Special Efforts Being Made in Colorado to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities

 In April 2017, Governor Hickenlooper and CDHS unveiled the Colorado Child Maltreatment Prevention Framework for Action, what they call the state’s first and most comprehensive child maltreatment plan in more than two decades. Ten communities will be selected through an application process to receive financial support and technical assistance to create the first local child maltreatment prevention plans using the framework. The framework is aimed at helping local communities and state agencies create a more focused and measurably integrated approach to preventing child maltreatment and promoting child well-being. The Framework will guide community planning and future investment of resources to mobilize action that protects children, and will include monitoring systems to track implementation and measurable progress. [Recommendation 7.2]

The Birth to Five Task Group works to ensure an early childhood perspective informs policy and create a stronger bridge between child welfare and early childhood. The Task Group has been convened in order to prepare for national recommendations regarding how child welfare screening decisions are made upon receipt of a report of suspected child abuse and/or neglect involving a child age five and under, and to determine what, if any, Colorado-specific recommendations are needed. It will review data regarding fatalities of children five and under; solicit feedback from stakeholders to answer the question "How do the child welfare and early childhood systems, in partnership with communities and families, prevent maltreatment of children age five and under?"; explore the collaboration between early childhood and child welfare at both the state and local levels; make policy, procedure, and training recommendations for child welfare; and make policy, procedure, and training recommendations for improving collaboration between early childhood and child welfare at both the state and local level. [Recommendation 7.1]

SafeCare Colorado is a flexible, free and voluntary in-home parent support program for at-risk families with children ages 5 and younger. SafeCare Colorado helps parents and caregivers build on their existing skills in the areas of home safety, child health and parent-child or parent-infant interactions. SafeCare Colorado depends on partners in the community to help identify families in need of parent support services, as well as child welfare departments and self-referrals. In February 2017, CDHS announced that Colorado families who completed the SafeCare Colorado program were significantly less likely to have an open child welfare case six months after completion when compared to similar Colorado families, according to a preliminary evaluation of the program. Parents and caregivers reported high satisfaction and improved skills upon completion of the program. SafeCare Colorado has continued to expand since the pilot period concluded. In Fiscal Year 2016-17, the program will provide services to approximately 1,400 families and be implemented by 13 community-based agencies in 41 counties and two tribal nations. [Recommendation 7.1]

Local effort in El Paso County:  Following a series of child fatalities, many involving military families, the local CPS agency, military and other key stakeholders initiated a countywide coalition including law enforcement, the medical community, the fire department, faith-based leaders and more, to launch the Not One More Child campaign to raise awareness and prevent child maltreatment fatalities. [Recommendations 6.1, 6.1e, 7.1, 7.4]

Local effort in El Paso County:  The County’s Child Protection Team reviews child protection assessments for adequacy and appropriateness. [5.3]Local effort in Montrose County: Montrose County has continued to work on building strong relationships with community partners, including law enforcement, medical teams and community resource providers. In April 2017 the County conducted a month-long campaign with media announcements on how to report child abuse and neglect and how to connect with community resources. [Recommendation 7.2]  

Local effort in Montrose County: Montrose County has continued to work on building strong relationships with community partners, including law enforcement, medical teams and community resource providers. In April 2017 the County conducted a month-long campaign with media announcements on how to report child abuse and neglect and how to connect with community resources. [Recommendation 7.2]