Last month, two of Kempe’s Child Welfare Training System (CWTS) professionals traveled to southern Belize to lead the first-ever international CWTS training opportunity. Michelle Mares, Foster, Kin, Adoptive Family Learning Manager and Paula Haugerud, Learning Logistics Coordinator spent a week at the Laugh Out Loud (LOL) Ministry orphanage providing their diverse team of program directors, educators and foster parents with professional guidance and educational training.
As one of only three orphanages throughout Belize, LOL Ministry has become a mainstay social justice organization for the country and leads the way in child welfare, human rights and other advocacy efforts. At any given time, LOL Ministry is caring for approximately 40-45 Belizean children. The orphanage is part of a 50-acre community featuring single family homes where children live on-site with their foster parents, as well as transitional housing for foster children that have aged out of the system.
Michelle and Paula worked with Melissa Fisher, Founder and Vice President of LOL Ministry to train the LOL team using curriculum from CWTS’s Foster Parent Fundamentals and Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TRBI) programs. Foster Parent Fundamentals helps parents better understand children who come from trauma backgrounds and how to look beyond their behavior. TBRI is a more holistic training focused on addressing foster parents’ own trauma and offering practical tools to support a child’s physical and attachment needs.
Over the course of a week, Michelle and Paula trained 15 foster parents and employees from LOL Ministry and will continue to stay in touch with the team to provide additional support as needed. They are also exploring the opportunity to offer direct coaching for LOL Ministry next summer, working side-by-side with Belizean foster parents in their homes to build and improve on the initial CWTS trainings.
To learn more about CWTS and the resources available to child welfare professionals, foster parents and family serving personnel, visit www.coloradocwts.com.
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.
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