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CDHS Connections Newsletter
Connecting People Who Help People
Aug. 4, 2021
August is Child Support Awareness Month

Gov. Jared Polis has proclaimed August to be Child Support Awareness Month. This comes as child support payments received in Colorado reached an all-time high of $385 million in 2020.

Colorado’s child support program has evolved over the last 40 years. Its initial focus was on collecting payments to recuperate public assistance and costs. Today, the program strives to serve families.

If you would like to learn more about the Colorado Child Support Program, please join CCS virtually for a short presentation on the program and the latest service options.

Wednesday, Sept. 15, noon–1 p.m.
Google Meet joining information:
Video call link:
Or dial: ‪(US) +1 413-728-2995 PIN: ‪696 180 696#

You can learn more here and find them on social media @SupportCOKids. 

Read more about how Colorado's child support program has evolved >>
The Belonging Project: Exploring neurodiversity


Hear from your peer

Like any parent holding her newborn for the first time, Sallette Thompson of the Office of Behavioral Health was excited about her child’s future. "Oh, the hopes and dreams that rested on this little one,” she writes. “Little did I know that those first 24 hours of bliss would be the last ones for a long time.” That was the beginning of an expected and profound journey for Sallette and her son Collin, who is neuroatypical. Read their story >>

Ways to get involved

The Belonging Project Book Club invites all employees to discuss "Divergent Mind: Thriving in a World That Wasn't Designed for You" by Jenara Nerenberg from 1-2 p.m. Aug. 27. While this book focuses on neurodivergent women — those with autism, ADHD, synesthesia and other sensory processing differences — it also explores ways we can all  understand our fundamental differences.

Sign up to join the conversation >>

Neurodiversity in the Workplace webinar, 1-2 p.m. Aug. 19. Join Dr. Siva Priya Santhanam, assistant professor at Metropolitan State University, for a discussion on how autism and other neurodiverse conditions affect how we work, individually and together.

Register here >>

Share your story

We want to hear from you! We’re looking for contributors to share their stories and insights. Just as our experiences are different, so are the ways we choose to express them. Writing an article or poem, sharing artwork or creating a video are just a few ways you can share your perspective. If you'd like to contribute to one of the monthly themes below, let us know >> 

●  September: Latinx and Hispanic heritage 
●  October: Disability awareness
●  November: Indigenous heritage
●  December: Classism and poverty

About The Belonging Project

The Belonging Project is an initiative by employees, for employees, to create a space where all employees feel a sense of belonging. The group explores specific themes each month and shares them in Connections every week. If you are interested in finding out more, please let us know.
Learn about antiracist allyship, confronting racism at work and more

A long-overdue examination of systemic race has motivated many to explore ways they can more actively support marginalized communities. While this awareness of societal inequities is new to some, people of color have been dealing with issues surrounding race all of their lives. “Embodying Antiracist Allyship: A Workshop for White Allies” and “Confronting Racism at Work: Strategies for Self-Advocacy for People of Color” are just two of the learning opportunities available this month. Check out other offerings, as well as tools and resources, information on Park Hill and other Colorado communities, and more with these resources from the Colorado Office of Health Equity.
New program to help managers become better employee coaches

All leaders are invited to join a new Career Pathing program. The Coaching Community of Practice is open to leaders who want to discuss and practice coaching employees. The purpose of the group is to create a safe space to share and provide tools for managing and developing employees.

A 54-minute LinkedIn Learning course, “Coaching and Developing Employees,” is a prerequisite to the class and acts as the "lecture" portion of the program.

Session times:
  • Aug. 5, 1-3 p.m.
  • Sept. 15, 9-11 a.m.
  • Oct. 21, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Nov. 10, 9-11 a.m.
  • Dec. 13, 1-3 p.m.
If you are interested in joining the Coaching Community of Practice, reach out to Chelsea Winegar at
Interested in workplace wellness? 

Interested in bringing wellness to the workplace? The Workforce Resilience Committee is recruiting new members! Email Brittany Diamond at for more information.
MWFYSC celebrates International Friendship Day

On July 30, Marvin W. Foote Youth Services Center celebrated International Friendship Day. Youth and staff began the day by discussing characteristics and personal examples of healthy and unhealthy friendships, as well as each youth’s individual role as a friend and what makes them a good friend.

