In This Issue:

  • 2009 Colorado Fatherhood Rally – Less Than One Month Away!
  • What’s new on www.coloradodads.com
  • Program Spotlight
  • Fatherhood in the News
  • May Featured Father
  • Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence Campaign Update
  • Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives
  • Upcoming Events

2009 Colorado Fatherhood Rally –
Less Than One Month Away!

Saturday, June 20, 2009
Fatherhood Recognition Program
10:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Family activities will take place throughout the day

The Meadows at City Park, Denver, Colorado
(Just west of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science)
Parking will be available at East High School and along the Esplanade leading into the Park

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Father’s Day, this event will feature Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, City of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, additional celebrity speakers, the 2009 Be There for Your Kids Awards winners, food vendors, entertainment, local fatherhood programs and giveaways. A message from a national rally taking place in Washington, D.C., will also be included.

Family activities will include the Denver Public Library Reading Rocket, exhibit information from the Denver Aquarium and Denver Museum of Nature and Science, basketball, soccer and football games, jewelry assembly, arts and crafts, bean bag toss contests and much more.

Let’s give Colorado dads a celebration worthy of 100 years. Bring a couple of blankets or folding chairs and enjoy the fun!

Click here to RSVP and learn more about the 2009 Colorado Fatherhood Rally.

If you are interested in serving on the rally planning committee or sponsoring this event, please contact Rich Batten.

 

What's new on coloradodads.com

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

Curricula

As practitioners look to provide dads with innovative fatherhood programs, be sure to visit this page for resources utilized across the globe. The curricula page was recently updated to include three new guidelines compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Parent Training Programs: Insight for Practitioners

"What Works in Fatherhood Programs? Ten Lessons from
Evidence-Based Practice

Consumer Guidelines to Selecting Curriculum for Use in
Fatherhood Programs

Funding Resources

This page is updated frequently to provide users with the latest information on available funding for fatherhood programs. Two grant announcements were recently added to this page:

Juvenile Mentoring

On May 6, 2009, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), U.S. Department of Justice, released a solicitation for Second Chance Act Mentoring Grants for juvenile populations. Public agencies, including Indian tribes and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for the OJJDP grants. Applications are due on June 15, 2009. The Justice Center is developing additional resources for juvenile mentoring grant applicants, which will be available soon.

Mentoring Children of Prisoners

Eligibility: State, county, city, township, special district or tribal governments; independent school districts; public and state controlled institutions of higher education; and nonprofits with or without 501(c)(3) status. Nonprofit or for-profit organizations that are neither faith-based nor community-based organizations are ineligible to apply.
Amount: Up to $1 million.
Purpose of Grant: To support the creation and maintenance of one-on-one mentoring relationships between children of incarcerated parents and caring, supportive adult volunteer mentors.
Deadline: June 19, 2009

 

Program Spotlight - Christlife Ministries – Southeast Colorado Prisons - Based in Pueblo

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

Christlife Ministries provides Inside Out Dad classes in four Southeast Colorado prisons. We also assist offenders with the preparation of a strength-based life plan which they then use to enhance their parole plans.

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

We want incarcerated men to understand that they can still be a vital part of their children's lives from prison. We also try to get them to understand that to be an effective, nurturing father they must be a man of integrity. Christlife assist clients in making a life plan which helps them not only prepare for their release but is also helpful in breaking the cycle of crime.

3. Describe at typical day at Christlife Ministries.

Since our classes meet inside prison facilities there is nothing typical. We are limited in our activities, room décor and amenities. Without activities or snacks, our time is devoted exclusively to teaching and discussion. It is not unusual for corrections officers to sit in on part of the class while they are attending to their duties (such as "count time"). Their comments about our discussions and the class as a whole have been overwhelmingly positive. Sometimes the corrections officers even have questions or comments for us after class.

On Tuesdays, we conduct a morning class in Las Animas, an afternoon class in Trinidad and an evening class in Pueblo.

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

Being able to change how a father (or potential father) sees his role in the family. Our fathers learn to be a role model for their children even from prison. They model having a purpose and a plan for their lives.

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

In a recent class, a young father admitted that he had not contacted his children or even looked at their pictures since his incarceration. He said that it was too painful because he missed them so much. Throughout the class, he gradually realized that he could still be a part of their lives even though he was in prison. By “graduation” day, this father was proudly showing pictures of his five children to classmates and even prison staff. He had reconnected with them and was involved in their lives.

