Topic: Press Releases

Governor Polis Signs Bill to Create Colorado’s First Child Abuse Response and Evaluation Network

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AURORA, CO (May 23, 2019) – The Kempe Center and Foundation are pleased to announce the creation of the Colorado’s Child Abuse Response and Evaluation Network (CARENetwork) by the Colorado Legislature through HB19-1133. The CARENetwork is a program to provide quality assessments for suspected victims of child abuse and neglect by building local capacity in communities. As the Resource Center for the CARENetwork, the Kempe Center will recruit designated health care and behavioral health providers in communities across the state and train them as to the signs of child abuse and neglect and resources available to families to address risks that may lead to child abuse and neglect.

HB19-1133, sponsored by Representatives Caraveo and Pelton and Senator Fields, was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis on May 23, 2019.

“Although the session presented a new political landscape with Democrats in control of the Senate, House, and Governor’s Office, we were able to garner bipartisan support for a number initiatives for improving the safety, health and well-being of children and youth across Colorado,” said John Faught, CEO of The Kempe Foundation. “The CARENetwork will ultimately expand the safety net for children, and likely contribute to a reduction in severe incidents of child abuse and neglect, including fatalities.”

The CARENetwork is a state program within the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and in coordination with the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS).

The Kempe Foundation worked closely with various stakeholders including the CDPHE, CDHS, American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Advocacy Centers, Children’s Hospital Colorado and Colorado Children’s Campaign to pass the legislation. The bill received unanimous support in both the House and Senate.

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About The Kempe Foundation
The Kempe Foundation is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization focused on the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Kempe works to keep all children safe and healthy by supporting experts in the field, advocating for children and engaging with communities. www.kempe.org

Dr. Kathryn Wells named new Director of Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect

The Kempe Center and Kempe Foundation are pleased to announce Kathryn Wells, MD as the new Executive Director of the Center. A board certified specialist in Child Abuse Pediatrics, Dr. Wells has dedicated her career to protecting children and families and building communities where children have the opportunity to thrive.

“In my experience, child abuse and neglect can’t be solved by one person or profession,” said Wells. “In this role, I hope to build on the tremendous reputation and history of the Kempe Center as a leader in preventing and treating child abuse and neglect. We hope to build and strengthen the community partnerships we have with the State of Colorado and counties around the state. In doing so, I hope Colorado will be a model for the rest of the country.”

For nearly 50 years, the Kempe Center has strived to improve the care and well being of all children by strengthening families, communities and the systems that serve them. Through clinical service, research, education and training, the Center supports innovation in systems and communities that work with vulnerable children, youth and families.

Dr. Wells will also be serving as the Section Head for Child Abuse and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The Center is located on the Anshutz Medical Campus, and is supported by the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Kempe Foundation. It also works in partnership with Children’s Hospital Colorado to run the Kempe Child Protection Team, a multidisciplinary team made up of professionals from medicine, pediatrics, mental health and hospital social work to evaluate, diagnose and treat suspected victims of child abuse and neglect.

Prior to taking this position, Wells was the Medical Director of the Denver Health Clinic at the Family Crisis Center and an attending physician at Denver Health and with the Kempe Child Protection Team at Children’s Hospital Colorado. She also did clinical research at the Kempe Center and served as an Outreach Liaison with ECHO Colorado. Wells is originally from Montana where she went to college at Carroll College in Helena, MT. She then earned her medical degree from Creighton University in Omaha, NE where she also completed a pediatric residency at Creighton/University of NE combined program. She practiced general pediatrics for 5 years in Caldwell, ID before coming to Colorado in 2001.

Wells follows Dr. Desmond Runyan in this position. Runyan retired from the Kempe Center in 2018

Announcing the 2019 Kempe Award Honorees

On March 14, The Kempe Foundation will honor two community advocates at our signature Imagine 2019 Luncheon – Jade Woodard and Cresa. Both honorees are commended for their dedication to children through professional and personal accomplishments and commitments. We are grateful to have these honorees as long-time supporters of Kempe and leaders in our community.

