Supporting Perinatal substance use Prevention, Recovery, and Treatment in Colorado

SuPPoRT Colorado envisions a Colorado that equitably serves all families through prevention and reduction of substance use during pregnancy, and provides multigenerational support for families to thrive.


The priorities, strategies and activities of SuPPoRT Colorado are guided by family voice experiences and leadership. Strategic planning, activity engagement, and impact are each data-informed.

SuPPoRT Colorado is convening, supporting, and guiding the advancement of the following four priority areas.


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


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.


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


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


SuPPoRT Colorado has made significant progress over the past decade, advancing a variety of notable projects and initiatives.

Regional Convenings

Published a white paper regarding families impacted by prenatal substance use and held eight regional convenings to educate and support communities on the topic.

The convenings involved more than 300 participants from nine different disciplines and resulted in the development of action steps based on locally-identified needs.

Best Practice Approaches

Coordinated the SuPPoRT Colorado Best Practices Hospital Learning Collaborative, which aimed to increase consistency in implementation of best practice approaches in the identification of and response to newborns prenatally exposed to substances at the time of birth across Colorado.

Forming Family Advisory Board

Cultivated partnerships to increase the impact of collective work, including merging with the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Commission and forming a SuPPoRT Colorado Family Advisory Board to provide regular consultation centering lived experience.

Driving Collaboration

Hosted statewide multidisciplinary opportunities to collaborate with stakeholders and learn more about intersections of substance use and pregnancy across the state.

SuPPoRT Colorado Summit - 2009

2009 – SuPPoRT Colorado Summit of almost 90 professionals to discuss the needs and values of SuPPoRT Colorado work.

SuPPoRT Colorado Summit - 2017

2017 – SuPPoRT Colorado Summit including over 150 attendees to provide feedback on the top recommendations from the Hospital Learning Collaborative and to ultimately set the SuPPoRT Colorado Steering Committee’s 2018-2020 priorities.

Town Halls

2020 – Virtual SuPPoRT Colorado Town Halls engaging about 60 participants to refine and set the SuPPoRT Colorado Steering Committee and Family Advisory Board’s 2021-2022 priorities given the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and emergent needs.


SuPPoRT Colorado also has a long history of providing subject matter expertise, translating best practice recommendations into critical statutory changes to improve the care of families impacted by prenatal substance exposure.

HB12-1100 Pregnancy & Evidence Of Substance Use

Developed the language for HB12-1100 and worked with partners and legislators to ensure its passage to protect drug screens and test results obtained through prenatal care from being used in criminal prosecution of a pregnant person.

HB19-1193 Behavioral Health Supports For High-risk Families

Recommended the expansion of the criminal protection from HB12-1100 to also include conversations with behavioral health providers about substance use during pregnancy through HB19-1193.

SB20-028 Substance Use Disorder Recovery

Drafted and convened a stakeholder process for components of SB20-028 regarding updating child abuse and neglect definitions related to prenatal substance exposure to de-emphasize the focus on positive drug tests for controlled substances at time of birth and to increase consistency in holistic assessments of families.


The SuPPoRT Colorado Steering Committee was established in 2008 and is 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.


The SuPPoRT Colorado Steering Committee is co-chaired by Kathryn Wells, MD, Executive Director of the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, and Jade Woodard, Executive Director of Illuminate Colorado. 

In 2019, the Family Advisory Board (FAB) to the SuPPoRT Colorado Steering Committee was formed in order to elevate the voices of families who have experienced, directly or indirectly, the impacts of substance use during pregnancy.

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 acknowledges that systemic social, economic, and environmental inequities impact experiences and outcomes around substance use, pregnancy, and/or parenting.

We also recognize that substance use is strongly correlated with individual, historical, and intergenerational trauma, as well as mental health conditions, toxic stress, sexual violence, and/or intimate partner violence. Thus, substance use during pregnancy and/or parenting must be understood in this broader context.

To decrease inequities, systems, services, and policies must be trauma-informed, culturally-responsive, and serve individuals and families with dignity and respect.


FASD Resources

FASD 101

Learn the basics about FASDs – and educate others – with a presentation slide deck from SuPPoRT Colorado‘s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Work Group.


Getting a diagnosis of a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) can result in additional support, like developmental disability services or educational services, but it can be difficult for families to find a provider in Colorado equipped to make an FASD diagnosis.

That’s why we created a list of providers equipped to diagnose under the FASD umbrella. We also provide information for FASD-informed behavioral health care providers.

Want to add your information to the provider list? Contact Kelli at

FASD Support

In 2024, Illuminate Colorado launched FASD Support, a program that recognizes the unique challenges that families face when impacted by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). The FASD Support Program is a holistic initiative that consists of two essential components: an FASD Navigation Program and an FASD Training Program.

Learn more about FASD Support.

Plan of Safe Care Resources

CAPTA Plan of Safe Care Website

Explore the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare’s CAPTA Plan of Safe Care information and resources.

Toxicology Testing Resources

Data Snapshot

One of the four priority areas of the Steering Committee is to advance data capacity and research priorities regarding perinatal substance use prevention, treatment, and wraparound support systems and services. In an effort to address this priority, the Steering Committee has identified the need for a statewide data snapshot that provides a high-level understanding of perinatal substance use in Colorado. As a publicly accessible and easily digestible resource, the goal of the data snapshot is to help drive data-informed policy and practice related to perinatal substance use prevention, treatment, and support systems throughout the state.

Illuminate Colorado worked closely with our strategic partner and project lead, the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, to refine and finalize the Scope of Work and the final Snapshot was completed by the Kempe Center and has been presented to multiple audiences.

The snapshot follows the perinatal period from pre-pregnancy to post-pregnancy and includes health, substance use, and resource-related indicators from three administrative datasets in 2020.





Join an Email List

SuPPoRT Colorado is convening, supporting, and guiding work groups to advance the priority areas identified in 2020 by the SuPPoRT Colorado Family Advisory Board and Steering Committee and informed by stakeholder input.


Join the Family Advisory Board

In 2019, the Family Advisory Board (FAB) to the Steering Committee was formed with the purpose of elevating the voices of families who have experienced, directly or indirectly, the impacts of substance use during pregnancy in order to understand barriers and inform priority-setting.


Backbone Support

The Illuminate Colorado Strategic Initiatives Team supports the SuPPoRT Colorado Steering Committee and Family Advisory Board, the CHoSEN Collaborative, and the SuPPoRT Colorado Work Groups. 

After you sign up to join a work group, we will reach out with more information to get you everything you need to get involved.


Contact Kelli Sutton, Strategic Initiatives Manager

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