Kiowa County becomes the first county to reach child safety tipping point
Illuminate Colorado (Illuminate) announce this week that Kiowa County is the first county in the state of Colorado to reach the tipping point to create a new standard of child safety in the community. In June of last year, llluminate, a statewide nonprofit organization working to strengthen families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment, launched the Tip Colorado Initiative aimed at training more than 200,000 Coloradans to protect children from sexual abuse.
Calculating the number of people who need to receive training in every county in Colorado and understanding what is necessary to create REAL social change in a community, Illuminate identified the tipping point for our state, as well as each county, where children grow up happy, healthy and safe in communities that prevent children from being sexually abused.
Local authorized facilitators Amber Settles, supervisor and coach of the SafeCare Colorado Program with High Plains Community Health Center, and Lisa Thomas, coordinator of the Collaborative Management Program for Prowers County Department of Human Services, were instrumental in training the population of Kiowa County to reach this milestone. “We all need this training as a starting point, so we know where to go for help and support to grow our skills and advocate for the kids in our daily lives,” Settles said. “We as adults need to advocate and speak for the voiceless.”
As the state intermediary and authorized facilitator of the Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program, Illuminate is strengthening families, organizations and communities by supporting more than 80 local authorized facilitators in delivering, to their communities, the only evidence-informed, adult-focused child sexual abuse prevention training in the United States proven to increase knowledge and change behavior. Together, we have trained 8,130 Coloradans to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. This is no small feat, but it is a far cry from reaching the necessary critical milestone in child protection that we need to effectively prevent child sexual abuse in Colorado. This pivotal achievement will come when 284,149 Coloradans have taken this free two-hour training offered online and in-person in some communities.
Tipping the Scales in Favor of Kids in Kiowa
The people of Kiowa County, in southeastern Colorado, have shown a strong commitment to the prevention of child sexual abuse by passing the tipping point where a large enough percentage of the population has been trained to prevent, recognize, and responsibly react to child sexual abuse to create real social change. The county needed to train 69 adults to reach the tipping point; it has already trained 110 adults and isn’t stopping there.
“As the first county in Colorado to reach the tipping point, Kiowa County is proof that our communities care about our children and that adults are willing to take this first step forward to strengthen their communities,” said Sadie Rose Pace, Illuminate Colorado training specialist. “The dedicated people of Kiowa County and the local authorized facilitators who supported them in their effort deserve to be recognized and celebrated.”