Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline recognized with Great Customer Service Award

Gov. John Hickenlooper honored the work and memory of former Executive Director of the Department of Corrections Tom Clements by recognizing state employees who go above and beyond in providing exceptional service to Coloradans. Clements was killed on March 19, 2013. His wife Lisa and other family members attended today’s awards ceremony at the Governor's Mansion.  
Awards were given in two categories: Great Customer Service and Great Results. A team in the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) received the Great Customer Service Award recognizing their work to increase reports of child abuse and neglect by deploying a statewide hotline.

​“Tom believed that public service was an honor. He modeled this through his daily commitment to quality services for Coloradans,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “The teams honored today provide exceptional value to the people we serve. Their work does more than honor Tom’s memory. It ensures his spirit lives on.”“Tom believed that public service was an honor. He modeled this through his daily commitment to quality services for Coloradans,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “The teams honored today provide exceptional value to the people we serve. Their work does more than honor Tom’s memory. It ensures his spirit lives on.”

Historically in Colorado, reports of Child Abuse and/or neglect by the general public (friends, family, or neighbors) were well below the national counts. In 2011, Colorado lagged behind the nation with just 10 percent of reports coming from the general public, compared with 42 percent nationally. Coloradans were relying too heavily on statutorily mandated reports from professionals such as healthcare workers. To encourage citizens of Colorado to embrace their role in preventing child abuse and neglect, CDHS’ Division of Child Welfare implemented the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline.

The hotline promotes one easy to remember phone number for individuals to use statewide, making reporting child abuse and neglect as simple as possible for the general public, and allowing for more anonymous reporting versus reporting to a county office. In small counties in particular, the general public was more hesitant to report incidents of abuse and neglect. As a result of the dedicated efforts of CDHS, 40 percent of calls in 2016 were made by the general public, about the national average and a dramatic increase from 2011. Growth in the total number of calls as well, 59 percent increase from 129,709 in 2014 to 206,107 in 2016, reflects a welcomed shift in the public’s perception of our shared responsibility to help protect children. The hotline can be reached at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437).

Congratulations to Colorado Department of Human Services employees:

  • Reggie Bicha, CDHS Executive Director
  • Dr. Robert Werthwein, CDHS Office of Children, Youth and Families, Director
  • Ann Rosales, CDHS Division of Child Welfare, Director
  • MaryAlice Mehaffey, CDHS Division of Child Welfare, Associate Director of Operations
  • Jack Hilbert CDHS Division of Child Welfare, Hotline System Manager
  • Yolanda Arredondo, CDHS Division of Child Welfare,Hotline Specialist
  • Jessica Starr, CDHS Division of Child Welfare, Hotline Data Analyst
  • Ann Williams, CDHS Division of Child Welfare, Program Assistant
  • Kendra Dunn, CDHS Office of Early Childhood, Child Maltreatment Prevention Director
  • Katie Facchinello, CDHS Office of Children, Youth and Families, Communications Manager 
  • Sarah Krcal, CDHS Office of Children, Youth and Families, Public Awareness Communications Specialist

The Department of Regulatory Agencies also received the award for Great Results for its team’s work in reducing regulatory burdens on licensed health care professionals. Click HERE to read the entire press release from the Governor's Office. 

Special thanks to all the county human services employees who truly made this award possible!

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Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437)
Available 24 hours a day, every day. Don't hesitate to call and get help. 
Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately.