Act Now! Support the Reauthorization and Expansion of Critical Home Visiting Funding

Act Now! Support the Reauthorization and Expansion of Critical Home Visiting Funding

Ensuring children’s earliest relationships and experiences are positive and nurturing lays the foundation for their lifelong health and well-being. At scale, stronger childhoods lead to stronger families and more successful communities. 

Home visiting programs support the creation of these conditions by using a two-generation approach that is proven to reduce child maltreatment, improve positive parenting practices, and increase family economic self-sufficiency by helping parents tap into the skills they already possess and bring out the best in themselves.

Continuing and improving this support to families cannot wait

Despite the proven success and critical nature of these programs, existing Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) funding is both insufficient to meet the needs of all families who need these services and is set to expire on September 30th. 

The unmet need for these services in Colorado is significant: While some level of home visiting services is available in all counties, according to the Child Fatality Prevention System’s 2020 Annual Legislative Report, “Not a single county in Colorado… has home visiting programs to meet the overall needs of families in the county.”

Hope is here!

Thanks to the advocacy of the Home Visiting Coalition, Prevent Child Abuse America, and home visiting advocates around the country, a critical piece of legislation that would both reauthorize and make drastic improvements to federal MIECHV funding– the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act– was recently introduced and unanimously passed by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.

This exciting bill would:

  • Bolster the capacity of existing evidence-based programs that are proven to reduce child abuse and neglect by increasing funding for program implementation 
  • Advance equity by doubling the amount of funding that is set aside for Tribal home visiting programs
  • Enable programs to support families in the way that works best for them by continuing to allow visits to be conducted virtually 
Learn more about the proposed legislation here.

What can we do to help? 

Illuminate staff had a chance to meet with Senate and House offices in DC last week to reiterate the importance of this funding for Colorado families– but you don’t have to go to DC to support getting this bill passed!

The Home Visiting Coalition suggests the following key actions in support of this legislation:

  • Reach out to your representative about the need for bipartisan reauthorization. The House Ways and Means Committee’s vote is a big step forward, but Congress needs to enact these policies to realize the opportunity they offer. Meet with, call, and email your Members of Congress to urge them to prioritize a bipartisan MIECHV reauthorization that lifts up the priorities of increased funding, doubling the Tribal set-aside, and allowing virtual home visits.
  • Reach out to U.S. House members requesting their co-sponsorship. Further co-sponsors will help demonstrate the broad bipartisan support for this bill to Congressional leadership. You can see a list of current co-sponsors here.
  • Engage policymakers on social media using this toolkit. Please use these sample messages and tag your Members of Congress to thank them for supporting and co-sponsoring, or to encourage them to do so.

Related Posts

Colorado Voters Must Act to Ensure that No Child Goes Hungry

Colorado Voters Must Act to Ensure that No Child Goes Hungry

This November, you can ensure all of Colorado’s kids have access to healthy school meals. Election ballots will begin hitting mailboxes later this month, and at Illuminate, we are thrilled by the inclusion of Proposition FF: Healthy School Meals for All, a measure...

Art for Advocacy: Register Today for Strolling Thunder Colorado 2022!

Art for Advocacy: Register Today for Strolling Thunder Colorado 2022!

Make your voice heard with and for Colorado families with young children! Join Illuminate Colorado and our partners on Oct. 1 for the fifth annual Strolling Thunder Colorado. This year’s family-friendly event will be held virtually from 9:30 – 11 a.m.  

Join families and advocates from around the state as we raise our voices using art for policies that families with young children need. Illuminate is proud to be a hosting partner of Strolling Thunder because child care, paid leave, and other family supports strengthen the foundation for families and communities to thrive. 

 

Learn more from our friends at the Colorado Children’s Campaign and register for the event below:

At Strolling Thunder, attendees raise their voices for babies and their families in a fun, family-friendly setting. The event celebrates recent wins at the legislature, brings attention to what families need to thrive, and helps participants connect with their state and local elected officials. This year’s event theme is “Art for Advocacy.” Register today by clicking here. All who register by Sept. 17 will receive an art kit for the art activity and a care package before the event.  

