards were held at the celebratory Pinwheel Breakfast. Illuminate Colorado has annually honored the contributions of exceptional individuals, groups of individuals, and organizations who have furthered our collective mission to strengthen families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment. This year we celebrated some amazing recipients!
We advocated for family strengthening policies.
One of the biggest wins came when Governor Jared Polis signed HB23-1191 into law, which prohibits the corporal punishment of children in public schools, state-licensed child care centers, family child care homes, and specialized group facilities. HB23-1191 will create positive childhood experiences to enable families and communities to thrive!
Child maltreatment prevention is a year-round effort, and here at Illuminate Colorado we remain committed to strengthening families, organizations, and communities every day. Join us by getting involved!
Register for a child sexual abuse prevention training.
Illuminate Colorado offers child sexual abuse prevention trainings for professionals, caregivers, and community members alike. Find your training today.
Learn how to create Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences (HOPE) for the kids in your life.
Research shows that positive experiences help kids grow up into healthy, thriving adults. Whether you’re a caregiver, professional, or community member, you can help create positive experiences for the kids in your life. Find your training.
Sharpen your self-awareness and self-regulation skills with a Bloom Yoga Class.
Bloom Yoga, a program managed by Sarah Crisafi at Illuminate Colorado, offers supportive, trauma-informed yoga for anyone who plays a part in family strengthening. That means kids, caregivers, and professionals alike! Interested in hosting a class? Contact Sarah Crisafi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help to create spaces where families can thrive by getting involved in the work of the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families.
The Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families (CPTF) has been working tirelessly to identify what Colorado communities need in order to be safe and supportive spaces for families. Learn more about the Partnership by visiting copartnershipforthrivingfamilies.org or how you can get involved by emailing Karci Lockwood at email@example.com!
Learn how to have conversations about safety and substance use with the families you serve.
It is essential for any professional who works directly with families to be equipped with the tools needed to have effective conversations about substances and how to empower parents to make small changes to increase safety– that’s why Illuminate Colorado developed a conversation guide for professionals to use in talking to families about substance use and preventing child maltreatment. If you’re a professional who works with children and families, sign up to take the training today!
Stay up to date on legislation.
Advocacy work doesn’t end when the legislative session does! Be sure to stay up to date on policies affecting children and families by signing up for Illuminate’s Blog Newsletter.
Keep an eye out for volunteer opportunities by following Illuminate Colorado on social media.
by Sarah Packard | Apr 17, 2023 | CAPM, Fundraising
Since 2018, Illuminate Colorado has annually honored the contributions of exceptional individuals, groups of individuals, and organizations who have furthered our collective mission to strengthen families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment.
On April 13th, the Illuminating Leadership Awards were held for the 6th year in a row at the celebratory Pinwheel Breakfast. This year, Illuminate staff had the opportunity to nominate those they’ve worked with who deserve recognition. This year, six recipients received awards for their work spanning the spectrum of prevention. Check them out below!
Beverley Toliver, Founder & CEO of the Safe Haven Family Network, LLC provides opening remarks.
The Community Leadership Award was presented to the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families (CPTF) Family & Caregiver Space.
The Community Leadership Award recognizes an individual or group who have dedicated an extraordinary amount of their time and openly share their experiences to further systemic change and strengthen families in Colorado. The Family & Caregiver Space is a lived experience expert-led group within the CPTF, led by Fikile Ryder, Heather Hanson, Kaylie Weese, Kelly Valdez, and Mathilde Dunbar.
Hattie Landry, Senior Community Initiatives Manager at Illuminate Colorado, nominated the Family & Caregiver Space for their collaborative work with the CPTF, providing insight into various types of lived experiences from across Colorado, helping to create the conditions for strong families and communities where children are healthy, valued, and thriving.
Members of the CPTF Family & Caregiver Space. Left to right: Fikile Ryder, Heather Hanson, Kelly Valdez, Kaylie Weese. Not pictured – Mathilde Dunbar.
The Dynamic Leadership Award was presented to Mile High Behavioral Healthcare.
