Colorado communities working to develop local child maltreatment prevention plans

In April of last year, thanks to the support of the Colorado Office of Early Childhood, the Ben and Lucy Ana Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation and the Office of Child Abuse and Neglect in the Children’s Bureau, an Office of the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Colorado released the Child Maltreatment Prevention Framework for Action to help local communities create a more focused and better integrated plan to prevent child maltreatment and promote child well-being.

This framework is designed as a tool to guide strategic thinking, at the state and local level, about resource investments to prevent child maltreatment and promote child well-being. Over the last year, Early Milestones Colorado has been helping 15 communities use this tool by providing support for planning efforts, facilitation and technical assistance to local grantees. Communities have begun to brainstorm prevention strategies across the four “Channels for Change” in the framework. Once identified, communities will select top-rated ideas using a prioritization criteria tool and determine their final set of priorities.

With Early Milestones Colorado's help, communities have been engaged in an eight-month local participatory planning process to develop local child maltreatment prevention plans and promote family well-being by completing the following tasks, as outlined in the framework:

  • Form Core Leadership Group
  • Develop Community Profile
  • Secure Diverse Parent Input
  • Catalogue Local Services
  • Set Your Priorities
  • Outline Your Local Child Maltreatment Prevention Plan

With four months remaining in the planning process, communities have demonstrated considerable progress in completing the planning tasks. The community profiles, parent surveys, and service listings allow planning teams to identify strengths, gaps in service delivery, and strategies to address practice and policy barriers to supporting healthy child development and building strong communities. All communities have formed their leadership group, with participation from new and existing community partners. All communities have developed a community profile with local demographics to gain a deeper understanding of local needs and trends and engaged in robust conversations about the quality and capacity of existing services. To secure family input, parents are participating as members of leadership teams, 12 communities are administering parent surveys (in English and Spanish), and 7 communities are conducting focus groups with parents. 

By July 2018, the fifteen grantees will have finalized their local maltreatment prevention plan and move into the implementation phase! Follow the #CO4kids professionals blog to get a more indepth understanding of what these 15 communities decide to do to prevent child maltreatment later this year. 


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