 

Strolling Thunder Colorado brings together people who care about babies and their families at an event featuring guest speakers, story time, a dance party, an art activity, and an advocacy training. Each year, it encourages elected officials to make pregnant people, babies, and their families a priority when policy decisions are made. The event is hosted by Raise Colorado, Clayton Early Learning, Colorado Association for Education of Young Children (COAEYC), Colorado Children’s Campaign, Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA), Illuminate Colorado, and ZERO TO THREE.  

As a part of this event, Raise Colorado is asking community members to share photos of them and their children strolling – whether that be taking a walk in a park or pushing their child in a stroller, as well as a quote sharing why they think it is important to prioritize pregnant people, babies, and their families in Colorado. This is optional, and photos and quotes will be shared at the event and possibly on host organizations’ website. To make a submission, please click here.

Register for Strolling Thunder Today!

Register by clicking here before September 17th to receive an art kit for the art activity and a care package prior to the event!

Related Posts

Colorado Voters Must Act to Ensure that No Child Goes Hungry

Colorado Voters Must Act to Ensure that No Child Goes Hungry

This November, you can ensure all of Colorado’s kids have access to healthy school meals. Election ballots will begin hitting mailboxes later this month, and at Illuminate, we are thrilled by the inclusion of Proposition FF: Healthy School Meals for All, a measure...

Prevention Through Partnership

Prevention Through Partnership

“Prevention happens in partnership” is a phrase often repeated by the Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA), Dr. Melissa Merrick. As the Colorado chapter of PCAA these words rang especially true for us at Illuminate Colorado in 2021. As we began to emerge from the pandemic and find our new normal, only to experience resurgences and continued restrictions, the power of connection and innovation was continually underscored.

Despite the ever-changing environment around us, 2021 brought more partnerships, opportunities and successes to Illuminate than ever before:

  • Illuminate participated in the Home Visiting Investment Task Force and deepened our engagement in home visiting as a prevention strategy by becoming the state lead for Healthy Families America, PCAA’s signature evidence based home visitation program and beginning exploration of Family Connects, a universal model for supporting families welcoming a new baby.

  • Illuminating Child Care launched its second classroom, Acorn, supporting families in the San Luis Valley, and established a new partnership with Children First, the Pueblo Early Childhood Council, to serve as the home for a third classroom.

  • Two additional educational curricula were released and Illuminate led the development of research and recommendations focused on the prevention of child sexual abuse.

  • Illuminate collaborated with cross-system partners on the Substance Exposed Newborns Rule Writing Work Group, the Plans of Safe Care Work Group, the Safe Child Care Task Force, and on the development of Colorado’s funded grant applications for Family Support through Primary Prevention and Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems.

As we continue in this work, our programs, strategies and initiatives are broad, and our subject matter expertise, partnerships and passion are deep. We remain dedicated to increasing our impact, deepening our relationships and building brighter childhoods in Colorado.

Read our latest annual report to learn more about Illuminate Colorado’s work in 2021.

Join Us!

This annual benefit dedicated to lighting the way for passionate individuals, dedicated professionals and impactful organizations to make a difference in the lives of kids in Colorado will be our in-person fundraising event since 2019.

Help us celebrate the release of our 2021 Annual Report and have fun raising funds to support strengthening families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment. 

Related Posts

Colorado Voters Must Act to Ensure that No Child Goes Hungry

Colorado Voters Must Act to Ensure that No Child Goes Hungry

This November, you can ensure all of Colorado’s kids have access to healthy school meals. Election ballots will begin hitting mailboxes later this month, and at Illuminate, we are thrilled by the inclusion of Proposition FF: Healthy School Meals for All, a measure...

It Can’t Just Be Me

It Can’t Just Be Me

Me:  “Will you please go downstairs and turn off the lights you left on in the bathroom, your room, and the den?!” 

My Son:  “Why?  Maybe later.”

Me:  “Well then let me rephrase it. If you don’t turn off the lights now, you’ll lose your device for the day! It’s not like I haven’t asked you to turn them off hundreds of times before. If you would do it in the first place I wouldn’t have to ask you!”

Welcome to an exchange between me and my son, more times than I’d care to admit, in telling him what I want him to do. Why this particular exchange?  Honestly, to save on the electricity bill.  Why in this tone?  Because of how frequently this conversation happens. More on this later.

Can I get an Amen?!  