The Dynamic Leadership Award recognizes an individual, group, or organization who has dedicated time, expertise, and experiences to collaboratively implement programs and partner on initiatives with Illuminate and their communities to strengthen families in Colorado. Jessica Courtney and Rewa Bailey represented Mile High Behavioral Healthcare at the award ceremony.
Joan Holtz, Director of Family Support at Illuminate Colorado, nominated Mile High Behavioral Healthcare for their partnership with Illuminate on many different projects, including Illuminating Child Care, Circle of Parents, and Bloom Yoga.
Illuminate Colorado Executive Director Jade Woodard, Jessica Courtney and Rewa Bailey of Mile High Behavioral Healthcare, and Illuminate Colorado Director of Family Support Joan Holtz.
The Courageous Leadership Award was presented to Margaret Ochoa, a Child Abuse Prevention Specialist at the Colorado School Safety Resource Center.
The Courageous Leadership Award recognizes an individual or group in elected office or public employment for distinguished service prioritizing the prevention of child maltreatment and strengthening families.
Anne Auld, Deputy Director at Illuminate Colorado, nominated Margaret Ochoa, a Child Abuse Prevention Specialist at the Colorado School Safety Resource Center for her many partnerships with Illuminate, and through her own work, to support and strengthen families and communities through systems-level work with incredible integrity and dedication. Through her time as Co-Chair of the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Coalition, and an active member of the Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference Planning Committee, Ochoa has gone above and beyond in supporting professionals, communities and families in Colorado.
Illuminate Colorado Executive Director Jade Woodard, Margarget Ochoa, and Illuminate Colorado Deputy Director Anne Auld.
The Catalytic Leadership Award was presented to the Caring for Colorado Foundation.
The Catalytic Leadership Award honors an individual, group, or organization who has invested or inspired philanthropic investment to accelerate the prevention of child maltreatment and strengthen families in Colorado.
Jillian Fabricius, Deputy Director at Illuminate Colorado, nominated the Caring for Colorado Foundation for placing family well-being, with an emphasis on equity, at the center of their philanthropic efforts. Caring for Colorado brings a long-term perspective to their philanthropic work, through which they seek to address root causes, promote prevention, improve systems, and advance policy change.
Illuminate Colorado Executive Director Jade Woodard, Linda Reiner and Emma Carpenter of Caring for Colorado, and Illuminate Colorado Deputy Director Jillian Fabricius.
The Innovative Leadership Award was presented to Daphne McCabe, a Family Health Division Manager at Boulder County Public Health.
The Innovative Leadership Award recognizes an individual, group, or organization who has made significant contributions to the field of child maltreatment prevention.
Angelica Fox, Director of Home Visitation at Illuminate Colorado, nominated Daphne McCabe for the demonstration of Illuminate’s values through her work implementing Family Connects in Boulder County. Through her leadership, Boulder has a diverse and inclusive Family Connects implementation team, which launched in Boulder County in October 2022 after just seven months of dedication and perseverance.
Illuminate Colorado Executive Director Jade Woodard, Daphne McCabe of Boulder County Public Health, and Illuminate Colorado Director of Home Visitation Angelica Fox.
The Lori Moriarty Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Deb Daro, a Senior Research Fellow at Chapin Hall and one of the nation’s leading experts in child abuse prevention policy and early home visiting research.
The Lori Moriarty Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated lifetime achievements in their career that exemplify the dedication and character displayed by the late Commander Lori Moriarty.
Jade Woodard, Executive Director at Illuminate Colorado, nominated Dr. Daro for her work on Colorado’s Home Visiting Investment Task Force, specifically advocating strongly for the adoption of mechanisms that provide all new parents opportunities to discuss their concerns and learn about the resources available in their communities. This research-informed recommendation was very supportive of the launch of Family Connects in Colorado.
Illuminate Colorado Executive Director Jade Woodard and Dr. Deb Daro.
We are honored to do this work with such passionate leaders!
We can’t do this work alone. It takes all of us to strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment.