After the group session, all youth were given the opportunity to make friendship bracelets. There were more than 50 colors of string to choose from, and youth were given instructions for a Chinese ladder friendship bracelet or a diagonal friendship bracelet. This particular activity was very calming and engaging for youth and staff. While the youth were given the option to mail their bracelet to a friend, most decided that they wanted to wear them instead.  
Social snapshot

Colorado's P-EBT program has paid the parents of 306,000 low-income kids an estimated $300 million this summer to make up for meals children did not receive at school during times of remote learning last school year. Learn more >>

If you aren't already, consider following CDHS on social media and sharing our posts with your own friends and followers. Visit the social media page on our website for links to all our accounts.
Get to know Tawni Albers

Tell us a bit about your role here at CDHS.
I am the Learning, Engagement and Development (LEAD) coordinator, which is a fancy title to say that I help support our Cornerstone users through the inbox, manager our Years of Service Program here at CDHS and, finally, have the opportunity to help coordinate our live trainings we offer through Cornerstone. If you have the chance to sign up, I highly recommend it, and I may get to see you in class!
What are some of your goals here at CDHS?
One of my goals is to build out the Years of Service Program. Committing yourself to a job is a huge accomplishment and so important to celebrate. I want to help build out what recognition can look like within this program. I also find those who have celebrated huge milestones of State service so impressive and believe that everyone deserves the recognition that they are comfortable with. So stay tuned as I dive into this program and grow it! Through Cornerstone and the other committees I am involved in, my goal is to build relationships so that I can learn as much as I can from others. I also want to build relationships with employees so they are comfortable coming to me to ask questions. I love helping to find solutions because I am able to learn in the process, too; so to me it's a win-win! I think we could all use some positivity, so to be able to (hopefully) bring a smile to someone's face will bring joy to mine, which is why I like to engage with others and offer the listening ear.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
If I was to give a piece of advice to my younger self, it would be to go confidently and boldly in the direction you choose. There are so many differing opinions and the desire to "fit in" that it can take away from who you were meant to be. Don't fill your head with the lies/rumors/gossip that may surround you, because it may never go away. But instead, find what fills your cup up and surround yourself with those that help fill your cup and those that will remind you of who you are when times get tough. 
What is your favorite time of day and why?
My favorite time of day is early in the morning right as the sun is coming up because you get to see the world begin to come alive — birds start chirping, soft sounds of morning commuters begin rolling by and the crisp smell of Colorado (sounds like it could be a Hallmark movie)! Now with that said, I have little ones at home, so sleep is very precious and we don't get to soak that in too often, but I know that one day my husband and I will enjoy this again.
Time to Paws

This week’s pet pics were tailor made for cat lovers or anyone with a soft spot for beautiful animals. Feline friends Coal and Ember are joined by Tonks, who is practically an honorary member of one of the teams here at CDHS. Check them out! 

Share your pet pics and give your coworkers a good reason to "paws" and say "awww."
Welcome, new CDHS employees!
Administrative Solutions

Rick Borrego
Melissa Decker
Claudia Guzman
Cameron McCluggage
Allan Parr
Wesley Snyder

Office of Adult, Aging and Disability Services

Kunal Bhardwaj
Rita Boateng
Danielle Call
Yesica Castillo
Sharai Conde Cecenas
Jaren Craft
Alexander Garcia
Rupendra Ghimire
Dililp Jaiswal
Georgia Kuersten-Weller
Brandon Lloyd
Kimberly Medina
Dawn Ricardez
Rupali Sangar
Athalie Schooler
Krishna Siwakoti
Naimah Snyder
Heather Thompson
Office of Behavioral Health

Jade Adams
Jaydan Garcia-Prien
Mindy Jamison
Robert Robles

Office of Children, Youth and Families 

Lawrence Aguilar
Jayna Briscoe
Jamie Chamberlain
Christopher Clark
Troy Douglas
Jeanette Jackson
Melissa Jones
Jermal Love
Erin Melville
Leandra Michielsen
Sasha Ollis
Kamryn Osborn
Patrick Rodebaugh
Victoria Saenz
Melanie Stout
Keith Toth

Office of Economic Security
Katie Linenberger
Aaron Serna
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CDHS - Communications · 1575 Sherman · Denver, CO 80203 · USA