During the annual State of the State address last week, Gov. Jared Polis put forward a significant investment in hardworking Coloradans by proposing to “double the Earned Income Tax Credit, and provide up to $600 in tax credits per child for nearly 200,000 families in our state through the Colorado Child Tax Credit”. Creating communities where families are able to meet their basic needs like food, shelter, medical care and child care by strengthening household financial security is proven to reduce the risk factors for child abuse and neglect. 

In fact, according to a study released just last month by researchers from the University of Washington, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) results in a significant drop in reported child maltreatment. Researchers found “a 10% increase in the benefit for low- to moderate-income working families, led to a 9% drop in the annual number of child neglect reports referred to child welfare agencies over a 14-year study period” as reported in The Imprint.

EITC and funding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) are among the many policy priorities on the Illuminating 2021 Policy Agenda which highlights policies that build one or more protective factors in Colorado. As the legislative session progresses, Illuminate is encouraging organizations, communities and policymakers to consider primary prevention strategies to ensure families have the foundations they need to thrive. These strategies build protective factors in all families to prevent child maltreatment before it occurs–including addressing systemic barriers to building protective factors across the population.  

Thankfully, there are also signs that Colorado policymakers are elevating and prioritizing the needs of children and families this legislative session as the pandemic continues to impact the daily lives of Coloradans. Over 200 bills were introduced on the first day that the legislature reconvened, with at least 25 bills related to child and family well-being. 

Review the 2021 Policy Agenda

Download the 2021 Illuminating Policy Agenda with key highlighting specific protective factors each policy builds in Colorado.

Illuminate created the Illuminate Colorado Bill Tracker to stay up to date on bills related to strengthening families and preventing child maltreatment. 

We look forward to continuing to support evidence-based policies and cost-saving investments, such as expanding the EITC and funding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) in 2021.

Register today for the 10th annual Speak Up for Kids Day (not) at the Capitol!

Illuminate encourages everyone to participate in Colorado’s Annual Speak up for Kids Day on Thursday, March 18, 2021 from 8:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m.

It is essential for elected officials and policy makers to understand how to prevent child maltreatment and listen to parents in every community.

This year’s event will be hosted virtually, yet still filled with tips and training on advocacy and lobbying skills, strategizing and role-playing for talking to lawmakers, opportunities to hear about key issues for kids and families, and more. Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Children’s Campaign and Clayton Early Learning are hosting the event.

Register at www.bit.ly/2021speakup and email advocacy@childrenscolorado.org with any questions.

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