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
The Kempe Foundation regularly hosts educational seminars for Colorado state legislators at the Kempe Center. In October 2018, the “Lunch and Learn” focused on a new program the Kempe Center is a part of, ECHO Colorado, and the potential of creating a provider network of child abuse and neglect specialist.
ECHO Colorado is a platform that provides health professionals and those whose work impacts health, the opportunity to be part of a community where experts and peers share knowledge and experience using technology to connect. ECHO sessions combine the interactive learning and case-based sharing aspects of an in-person training with the improved access and convenience of connecting through an audio and video-based online experience. Kempe is using this technology to train doctors across the state in the latest and best in child abuse and neglect treatment.
The CARENetwork is a health care network that develops and maintains a standardized, coordinated response to child at risk of maltreatment. The idea behind this “provider network” stemmed from conversations Kempe held with various providers who shared that the expertise to conduct medical exams and behavioral health assessments to evaluate suspected cases of child abuse and neglect is extremely limited. In addition, distance to reach these experts in most of Colorado’s 64 counties is an additional complication that results in serious risk for Colorado’s children.
To see upcoming advocacy events, visit our Events page.
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