In This Issue:

  • What’s New on www.coloradodads.com
  • Online Registration Now Open for
    Winter/Spring Fatherhood Trainings
  • Program Spotlight
  • The Denver Nuggets Promote Fathers Reading Every Day
  • November Featured Father
  • A Father’s Presence Impacts a Child’s Well-Being more than Ever this Holiday Season
  • Colorado Dads Participate in White Ribbon Day to Help End Domestic Violence
  • Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives
  • Upcoming Events

What’s New on www.coloradodads.com

The Colorado Dads Web site continues to serve as an all-encompassing resource for dads, families, fatherhood practitioners and parent educators. With versions in both English and Spanish, the site gives users a glimpse into the many different ways dads can be there for their kids and is updated almost every day. As such, you may have missed a few updates over the last few weeks.

 

Research Abstracts

Each month, the Child Information Gateway adds new research abstracts to their library. These abstracts focus on fatherhood related research projects as well as building strong parent/child relationships and reaching at-risk families. We are pleased to provide links to the abstracts in the Colorado Data and Research section of the Colorado Dads site. The July, August, September and October 2008 research abstracts can now be found in this section.

 

Colorado Fatherhood Programs

The Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative is funding 30 community and faith-based fatherhood programs during our 2008/2009 funding cycle. Specific program information including classes, location and hours can now be found in the English and Spanish versions of the Web site.

 

Colorado Resources

Check out this section of the Colorado Dads Web site for the most up-to-date information available for fatherhood practitioners. Links to e-Colorado Online Workforce Information, an organization connecting job seekers, employers, students and professionals with a powerful electronic toolbox and up-to-date information to succeed in the workplace, and YouthNet Searchable Database, a web-based resource for youth service providers, were recently added to this section.

 

Online Registration Now Available for Winter/Spring Fatherhood Trainings

The Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative will host several fatherhood trainings for practitioners across the State over the next few months. Online registration is now available for the following trainings:

Best Practices in Fatherhood Programs
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Families First Family Center
2163 S. Yosemite St.
Denver, CO 80231

This one-day course organizes the best practices in the fatherhood field into a seven component model. Participants will discuss such issues as how their community-based setting affects the delivery of their program and how to match their services and programs to meet the needs and wants of the fathers they serve.

This training will be led by Ron Clark, director of community-based programming for the National Fatherhood Initiative. As the director of training and technical assistance, Ron oversees and coordinates the National Fatherhood Initiative’s nationwide delivery of technical assistance and training to family services agencies.

The Best Practices in Fatherhood Programs training is free to the general public but limited to the first 40 registrants. Morning refreshments will be served.

Quenching the Father Thirst
January 8-9, 2009
Summitview Community Church
801 37th Street
Evans, CO  80620

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, 70 percent of all urban families have absent fathers, compared to 25 percent of households nationwide. This curriculum was developed by the National Center for Fathering to support and assist men in other father-thirsty urban communities around the nation. It is focused on three strategies: reconnecting fathers to their children, reconnecting father-figures in churches and communities and rescuing fathers from the criminal and civil justice system. This training is limited to 12 participants.

The Developing Fatherhood Curriculum - Train the Trainer
January 12 – 15, 2009
Location TBD
Limited enrollment

The Developing Fatherhood Curriculum is based on real experiences and challenges of fathers in fragile family settings. Through 25 streetwise group discussion sessions, the curriculum offers practitioners a field-tested guide to working with fathers in providing support, information and motivation in areas of life skills, parenthood, relationships (including marriage and team parenting) and health. The curriculum also offers a methodology for training and learning and assessment tools.

The registration fee for the Quenching the Father Thirst and Developing Fatherhood Curriculum trainings is waived for all currently funded Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Community Access Programs (PRF). The cost to attend a training for all other programs is $150 per person per training (continental breakfasts and lunches are included in registration) unless otherwise noted. Transportation, dinner and hotel accommodations are the responsibility of all registrants (including PRF funded programs).

 

Program Spotlight – Angel Spring Missions - Watkins

1. What services do you provide to fathers with your community access grant funding?

We teach a fatherhood empowerment program to about 75 teen fathers each day at Ridge View, a youth corrections facility within the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections. The following topics are highlighted during the program: learning and healing from history, personal development, practical fatherhood, male/female relationships and marriage.

