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Denver Human Services Promotes Whole Family Wellness During 2017 Child Abuse Prevention Month

 

Free events open to the public to be offered across the metro area throughout April

 

DENVER – March 31, 2017 – When families are happy and healthy, children are able to grow and thrive in a safe environment. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Denver Human Services (DHS) invites all of Denver to take part in activities to raise awareness and promote child safety and whole family wellness.

During the month of April, DHS will offer free events across the metro area to encourage strong community support and to provide resources and helpful information to the public about maintaining family wellness year-round.

“It is crucial that we continue to raise awareness of the difficult reality some children face in our community and the role we all play in preventing child abuse and neglect,” said, Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “This April, and every day, I encourage all Denver residents to think about the role we each play in supporting families and children. Working together, we can all support child safety and strong, healthy families.”

Denver Human Services will kick off National Child Abuse Prevention Month by bringing together partners from across Denver for a free Family Wellness Fair on Friday, April 7, which will include a special presentation from Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. Families will have access to free resources from more than 25 community partners, free food, family health checks and fun activities.

Denver Human Services is also partnering with local businesses and government and community agencies to place blue Pinwheels for Prevention throughout the city as a symbol of the community’s commitment to protecting children. This year, the City and County building will also be lighted in blue for the month, and people are encouraged to wear blue on Tuesdays, or Bluesdays, to increase awareness about this important issue.

Denver Human Services also invites the public to participate in a variety of other free community events throughout the month, including:

 

·         Free Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainings on April 15, 21 or 27 to learn the signs, symptoms and risk factors for youth mental illness and health crises

·         A motivational talk with international best-selling author and child welfare advocate, Ashley Rhodes-Courter, MSW on April 29 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Comedy Works South (presented in partnership with Foster Source)

·         Community events presented by DHS mini-grant recipients (see below for details).

 

Community organizations that regularly interact with children and families are vital to keeping families strong and children safe. As part of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Denver Human Services provided grant funding to 13 organizations to host events and programs that promote healthy families and provide access to resources and information about keeping children and families safe and healthy. The following is a list of all of the 2017 mini grant awardees, with public events noted (for a full listing visit the DHS website):

 

·         Denver Indian Family Resource Center: Native Art Workshop on April 8 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 7596 W. Jewell Ave. Ste. 305 Lakewood, limited registrations available, Open to the public

·         Denver Housing Authority: A series of five community meals for Denver Housing Authority Residents, April 1, 5, 12, 22 and 29

·         Sun Valley Youth Center: Weekend away in the mountains for Sun Valley families to focus on building stronger families, April 7-9

·         International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management: Showing of a selection of short films followed by a presentation of Understanding Historical Trauma: How American Indian Communities are Changing the Legacy, April 12 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science Phipps Theater, Open to the public

·         Denver Five Points Family Leadership and Training Institute: Family Leadership and Community Resiliency: Protecting us All will highlight community projects of family and youth leaders on April 15 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at The Hope Center (3400 Elizabeth St. Denver), Open to the Public

·         Warren Village First Step: Training on the impact and effects of working and living with traumatized children, April 18 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at 5280 Federal Blvd. Denver, Open to the public, RSVP required to vambrosio@warrenvillage.org

·         Hope Center: Interactive family dinner with a special guest speaker who will address child development/child abuse prevention and facilitate a dialogue on how to build positive and healthy relationships with children and others, April 19

·         Griffith Centers for Children: Lunch and Learn discussion to raise community awareness around child abuse prevention and educate community members on how they can do their part, April 21

·         Juneteenth Music Festival: Panel discussion, workshops and group discussions on how to prevent child abuse and advocate for children on April 22 at King Baptist Church (3370 Ivy Street Denver), Open to the public

·         Life Changers for Youth Violence and Child Abuse Prevention: Learn about what child abuse is, how to identify it and how to prevent it at this community event on April 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Vickers Boys & Girls Club (3333 Holly St, Denver), Open to the public

·         Mile High Early Learning: Join Mile High Early Learning for the Sun Valley Neighborhood Fair, a community-wide early childhood resource and activity fair, on April 29, Open to the public

·         Denver Dream Center: The Adopt-A-Block/Building Community, Building Hope event will increase awareness and promote child and family well-being with fun and games and a BBQ lunch on April 29 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Aztlan Rec Center (4435 Navajo St, Denver), Open to the public

·         Denver’s Early Childhood Council: This interactive event for the whole family will feature a messy art area, digging for dinosaur fossils and fun activities related to child abuse prevention, April 30, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Sam Gary Library (2961 Roslyn St. Denver), Open to the public

 

For more information on Child Abuse Prevention Month events, resources for families, or to see how you can get involved, visit denvergov.org/childsafety.  If you or someone you know suspects a child is being abused or neglected, call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437).

 

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About Denver Human Services

Denver Human Services provides assistance benefits and protection and prevention services to one in three Denver residents. Assistance programs including food, cash and medical benefits, child care, child support, and general assistance are provided to eligible Denver residents in financial need. Other assistance programs include Employment First and Veterans Services, which work with Denver residents and veterans on job placement and retention. Protection & Prevention services are provided via child, youth and adult protection, along with community-focused programming that includes in-home services designed to strengthen families and prevent abuse or neglect. For more information, visit www.denvergov.org/humanservices