Denver Human Services Recognizes Child Abuse Prevention Month
Published on April 03, 2023
Denver joins state and local partners to raise awareness and rally support for essential preventative programs
DENVER (April 3, 2023) – Denver Human Services (DHS) is observing National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April in partnership with Colorado Department of Human Services by raising awareness of its preventative programs designed to support Denver children and families all year long. The theme of this year’s awareness and impact campaign led by Prevent Child Abuse America and Illuminate Colorado is “Building Together: Prevention in Partnership.”
“It takes an entire community to help prevent child abuse,” said DHS Executive Director Jay Morein. “When we work in partnership across sectors to address the root causes of child abuse and neglect, we can remove heavy burdens from weighing on families.”
The City and County of Denver has issued a proclamation recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Child abuse and neglect are preventable, and all communities benefit when children and families are supported with services and programs. Through the department’s Resource Engagement and Prevention (REP) division, staff and community partners work together every day to focus on strengthening families by providing the Colorado Community Response model. It’s an evidence-based practice that offers voluntary support and additional resources to families who have been referred, but who are not involved with the child welfare system and may need services to reduce potential for intervention. This model helps numerous Denver families throughout the year.
“Our staff partner with families to build upon their strengths and increase resources that those families can lean on,” said DHS Deputy Executive Director of Protection and Prevention Josie Berry. “We understand all families can experience challenging times, and we would like them to be well equipped to navigate those times.”
The REP division and other DHS teams also offer the following free preventative programs to support Denver families all year long.
- The Youth Empowerment Program provides services and resources to young people between the ages of 12 - 24. They receive support with academics, jobs, arts, sports and self-esteem in preparation for higher education and the workforce.
- The GIVE Center provides basic needs items and connections to resources for Denver residents, including families, kinship providers, foster youth, and people experiencing homelessness.
- The Parenthood and Fatherhood Programs both empower people to grow as parents and be the role models they want to be to their children through free information, classes and support groups.
- The Denver Parent Advocates Lending Support (DPALS) program works within the community to support families through Protective Factors and prevention training.
- General Assistance provides Emergency Housing Assistance, Family Reunification, Prescription Assistance, Storage Assistance and more.
“Resource Engagement and Prevention is here to support the Denver community with these key programs at no cost to families,” said DHS Division Director of REP Bobby LeFebre. “Our goal is to ensure they know the programs are available when they need them at any time.”
DHS recommends community members help raise awareness through these simple actions in April and beyond:
- Share the above DHS preventative programs with Denver families.
- Join DHS at the Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign kickoff rally on the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol on April 3 at 1 p.m. If you can’t join in person, you can still wear blue and watch on Facebook Live.
- Wear blue on April 3 – or any Tuesday in April – to show support for children and families.
- Visit the City and County of Denver building to see the DHS pinwheel garden from April 3 – 7. Take a pinwheel as a sign of support for the prevention of child maltreatment.
- Follow DHS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share our social posts. Use the hashtags #HumanTogether, #BuildingTogether, #PreventionInPartnership, and / or #CAPMonth. Preventative programs and other resources will be shared throughout April.
- Participate in Prevent Child Abuse America’s nationwide Digital Advocacy Day on April 19. Contact your member of Congress to advocate for increased investments for Title II, Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention grants, of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to provide states and communities the resources to implement community-based solutions for the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
For more ways to get involved in Child Abuse Prevention Month, or to donate, please visit https://copinwheelsforprevention.org. You can also learn more about child abuse prevention and how you can make a difference in the life of a child or family by calling 1-800-Children (244-5373). If you or someone you know suspects a child is being abused, call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437).
About Denver Human Services
Denver Human Services provides assistance benefits and protection and prevention services to one in three Denver residents. DHS envisions a healthy and connected community where all people are safe, supported and well. For more information, visit www.denvergov.org/humanservices.