2. What do you ultimately want to achieve with your program?

We want to teach these incarcerated young men to be the father that they may have never had. We try to break down the issues that have destroyed their families and restore a heritage that will help them raise their child to be healthy in every way. The program provides them with practical tools such as guiding discipline and a number of ways to raise a family and child.

3. Describe at typical day at Angel Spring Missions

Although every day is unique, here is an outline of my, Pastor Randy Cornejo, program director, typical schedule.

5 a.m. — Preparation or book writing for the day
7-9 a.m. — Fatherhood class
9-12 p.m. — Individual counseling
1-2 p.m. — Administrative work
2-3:30 p.m. — Guided group meeting
3:30-5 p.m. — Study/program development

4. What is the best part about working with fathers?

The best part is shaping these boys into men who have been healed and now care for others, including the children they have or will have.

5. Share a program/father success story with us.

Out of the 400 young men who graduated from our program this year, this is a hard choice. There are many young men at Ridge View who are leaving behind a ravaged heritage to begin a new life with purpose and hope.

One young man, who is leaving us next month, has radically changed his life in the year that he has participated in our program. Gangs and drugs were his priority when I met him last year. He loved his little boy but had little input in his life. 

This young man’s life should have ended at 12 when he hung himself. He was fading as his little sister tried to push his legs back on the chair. He had been severely abused and knew his father was sexually abusing his little sisters. Although he survived, he became a person who he had once hated. His father is now in prison for 40 years for using the same drug that currently has this young man at Ridge View.

Following weeks of counseling, he burst into my office one morning and yelled excitedly, “I did it!” He had found release from the burdens of his past and forgiven his father.

This special young man is now getting his diploma, has reunited with and plans to marry the mother of his child and has vowed to make them the center of a new life. He is reaching out to other students to help them leave behind the ravages of gangs and drugs.

 

The Denver Nuggets
Promote Fathers Reading Every Day

On Saturday, November 8, children at the Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library in Denver received a special treat – story time with Denver Nuggets player Anthony Carter. Anthony read Where the Wild Things Are and answered important questions like “how old were you when you first touched the rim” and “how hard is it to make it to the NBA”. He also reminded all of the children how important it is to put school before sports.

Anthony participated in this event to promote the Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) program to Colorado dads and their children. FRED is a four-week program that asks fathers, grandfathers and other male role models to read to their children on a daily basis. Throughout November, the Be There for Your Kids campaign asks Colorado dads to read to their children for 15 minutes a day during the first two weeks of the month and 30 minutes a day during the last two weeks of the month. By visiting the Colorado Dads Web site, dads can download a reading log and fill out pre and post program surveys to be entered into a drawing to receive special prizes. Links to appropriate books for different ages and literacy resources can also be found on the site.

Fathers play a critical role in their children’s academic success. The path to success begins with reading.

 

October Featured Father – AJ Willert

Denver resident AJ Willert is the most recent father featured on the Colorado Dads Web site. A father of one, AJ works at the Denver Zoo and enjoys teaching his daughter something new every day.

Describe your funniest moment as a dad.

It would probably be when my daughter started to crawl. She did the one-armed, army crawl first!

What kind of dad do you strive to be?

One that is always involved in his child’s life.

 

A Father’s Presence Impacts a Child’s Well-Being more than Ever this Holiday Season 

Due to job layoffs, increased prices and other economic issues, many Coloradans will be buying less this holiday season. It is important to remember, however, that having fewer presents won’t result in an unhappy holiday. Spending time together as a family during the holidays means more than rushing to the mall to buy gifts. This December, Colorado dads will follow that advice as they make their children, not presents, their priority.

There are many free or low-cost activities fathers can participate in with their children throughout the holidays. Just by spending a few minutes a day together they can build a stronger relationship and realize the true meaning of the season. Need a few ideas?

 

Colorado Dads Participate in White Ribbon Day to Help End Domestic Violence

Today, men across the globe will celebrate International White Ribbon Day. The White Ribbon Campaign is the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women. This advocacy and educational campaign is currently taking place in more than 55 countries. In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) and the white ribbon has become the symbol for the day. This year, men across the world will wear white ribbons to signify their commitment to ending violence against women.

The Be There for Your Kids campaign is continuing to encourage Colorado men to take a stand against domestic violence by participating in the Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence (CMADV) campaign. Take the first step by signing a pledge of commitment indicating that you will be part of the solution to ending domestic violence. This pledge is available online at www.coloradodads.com or at various community organizations and social service agencies statewide.

Additional links to domestic violence agencies, national resources and mentoring assistance for young men are available on the Colorado Dads Web site.

If your program has received any completed CMADV hard copy pledge forms, please mail them back to this address at your convenience:

Rich Batten
Colorado Department of Human Services
1575 Sherman St., 3rd Floor
Denver, CO 80203

Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives

Our public awareness campaign strives to get the message of responsible fatherhood out to local communities in a variety of ways.

The Fastbreak for Fathers blog, written by Rich Batten, fatherhood and family specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services, is updated on a regular basis. Recent topics include the who, why and how of guys today and the importance of fathers and children reading together. Become a subscriber of the blog and you will receive automatic e-mail announcements when it is updated.

As online social networking Web sites continue to connect various groups throughout the country, the Be There for Your Kids campaign has created our own fatherhood Facebook and MySpace pages as well as a YouTube channel. We are looking for new fans of these pages to comment on recent fatherhood notes and videos and discuss relevant topics in the discussion boards.

Upcoming Events

Call for Presenters – 2009 Colorado Head Start Association Conference
February 20 – 21, 2009

The Colorado Head Start Association is pleased to invite practitioners to submit a workshop abstract for the 2009 parent and staff training conference. Workshops will be 75 minutes long and the following topics will be considered:

Advocacy
Self-Sufficiency
Children with Special Needs
Child Development
Strengthening Families
Policy Council Training
Transition to Public Schools
Child Assessments
Mental Health
Health & Dental
Domestic Abuse        

Parenting Skills/Techniques
Guided Networking
Fatherhood
Financial
Management/Budgeting
Innovative Collaborations
Taking Care of Yourself
Healthy Couple Relationships
Organization/Time Management
Stress Management
Challenging Behaviors

Workshop abstract submissions are due by November 30, 2008.

Legal Clinics
The Denver Bar Association offers monthly, pro se (do-it-yourself) litigant clinics on the subjects of bankruptcy, divorce, small claims and collections. These clinics help individuals understand legal processes and forms.

 

Regional Fatherhood Forums

Front Range Fatherhood Forum
Held on the third Friday of every month from 9:00-10:30 a.m. For more information, contact Ben DeVoss from Lifelong Adult Education Services at 303.573.0839.

Boulder/Larimer/Weld County Fatherhood Forum
Held on various days throughout the month. For more information, contact Tyler Osterhaus, Family Focus Program Manager, Weld County Department of Social Services, Family Focused Prevention Unit at 970.352.1551 X622

Arkansas River Area Fatherhood Team
A monthly meeting in Pueblo or Cañon City for lunch, encouragement and for sharing ideas related to working with fathers. For more information, contact George Hoherd from the Community Partnership for Child Development at 719.635.1536 x262.

Southwest Fatherhood Coordination Council
Time and dates to be determined. For more information, contact Diana Buza from The Pinon Project at 970.564.1195 x41.

Northwest Fatherhood Forum
Time and dates to be determined. For more information, contact Steve Aurand from Garfield County Department of Human Services at 970.625.5282 x624.

Northeast Fatherhood Forum
Time and dates to be determined. For more information, contact Jackie Reynolds from Rural Solutions at 970.526.3216.

Check out coloradodads.com to register for free or low-cost opportunities for dads to connect with their kids. Current offers include:
. . .

Free admission
to the Denver Botanic Gardens

. . .


Each month, coloradodads.com is excited to profile a Colorado dad and his view of fatherhood. If you know of a Dad who works hard to be there for his kids and should be profiled on the Colorado dads Web site, please contact Maggie Spain.


To speak with someone directly about fatherhood support services, please call:

1.877.695.7996 (English)
or 1.866.527.3264 (Spanish).

Trained volunteers from Families First staff this line.

To speak with someone directly regarding the Be There For Your Kids public awareness campaign or the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, please contact an individual listed below.

Colorado Department of Human Services Contact Information:
Rich Batten
Fatherhood Specialist
Colorado Department of Human Services
303.866.3808
Email

Mary Roberto
Manager, Family Strengthening Section
Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division
303.866.2641
Email

The Bawmann Group Contacts:
(regarding the public awareness campaign materials – Web site, advertising and media relations).

Jennifer Nuhfer
Vice President of Communications
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790
Email

Maggie Spain
Account Manager
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790
Email