Safe and Stable Housing Supports Family Well-Being

Safe and Stable Housing Supports Family Well-Being

Safe and stable housing is essential for the health and well-being of everyone, especially for children and families. Colorado’s Child Fatality Prevention System 2020 Legislative Report specifically recommends the support of policies that expand access to quality, affordable and stable housing across the state in order to ensure positive health outcomes for children and families. The passing of such policies is greatly needed as families still face significant challenges in accessing and affording quality and stable housing. 

Current research Families with children are more likely to face eviction than households without children. Policies that build and promote concrete supports for stable housing are critical because housing security helps protect children from injury and violence, including child abuse and neglect.

To ensure safe and stable housing for Coloradans, the Colorado state legislature is currently considering Senate Bill 21-173 Rights in Residential Lease Agreements which, if passed, will:

  • Require information about late payment fees to be included in tenant leases,
  • Limit late fees on unpaid rent to a set percentage, dollar amount and grace period,
  • Give renters more time to come up with their rent and avoid eviction, prohibiting tenant evictions solely for owing late fees,
  • Ban lease clauses that provide financial incentives to landlords who evict,
  • Eliminate bond requirements so Colorado renters can offer legitimate defenses and not get priced out of court, and
  • Establish a financial penalty for landlords who illegally lock out tenants. 

Safe, stable, and affordable housing is crucial for family well-being, particularly for families with low-incomes disproportionately affected by housing hardship. This can undermine healthy family functioning and may increase the likelihood that children in those environments will experience neglect or abuse. Housing instability may also have a direct correlation on other forms of physical neglect for children, such as food insecurity and lack of access to medical care. In addition, studies have also shown that there is an association between housing insecurity and other subtypes of child maltreatment, such as physical or emotional abuse. Evidence shows that a lack of adequate shelter and exposure to chaotic or unsafe living environments leads to increased rates of parental stress. Conditions of scarcity and stress have a direct impact on parent behavior and their ability to provide resources to their families. 

SB21-173 is particularly important for addressing inequities that impact renter households of color who are bearing the weight of higher housing cost burdens. Due to a long-standing history of discriminatory housing and lending practices, Black, Indigenous, and people of color face even more barriers to adequate housing, systemically creating more conditions of scarcity and stress for those families. Further, the economic hardship created by the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges families face in securing affordable and adequate housing and has amplified the need for the measures in this bill. In order to support our children and our families, we must increase fairness in the eviction court process and reasonably limit late fees in order to prevent housing instability, eviction, and homelessness, which will ultimately help advance racial equity and support all Coloradans to have stable housing.

SB21-173 is scheduled for the House Business Affairs & Labor Committee on Thursday, May 13th, at 1:30pm. Thank you to partners at 9 To 5 Colorado, Colorado Center on Law and Policy, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project, Enterprise Community Partners, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, Together Colorado and more for supporting this important bill. Thank you to Representatives Caraveo and Gonzales-Gutierrez and Senators Gonzales and Moreno for your leadership and sponsorship of SB21-173.

Illuminate Colorado Is Hiring Two New Associates

Illuminate Colorado Is Hiring Two New Associates

We are excited to announce that we are hiring two new associate positions!

Communications and Education Associate

Under the guidance of the Communications Manager, this position will work with our entire organization and community members from all over the state to manage first impressions for our organization, seamlessly connect people interested in the prevention of child maltreatment and integrate our systems building brighter childhoods. The Communications & Education Associate will help implement the strategic communications plan to achieve high quality communications and increase brand awareness for Illuminate Colorado. The individual should be detail-oriented, able to meet tight deadlines, flexible, and experienced with supporting an organization’s internal and external communication to a variety of audiences via websites, email, social media, print and events. The ideal candidate will be able to create and edit quality content, able to clearly and effectively communicate in writing and orally and have strong administrative and organizational skills. He/She/They will provide support with project management, social media, events, PR, administrative tasks, and other duties as assigned.

Qualifications / Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or a related field and a minimum of one to three years of predominantly external communications experience. Equivalent combinations of experience/education will be considered. Excellent verbal and written communications skills in Spanish preferred.

Compensation: This is a full-time position eligible for benefits. Starting salary is negotiable and commensurate with skills and experience in the range of $40,000 – $50,000.

If this sounds like an exciting opportunity to you, click on the link below for more details about the position. The deadline to apply is May 12.

View the complete job posting here.

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three references via email with “Communications and Education Associate” in the subject line to hiring@illuminatecolorado.org.

