Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Boulder County is being recognized as a Violence and Injury Prevention Program of Excellence

The Violence and Injury Prevention (VIP) Programs of Excellence highlights sustainable and evidence-based programs that are being implemented around the state to prevent violence and injury in their communities. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is recognizing Boulder County as a VIP Program of Excellence for their outstanding work to increase family-friendly employment practices which is one of the four `essentials' identified in the Colorado Essentials for Childhood project.

The Boulder County Commissioners expanded a paid family leave benefit for new and repeat parents on the county's payroll. On January 1, 2016 new fathers and mothers of new birth or adopted children on the county staff became eligible for one month of paid parental leave, an increase from one week. Boulder County has also met the requirements to be officially designated a "breastfeeding-friendly work site," with a written policy that gives county employees opportunities to continue breastfeeding while at work.

Early return to work has been linked to decreased rates of breastfeeding, receipt of immunizations, and number of well-baby visits in the first year, as well as cognitive deficiencies and behavioral issues. Longer leave periods are associated with lower infant mortality rates. Offering extended paid leave reduces stress on mothers by maintaining job security and also contributing to the overall health of the child. Improvements to family-work balance, including providing options for flexible scheduling, time off, child care, and other family friendly policies, should be promoted as a means for reducing rates of child abuse. Conflict between work and the family contributes to stress and burnout and has been correlated with domestic violence and psychological aggression.

Thank you and way to "walk the walk" Boulder County!

For more information on the Violence and Injury Prevention Program of Excellence or to nominate a person or agency doing evidenced-based work in this field go to the Violence and Injury Prevention Recognition page.