To reduce child maltreatment, numerous community- and system-level programs, policies, and practices have been put in place in Colorado. An important next step is identifying how best to coordinate, align, and maximize resources for these investments. The Colorado Child Abuse Prevention Trust Fund Board has partnered with the Colorado Lab to develop a data-informed prevention investment strategy. The aim is to guide funding priorities of the Trust Fund and accelerate smart state investments in child, family, and community well-being that strengthen families.
The Colorado Child Abuse Prevention Trust Fund Board is the statewide entity providing leadership, collaborative support, and advising to the Governor, state agencies, and other stakeholders on child maltreatment prevention investments for Colorado families. HB21-1248 expanded the powers, duties, and members of the Board. In addition to advising on pressing needs and opportunities in the state, the Board is now also responsible for allocating a number of funding streams, including federal dollars drawn down through Colorado’s Family First Prevention Services Plan. Family First is federal legislation that aims to reallocate resources toward preventing out-of-home placement and reinvolvement for families in child welfare. The prevention investment strategy will help the Board proactively grow funding streams and strategically re-invest these dollars in upstream opportunities that strengthen families, before their involvement in child welfare.
Strategy development began with priority setting on gaps and opportunities in the prevention landscape, leveraging the diverse insights of the Trust Fund Board. “Aligning and prioritizing prevention investments means making connections across systems and communities. Having state, county, community, and family representatives on the Trust Fund Board helps to connect the dots and surface actionable opportunities,” said Dr. Courtney Everson, Sr. Researcher/Project Director with the Colorado Lab. “The Board truly is the expert on what aligned prevention can look like in the state, so priority setting started with them.”
In the next phase of the project, the Colorado Lab will analyze data on child well-being, caregiver well-being, high-quality caregiving, safe and supportive neighborhoods, and child maltreatment and fatality to get at a 360° view that matches the needs of Colorado children and families to Board-identified investment priorities. The end goal is to develop a set of policy and practice recommendations to guide Board investment and their strategic leadership in the child maltreatment prevention landscape of Colorado.
To learn more, please contact Dr. Courtney Everson.