May 7, 2015 (Denver, CO) – Efforts to provide critical support services to families at risk for incidents of child abuse or maltreatment got a boost today with the announcement of $864,638 in additional funding to seven Colorado counties.
The Colorado Department of Human Services will distribute the money through its Colorado Community Response program, a nearly $3 million effort that aims to provide additional resources to families who are not currently involved in the child welfare system yet may still need resources and services to reduce the potential for such intervention.
The funding allows grantees to offer comprehensive voluntary family-focused services which include family engagement, case management, direct services, resource referral, home visits, collaborative goal-setting, financial decision-making assistance and coaching, and group-based parent education.
The program is yet another piece of Gov. John W. Hickenlooper’s multi-faceted approach to child welfare, called “Keeping Kids Safe and Families Healthy 2.0.”
“We are very excited about the opportunities that this voluntary program offers,” said Mary Anne Snyder, Director, Office of Early Childhood. “It will allow us to better engage families and provide supports to help prevent child abuse and neglect.”
In Colorado, approximately 55 percent of child welfare referrals are “screened out” following a maltreatment report. These families generally do not receive further outreach or support; yet research shows that while a safety risk may not be currently present, “screened out” families are still at high risk for re-referral to the child welfare system and future incidences of child maltreatment.
The Colorado Community Response program is designed to increase the availability of community supports for these families, thereby preventing child maltreatment while promoting individual, family, and community strengths, building upon parenting skills, and providing access to vital economic, health and other services. By engaging families voluntarily and proactively strengthening them, the program fills a significant gap in the child maltreatment prevention continuum.
Counties receiving additional grants include: