Lieutenant Governor and CDHS Staff Kick Off National Child Abuse Prevention Month at the Capitol
We all play a role in strengthening families to help prevent child abuse and neglect
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DENVER (April 3, 2018) — Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne and Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) staff joined community partners, county leaders and advocates today to kick off National Child Abuse Prevention Month at the State Capitol. The occasion reinforced the importance of individuals and communities working together to keep kids safe and families healthy.
The event also featured remarks by community members such as a librarian, a local business owner and the founder of a unique moms’ group to highlight the fact that everyone can play a role in strengthening families, which is one of the most effective ways to prevent child abuse from happening in the first place.
These individuals emphasized how a single person can make an extraordinary difference in the lives of both kids and families. Some examples they highlighted of ways individuals, businesses and communities can support families include:
- A family member offering to babysit so parents can get a little break
- A friend or neighbor shoveling snow or raking leaves for a young family to lighten their load
- Recreation centers hosting playgroups
- Local libraries offering story times for young children
- Employers allowing for flexibility with schedules when possible
"We all play a role in strengthening families," said Lieutenant Governor and Chief Operating Officer Donna Lynne. "I encourage every adult to get involved to prevent child abuse and neglect, even if you are not raising a child or working with families."
Event attendees wore blue and officially launched a month-long effort to inspire Coloradans to plant pinwheel gardens all over the state. This effort will also include a photo contest in which participants are encouraged to plant and submit photos of their own pinwheel gardens. Winners will receive grants to be used to support organizations striving to prevent child abuse and neglect. The pinwheel garden serves as an uplifting reminder of childhood and the bright futures all children deserve.
The event also served as a reminder for all Coloradans about the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437), for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect.
“The Colorado Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline is an important tool individuals can, and must, use to ensure the safety of our children,” said Child Maltreatment Prevention Director Kendra Dunn. “However, that isn’t the only thing that we all must do to prevent child abuse. Each of us needs to ask ourselves, ‘how am I supporting the parents in my community, on my street or even in my workplace?’ In doing so, we can reduce childhood trauma and create a world where every child is safe, every child has a healthy family, and strong families protect children from harm and allow them to reach their greatest aspiration.”
To learn more about child abuse and neglect prevention and activities happening around the state, visit CO4Kids.org.
The Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Public Awareness Campaign
In 2015, the Colorado Department of Human Services, in partnership with more than one hundred and fifty community partners throughout the state and Governor Hickenlooper, launched a multi-year Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Public Awareness Campaign to engage all Coloradans in the prevention of child abuse and promote the new Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437). The hotline is designed to provide one statewide, easy-to-remember phone number for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect, 24/7, 365 days a year. All hotline calls are routed to the county where a child resides. To learn more about the signs of child abuse and neglect and how individuals and organizations can prevent child maltreatment, visit co4kids.org