Kempe Partners with Colorado Department of Human Services to Fund, Expand SafeCare® Across Colorado

In May, Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Early Childhood announced it had secured $5 million in funding to continue operation of SafeCare® Colorado. Through this funding, Kempe will continue managing SafeCare® on behalf of CDHS through a five-year renewable contract.

Since 2013, Kempe has partnered with the CDHS to implement SafeCare® through a multi-phase rollout. Today, SafeCare® is available in 11 community organizations in 39 counties and two tribal nations. As part of this new contract with Kempe, the SafeCare® program will expand to include two additional sites in two additional Colorado counties by the end of fiscal year 2016-2017.

Based on an internationally recognized, evidence-based, in-home parent support program, the goal of SafeCare® is to prevent families from entering or re-entering the child welfare system by providing direct skills training to parents and caregivers. SafeCare® has adopted this model to create a flexible, free and voluntary parent support program for parents and caregivers with children ages five and under who need extra support to keep their families safe and healthy.

“We are thrilled to continue our work implementing the proven best practices of the SafeCare® model in Colorado, and grateful to the Colorado Department of Human Services for entrusting Kempe to continue our management of this important and much needed program,” said Katherine L. Casillas, Ph.D., Director of SafeCare®. “Children under the age of three are at the greatest risk for being victims of fatal child abuse. The direct skills training provided through SafeCare® to the most at-risk populations in our state is needed to help reduce this risk and keep our young children safe.”

Under the new contract, the Kempe SafeCare® team will continue to fulfill the role of SafeCare® Colorado Program Intermediary, facilitating activities required to support, assist and coordinate with CDHS to monitor home visitation and related services performed through the SafeCare® program.

As part of its mission to provide education, advocacy and fundraising to support the The Kempe Center, The Kempe Foundation played an integral role in securing the renewed SafeCare® contract. Throughout fiscal year 2015-2016, Kempe’s leadership advocated for funding to be renewed to support this important program.

As stated by John Faught, President & CEO of The Kempe Foundation, “We are very gratified that The Kempe Center will continue management of the SafeCare® Colorado program as the team in place represents the highest caliber of expertise within the child advocacy arena. Their knowledge and vision for this program are integral to keeping children safe in our state.”

Visit safecareco.co4kids.org to learn more.

New SafeCare® Colorado Sites

  • Ute Mountain Ute program, serving tribal families who reside on the Ute Mountain Ute or Southern Ute reservations, as well as any registered member of a federally recognized tribe in the southwestern corner of the state who may not be living on either reservation.
  • Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, serving Moffat and Routt counties.

Continued SafeCare® Colorado Sites

  • Baby Bear Hugs, serving Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, and Yuma counties.
  • Mesa County Health Department, serving Mesa County.
    Montezuma County Public Health Department, serving Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, and San Juan counties, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe.
  • Savio House, serving Denver County.
  • Arapahoe County Early Childhood Council, serving Arapahoe County.
  • Catholic Charities Diocese of Pueblo, serving Pueblo, Custer, Huerfano, and Las Animas counties.
  • High Plains Community Health Center, serving Baca, Bent, Crowley, Kiowa, Otero, and Prowers counties.
  • The Family Tree serving Adams, Douglas, and Jefferson counties.
  • La Llave Family Resource Center, serving Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache counties.
  • Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, serving El Paso County.
  • North Range Behavioral Health, serving Weld County.

About The Kempe Foundation
For nearly 40 years, The Kempe Foundation has provided the education, advocacy and fundraising to support the The Kempe Center. Through the work we do under our four CARE pillars – clinical care, advocacy, research and education – we are a part of a game-changing, paradigm shift in the way we think about, talk about and treat child abuse and neglect as a public health crisis. To learn more, visit www.kempe.org.

Three Ways to Raise Happy Healthy Children

Encouraging words mean a lot to every child as they grow and develop. Those encouraging words are needed from parents, caretakers, neighbors, coaches and other adults who interact with children.

“Children thrive when they hear encouraging words,” says The Kempe Foundation President & CEO John Faught. “Positive words like ‘You’re the best,’ ‘You are special,’ and ‘You can do it’ make a world of difference to a child.”

Encouraging words are one way our community can support children. Another way to help kids thrive is by spending quality time with them.

“There are many studies that show quality is more important than quantity,” says Faught. “ There are a lot of ways you can spend quality time with a child.  You can read a book together, build a fort out of blankets, play ball, bake cookies or truly listen to them talk about their feelings.”

Another way to foster happy healthy kids is through affection. Research shows affection and unconditional love make children happier and healthier. Hugs, kisses on the check, and saying the words “I love you” are simple ways to express emotions to children. Studies show children who experience affection and nurturing from a young age often have enhanced brain development.

“True unconditional love creates strong bonds, enhances a child’s mental capacity, and helps shape children into more well-rounded human beings. Just a few minutes each day from parents, teachers, family members and other adults that interact with a child  can make a life changing impact and improve the well-being of a child,” says Faught.

This April, as organizations across the country recognize child abuse prevention month, Kempe encourages communities to join in to ensure children are healthy and happy.

