As the outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted all of Colorado’s crucial services, the Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman has remained concerned about the lack of protective equipment provided to child protection workers. These county department employees continue to respond to reports of abuse and neglect, entering homes and other locations without the equipment necessary to protect themselves or others.
In March, the CPO helped to obtain and distribute more than 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizers to child protection workers across Colorado. This month, the CPO continued these efforts and worked to help county departments obtain more than 1,300 cloth face masks for child protection workers in 17 counties.
To do this, the CPO partnered with HI Denver, Parker Tailor and the County Human Services Director’s Association to produce and distribute the masks. In total, 50 masks were donated by Parker Tailor and others across Colorado. Parker Tailor also helped provide CPO staff with masks. To fulfill the remaining need, the CPO coordinated with Hanna Ireland with HI Denver, who was able to produce 1,300 cloth masks for child protection workers.
To distribute the masks, Denver Human Services covered the shipping fees to send the masks across the state – including 14 rural counties. The CPO is proud of these efforts and will continue to monitor the distribution of protective equipment for child protection workers as the COVID-19 crisis continues.