Inaugural Strengthening Families Leadership Awards Recognize Coloradans Preventing Child Maltreatment

At the 2018 Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference, three Coloradans and one Colorado-based foundation received awards for their work strengthening Colorado families. Awardees include: Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, Colorado State Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Marc Winokur of the Colorado State University School of Social Work, and the Zoma Foundation. The biannual conference sponsored by the Colorado Department of Human Services and attended by more than 600 professionals across multiple disciplines, explored new strategies and innovative ideas for family strengthening and support.

VIDEO Watch the full ceremony

 

Illuminate Colorado, a statewide organization dedicated to building brighter childhoods through education, advocacy, and family support and the nonprofit responsible for organizing the conference, presented the awards. “It is my honor to work with and recognize some of Colorado’s most effective leaders in the community” said Jade Woodard, executive director for Illuminate Colorado. “Today presents an opportunity to build on the accomplishments of previous Colorado leaders, celebrate the sector’s courage and innovation, and catalyze the field,” said Woodard. With a research-based approach that emphasizes building Protective Factors in families, Illuminate Colorado works to address systemic and multi-sector issues affecting the wellbeing of children and families, collaborating with partners at the state and national level to develop powerful programs, policies, and initiatives that prevent child maltreatment and strengthen families. 

The Lori Moriarty Leadership Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated a career that exemplifies the achievements and character displayed by the late Commander Lori Moriarty. Lori Moriarty, a former Children’s Trust Fund Board Member, 20 year law enforcement veteran, and founder of both the Colorado and National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, was unyielding in her efforts to educate professionals on prioritizing drug endangered children.

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman was presented with the Lori Moriarty Leadership Award in recognition of her dedication to addressing the Opioid Epidemic during her term as Colorado’s Attorney General, with a continual focus on prioritizing the needs of children and families. “I can’t image a greater honor than to receive an award in Lori’s name. She was just the right balance between tough and gentle. She was the fulcrum between strength and compassion. She had the gift to know when to use those different emotions and characteristics to convey her message, to lead us and, most of all, to save the lives of Colorado children” said Coffman.  While accepting the award Coffman made a pledge to Lori’s two young children present at the awards ceremony, along with Moriarty’s wife and extended family. “I will do everything I can, in my life and in my career, to carry forward what your mom meant to all of us.”

The Courageous Leadership Award recognizes a Colorado public official for distinguished service focused on the prevention of child maltreatment and strengthening families.

Representative Michaelson Jenet, unable to be present at the ceremony, was recognized with the Courageous Leadership Award for her determination in advocating for children and family issues in the Colorado Legislature including her sponsorship of House Bill 18-1064 to increase access to child sexual abuse prevention education for early childhood professionals.

The Innovative Leadership Award is presented to an individual who has made repeated significant contributions to research on preventing child maltreatment and increasing support for families over their career to advance the field.

Marc Winokur was recognized with the Innovative Leadership Award for his oversight of many program evaluations and research studies ensuring quality implementation of Colorado’s ground breaking child welfare and child maltreatment prevention programs including Colorado Community Response, SafeCare Colorado, Differential Response, CORE Services, Collaborative Management, Colorado IV-E Waive, and Applied Research in Child Welfare Project. “This award is a reflection of a lot of things. As a researcher at the school of social work, we are constantly reminding ourselves that the ones and twos that we are looking at on a screen are families’ lives.” said Winokur. “This award is for the families, for their perseverance, their resiliency and the love that they show to keep their families safe and secure.”

The Catalytic Leadership Award honors a philanthropic partner in Colorado that is invested in accelerating efforts to prevent child maltreatment and strengthen families.

The Zoma Foundation was awarded the Catalytic Leadership Award for its work prioritizing the well-being of children and families in Colorado, including catalyzing numerous programs and projects such as the Child Maltreatment Prevention Framework for Action. “We are so fortunate to do this work in Colorado where there are long-standing champions who have shown great leadership and vision which is beautifully illustrated in the Colorado Child Maltreatment Prevention Framework for Action” said Tiffany Perrin, Zoma Foundation senior program officer accepting on behalf of the foundation. “We are grateful to support those who have committed their lives to strengthen families.

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