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Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families


The Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families (Partnership) is made up of state and county human service, public health, health care, and early childhood systems that have the shared goal of significantly reducing child maltreatment and promoting family well-being in Colorado. Their work is critical with Colorado seeing a 12% increase in the number of children that were victims of first-time child maltreatment in the past 5 years.


Parents reported feeling aggravated from parenting usually or always in the
past month

Parents admitted they didn’t think they were handling the day-to-day demands of raising children well

1 in 5
Parents stated they did not have anyone to turn to for day-to-day emotional support with raising children

Source: Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families

The Partnership has three priorities with an initial focus on families with children prenatal to 1 year of age:

  1. Systems Alignment: Achieving a united and comprehensive effort across multiple systems that places child and family well-being at the center of funding, policy, and practice decisions.
  2. Early Touchpoints: Strengthening the array of family well-being services that are evidence-based, culturally responsive, and community grounded is vital to improve outcomes for parents and infants.
  3. Community Norms: Increasing social capital so that families have helpful connections to the people, information, and opportunities they need to both give and receive support for healthy child development and family well-being.

Illuminate Colorado provides backbone support for the Partnership and the Colorado Lab serves as the strategic research and evaluation partner. Through a series of listening, learning, and action sessions they convened, partners identified approaches to collaborate across sectors and the data they need to make a collective impact. Drawing on these learnings and using an iterative approach, the Colorado Lab developed a Toolkit for Actionable Data and Collective Impact Evaluation. Diverse stakeholders can use this set of tools, with ongoing support and guidance from the Lab, to collect local cross-systems data and work together with system, community, and family partners to achieve shared goals and measure success of mutually reinforcing activities.

From this shared foundation, demonstration projects are beginning in five pilot communities. In Boulder, Denver and Jefferson counties, the evidence-based Family Connects program will provide culturally responsive services to postpartum families that are at higher risk for child welfare involvement. In Adams and Prowers counties, Family Resource Centers will lead the way in bringing families together and strengthening their networks to decrease social isolation and improve community partnerships to better meet child and family needs. Nearly 15,000 families will be served and supported in these communities, with additional statewide efforts planned to increase social connections and supports that strengthen healthy child development and family well-being.

The Colorado Department of Human Services’ Office of Early Childhood received a $3.7 million grant to support these implementation efforts over the next five years from the Family Support through Primary Prevention (FSPP) program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau.

To learn more, please reach out to Dr. Courtney Everson.