Discover more ways to show children you care about them at www.Kempe.org. Kempe is an organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.

Child Friendly Activities & Coloring Sheet

The best way to raise happy healthy children is to spend time each day showing you care. Hang this list on your refrigerator as inspiration (click here to download). Each day, choose one of these activities including coloring with your kids (free coloring sheet).

  • Color with your child
  • Give a hug just because
  • Build a blanket fort together and hang out inside
  • Say “I love you” at breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Take a walk together
  • Let your child choose a game and play it with them
  • Catch your child doing something right and celebrate them with verbal praise
  • Plan a meal and cook it together
  • Read a book together
  • Tell your child a happy story from your childhood
  • Do a craft together, and don’t worry about cleaning up the mess until the end
  • Pack a picnic and go to the park together
  • Take your child on a nature walk and play “I spy”
  • Put your phone and electronic devices in “time out” for one hour
  • Send your child a special card to open in the mail
  • Let your child pick out a picture of him or herself to put in a frame in your house
  • Ask your child where they would like to go and take them there
  • Pack a love note in your child’s lunch
  • Stop everything for 20 minutes and do only what your child wants to do
  • Do a household chore together
  • Create a scavenger hunt for your child and a friend around your neighborhood
  • Do something kind for a neighbor together – like rake a lawn or bring them cookies
  • Go to the museum together
  • Take your child to the grocery store and work together to pick out the ingredients for a healthy meal
  • Color the driveway with chalk together
  • Play dress up together
  • Tell your child specifically what is unique or special about them
  • Offer a word of encouragement when your child tries something difficult
  • Finger paint together
  • Make funny faces together and laugh

Kempe Receives $20,000 through the Colorado Rockies Charity Fund

Kempe recently received a $20,000 grant through the Colorado Rockies Charity Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund. The grant supports the critical work of the IMHOFF Clinic, a behavioral health clinic that provides direct services and consultations to children, families and caregivers.

“This grant enables Kempe to continue providing behavioral health services to children, families and caregivers as they deal with the consequences of abuse and neglect,” says, John Faught, President & CEO of The Kempe Foundation. “The services Kempe provides are an important step in helping children heal and lead healthy lives.”

The IMHOFF Clinic provides services that improve children’s mental health and family function, including mental health evaluation and assessments as part of treatment, individual and family therapy, and case consultation.

“Children who have experienced abuse or neglect are at a greater risk for developing depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder,” says Dr. Erika McElroy, associate director of behavioral health services at Kempe. “IMHOFF Clinic’s professional, trained staff gives our patients the tools to address these challenges and restores hope to children and their families. We are grateful to the Colorado Rockies Charity Fund for believing in our work and in our clients.”

The Colorado Rockies Charity Fund distributed $220,000 to 10 Denver-based nonprofits, including Kempe.

Kempe Making a Tremendous Difference

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Thanks to the work of thousands of individuals and organizations, including Kempe, the latest reports indicate a 40% reduction in child abuse and neglect nationally over the past two decades. While there have been tremendous advances to keeping children safe, there is still much more work to do.

The information outlined in this report shows the impact our staff is making. In the past year alone, Kempe has connected with hundreds of mental and medical health professionals, child welfare professionals, scholars and other organizations in the fight to end child abuse and neglect.

In FY 2015, Kempe staff made a tremendous difference including:

  • Providing clinical care services to 2,008 children and 632 adults
  • Securing $11 million in state grants
  • Publishing 28 articles and completing 10 research papers
  • Training 5,257 child welfare professionals

We encourage you to read more about our professionals and their impact in our 2015 Kempe CARES for Children Annual Report. Because of your support, we are able to continue this crucial work. Thank you for caring for children.

John D. Faught, JD, President & CEO, The Kempe Foundation
Desmond K. Runyan, MD, DrPH, Executive Director, The Kempe Center

Marijuana Edible Rules – a Positive Step Forward for Kids

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With Colorado’s groundbreaking decision to legalize marijuana came a wave of unintended consequences, namely an increase in the number of children who presented in emergency rooms with marijuana-related health concerns.

On Oct. 30, the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) took a step forward in addressing this issue by releasing new regulations regarding medical and recreational marijuana.

As the leader of an organization dedicated to the safety and health of children, I am particularly interested in the regulations regarding the labeling and packaging of edibles. By the nature of how edibles are marketed, they are more appealing to children. And, with more than 300 different marijuana-infused edibles on the market, and sales of more than 4.8 million edible products in 2014 alone, we need a clear way for parents, caregivers, teachers, law enforcement and children themselves to identify these products and prevent unintentional ingestion.

The new rules contain promising provisions to keep our children safe. By October 2016, edibles must be packaged in child-resistant packaging, and will include an easily identifiable Universal Symbol and warning to “keep out of the reach of children.”

We appreciate the work of MED as they prioritized the safety and protection of the public while considering the business interests of the marijuana industry. This is a difficult path and is complicated further by the fact that other states are watching Colorado’s every move in this area.

We won’t know how effective these new provisions will be until after they are implemented next year, but we are encouraged by the work of our policy makers in taking a positive step forward.

John Faught is President & CEO of The Kempe Foundation