In This Issue:

  • What's New on www.coloradodads.com
  • Online Registration Available for Upcoming Fatherhood Trainings
  • Highlights of Recent Fatherhood Trainings
  • Introducing the Colorado Fatherhood Council Leadership Team
  • Program Spotlight
  • Fatherhood in the News
  • February Featured Fathers
  • Teaching Your Children Money Matters
  • Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives
  • Upcoming Events

 

What’s New on www.coloradodads.com

With versions in both English and Spanish, the Colorado Dads Web site continues to serve as an all-encompassing resource for fathers and fatherhood practitioners. Because the site is updated almost every day, you may have missed some of our most recent updates.

Research Abstracts

Each month, the Child Information Gateway adds new research abstracts to their library. We glean abstracts from this site that focus specifically on fatherhood related research projects, building strong parent/child relationships and reaching at-risk families. Abstracts from November 2008 – January 2009 have now been added to the Colorado Data and Research section of the Colorado Dads site.

Online Promotion of
the Com-mu’-ni-ca’-tion Game

Throughout the month of February, the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative is encouraging Colorado dads to reconnect with their daughters by playing the Com-mu’-ni-ca’-tion Game together. The game is a fun and convenient way for dads and daughters to learn more about each other. Interested fathers can purchase the Com-mu’-ni-ca’-tion Game for a discounted price - $24.95 plus shipping and handling – on the Colorado Dads site until the end of the month. A list of restaurants handing out individual game packets throughout February can also be found on this page.

Child Support Resources

Learning how to navigate the child support support system can be a difficult process for many fathers. We recently partnered with the Colorado Office of Child Support Enforcement (CSE) to develop a new page – Child Support Resources. Here, visitors are directed to the CSE Web site, payment information and documents detailing child support and paternity establishment.

Community Access Grant Funding

The Colorado Department of Human Services is pleased to announce the Request for Applications (RFA) for year four funding (October 2009 – September 2010) of the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Community Access Grant.

Funding priority is given to faith and community based organizations that provide fatherhood parent skills training and healthy marriage / couples relationships training as core services. The State awards grants of up to $50,000 each. Funded organizations are required to establish collaborations with local organizations including a domestic violence provider, the local workforce program, a local mental health provider and the local county department of social or human services to set protocol and meet the individual needs of participants.

 

Online Registration Available for
Upcoming Fatherhood Trainings

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

Nurturing Fathers Program Facilitator Training
March 26-27, 2009
The Gill Foundation
315 East Costilla Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

The Nurturing Fathers Program is one of the most successful fatherhood programs developed in the country. The 13-week program is designed to teach parenting and nurturing skills to men who are then able to grow from a distant or uninvolved father to an involved, emotionally and physically present father.

Presenters include: Rich Batten and Ken Sanders

Rich has worked with parents for the last 20 years. He works as a fatherhood and family specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services where he currently serves as the administrator of the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Community Access Grant. He has maintained certification as a Family Life Educator (CFLE) by the National Council on Family Relations since 1998.

Ken is the program director of the Center on Fathering. The Center, created by the El Paso County Department of Human Services 1995, provides comprehensive services to fathers and their families in the Pikes Peak region.

24/7 Dad and Inside Out Dad Curriculum Trainings
April 7 – 9, 2009
Hope For Children, Inc.
Family Strengthening Center
801 W. 4th Street, Suite 104
Pueblo, CO 81003

The 24/7 Dad and Inside Out Dad curricula were both developed by the National Fatherhood Initiative. Inside Out Dad is a re-entry program that provides practical and innovative ways to help overcome the physical and psychological challenges that incarcerated fathers face Inside (while incarcerated) and Out (after release). 24/7 Dad is the National Fatherhood Initiative's foundational program.

Presenters include: John Holmberg, Psy.D., Jerome Perkins and others.

John Holmberg, Psy.D., is a father of two and a clinical psychologist with expertise in community-based family interventions. For the past seven years, he has been a researcher at the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health at the University of Colorado. Dr. Holmberg is a trainer of the National Fatherhood Initiative's Dr. Dad and Inside-Out Dad curricula. Recently, he joined a collaborative which is developing the imDAD program, an interactive visually-based fatherhood curriculum for first-time, low-income fathers.

Jerome Perkins is an ordained pastor who has been involved in prison ministry and education for the past 15 years. He has developed and implemented several transition homes in partnership with the Colorado Department of Corrections and Beacon Behind Bars.

The registration fee for both trainings is waived for all currently funded Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Community Access Programs (PRF). The cost to attend these trainings 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).

