(Denver) – Gov. John Hickenlooper, Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson and child advocates from across the state today marked the beginning of National Child Abuse Prevention Month with a special event at the State Capitol. The occasion was designed to recognize the importance of families and communities working together to protect Colorado’s children, our most precious resource.
Everyone plays a role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect and the creation of the hotline for reporting related concerns, 1-844-CO-4-KIDS, is just one of the many ways people can get involved to help keep kids safe and families healthy. Community members can help develop nurturing relationships as mentors, connect in times of need and become a part of our state’s network of organizations working to protect kids and help families. One person has the power to make an extraordinary difference. We all must work together to build thriving communities that support healthy kids and strong families.
“Knowing where to get help or support can really make a difference if you find yourself struggling as a parent,” said Gov. Hickenlooper. “Having a network of neighbors, friends and organizations, such as our campaign partners here today, to lean on can help us all ensure we build healthy kids and strong families."
The event, which featured remarks by Gov. Hickenlooper and Miss Colorado, who is a nurse and therefore a mandatory reporter of child abuse and neglect, also included the planting of a pinwheel garden and participants wearing blue in honor of the month. In addition, an art installation created by teens from PlatteForum, a local arts nonprofit, was unveiled on the Capitol steps. The teens were engaged to lend a youth voice to the issue of child abuse prevention. They responded by creating a “Hero Mirror,” which encourages viewers to envision themselves as heroes who can have a positive impact on a child’s life by calling the statewide hotline.
“While April provides us with a wonderful opportunity to shine a bright light on the issue of child abuse and neglect, in reality every month should be child abuse prevention month,” said Julie Krow, Deputy Director of Community Partnerships for the Colorado Department of Human Services. “It is important to always remember, kids are resilient. Even when they’ve experienced toxic stress, like
abuse or neglect, they can overcome and reach their full potential with help from the community.”
To learn more about child abuse and neglect prevention and activities happening around the state, visit www.co4kids.org.