From day one of the legislative session, we hit the ground running, reviewing bills, advocating for critical funding for Kempe programs, weighing in on important policy changes and continuing to be a resource for legislators. Click here for a summary of our involvement in the 2018 Colorado Legislative Session.
“It absolutely breaks my heart to think that kids will be mistreated and abused. I encourage anyone who sees something troubling to speak up and report it.”
Motivated daily by her six wonderful grandchildren, Representative Landgraf is determined to protect and strengthen the well-being of Colorado’s children. As the representative for Southern El Paso County which includes Fort Carson, she is focused on the mental health impacts that military deployments have on local families.
Rep. Landgraf is a sponsor of House Bill 1078, which would provide veterans with access to mental health treatment to help support their return to civilian life. This transition is stressful for every member of the family, and can often lead to higher instances of child abuse. Rep. Landgraf is also working on House Bill 1021, which would establish a task force for youth experiencing homelessness.
Watch the video below to hear more from Rep. Landgraf.
The Kempe Foundation is gearing up for an important 2018 legislative session. Throughout the summer, the Foundation has been networking with legislators and other stakeholders, laying the groundwork for policy priorities that will continue to improve the quality of life for Colorado children and families. As we head into the 2018 session, the Kempe Foundation has three primary legislative priorities:
- Strengthening our Foster Care System. The Kempe Foundation has worked with stakeholders and other partners to identify areas where better support is needed for foster care kids, parents, and families. The Child Welfare Training System continues to add modules so foster care families have the right tools and training to best serve the children in their home. We continue to be involved and generally supportive of efforts underway by the Department of Human Services as well as county department of human services to create an environment so children and families thrive in the foster care system.
- Access to Mental Health Services for Kids. Kempe was involved in the initial passage of the Colorado Child Mental Health Treatment Act to ensure families can access community, residential, and transitional treatment services without entering the child welfare system. This year the Act is up for reauthorization and Kempe is at the table in discussions as to the Act should look like moving forward. The Governor has requested additional money to fund the program in the next fiscal year so it can serve additional children.
- Budget Support for Prevention, Intervention, and Wrap Around Services. The Kempe Center is home to many amazing and impactful programs including Fostering Healthy Futures, the Child Welfare Training System and SafeCare Colorado which the Center operates in partnership with the Department of Human Services. Each year the Kempe Foundation plays an integral role ensuring continued funding for both SafeCare and the Child Welfare Training System. The Kempe Foundation also works closely with the Department to educate legislators on the importance of both programs and how the improve the quality of life for caseworkers and families alike. Kempe also supports and will support efforts to increase funding for the Tony Grampsas Youth Services grants of which Fostering Health Futures is a recipient.
One of Kempe’s top priorities during the 2017 legislative session included closing loopholes in Colorado’s medical marijuana laws that led to illegal diversion of marijuana out of state, dangerous marijuana home grows, and growing challenges in the ability of law enforcement to respond to these concerns. The Kempe Foundation joined a coalition led by the Governor’s Office and including law enforcement agencies, the public health community, and other county and city agencies to introduce two pieces of legislation designed to close these loopholes.
HB 1220 capped the number of marijuana plants allowed to be grown in a residential home at 12 unless a caregiver registers with their local and state government. The bill also put in place criminal consequences for growing more plants than the cap allows.
HB 1221 created a grant program for law enforcement agencies in communities with fewer than 200,000 residents to be used for marijuana enforcement.
Kempe’s John Faught joined Governor Hickenlooper at the bill signing for HB 1220 and HB 1221 on Thursday, June 8. Kempe applauds legislators for taking these important steps towards closing loopholes that have allowed the dangerous marijuana gray market toÂ flourish in Colorado.
We invite you to join Kempe and child advocacy groups across the nation to step up and take action to keep children safe. You can help by:
- Learning the Warning Signs of Child Abuse and Neglect
- Reporting Child Abuse & Neglect
- Colorado: 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437)
- Nationally: 1-800-422-4453
- Immediate Danger: Dial 9-1-1
- Using the hashtags #TheStarlingProject and #CO4Kids in social media posts
- Sharing this information
- Visiting The Starling Project for free coloring pages and activities to complete with a child in your
- Reading this article from Kempe’s Dr. Desmond Runyan about Seven Ways to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect
- Accessing the CO4Kids Awareness Toolkit
2017 Child Abuse Prevention Month Events
- Rally for Kids at State Capitol, April 4 at 11 a.m. (open to the public). More information
- Wear Blue Days for Child Abuse Prevention, April 4 and April 7
- Kempe & Children’s Hospital Colorado We all Play a Role Celebration, April 6 at 10 a.m. | Children’s Hospital Colorado Boettcher Atrium
- Denver Human Services Family Wellness Resource Fair, April 7 at 10 a.m. More information
- Kempe Imagine 2017 fundraising dinner, April 22 at 6 p.m. More information
- Colorado Rockies Child Abuse Prevention Month Game, April 23 at 1:10 p.m. More information
- Kempe in Times Square, month of April. Watch for updates on our Facebook page