Operations Associate

Under the guidance of the Director of Operations, this position will support the business and operational functions of the organization, including finance, human resources, and administrative responsibilities. The Operations Associate will help manage monthly and ongoing administrative and financial processes and procedures including managing the fundraising platforms, as well as help support employee hiring, onboarding/offboarding, recognition, and benefit management. The individual should possess strong detail-orientation, flexibility, and customer service skills, with a proactive and process oriented work style.

Qualifications / Requirements: At least two years of related experience with finance, human resources, administrative and/or office support required, preferably with a nonprofit organization. Equivalent combinations of education and experience will be considered.

Compensation: This is a part-time position (24 hour per week) eligible for benefits. Starting salary is negotiable and commensurate with skills and experience in the range of $24,000 – $30,000 (equivalent of $19 to $24 per hour).

If this sounds like an exciting opportunity to you, click on the link below for more details about the position. The deadline to apply is May 12.

View the complete job posting here.

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three references via email with “Operations Associate” in the subject line to hiring@illuminatecolorado.org.

Safe Storage Means Safer Kids

Safe Storage Means Safer Kids

Safe and proper storage of firearms can contribute to a safe home environment for all members of a family. The Colorado Child Fatality Prevention System specifically recommended in 2018 to raise awareness and provide education to child welfare providers and community agencies on safe firearm storage to prevent child deaths involving firearms. This is crucial as more than 75% of the guns used in youth suicide attempts and unintentional injuries were stored in the residence of the victim, a relative, or a friend. Stronger safe storage laws promote a safer environment for all children to thrive, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic given the increased time spent at home paired with increased mental health stressors among youth.

House Bill 21-1106 Safe Storage Of Firearms was signed by Governor Polis on April 19th, 2021. This bill requires that firearms be responsibly and securely stored when they are not in use to prevent access by unsupervised youth and other unauthorized users. The bill further supports and ensures safe storage by requiring that at the time of a firearm sale or transfer, licensed gun dealers must provide a locking device capable of securing the firearm. Thank you to partners at the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Academy of Family Physicians, Colorado Children’s Campaign, Colorado Nurses Association, Mental Health Colorado, Violence Free Colorado, and more for supporting this important bill. Thank you to Representatives Duran and Mullica and Senators Bridges and Hansen for your leadership and sponsorship of HB21-1106. 

Visit SmartChoicesSafeKids.org to get more information to guide us all through the choices we have to make at every age and stage of life to keep kids safe.  

Review the 2021 Policy Agenda

Download the 2021 Illuminating Policy Agenda and use the Illuminate Colorado Bill Tracker to stay up to date on the progression of bills this session related to strengthening families.

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Seeking Kappa Delta Alumna to Join Board of Directors

Seeking Kappa Delta Alumna to Join Board of Directors

Join the Board

We are seeking a passionate, dedicated Kappa Delta Alumna to join our Board of Directors! As the Colorado state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America we have been honored to work closely with Kappa Delta collegiate and alumnae chapters in Colorado for the last several years and seek to continue this close relationship moving forward!

Since 1981, Kappa Delta has been a proud supporter of Prevent Child Abuse America and state chapters.

Thousands of KDs in hundreds of communities nationwide host Shamrock events every year to raise money for national and local child abuse prevention efforts – learn more about Kappa Delta’s commitment to preventing child abuse.

Board members provide strategic vision, oversight and resources to help further the mission of Illuminate to strengthen families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment.

Current priorities for Board of Directors recruitment include:

  • Individuals with a strong history of philanthropic development,
  • Individuals with subject matter expertise and/or life experiences with strengthening families,
  • Individuals with best practice human resource management expertise, and
  • Individuals with access to marketing, advertising, public relations, or communications expertise and resources.
Board Expectations

Illuminate Colorado strengthens families, organizations, and communities to prevent child maltreatment. The Board of Directors provides strategic vision, oversight, and resources to help further the mission of Illuminate. 

    • Provide fiduciary oversight by reviewing and approving operating budgets, financial statements, and annual Audit / IRS Form 990. 
    • Provide ongoing strategic counsel and advice to the Executive Director, through biannual one-on-ones, and to other staff leaders as needed.
    • Contribute financially at an individually meaningful level. Gifts from board members of time or talent may contribute to this requirement. 
    • Grow the Reach of Illuminate by engaging others who can be helpful to the cause as potential supporters. Help identify and connect potential donors or board members (through introductions / event attendance) and proactively promoting Illuminate in conversations with friends, colleagues, and broader networks.
    • Attend and prepare for board meetings held every other month as well as an annual Fall Board retreat to ensure connection and current understanding of organization’s goals, strategies, and priorities.
    • Serve on at least one board committee – Executive & Finance Committee, Fundraising and Communications Committee, Program and Public Policy Committee, to support and advise on organization operations. 
    • Select, support, and evaluate the Executive Director through ongoing coaching and support, as well as an annual performance evaluation.
    • Attend major organizational events and host an annual micro event. Board members are expected to attend and bring guests to the organization’s annual events. Board members are also encouraged to host an annual micro event or support Illuminate through outside fundraising or engagement opportunities.
    • Provide support for fundraising efforts including writing personal thank you notes, meeting with potential major donors, providing event planning support (securing auction/event specific donations), and engaging in foundation or corporate research/outreach to support the organization.