Donate to Illuminate Colorado today and make an investment in programs that build healthier, happier, and more resilient families and communities.
by Sarah Packard | Apr 5, 2023 | CAPM
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!
by Illuminate Colorado | Mar 13, 2023 | CAPM
Around the month of April, for more than ten years now, you may have seen gardens of pinwheels planted in the community, at school, day care or a local hospital or nonprofit organization, and wondered, why?
It’s because planting pinwheels represents the bright childhoods we all want for children.
When parents, caregivers, family, friends, neighbors, employers and elected leaders work together to increase five critical protective factors in families’ lives, that is when we can prevent child abuse, strengthen families, and build brighter childhoods.
Each year, the hope is you will do more than see pinwheels in your community.
There are many ways to get involved and learn more during Child Abuse Prevention Month and all year long.
#PreventionInPartnership is all about maximizing our efforts. Together, we can put families first and relieve some of the overload experienced by parents and caregivers.
Join the Campaign
Our community prospers when our kids thrive. They are our future workforce, leaders, neighbors and community members. No matter where you live –– everyone has the power to make great childhoods happen – especially you.
April is a time for organizations and individuals to take collective action using shared messaging and a campaign toolkit to raise awareness for the prevention of child maltreatment.
Become a 2023 Campaign Partner by:
- Promoting the campaign throughout April, using the campaign toolkit and campaign messaging
- Encouraging other Coloradans to take part in the campaign
- Filling out the campaign partner form
Download the Campaign Toolkit
The campaign toolkit includes a list of actions to take, as well as graphics which can be co-branded and sample messages for social media to promote strengthening families and the prevention of child maltreatment in Colorado.
Fill out this form to get access to the campaign toolkit.
April 3rd is Wear Blue Day, and we’ll be celebrating at the Capitol!
EVNET UPDATE: All events on April 3rd have been pushed to the afternoon due to Governor’s Office activities. We will no longer have the Pinwheels in the Chambers event in the morning, though tributes will still be read. You can still listen to the tributes online. Additionally, the kick off rally has been moved to 1pm…
In the morning, Illuminate Colorado will gather with supporters and volunteers for Pinwheels in the Chambers. Help us fill the galleries of the state legislative chambers as Child Abuse Prevention Month tributes are being read by wearing blue and showing up at the Colorado State Capitol–we’ll bring the pinwheels!
Plus, save the date for a midday rally on April 3 after the morning activities, led by the Colorado Department of Human Services. The rally will also be livestreamed (link coming soon) so you can join us, wherever you are in the state!
RSVP online to join us at the Colorado State Capitol on April 3 to hear the Child Abuse Prevention Month tributes being read in the state legislative chambers.
Stay Up to Date!
Check out the Community Calendar and register for upcoming Child Abuse Prevention Month events.
Throughout the campaign, you can make a tax-deductible gift to help build a virtual pinwheel garden. Donations will go to support this annual awareness campaign to strengthen families and prevent child abuse in Colorado.
by Illuminate Colorado | May 18, 2022 | CAPM
Child Abuse Prevention Month is an important time of year for so many organizations and individuals working tirelessly year-round to strengthen families and protect children. For the first time since 2019, people were able to come together in person to launch the annual Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign, but that was just the beginning of the month-long awareness campaign to grow a better tomorrow for all children, together.
Growing Better Together in April
Here are some of the ways Colorado parents, caregivers, family, friends, neighbors, employers, organizations and elected leaders worked together this April to grow a better tomorrow for all children, together:
- April 1 was Wear Blue Day, and we launched this year’s campaign at the West Steps of the Colorado State Capitol–in person for the first time since 2019! Nearly 100 people joined us at the Colorado State Capitol to listen to a recorded video message from Governor Jared Polis and hear from professionals and parents about how they are growing a better tomorrow for all children, together.
- The Colorado State House of Representatives and Senate recognized April 1 as the first day of Child Abuse Prevention Month and paid tribute to the work happening in Colorado to prevent child abuse.
