During Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Kempe Foundation joins organizations across the country to share stories and strategies of child abuse and neglect prevention. This month is a meaningful opportunity for all of us to engage in conversations with experts, policy makers and community members about how we can work together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. To elevate these important conversations, the Foundation connected with our Kempe Center experts to hear about their work and what Child Abuse Prevention Month means to them.
Rashaan Ford, MD – Child Abuse Pediatrician with the Kempe Center’s Child Protection Team
The Foundation sat down with Rashaan Ford, MD to learn about the Kempe Center’s Child Protection Team. Ford serves as a pediatrician on the Child Protection Team, a multidisciplinary group that provides assessment and evaluation for children and families where there are concerns about maltreatment, abuse or neglect.
Learn more about Dr. Ford’s work and the Child Protection Team below.
Dr. Kathi Wells on Child Abuse Prevention Month
The Kempe Center‘s Executive Director Dr. Kathi Wells highlights a challenging year and for families. Dr. Wells emphasizes the importance of this work saying, “Kempe’s mission of strengthening families, communities and the systems that serve them is more vital now than ever.”
As Dr. Wells says in the video above, “At Kempe, every month is Child Abuse Prevention Month.” Learn more about how you can continue participating in Child Abuse Prevention Month with the Kempe Foundation here.
April represents renewal in many aspects of our lives, but for school age children it means the end of the school year is just around the corner. While we all long for a return to normalcy as vaccinations for COVID-19 increase and larger social gatherings become permissible, the stressors that many children have experienced during the pandemic are still prevalent in their lives. For many children, social isolation will increase as they lose access to many services and primary supports they receive during the school year.
As a society it is our obligation to protect children from harm and to do so we must first better understand responses to trauma and building resiliency in children to assist them in making progress both socially and academically. Kempe’s Trauma-Responsive Schools program provides interventions and services to school specialists, teachers, and staff to mitigate the impact of trauma and promote healing. One of our goals is to enhance opportunities for all Colorado children to be resilient and equipped to reach their full potential in and outside of school. We know that many children who have experienced trauma do build resiliency when presented with positive experiences. We can all be part of that positivity by fostering inclusion for all and promoting thriving, safe, healthy and nurturing environments through our relationships with children and in the community.
As we approach the mid-point of Child Abuse Prevention Month, it is important to remember the work to improve the well-being of children is pertinent every month of the year. While the heightened awareness during April leads to more discussion and action, we must continue to build on this momentum in the months ahead.
Please support the Kempe Foundation today and help us reach as many children and families as possible. Thank you!
Helping children who are being abused or maltreated is one of the most challenging parts of being a pediatrician. In a new “AAP Voices” post, Andrew Sirotnak, MD, FAAP – Director of the Child Protection Team at Kempe/Children’s Hospital says it helps to remember how desperately children need trained physicians to help them and their families heal and thrive.
“As we evaluate and treat young patients with suspicious injuries, trying to make the difficult determination of whether human services should be involved, our overarching goal should be to prevent further harm,” he writes. Read the full article here.
Throughout the month of April, retailers in Cherry Creek North have partnered with us to raise money for child abuse and neglect prevention and treatment programs. Join us at one of the retailers below to shop and support Kempe.
April 11 | 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Kendra Scott – 175 N. Fillmore St.
Pick up your springtime staples to wear out and about. Kendra Scott in Cherry Creek North will host a special shopping event for Kempe supporters. Purchase a necklace or two and a portion of the proceeds will support Kempe.
April 16 | 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Perch – 2606 E. 3rd Ave. Denver
Perch carries the latest fashions from contemporary designers. Join us at Perch in Cherry Creek North for a special shopping event. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will support Kempe.
Last month at our signature event, Imagine 2018, we presented Reggie Bicha with the 2018 Kempe Professional Award for his dedication to Kempe’s mission. In honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Reggie shared his thoughts on the importance of Kempe’s work.
As executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services since 2011, Reggie has engaged in bold initiatives to redesign and refocus the delivery of human services. He has led major advancements in the delivery of child welfare services, established a statewide mental health crisis response system, retooled juvenile justice using trauma-informed approaches, and employed a 2Gen approach to fight poverty.
Reggie is also a social worker who has amassed extensive experience in child welfare, education, employment, and health issues at the county, state and national levels.