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Community agencies honored for work to prevent child abuse

Posted on 05/02/2018
Community agencies honored for work to prevent child abuse

As a celebratory conclusion to Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Weld County Department of Human Services (DHS) hosted a breakfast and awards presentation last week, to honor its prevention partners. Of the many varied groups in attendance, including law enforcement, social workers, health professionals and educators, each contributed significantly to the well-being of children and families in Weld County.

During the event, attendees were shown a moving video of Karin Crandall, DHS Community Outreach Manager, in which she spoke of the individuals who made such a positive impact on her life. From the policemen who removed her from danger and kept her safe, to the caseworker who helped her through terrible trauma, to the teacher who wouldn’t give up on her and encouraged her to graduate, Crandall affirmed the work performed daily by those involved in child abuse prevention truly does matter.

Three organizations were recognized at the event for their dedication and service to the youth and families in Weld County and presented with a framed painting of two foster children walking hand-in-hand:

Making a Difference Award—North Colorado Health Alliance CEO/CMO Dr. Mark Wallace and his team of nurses, Joanna Martinson, Cindy Schmidt, Christine Gallagher and Mandee Hartshorn; for being instrumental at stabilizing and preserving foster care placements, and for their gentle touch and kind approach to educating and nurturing.

Service Award—Greeley Police Department Downtown Hub Chief Jerry Gardner and his team of officers; for heroically serving and protecting every day by putting their lives on the line, no matter what the risk, and for modeling and mentoring within our community through their compassion and responsiveness.

• Community Partner Award—North Range Behavioral Health Compass Partner Larry Pottorff and his Compass team, Rebecca Wyperd, Robin Gonzalez and Laura Meusch; for working diligently with families struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues, and for helping to prevent families from entering the child welfare system.

“We are truly thankful for the work you all have done in keeping our children safe and families together,” said Judy Griego, DHS Director. “This is a time to celebrate the good things our county does to promote healthy child development, as well as a time to reflect on the work that still remains.”

Learn more about Weld County’s Prevention Services on the DHS Child Welfare web page.  If you feel that a child is in immediate danger, please call 911. To file a report of abuse or neglect, call the Colorado Child Protection Hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS.