Child Abuse Prevention Month Recap: Over 40,000 Pinwheels Distributed!

Child Abuse Prevention Month Recap: Over 40,000 Pinwheels Distributed!

Leading into April, Illuminate Colorado called on Coloradans to claim their FREE pinwheels and plant them in their front yards and neighborhoods as part of a national movement to recognize the importance of community-based support for all children and families during National Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, and all year-long. We ended up surpassing our goal, giving away over 40,000 free Pinwheels for Prevention® to inspire Coloradans to grow a better tomorrow for all children, together.

Throughout the month of April, Illuminate and other Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA) chapters, as well as local supporters in more than 100 cities in Colorado, planted pinwheels and used a community garden metaphor to reinforce the message that “every day, we help positive childhood experiences take root.”

“We can build healthier, safer and thriving communities if we take the same approach to raising families that we do to tending a community garden on a shared piece of land. Just like a plant is more likely to thrive in a garden with good soil and plenty of sunlight and water, families are more likely to thrive in nurturing communities,” said Jade Woodard, executive director of Illuminate Colorado.

Planting a pinwheel represents the bright childhoods we all want for children and the goal was that, with over 40,000 pinwheels planted in front yards and neighborhoods throughout the state, more people would know how to plant the seeds for all children to grow up happy and healthy.

The following are some of the highlights from the month:

  • April 1 was Wear Blue Day, a day to show support for positive childhood experiences. Photos and videos were posted on social media and included #WearBlueDay2021. We also joined together withGovernor Jared Polis for the virtual launch of National Child Abuse Prevention Month in Colorado.
  • The Colorado State House of Representatives recognized April 1st as the first day of Child Abuse Prevention Month and paid tribute to the work happening in Colorado to prevent child abuse.
  • Ten state legislators recorded videos showing their support for children and families and encouraged others to get involved in Child Abuse Prevention Month.
  • We distributed 62,160,600 messages through earned media, paid media and organic social media during the month of April that promoted prevention and reached 81,405 Coloradans.
  • Through the #GrowingBetterTogether Photo Contest, community members submitted pinwheels photos for a chance to win a grant for their favoriteColorado nonprofit serving children and families! Photos with the most votes won the opportunity to select a Colorado nonprofit serving children and families to receive grants of $1,000, $300 and $200.
  • A FREE two-hour interactive virtual introductory course to learn how to “bring the protective factors to life” at home, work and in your community was offered twice during April. Ten Colorado counties were represented in the trainings!
  • April 8 was World Day for Prevention and Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, a day when we talked about how every survivor and their loved ones need access to services for healing and resilience. Together, we can reach a tipping point inColorado where children grow up happy, healthy and safe in communities that prevent children from experiencing sexual abuse. If enough adults in a community take a FREE two-hour interactive online training then, together, we can create a new standard of child safety in your community and throughout Colorado. Visit TipColorado.org  to help your county reach the tipping point.
  • We joined PCAA and sorority partners at Kappa Delta and Sigma Delta Tau for Digital Advocacy Day, where community members were encouraged to contact their elected officials and spread the word about policy change that’s vital to the well-being of children and their families. You can still visit IlluminateColorado.org/2021policy for a guide to what policies and legislation in Colorado build protective factors.
  • Throughout the month, our communities used the hashtag#GrowingBetterTogether to connect to the movement, finding ways to get involved and signify their commitment to helping children, families and entire communities to thrive.

Thank you so much, Colorado, for helping us spread awareness about child abuse prevention throughout the month of April. We couldn’t have done it without you and we look forward to continuing the work of strengthening families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment throughout the rest of the year with you!

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 (Position Filled)

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 June 21.

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. 

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