Meetings & Events

The Illuminate Board of Directors meets bi-monthly in the even months throughout the year, with a retreat in the fall and committee meetings in the odd months. Board meetings are typically held at the Illuminate Colorado Office in Denver with the option for remote participation through video/phone conferences.

In addition, board members are expected to attend significant Illuminate events and contribute financially to the organization. 

Interested? Take the Next Step

Illuminate Colorado is committed to building a strong and diverse Board of Directors. Learn more about Illuminate at illuminatecolorado.org. If you are interested or would like more information, complete this form and a member of the board of directors will get in touch with you within two to three weeks. 

Digital Advocacy Opportunity: Contact Congress Tomorrow

Digital Advocacy Opportunity: Contact Congress Tomorrow

Tomorrow, April 21, 2021, is Prevent Child Abuse America’s second annual Digital Advocacy Day, and we need your help! Join advocates across the country at 12:00pm MT TOMORROW to contact your lawmakers and urge them to act now to reauthorize the bipartisan Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and increase funding for this important program. 

Background Information

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) represents a cornerstone of our nation’s system for both preventing and responding to incidents of child abuse and neglect. Created in 1974, CAPTA reflects the entire continuum of supports to children, parents, and families, from primary prevention strategies at the heart of Title II (Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention [CBCAP] grants) to the identification and treatment of abuse and neglect in Title I (state grants). Through CAPTA reauthorization, the current 117th Congress has an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen community-based supports to families to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Last year, CAPTA reauthorization passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously and in the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions with bipartisan support. Additionally, a Senate bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter, signed by 28 U.S. Senators, nearly one-third of the Senate, advocated for robust funding increases in CAPTA appropriations.

Unfortunately, CAPTA reauthorization was never considered on the Senate floor, and ultimately Congress never passed it into law. Congress did, however, increase funding for CBCAP, appropriating a $16 million increase for the first time in 15 years and an additional $5 million increase the following year. This still only funds primary prevention at 82 cents per child per year, resulting in a great deal of unmet need.  

Why Is CBCAP Important?

Due to the pandemic, parents and caregivers are confronted with extraordinary challenges, including decreased wages or loss of work, lack of childcare, and housing instability, among other hardships that can compound the day-to-day stress of raising children. CBCAP is designed to help families get the support they need before harm occurs, including voluntary evidence-based home visiting services, community-based parent support programs, early childhood and child care programs, family resource centers, and coordination and connection with mental health, substance use, and domestic violence services, among others. CBCAP provides grants to all 50 states to meet the needs of communities, realized through partnerships that use federal funding to leverage greater state and local public and private dollars.

As Congress works to reauthorize this historically bipartisan legislation, we urge them to include significant funding increases to provide states and communities the resources to drive community-based solutions that strengthen and improve child and family well-being. We recommend that Congress authorize and appropriate $750 million for Title II of CAPTA in fiscal year 2022. An increase in funding will enable greater service delivery to address the needs of vulnerable families and provide much-needed support and systems-building at the state and community levels.