- Thanks to the Colorado Child Welfare Scholars Consortium, we were able to award a $2,500 grant to La Cocina as part of our campaign contest. La Cocina’s mission is to dismantle systems of oppression and co-create paths to liberation by providing full access to traditional and non-traditional forms of mental health and health equity support services.
- 80 Coloradans took a FREE two-hour interactive online training designed to create a new standard of child safety in communities and throughout Colorado. If you weren’t able to attend in April, free trainings are offered year-round. Find one that works for you.
- More than 200 people across the country contacted lawmakers on April 27 to urge them to reauthorize and increase funding to offer high-quality home visiting services to families as part of Prevent Child Abuse America’s third annual Digital Advocacy Day.
- Communities used the hashtag #GrowingBetterTogether to connect to the movement, finding ways to get involved and signifying their commitment to helping children, families and entire communities to thrive.
- Illuminate Colorado, with the support of SafeCare Colorado, Colorado Parent and numerous other 2022 Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign sponsors distributed 840,264 messages during the month of April to inspire a conversation to grow a better tomorrow for all children, together. Partnering with 54 organizations, highlighted on COPinwheelsForPrevention.org, we reached more than 76,139 Coloradans.
Growing Better Together All Year Long
It can take nearly a year to plan and coordinate these efforts. But, each year we can see the impact greater awareness brings. When parents, caregivers, family, friends, neighbors, employers and elected leaders work together to increase five critical protective factors in families’ lives, that is when we can prevent child abuse, strengthen families and build brighter childhoods.
by Illuminate Colorado | Apr 27, 2022 | Advocacy, CAPM
Prevent Child Abuse (PCA) America’s Digital Advocacy Day is today, April 27th! YOU can participate by reaching out to your members of Congress and using your voice to urge them to support children and families across Colorado and nationwide.
How can I get involved?
This Digital Advocacy Day, please join Illuminate Colorado, and our partners across the country, in contacting lawmakers to urge them to act now to reauthorize and increase funding for the bipartisan Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.
As the Colorado chapter of PCA and a member of our state’s Home Visiting Investment Task Force, Illuminate Colorado enthusiastically supports the importance of maintaining and bolstering the infrastructure necessary to offer high-quality home visiting services to families across our state.
Get involved by emailing, tweeting, posting on social media, and/or calling your senators and representatives. For more resources, such as key messages, tweets, and graphics to help you communicate with your representative easily and effectively, please visit preventchildabuse.org/2022-digital-advocacy-day or see the resources below. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the PCA America policy team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MIECHV program is a federal grant to states, territories, and Tribes that supports evidence-based home visiting for families and children from the prenatal period through the time that children start kindergarten. While the program’s ability to positively impact maternal and child health outcomes–including by reducing child maltreatment, improving positive parenting practices, and improving family economic self-sufficiency–is clear, the current funding level limits its ability to reach the children and families who need it most. Only 150,000 of the 18 million current and expectant parents who could benefit from the program receive services.
In our state in particular, while some level of home visiting services is available in all counties, according to the Child Fatality Prevention System’s 2020 Annual Legislative Report, “Not a single county in Colorado… has home visiting programs to meet the overall needs of families in the county.”
To bring the power of home visiting to more families and promote improved maternal health outcomes, we need Congress to reauthorize and increase funding. Specifically, we’re requesting that Congress:
- Increase MIECHV funding over the next five years to reach more families and better support the workforce
- Double the tribal set-aside within MIECHV from 3% to 6%
- Continue to allow virtual home visiting with model fidelity as an option for service delivery
- The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program is a federal grant to states, territories and Tribes that supports evidence-based home visiting for families and children from prenatal period through kindergarten entry. The law that authorizes MIECHV will expire in September 2022.
- Home visiting programs are a prevention strategy used to support pregnant moms and new parents as they work through the challenges of raising babies and young children.
- Home visiting programs help new and expectant parents develop the skills and confidence it takes to raise healthy families.
- Home visiting prevents adversity and builds resilience by being there during a child’s most critical years of development (prenatal to age five).