 

Highlights of Recent
Fatherhood Trainings

Helping dads become a positive, nurturing, guiding and providing presence in the lives of their children is all about relationships. Since the beginning of the year, we've been privileged to host two facilitator trainings and one master trainer institute for fatherhood practitioners. The material covered in these trainings provides practitioners with varied perspectives to consult as they build relationships with fathers.

In January, Summitview Community Church hosted a facilitator training on the National Center for Fathering's (NCF) Quenching the Father Thirst curriculum. Based upon research conducted by the NCF and their experience with local court initiatives, this curriculum is adaptable for dads in a variety of situations and helps men become responsible fathers/father figures who love, know and guide their children to success. Author and trainer George Williams spent two days with six participants going over the research and theory behind the curriculum and facilitating practice sessions of the material.

Thirty-three people completed the Caring Dads Program Training earlier this month. "Caring Dads: Helping Fathers Value Their Children" is an intervention program designed for men who have abused or neglected their children or exposed them to abuse of their mothers. Developed and piloted over five years, this 17-session group program draws from best practices in the fields of batterer intervention, parenting, behavior change, child maltreatment and working with resistant clients.

According to Rich Batten, fatherhood and family specialist for the Colorado Department of Human Services, "The completion of our second Caring Dads facilitator training will set the foundation for expanding a provision of services to help change the generational cycle of violence that occurs in far too many of our families today." 

Jeffrey M. Johnson, Ph.D., president of the National Partnership for Community Leadership in Washington D.C., traveled to Denver in January to train 12 master trainers on the Fatherhood Development Curriculum. Several practitioners have described this curriculum focused on young fathers as the "glue" that makes their programs work. Developed by Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) and field-tested in P/PV's Young Unwed Fathers Pilot Project, the curriculum has been used in three national demonstration projects including Parents Fair Share - the Partners for Fragile Families Site Demonstration and the Fathers at Work Demonstration Project.

The Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative will begin scheduling facilitator trainings for the Fatherhood Development curriculum in the summer and fall of 2009. Please contact Rich Batten for more information.

 

Introducing the Colorado Fatherhood
Council Leadership Team 

The Colorado Fatherhood Council (CFC) is a coalition of administrators, practitioners, fathers and other stakeholders coordinated by the Colorado Department of Human Services. The Council is committed to creating and sustaining a coordinated statewide network of services that will result in the children of Colorado having long-term, healthy relationships with their father or a father figure. Council meetings take place once a month and are open to all interested attendees.

As the fatherhood movement in Colorado continues to grow, the Council will initiate, promote and support fatherhood programs statewide. To reach the Council's defined goals, CFC members have voted on a leadership team to oversee six different work teams. The leadership team is committing its 2009 organizational efforts to:

  • Evaluating current fatherhood services;
  • Exploring the possibility of community and statewide baseline assessments of father involvement and child well-being; and
  • Securing additional funding sources.

 

The 2009 CFC Leadership Team includes the following individuals:

Chair Person: Rich Batten, Colorado Department of Human Services

At Large Representative: Diana Buza, The Pinon Project, Cortez

Domestic Violence:  Tyler Osterhaus, Weld County Social Services, Greeley

Education & Training: The Center on Fathering, Colorado Springs

Ex Officio Member: Kelli Bennett, Colorado Department of Human Services

Fathers &/or Social Fathers: Chip Sawyer, The Redimere Group, Greenwood Village & Ray Washington, Jefferson County Department of Human Services

Funding & Selection:  Brenda Toliver-Locke, The Road Called STRATE, Aurora

Legislation & Policy:  Myron Carter, Northeast Denver Islamic Center

Local Research:  John Holmberg, University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center, Denver

Public Awareness:  Maggie Spain, The Bawmann Group, Denver

 

Program Spotlight – Dedicated Hearts/La Gente Project - Alamosa

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

We currently utilize the Nurturing Fathers curriculum in our fatherhood classes. We also do a lot of outreach in the community by sponsoring children's sports leagues and other activities. Another fatherhood support group is scheduled to begin soon.

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

To provide as many needed services as possible to as many men as possible.  To change the lives of men in our community so that they become better parents and help end cycles of violence in their families.  

3. Describe at typical day at Dedicated Hearts/La Gente.

I spend most of the day trying to recruit men for our program. That involves calling different community agencies throughout the San Luis Valley. A typical day will also involve paperwork and answering questions from my staff and folks in the community.

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

It's wonderful to know that I am making a difference in the life of a father, child and/or family. I love seeing dads progress through our program from the first class to graduation.

