by Lynn Johnson, Human Services Director
comments open from April 9 until April 28
Jefferson County has always been a strong community and a great place to live. While we may not like to think child abuse and neglect can happen in this community, it does. Children are our future and while they are our most valuable resource, they are also the most vulnerable. With the ultimate goal of protecting children, Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) launched a new statewide child abuse and neglect hotline - 1-844-CO-4-KIDS. This new hotline provides an additional option while the Jefferson County Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline is still available at 303-271-HELP.
Both numbers provide more options for reporting and ultimately work to help children in every way possible. Governor Hickenlooper's Child Welfare Plan, "Keeping Kids Safe and Families Healthy," called for the creation of the hotline to promote greater safety for Colorado's children. Designed to provide one easy-to-remember phone number for individuals to use statewide to report suspected child abuse and neglect, the hotline serves as a direct, immediate, and efficient route to Colorado's 64 counties and two tribal nations, which are responsible for accepting and responding to child abuse and neglect inquiries and reports. All callers will be able to speak with a call-taker 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The new hotline system will capture critical information and ensure that calls across the state are handled quickly and appropriately with the ultimate goal of ensuring that no child is harmed. All children have the right to be safe and to be provided with opportunities to excel in life. When caring communities such as ours step up to support struggling children and families, the devastating effects of broken lives can be changed.
In addition, during the month of April, Jefferson County Human Services is providing a month of activities and fundraisers in honor of National Child Abuse and Prevention Month. Prevention is the best hope to eliminate child abuse and neglect and to improve the lives of children and families. Prevention often comes in the form of resources and assistance. One positive resource for families is SafeCare. If you have a child between the ages of 0 to 5, take advantage of this no-cost voluntary program. SafeCare home visitors offer support. Parents learn to reduce challenging child behaviors, increase positive time with child, remove common household safety hazards, identify and respond to common child sicknesses or injuries, and engage children in simple activities. For more information call 303-225-4185 or email SafeCare@saviohouse.org.
Please do your part in preventing child abuse and neglect every day; if you witness child abuse or even suspect it may be happening please call and report it to the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS or the Jefferson County Child Abuse Hotline at 303-271-HELP. Together, we can make a difference.