Kempe works directly with state and national lawmakers and human services agencies to advance laws and policies that protect children and help heal those who have been abused or neglected. We serve as an expert resource to policymakers on the best programs and practices to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect.
Read about our 2019 Legislative Priorities.
Some of our recent policy efforts include:
- Supported efforts to secure $6,526,955 in funding for the Child Welfare Training System, and $5,447,875 for the ongoing implementation of SafeCare in the FY 2016-17 State of Colorado budget.
- In partnership with the Department of Defense, Kempe brought forth legislation (SB17-028) authorizing state and county departments of human services to enter into agreements with military installations for the purpose of better serving children and families within the military and child welfare system. The bill also requires county departments of human services to share information with Department of Defense military installations regarding reports of known or suspected instances of child abuse and neglect that reach the assessment level of review, and involve members of the Armed Forces.
- Joined a coalition led by the Governor’s Office to pass HB17-1220 capping 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. Also supported the passage of a companion bill, HB17-1221, which created a grant program for law enforcement agencies in communities with fewer than 200,000 residents to be used for marijuana enforcement.
- In 2016, worked to pass SB16-080 which requires any medical marijuana grow operation to be locked and restrict access to those under the age of 21 unless an individual is 18 years old and holds a medical marijuana card.
- Worked with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to pass HB16-1436 which prohibits edibles from being in the shape of animals, fruit or humans.
- Hosting an Annual Legislative Reception for Colorado lawmakers to learn about issues impacting children and families.
- Engaging in national policy efforts to increase funding allocated for child abuse and neglect programs in the Federal budget.
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Advocacy in Action
In 2017, the Kempe Foundation hosted their first annual educational seminar with Colorado state legislators at the Kempe Center. The “Lunch and Learn” provided legislators from the senate and house health committees as well as members of the Joint Budget Committee a unique opportunity to learn the ins and outs of Colorado’s Child Welfare Training System with Director Kasey Matz. The interactive session included detailed descriptions of courses available through the CWTS, the teaching methodology behind the CWTS, and how the ultimate goal of the training is to provide caseworkers the tools to be resilient and professionals in their work. The seminar also touched on key Colorado child abuse and neglect facts and highlighted the other great work Kempe does through SafeCare and Fostering Healthy Futures. We are excited to announce the second installation to this series in April to coincide with Child Abuse Prevention Month.
To see upcoming advocacy events, visit our Events page.
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