- Evidence-based home visiting programs, such as Healthy Families America, prevent and reduce the recurrence of child maltreatment, promote healthy child development, and enhance family well-being. Among many other positive outcomes, families who participate in HFA and other home visiting programs have shown reductions in the number of low-birthweight babies, improved school readiness for children, and increased economic self-sufficiency.
- For nearly 30 years, HFA has worked toward a singular vision: all children receive nurturing care from their family that leads to a healthy, long, and successful life. All families can benefit from support during pregnancy and throughout early childhood owing to the enormous life transitions and rapid growth occurring during this time.
- HFA serves nearly 70,000 families across the United States each year, with nearly 600 sites in 38 states, the District of Columbia, and five US territories. Approximately 30% of HFA families served are supported through MIECHV funding.
- Local implementation of HFA is funded through a variety of mechanisms, including federal funds such as MIECHV, state funds (including Medicaid and TANF) and local and private funding.
- Invest in our children’s future, reauthorize home visiting #MIECHV funding. Make #GreatChildhoods happen all year long! @PCAAmerica @HFAatPCA
- Today, April 27th, is our third annual Digital Advocacy Day. You can help us grow online word-of-mouth and show your support for policies and programs that support all children and families with a few simple steps. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3IS3aj7 #GrowingBetterTogether
Find Your Members of Congress
What important dates should I be aware of?
Digital Advocacy Day is April 27th. Use the resources on this page to contact your elected officials and spread the word about policy changes that’s vital to the well-being of children and their families.
The law that authorizes MIECHV will expire in September 2022. The House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over MIECHV will begin to hold hearings in the spring and into the summer in preparation for the reauthorization of MIECHV.
What do I need to know about the difference between education, advocacy, and lobbying?
Advocacy or Education is public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy. Lobbying is seeking to influence (a politician or public official) on an issue or a specific ask such as supporting la piece of legislation.
There are many avenues of advocacy that nonprofits can engage in that do not constitute lobbying. Advocacy happens in many different ways, but at its core it’s about raising awareness, building and leveraging relationships, and educating others around the issues and policies that matter to you. There are varying degrees in which an HFA site, PCA chapter, or nonprofit organization, can engage in advocacy that do not cross into lobbying. Advocacy can include such activities as:
- Educating and informing lawmakers
- Helping to shape state laws and budgets
- Making your voice(s) heard about important issues that affect our daily lives
- Helping policymakers find solutions to problems
- Providing critical information for adoption or rejection of introduced legislation
- Urging the public to contact policy makers to advocate for adoption or rejection of legislation
On the other end of the spectrum are lobbying activities. Key lobbying activities include activities in direct support or opposition to a specific piece of proposed legislation. While nonprofits can engage in some lobbying, the IRS has strict rules regarding the percentage of a nonprofit’s budget that can go toward lobbying activities. It’s recommended that any agency follow the rules and guidelines as set around lobbying and advocacy when engaging with lawmakers.
To bring the power of home visiting to more families and promote improved maternal health outcomes, we need Congress to reauthorize and increase funding. The law that authorizes the MIECHV program will expire in September 2022, so we need your voice now more than ever.
Specifically, we’re requesting that Congress:
- Increase MIECHV funding over the next five years to reach more families and better support the workforce
- Double the tribal set-aside within MIECHV from 3% to 6%
- Continue to allow virtual home visiting with model fidelity as an option for service delivery
This crucial investment in our children and families will support resources at the state and community level that reduce challenges and stressors on parents. Therefore, we have the extraordinary opportunity to educate lawmakers about evidence-based home visiting programs such as Healthy Families America, spread the word about vital policy change, and encourage action on issues that increase positive childhood experiences and prevent child abuse and neglect.
Remember – advocate for children and families where you live. Make your voice heard by contacting your elected officials today, April 27th. Together, we can prevent childhood abuse and ensure families have what they need to thrive.
In October 2018 I experienced every parents worst nightmare: my three and a half year-old son passed away. After that tragedy, I was offered a whirlwind of supportive services, counseling, classes, family and friends coming to offer support. Every single one played a part in my healing process. What I found most life-altering was my home visiting program.