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

One of our fathers is divorced with four children. Following the divorce, his ex-wife would not allow him to visit his children and he became very frustrated with the situation. After completing our Nurturing Fathers course, this father went back to court and was awarded joint custody. He now sees his children on an almost daily basis and has returned to the program as a co-facilitator of our fatherhood class.

 

Fatherhood in the News

Over the last few weeks, the news media has focused an increased amount of coverage on fatherhood, father absence and community solutions. Here is a brief synopsis of articles and broadcast stories you may have missed.

A Father's Promise

Twelve years ago NBC News produced "Labor Day," an award-winning documentary about the alarming rise of inner city children growing up without fathers. It began with the deliveries of three babies born over a 72-hour period at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, one of the places where the rate of absentee fathers was especially high. These fathers all made promises to be there for their child as he or she grew up.

Now, MSNBC has gone back to find out whether these three fathers kept that promise. Also in the documentary, a cross-section of African-Americans, including NBC's Al Roker and Tiki Barber, come together for a round-table discussion of the situations and issues presented in the program.

Obama Outlines Priorities and Changes for New Faith-Based White House Office

President Obama has signed an executive order establishing a new White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. One of the responsibilities of the Office will be to support fathers who stand by their families, which involves working to get young men off the streets and into well-paying jobs and encouraging responsible fatherhood.

A Father’s Second Chance

During his six-month stint as a prison inmate in upstate Vermont, Mark Garrigan taped himself reading children's books and mailed those cassettes to his preschool-aged son to stay in touch.

Yet he wrestled mightily with an overwhelmingly sad sense of losing precious time with his only child and tarnishing his legacy as a father.

 

February Featured Fathers – Billy, BJ & Corey Richardson

Billy, BJ and Corey are the most recent fathers featured on the Colorado Dads Web site. Because the three men spend so much time together through their daily work with the Aurora Crush, we decided to feature them on the site at the same time. A long-time truck driver and director of the Crush, Billy is incredibly proud of the men his two sons have grown up to be. BJ and his wife are both nurses who recently adopted two premature babies. A defensive coordinator at Adam City High School, Corey enjoys making crafts, researching colleges and coloring with his four children.

What is the hardest part about being a dad?

Learning when to let go. As toddlers, we are right there to catch them when they take those first steps. As men, we still want to catch them when they stumble. We must always watch them and be there if needed. – Billy

What is the most important piece of advice you've received about fatherhood?

My father once told me that all you can do is show your children the way through love and support. At some point they have to make their own choices and hopefully you have guided them to the correct ones. – Corey

What kind of dad do you strive to be?

A dad that can be counted on in any situation. I may not always have the answer, but I will tell my children where to go to get it. – BJ

 

Teaching Your Children Money Matters

As the nation grips with the current economic crisis, there is an important generation to consider when analyzing the ramifications – our children. How they handle their money will have a tremendous impact on the decades to come. Parents have a responsibility to educate their children on how to manage their finances and Colorado dads are now helping their children make every penny count.

According to Junior Achievement, Rocky Mountain, Inc., fathers should engage in an open dialogue with their children about financial issues. The non-profit organization recommends considering six easy steps when discussing money management with your children.

 

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 "Helping Dads and Daughters Connect", "Mad at Dad" and "A Father's Promise". 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

AMEND Institute
El Jebel Shrine – Denver
March 11-13, 2009

The third annual AMEND Institute aims to present advanced and basic training for domestic violence treatment providers, addictions counselors, victim advocates and those entering the domestic violence counseling field.

The Institute's featured speaker will be Oliver J. Williams, Ph.D., executive director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community and a professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota.

My Dad Taught Me
Northern Colorado Children's Fair
March 28, 2009

Join the Be There for Your Kids campaign at our latest My Dad Taught Me video shoot. It will be a day of fun for the whole family with various activities and entertainment for the kids and community resource information for parents.

Daddy Hunger Documentary Screening
Shadow Theatre
April 2, 2009

After struggling with his own father's absence for much of his life, Denver native Ray Upchurch began to examine the hunger young men and communities have for fathers. Daddy Hunger examines the problems of father absence through the eyes of convicted murderers, single mothers and fatherless children. It also provides a framework for solutions. We invite you to join the Be There for Your Kids campaign for a special screening of this documentary on Thursday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the Shadow Theatre in Aurora.

Please e-mail Maggie Spain for more information about this event.

 

Regional Fatherhood Forums

Northern Colorado Dads 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. 

Free movie passes to any Kerasotes Movie Theatre in Colorado.

10 percent off any Arkansas River tour booked in 2009.

. . .


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