On the night of my wedding, my brother advised me to, “not sweat the small stuff” in my marriage.  Of course, my brother wasn’t married at the time and that was over 20 years ago. Recently, I’ve heard this said multiple times in various conversations or digital platforms. This can’t be a coincidence, right? I’ve also heard it said in the following way, “what hill are you willing to die on?”  I can tell you this, when I hear these phrases being used it’s easy to receive, but not so easy to act upon. Especially, in the heat of the moment. Can I get an Amen?!  

I am a father who did, self-admittedly, a solid job of raising my children when they were infants, toddlers, and even somewhat into middle childhood. But, it was right about that time when middle school entered the picture that I started to become more of a parental tyrant. My biggest crusade has been to make sure the house is in order, but this has come with a price as it relates to the relationships I’ve had with my children.  

If you know middle-schoolers, this is about the time when they can become a BIT of a challenge in several ways, at least for me. It’s a particular attitude that they bring to the table that can press all of my buttons, including the ones I didn’t even know I had.  

I am a father who did, self-admittedly, a solid job of raising my children when they were infants, toddlers, and even somewhat into middle childhood.

But, it was right about that time when middle school entered the picture that I started to become more of a parental tyrant.

Anonymous

Can I get a Hallelujah?!  

My oldest son is on the FASD spectrum. I’ve put in hundreds of hours educating myself on FASD, after getting a diagnosis, and I can tell you several reasons why a child on the spectrum acts the way they do, and I can give you several ways how to properly respond. Here’s the challenge though, walking the walk is much easier than talking the talk. Can I get a Hallelujah?!  

To my credit, I’ve made some positive strides in parenting my son. Besides the consistency of my mindfulness practice, both he and I see therapists, and his therapist recently reported that he currently feels better about our relationship. Yes sir! I’d like to think it’s because I’m learning how to control ‘me’ rather than being so focused and frustrated on controlling my son.  Don’t get me wrong. I won’t let my son walk all over me, but there comes a time when I need to understand the importance of maintaining a loving relationship with him that will last for the rest of our lives. Nitpicking him in so many ways is not creating that road I want us to travel together. 

Don’t get me wrong. I won’t let my son walk all over me, but there comes a time when I need to understand the importance of maintaining a loving relationship with him that will last for the rest of our lives.

Anonymous

But, It’s Up to Me

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned with FASD is that my son’s actions are due to trauma to the brain, not an intentional act of defiance. But many times, that’s the way I take it, like a personal attack on my leadership. Honestly, in our family of five my son probably has the most tender heart of us all. The last thing he wants to do is hurt me or any other member of our family, we’ll maybe his younger brother just a little- just kidding).

When he doesn’t turn off the lights it’s not to annoy me, but that’s the way I take it. Instead, it’s up to me how I control my tone when I speak to him, and it’s up to me to come up with an idea that might work out better for him to turn them off more frequently than he does, including brainstorming together. To his credit, it’s not just me having to do all the legwork. As he is getting older, he is playing more of a central role in figuring out ways to be at his best in our family dynamic.   

Now, I’m not saying I’ve made it to the mountaintop yet as it relates to being a dad. Matter of fact, I still could be in base camp. But I can honestly say I’m taking steps in the right direction because my son is well worth it.

About the Author

About the Author

Anonymous

This article was written by a father of  four beautiful children, three of whom have been adopted.  He is committed to sharing the experiences of his family impacted by FASD, anonymously, through the Becoming FASD Aware blog series to strengthen families and build awareness.

This photo was taken by the author’s son. while they were on a walk together. 

Request for Proposals Awareness Campaign – Social Norming Campaign – Social Connections

Request for Proposals Awareness Campaign – Social Norming Campaign – Social Connections

Illuminate is seeking proposals to develop a multi-year awareness campaign to influence social norms related to social connections among parents and caregivers in Colorado with an initial budget not to exceed $110,000. The deadline to submit proposals is at 5 p.m. on July 27, 2022.

Social norms marketing campaigns are a form of health promotion and universal prevention. Respondents are required to address expertise in the development of social norming campaigns, creative content development and digital marketing. It is preferred that respondents also demonstrate knowledge of primary prevention strategies associated with child maltreatment, Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework, inclusive messaging strategies for diverse cultures and regions of Colorado and trauma-informed messaging.

