Here at Illuminate Colorado, we’re so excited to look ahead to 2023 and all of the potential it holds to strengthen families, organizations, and communities to prevent child maltreatment. But first, as 2022 comes to a close, join us in taking a look back at just a few of the highlights from the year as we worked to build brighter childhoods across Colorado. 

In February, We Celebrated Parent Leadership Month

How can we support strong and lasting roles for parents as leaders? In February, Illuminate focused on Circle of Parents, a program that provides a supportive community to parents and caregivers, where they are invited to share support, tips, or advice in a safe space. When a parent practices their leadership skills, not only does it help strengthen the group, but it also supports the parent leader in building their own self-esteem and their sense of self. Find your Circle today: Circle of Parents Colorado

Throughout The Year, We Helped Bring Trauma Informed Yoga to Colorado Child Welfare Professionals

Bloom Yoga partnered with The Colorado Department of Human Services and The Child Welfare Training System to offer trauma informed yoga to child welfare professionals. The program focused on supporting professionals in combating secondary trauma and stress through education, mindfulness, and yoga practice. 

“Word’s can’t describe how much I enjoyed this!! I enjoyed the yoga education as much as the actual yoga. The most valuable thing I learned is the breathing techniques which I have started to incorporate throughout my day.” – Program Participant

In April, We Celebrated Child Abuse Prevention Month

April was Child Abuse Preveniton Month, and nearly one hundred people gathered on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol to promote positive childhood experiences and listen to parents share their stories. Throughout the month Illuminate was also able to:

  • Award a $2,500 grant to La Cocina, an organization focused on dismantling systems of oppression by providing access to mental health and health equity support services.
  • Support 80 Coloradans in taking a training to create a new standard of child safety.
  • Encourage over 200 people to contact lawmakers to urge them to reauthorize and increase funding for home visiting services.

Illuminating Child Care Expanded to Pueblo and Fremont Counties!

The Illuminating Child Care on-site child care classroom family grew by one this year when Caramel was introduced to the Pueblo community in April. Since its arrival, Caramel has been increasing access to child care for parents and caregivers navigating complex life situations.

We Saw Big Wins for Colorado’s Kids and Families in the 2022 Legislative Session

By the end of the legislative session in May, Illuminate was thrilled to see that all of the bills we supported had passed! Colorado took many strides for children and families, here are just a few:

      • Increased prevention investments in the state budget.
      • Continued investment in Illuminating Child Care.
      • Multiple bills enhanced statewide infrastructure by taking steps toward coordinated, cohesive, and effective early childhood and behavioral health systems.
      • Improved family economic security.
      • Expanded access to perinatal and pediatric health care.

Prevention Through Partnership: The Release of Illuminate’s 2021 Annual Report

As we began to emerge from the pandemic and find our new normal, only to experience resurgences and continued restrictions, the power of connection and innovation was continually underscored. The release of Illuminate’s 2021 Annual Report reflected upon the partnerships, opportunities, and successes we saw throughout the previous year.

In September, We Participated in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Month

Throughout the month, Illuminate placed a spotlight on FASD awareness, and how we can support families who are impacted by FASD. Our Luminary Lift Up featured a presentation on the basics of FASD, the list of Colorado providers equipped to diagnose under the FASD umbrella developed by SuPPoRT Colorado, and an overview of pending federal legislation known as “The FASD Respect Act.” Illuminate also proudly sponsored and participated in Run FASD, a virtual 5k, and celebrated Governor Polis’ signing of a proclamation in recognition of FASD Awareness Day!

We Hosted the First In-Person Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference Since 2018!

In September, Illuminate hosted the Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference (SCFCC). Nearly 600 people attended the conference, which included a diverse and multi-disciplinary group of professionals and Family Voice representatives from all over the state. The conference was an overall success in bringing outstanding keynotes speakers, diverse breakout sessions, and time to network and unwind to all attendees!

We Celebrated the Launch of Family Connects Colorado!

Family Connects is an evidence-based model and successfully demonstrated program that connects parents of newborns to the community resources they need through postpartum nurse home visits. This Fall, Illuminate celebrated exciting milestones by launching Family Connects in Eagle and Boulder counties, soon to be followed by Denver and Jefferson counties in the spring of 2023! Learn more about Family Connects Colorado: FamilyConnectsColorado.org

In November, Coloradans Strengthened Their Communities at the Polls

On election day, voters made it clear that Colorado prioritizes its children. Illuminate was thrilled by the passing of Colorado’s Healthy School Meals for All campaign, which ensures that all public school students will have access to nutritious meals at school. Check out all the other ways kids and families won at the polls here!

Thank You for Helping Us Build Brighter Childhoods

Even though 2022 is coming to a close, the work’s not done. And 2023 is right around the corner!

If you’re still looking for a way to help make an impact by the end of the year, be sure to check out our 1,000 Points of Light campaign. One hundred percent of funds raised will support effective programs that keep Colorado kids safe and strengthen families throughout the year. And, as an added bonus, donations made to Illuminate Colorado qualify for the Colorado Child Care Contribution Tax Credit. This means that you get 50% of your donation back as a credit on your Colorado state taxes!

We couldn’t do this work without the support and contributions of all of our partners across the state. And, as we reflect on the year we’ve had, we’re so thankful for each and every one of you who have come alongside us to achieve our shared mission of keeping kids safe and strengthening the families in our state. 

We wish you all a happy new year and a great start to 2023!

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