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The Public Awareness Committeee was initially formed as a subcommittee of the Hotline Steering Committee (HSC) in 2014 to focus on strategic planning for a public awareness campaign to launch the state's new child abuse and neglect reporting hotline, and to raise public awareness of the need to report suspected child abuse and neglect. While the HSC has sunset, this committee continues to meet to advise the development and implementation of the Colorado Child Abuse and Nelgect Public Awareness Campaign. Through the committee, CDHS continues to expand and strengthen existing public awareness efforts by helping to coordinate and collaborate with stakeholders actively working in Colorado to prevent and raise awareness of child abuse and neglect.
About the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Public Awareness Campaign
In 2015, the Colorado Department of Human Services, in partnership with more than one hundred and fifty community partners throughout the state and Governor Hickenlooper, launched a multi-year Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Public Awareness Campaign to engage all Coloradans in the prevention of child abuse and promote the new Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437).
The Colorado Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS went live on January 1, 2015, and limited efforts have begun to publicize the hotline. The public awareness campaign officially launched in April 2015, as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
To build an evidence-based public awareness campaign, the Department conducted public opinion research in 2013 which serves as a baseline measurement for the effectiveness of the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Public Awareness Campaign. According to research, Coloradans were well aware child abuse and neglect is a problem, believing that one in four children experience abuse or neglect. More than half of Coloradans said they had personally encountered a child that they suspected was a victim of abuse or neglect and they said that they were very likely to report a litany of typical abuse and neglect situations.
However, perceptions were very different from reality. Prior to the launch of the campaign the general public - friends, neighbors, community members - were not reporting concerns. It was estimated that 75% of reports of child abuse and neglect in Colorado came from mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect, 15% came from family members, and only 10% came from the general public.
The primary goal of the campaign is to encourage all Coloradans to play a role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect by reporting all concerns to the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline and getting involved to help Colorado's kids. This comprehensive effort includes shared messaging, grassroots outreach, media relations, billboards, television commercials, social media, and extensive toolkit materials to help campaign partners raise awareness. Every year, the campaign reaches over one million impressions, encouraging Coloradans to get involved and play a role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
This campaign website is intended to help you:
Visit www.co4kids.org to get involved and learn more.
This committee is co-chaired by:
Katie Facchinello, CDHS Office of Children, Youth and Families communications manager