Download the complete Request for Proposals (RFP) Awareness Campaign – Social Norming Campaign - Social Connections

RFP Questions from Potential Respondents & Responses from Illuminate

Questions from Potential Respondent A.

Just want to clarify that the RFP is just for the development of the campaign (messaging, creative, assets, and media plan) to be developed in August and September 2022, and that there will be a separate execution phase launching in October 2022 (and the budget for the paid execution phase is at least $50k)?

Yes, depending on how quickly the work is executed there may be a possibility to utilize the $100,000 funds toward execution, but that is not required.   

All campaign development and collateral should be under the $110k budget. This budget does not include paid execution, correct? 

Our hope is to, at a minimum, develop a creative concept(s) that is well-tested within the $110k budget, administer baseline survey data and develop a strategy and media plan with a $50,000 budget.  Assets needed to execute that strategy should be developed within the $50,000 budget or depending on an agreed-upon scope of work. See the answer to question 4. 

Is there a maximum budget for the paid execution phase (October 2022 to September 2023)?

No. Our hope is to attract additional execution funds in the future based on a well-thought-out strategy and compelling culturally appropriate creative concept(s). Additionally, the assets developed under this contract will be made available to local and statewide partners through Illuminate to utilize in Colorado and local communities by blending and braiding available funds based on future social norms strategies.  

Is there any wiggle room in the campaign development phase between August and the end of September? Is there a timing consideration that we should understand for the October 2022 campaign launch?

Illuminate Colorado is a subrecipient on a federal grant to implement this project which is dictating the timeframe. Illuminate Colorado must receive invoicing associated with the $110,000 budget and the contracted work through September 30, 2022 by October 4, 2022. These funds may or may not be eligible to carry over, however, we can purchase work aligned with an agreed-upon scope of work and set of deliverables by September 30, 2022. Hours to complete work may not be pre-billed.  

Our expectation is that the campaign would launch in during the time period October 2022- September 2023, depending on the proposed strategy and continue for four years, depending on additional funding secured.

Questions from Potential Respondent B.

When do you expect to launch the campaign?

Illuminate Colorado is a subrecipient on a federal grant to implement this project which is dictating the timeframe. Illuminate Colorado must receive invoicing associated with the $110,000 budget and the contracted work through September 30, 2022 by October 4, 2022. These funds may or may not be eligible to carry over, however, we can purchase work aligned with an agreed-upon scope of work and set of deliverables by September 30, 2022. Hours to complete work may not be pre-billed.  

Our expectation is that the campaign would launch in during the time period October 2022- September 2023, depending on the proposed strategy and continue for four years, depending on additional funding secured. 

What activities do you expect to complete in the first year?

Our hope is to, at a minimum, develop a creative concept(s) that is well-tested within the $110k budget, administer baseline survey data and develop a strategy and media plan with a $50,000 budget.  Assets needed to execute that strategy should be developed within the $50,000 budgeting aligned to an agreed-upon scope of work.

Can you please provide additional details on the evaluation requirement?

There are no requirements other than what is outlined in the RFP. The Illuminate evaluation team and the Colorado Lab, the contracted evaluation partner for the Partnership, will partner with the Vendor to develop an evaluation process to measure the effectiveness of the social norms strategies.The vendor(s) will be responsible for using the survey created in exhibit A to administer a statewide survey of a statistically representative sample of Coloradans in the key audiences by September 30, 2022 and prior to the implementation of any strategies to serve as a baseline measurement of effectiveness.

Are you planning to measure the effectiveness of proposed or in market social norms strategies?

Yes. 

What services are you expecting to need as part of the $50,000 to support continued work completed from October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023?

Assets needed to execute that strategy developed before September 30, 2022 should be developed within the $50,000 budget and any other agreed-upon scope of work.

As part of Message Development are you anticipating receiving visual concepts, branding, or animatics?

Yes, to some degree, to enable visual testing in front of outlined audiences. 

Do you have an existing panel for fielding research or are you expecting the vendor to provide this?

We have an existing panel of families with lived experiences. Outside of that, we are expecting the vendor to provide this. 

How are you expecting vendors to leverage the research shared in the appendices?

