Topic: Press Releases

Denise Jendrusch Named Development Director

As we welcome 2018, we are also excited to welcome Denise Jendrusch as our Development Director.

“We are delighted to have Denise on our team,” said John Faught, Kempe’s President and CEO. “We are confident that her wealth of experience and longevity in the Denver community will bring continued success to our organization.”

As Development Director, Denise will be responsible for developing and executing Kempe’s annual fundraising plan. She will also secure sponsors for Kempe’s major events, and cultivate relationships with donors who wish to support the Foundation’s mission. Denise will also focus on building the Kempe Ambassadors program, a group of professionals who work in concert with the Kempe Foundation to provide awareness, education, advocacy and fundraising support.

“I am eager to use my experience and expertise in new ways to make a difference in the community I live in,” said Denise. “I have worked with many nonprofits throughout my career and I have a strong passion for helping Kempe succeed.”

Prior to joining Kempe, Denise was the Advertising Director for the Denver Business Journal for more than 20 years. There, she was responsible for developing new revenue through event sponsorships and both print and digital advertising. She also managed business development and cultivated strong relationships with local business and nonprofit leaders.

You can reach Denise by email at Jendrusch.Denise@Kempe.org or by phone at 303-864-5308.

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.

South Metro Denver Realtor® Association Philanthropies Awards $7,500 Grant to Kempe to Help Foster Family

South Metro Denver Realtor® Association (SMDRA) Philanthropies awarded a $7,500 grant to Kempe, a leader in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect, to support a foster family under its care, the Story family. The funds will be used to transform the family’s unfinished two-car garage into an expanded living area at their home in Elizabeth, Colo.

(left to right) Danielle Story, Brad Bernero, development director of The Kempe Foundation, David Story, John Faught, president and CEO of the Kempe Foundation, Victoria Gartelos, board chair of South Metro Denver Realtor Association (SMDRA) Philanthropies, Chris Tippin of Colorado Quality Painting, Mary Ann Hinrichsen, board chair of SMDRA, Jeff Stockman of Stockman Builders, and Melissa Maldonado, CEO of SMDRA. (children standing and sitting)

(left to right) Danielle Story, Brad Bernero, development director of The Kempe Foundation, David Story, John Faught, president and CEO of the Kempe Foundation, Victoria Gartelos, board chair of South Metro Denver Realtor Association (SMDRA) Philanthropies, Chris Tippin of Colorado Quality Painting, Mary Ann Hinrichsen, board chair of SMDRA, Jeff Stockman of Stockman Builders, and Melissa Maldonado, CEO of SMDRA. (children standing and sitting)

“With the definition of philanthropy being the desire to promote the welfare of others, the South Metro Denver Realtor Association is pleased to present this grant to support a wonderful foster family,” Victoria Gartelos, SMDRA board member and chair of SMDRA Philanthropies said. “The Story’s have opened their hearts and home to more than two dozen children over the past five years. We thank Kempe for caring for this family and look forward to helping the Story’s complete this project.”

Parents Danielle and David Story currently have eight children in their care, several whom have special needs, including three biological children, four adopted children and one foster child. Kempe nominated the Story’s for the grant after learning about the family’s need for additional space.

“Kempe has provided mental and behavioral health services to the Story family, and we understand many of the challenges they face,” John Faught, president and CEO of The Kempe Foundation said. “Because of SMDRA and the partners involved, the Story’s will be able to better meet the needs of children in their care now and long into the future.”

“This grant means everything, and we are incredibly appreciative to Kempe and SMDRA for this gift,” Danielle Story said. “One of our sons has special needs, and the bigger he gets, the bigger his needs get. This space will allow us to create an extra living area that all our children can use.”

The new space will feature interactive elements to build motor skills for the children.

Working with the Story family to complete this project at SMDRA are Mary Ann Hinrichsen, SMDRA board chair, Melissa Maldonado, SMDRA CEO, and Gartelos. Additionally, Jeff Stockman with Stockman Builders, Chris Tippin of Colorado Quality Painting, and Frank Stack of Frank Stack Interiors/Veteran’s Carpet One are providing services. Tippin will donate painting services, and Stack will donate carpet padding and carpet.

The project is expected to take several weeks and the Story’s should be able to utilize the newly renovated space in early 2016.

To learn more about SMDRA, visit www.smdra.com. To learn more about Kempe, visit www.kempe.org.