Key Messages
  • We all have an obligation to protect our nation’s children.
  • Due to the pandemic, parents and caregivers are confronted with extraordinary challenges, including decreased wages or loss of work, lack of adequate childcare, and housing instability, among other hardships that can compound the day-to-day stress of raising children.
  • Given the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has inflicted on America’s families, there is an urgent need for services and supports made possible by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
  • Access to these services and supports can be instrumental in lowering parent and caregiver stress and incidences of child abuse by providing  families the support they need before harm occurs.
  • When we fail to prevent abuse and neglect from occurring, it has tremendous consequences for children, families, communities, and our nation. Exposure to violence at a young age can heighten the risk for physical health issues later on in life, such as smoking, alcoholism, and drug abuse and addiction; mental health disorders; and criminal behavior.   
  • But child abuse and neglect are not inevitableResearch shows that the safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments that children need to thrive are linked to a lower incidences of child abuse and neglect. 
  • Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) grants, an important provision of CAPTA, fund key services that prevent child maltreatment in all 50 states, including voluntary evidence-based home visiting programs, parent support programs, distribution of food and medication, family resource centers, child care, and coordination and connection with mental health, substance use, and domestic violence services, among others.
  • CBCAP represents the main federal investment in primary prevention for the entire country; however, it has been chronically under-funded. In 2020, CBCAP funded prevention at only 82 cents per child per year, resulting in a great deal of unmet need. (See “Graphics” below)
  • As Congress works to reauthorize CAPTA, we urge them to include significant funding increases that provide states and communities the resources they need and drive community-based solutions for strengthening and improving child and family well-being
  • Specifically, we recommend that Congress authorizes and appropriates $750 million for Title II of CAPTA in fiscal year 2022. 
Sample Tweets
  • Thank you, @HouseFloor & @SenateFloor, for including a critical amount of aid to families & communities in the #AmericanRescuePlan #CAPTA #CBCAP #MIECHV @PCAAmerica #GrowingBetterTogether #CAPMonth
  • But our work isn’t over—@HouseFloor & @SenateFloor, we must increase funding to #CAPTA Title II #CBCAP now. Local prevention programs are critical during times of crisis to ensure parents have the tools to manage stress & keep children safe. Let’s focus on #GrowingBetterTogether this #CAPMonth @PCAAmerica
  • Join us in urging Congress to act to approve increased funding for #CAPTA, appropriating $750M for #CBCAP grants, which are vital to providing necessary supports to lower familial stress…contact your representatives today! #GrowingBetterTogether #CAPMonth @PCAAmerica
  • Additional stress from #COVID19 can increase the risk of child abuse, but we can support families with prevention services. Congress must increase funding to #CAPTA #CBCAP now…tell your representatives today! We’re #GrowingBetterTogether during #CAPMonth & all year long! @PCAAmerica
  • Congress must act to invest in our children’s future by increasing #CAPTA funding now. Access to concrete supports can be instrumental in lowering familial stress & incidences of child abuse and neglect…contact your representatives today! We’re #GrowingBetterTogether during #CAPMonth & all year long! @PCAAmerica
  • Local prevention services & programs are critical during times of crisis to ensure parents have the tools to manage stress & keep their children safe. Congress must increase funding for #CAPTA #CBCAP now…contact your representatives today! Let’s focus on #GrowingBetterTogether in #CAPMonth @PCAAmerica
Email/Phone Script

Dear [your member of Congress], 

Given the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has inflicted on America’s families, there is an urgent need for services and supports made possible by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)As Congress works to reauthorize this important bipartisan legislationI urge you to include significant funding increases that provide states and communities the resources they need and drive community-based solutions for strengthening and improving child and family well-beingSpecifically, please ensure that Congress authorizes and appropriates $750 million for Title II of CAPTA in the first year of reauthorization, ramping up to $1.5 billion for Title II over 5 years. 

Investments to Title II, the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention grants (often referred to as CBCAP), will make an immediate and meaningful difference in the lives of children and families across the country. CBCAP funds key services that prevent child maltreatment in all 50 states, including voluntary evidence-based home visiting programs, parent support programs, distribution of food and medication, family resource centers, child care, and coordination and connection with mental health, substance use, and domestic violence services, among others. Expanding this program will be transformational for parents and families and is essential to building healthy and thriving communities throughout the United States.

I fully support this legislation and hope that you will, too.

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Sincerely, 

[Your name, address, and contact information, if you wish to receive a response] 

Congressional Contact List

Use our Find & Contact Your Representative resource page to reach out today!

Due to the pandemic, parents and caregivers are confronted with extraordinary challenges, including decreased wages or loss of work, lack of adequate childcare, and housing instability, among other hardships that can compound the day-to-day stress of raising children. Given the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has inflicted on America’s families, there is an urgent need for services and supports made possible by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). Access to these services and supports can be instrumental in lowering parent and caregiver stress and incidences of child abuse by providing families the support they need before harm occurs.

Specifically, we’re requesting that Congress authorizes and appropriates $750 million for Title II of CAPTA in fiscal year 2022. This crucial investment in American families will support resources at the state and community levels that mitigate the many challenges and stressors parents and caregivers are facing right now. 

CBCAP represents the main federal investment in primary prevention for the entire country; however, it has been chronically under-funded. In 2020, CBCAP funded prevention at only 82 cents per child per year, resulting in a great deal of unmet need. As Congress works to reauthorize CAPTA, we urge them to include significant funding increases that provide states and communities the resources they need and drive community-based solutions for strengthening and improving child and family well-being.

Find and contact your Representative. Your members of Congress need to hear from you! Please get involved by emailing, tweeting, posting on Facebook, and calling your senators and representatives. (NOTE: Because many representatives and congressional staff are working remotely, email and Twitter/Facebook are better vehicles than phone calls right now, but please call if that’s your preferred means of communication.)

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