Create an innovative and thorough plan to implement the recommendations outlined in exhibits A and B for the campaign over the course of four years, use the survey to gather baseline survey data and use all known research findings and recommendations to inform messaging and creative development. We also acknowledge that the vendor will likely need to conduct additional research and focus groups to fully inform the messaging and creative content.

Questions from Potential Respondent C.

Can vendors apply through larger organizations, or do they need to apply as individual entities? 

One or more parties with shared capabilities and capacity partnering to provide the requested services are eligible for consideration for this project. Qualified parties are encouraged to collaborate through one proposal demonstrating prior experience and expertise and the capacity to manage the statewide campaign over the courage of four years, as outlined in the RFP. 

May you please explain the rationale behind the timeline of the allocation of funds?

Illuminate Colorado is a subrecipient on a federal grant to implement this project which is dictating the timeframe. Illuminate Colorado must receive invoicing associated with the $110,000 budget and the contracted work through September 30, 2022 by October 4, 2022. These funds may or may not be eligible to carry over, however, we can purchase work aligned with an agreed-upon scope of work and set of deliverables by September 30, 2022. Hours to complete work may not be pre-billed.  

Our expectation is that the campaign would launch in during the time period October 2022- September 2023, depending on the proposed strategy and continue for four years, depending on additional funding secured.

Questions from Potential Respondent D.

Is Illuminate or the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families currently working with an agency?

Yes, but we are aware that our current partner is not planning to submit a proposal in response to this RFP. 

Has Illuminate or the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families previously worked with any agencies to support the work of the Partnership? If so, who?

Yes, Amelie Company

Is there an incumbent agency for this work?

No.

How Circle of Fathers Helps Me

How Circle of Fathers Helps Me

To achieve our mission to strengthen families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment, Illuminate Colorado is focused on growing Circle of Parents® in Colorado.

This national, evidence-informed model provides a friendly, supportive environment led by parents and other caregivers. Circle groups give anyone in a parenting role a place to openly discuss the successes and challenges of raising children, free from judgment. Growing Circles of Fathers around the state is particularly important to our work. We asked one father to share why his group is important to him and his family.

Read Dave’s Circle of Parents Story . . . 

One of the most beautiful gifts on this planet is to be a parent. Parenting comes with beautiful moments and also challenges. It’s the latter that we learn the most about ourselves and our kids.

As a father, it took me some time to, first, admit that I needed help and then more courage to reach out and say “I need help”. I want to share with other parents that even though this gesture sounds simple, it’s important to know I had to overcome how I was raised and my perception of what being a father meant to me to make that connection. It seems so silly now because once I asked the help came flooding, and I mean FLOODING in!

There have been several organizations and groups that have helped me over the years, but my Circle of Fathers group has been the most important to me and continues to be. I could write for some time about everything the group contributes to my life, but I want to highlight the impact it has had on my ability to support my son’s education. You see, I, like many parents, have needed to play a big part in homeschooling my son. 

As I continue to raise my son, I watch as his ability to learn grows every day. Honestly, I have no idea what his capacity is yet because it seems to be boundless. I see so many educational opportunities I can incorporate into my son’s life. One of the fathers shared online classes with me and my son loves to do them every week! It’s funny that a small mention of an activity that works at home for one parent can have such a big impact on another child’s life.

My local Circle of Fathers group is strengthening my family every time I connect, which is often. In addition to attending meetings online and in person,  checking on our Circle of Fathers Facebook Group posts are now a daily part of my life. The ideas I get from our diverse group of parents have helped me expand my fathering skills and I love it! Every post I read relating to topics my son and I are facing is so inventive, and the tips and tricks that I get from other parents are really ingenious.

I want to thank every parent who takes the time to understand what Circle of Parents means to all the parents getting support in this way. It’s inspirational and a beautiful gift that parenting is connected to countless others who love raising little ones!

I encourage other parents and caregivers to connect and find their Circle.

About the Author

About the Author

Dave is a proud father to his nine year-old son living in Colorado Springs. He has a deep understanding of what needs to happen at a community level in order to transform systems so that families get the preventative support they need, having experienced homelessness and spends his time helping other fathers make progress in their lives in order to attain greater fulfillment.

Pin It on Pinterest