“Kempe is pleased to honor Jade and Cresa as community leaders at our Imagine 2019 Luncheon,” says John Faught, Chief Executive Officer of The Kempe Foundation. “This year’s honorees manifest the same compassion and caring for children that is the core of Kempe’s work.”

2019 Kempe Professional Award Honoree, Jade Woodard is the Executive Director of Illuminate Colorado – a united network of four established organizations partnering to build brighter childhoods through education, advocacy and family support. Governed by a single Board of Directors, agency programs are fully integrated to leverage resources and increase overall capacity to implement powerful programs to keep kids safe.

Over the past decade, Jade has worked alongside The Kempe Foundation to bring people together in innovative ways to heal children and families. By leveraging her relationships and collaborating with other professionals, she continues to help move statewide child abuse and neglect prevention efforts forward.

 

2019 Kempe Imhoff Family Community Award Honoree, Cresa is the world’s largest tenant representation firm with a corporate mission to “Do the Right Thing.” Through their Cresa Cares program, employees and leadership are encouraged to give back to their local communities by supporting charitable organizations, many of which are dedicated to the well-being and care of children and families.

Garrett Johnson, the Managing Principal of Cresa and a Kempe Ambassador, will accept the award on behalf of the company. For more than three years, Garrett has served as a Kempe Ambassador, working in concert with the Foundation to identify awareness, education, advocacy and fundraising opportunities to help end child abuse and neglect. He is a community advocate for not only the safety, health and well-being of children, but also for the work of Kempe.

Congratulations to this year’s honorees – we thank you for your passion and dedication to Kempe’s mission to keep all children safe and healthy by supporting experts in the field, advocating for children and engaging with communities. And we look forward to celebrating you on March 14!

Register today for Imagine 2019 and help us celebrate these incredible individuals!

 

Kempe ID Awarded Opportunity to Assist United States Olympic Committee

Kempe Innovative Designs was recently awarded the opportunity to assist the athletic programs of the United States Olympic Committee. The Kempe Center’s Kasey Matz, MA and her team will be designing, developing and testing new training materials for sexual, physical and emotional abuse identification, investigation and prevention in amateur athletic programs.

This effort will be supported by funding through the SMART FY 2018 Keep Young Athletes Safe grant program developed under direction of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART). This program furthers the Department’s mission of reducing sexual violence by supporting an entity to provide oversight of the United States Olympic Committee, each national governing body, and each Paralympic sports organization with regard to safeguarding amateur athletes against abuse, including sexual, physical and emotional abuse in sports.

In January 2018, a U.S. House of Representatives committee opened an investigation into sexual abuse in organized sports in response to the sentencing of Dr. Larry Nassar. His abuse of more than 150 women and girls, as well as reports of sexual misconduct allegations in the Taekwondo community and allegations of sexual abuse from former U.S. swimmers, led to the commitment for action. In its announcement, the committee noted the “abhorrent abuses” associated with Nassar’s case, the U.S. Taekwondo athletes and U.S. swimmer allegations, and raised concerns about whether the United States Olympic Committee had sufficient oversight mechanisms to protect its athletes from abuse and mistreatment.

In February 2018, Congress passed the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017, designed to extend the mandatory reporting requirements of child abuse to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements to ensure that reports are immediately made to local or federal law enforcement authorities. There are 47 U.S. Olympic organizations across the country that require oversight on these fronts provided by an outside organization with expertise in preventing and investigating all forms of abuse.

The award to Kempe will support developing necessary educational materials, investigatory tools, training programs and policies that can prevent abuse, and work to address abuse, once identified.

CDHS Awards Child Welfare Training System Contract to Kempe

The Colorado Department of Human Services(CDHS) has awarded a $4.7 million annual contract to the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect to continue running the state’s Child Welfare Training System (CWTS). Since 2013, the Kempe Center has worked alongside CDHS to revolutionize this training system through leadership and learning to positively impact Colorado’s children and families.

The Kempe Foundation has worked with legislators to ensure funding for this critical program is included in the state’s budget.

Read more on the CDHS website. See our latest update on the Child Welfare Training System.