SUBSTANCE Exposed Newborns

Steering Committee Vision

The Colorado SEN Steering Committee envisions a Colorado that equitably serves all families through prevention and reduction of substance use during pregnancy and provides multigenerational support for families to thrive.

History & Mission

The Colorado Substance Exposed Newborns (SEN) Steering Committee was established in 2008 and is a subcommittee of the Colorado Substance Abuse Trend and Response Task Force.

The Colorado SEN Steering Committee is tasked with identifying and implementing strategies for reducing the number of families impacted by substance use during pregnancy and for improving outcomes for families across the lifespan.

The SEN Steering Committee exemplifies a collaborative approach to addressing community issues and continues to engage additional partners as appropriate to effectively address program targets.

On Equity

The Colorado SEN Steering Committee acknowledges that systemic social, economic and environmental inequities impact experiences and outcomes around substance use, pregnancy and/or parenting.

We also recognize that substance use is strongly correlated with individual, historical, and intergenerational trauma, as well as mental health conditions, toxic stress, sexual violence and/or intimate partner violence. Thus, substance use during pregnancy and/or parenting must be understood in this broader context.

To decrease inequities, systems, services, and policies must be trauma-informed, culturally-responsive, and serve individuals and families with dignity and respect.

Leadership and Family Advisory Board

The SEN Steering Committee is co-chaired by Kathryn Wells, MD, Executive Director of the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, and Jade Woodard, Executive Director of Illuminate Colorado. 

In 2019, the Family Advisory Board (FAB) to the SEN Steering Committee was formed in order to elevate the voices of families who have experienced, directly or indirectly, the impacts of substance use during pregnancy.

The FAB identifies barriers and facilitators in seeking support and services, raises awareness about best practices when working with families and informs priority-setting within the SEN Steering Committee to best serve the needs of families impacted by substance use.


Backbone Support

Illuminate Colorado Strategic Initiatives team supports the SEN Steering Committee, the CHoSEN Collaborative and the SEN Work Groups. 

After you sign up to join a work group, we will reach out with more information to get you everything you need to get involved.

Contact Us

Questions about the SEN Steering Committee?


Learn more & Get Involved

In 2021, the SEN Steering Committee is convening, supporting and guiding work groups to advance the priority areas identified by the SEN Family Advisory Board and Steering Committee and informed by stakeholder input in 2020.

  • Join a SEN Work Group  
  • Subscribe to Updates on this Important Work

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