 

Fatherhood in the News

The news media has increased its focus on fatherhood, father absence and community solutions over the past few weeks. Here is a brief synopsis of articles and broadcast stories you may have missed.

Commentary: Man up and be a real dad

CNN columnist Roland Martin examines the profound impact baseball legend Darryl Strawberry’s relationship with his father has had on his life. Darryl struggled with drug problems and abusive relationships throughout his major league career. As a child, his father was an alcoholic who abused Darryl and his brother.

In Roland’s own words: “It has gotten to the point that a mother is considered essential in a family, but a father is optional, expendable, and increasingly irrelevant.”

Hopes rise for progress on fatherhood woes

With a centennial celebration of Father's Day coming next month, and a new president committed to supporting better parenting, liberals and conservatives alike say the political stars may be aligned for major progress in promoting responsible fatherhood.

It's an issue that's been divisive in the past, even as research made clear that the estimated 24 million children growing up with absent fathers — a disproportionate number of them African-American — are at higher risk in regard to poverty, crime and other social problems.

But the left-right divide over the government's role in solidifying such families appears to be narrowing at this stage of Barack Obama's presidency.

Stay-at-home dads increase with job losses

Instead of sitting in traffic for a long drive to his office in Concord, Calif., on a recent Monday, Chuck Hammond sat at his kitchen table in Roseville, Calif., cutting the rind off little pieces of orange and feeding them to his 1-year-old daughter, Reagan.

These days, Hammond works full time at being a stay-at-home dad, watching as Reagan happily stuffs what he serves up into her mouth.

The weak economy and social attitudes are making this rare occurrence more common than in decades past.

In the months since Hammond lost his job, the work force trend toward 50-50 parity between males and females has accelerated, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Experts interpret that as indicating that more men have been laid off than women, freeing them for greater parenting duties.

 

May Featured Father – Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr.

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., is the most recent father featured on the Colorado Dads Web site. As a father of four, Governor Ritter enjoys fishing with his children and finding time to connect as a family over the dinner table.

What kind of dad do you strive to be?

I think it’s important as a father to be a good listener. My dad, although he was not perfect, was an exceptional listener. I try to be that for my kids. I try to hear what they are telling me and read between the lines. I can’t be too busy or concerned about having my point of view heard. That’s what I strive to be.

Now do I always do that or do it well? I’d have to say that I probably could use a little improvement there. But as my kids age, I’m really mindful of how important it is that I hear them more than they hear me.

What is the most important advice you’ve received about fatherhood?

A friend of mine once told me that “kids do not come with instructions!” There’s a reason for that because no two kids are alike. We have four children and they’re all very loving human beings, but extremely different. They have different personalities, different dispositions, and yet I couldn’t want for more in the way of having these wonderful kids. But when someone tells you they don’t come with instructions—that means you have to be nimble.

My oldest son was 4 or 5 years old before I realized he wasn’t going to be exactly like me. Then I had a second one not like me and then I realized none would be like me, which meant I had to decide how to parent each kid differently and respond to them. There’s no template for parenting and no one way to do it, but because they have different personalities, different likes and dislikes and different friends, it’s important that you’re nimble enough with how you approach them. That way you can foster a relationship with them no matter what comes along.

 

Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence Campaign Update

More than 165 Coloradans have now pledged their commitment to end domestic violence through the Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence (CMADV) campaign. As this number grows, the CMADV campaign continues to raise awareness of the importance of including men in the fight to end domestic violence.


Last month, the CMADV campaign was featured in two domestic violence editorials. Following the release of a new, somewhat controversial, PSA from the Women’s Aid Foundation and at least five domestic violence deaths in Colorado over six weeks, this editorial served to encourage men to stop standing on the sidelines and join the fight against domestic violence.

The campaign also participated in our first conference last month – Crime Victims Rights Week. Our presence will continue to increase in the community in the coming months with Rich Batten, chair of the CMADV campaign, serving as a featured speaker at the Sex Offender Management Board annual conference in July.

The Be There for Your Kids campaign is continuing to encourage men to participate in the CMADV campaign. Take the first step by signing our pledge at www.coloradodads.com. A hard copy pledge form is also available 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

We will then enter the information on each form into our online pledge database.

 

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 “Dads, Discipline & Team Sports” and “2009 Colorado Fatherhood Rally & Be There Awards”. 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. Check out the second Colorado Fatherhood Rally promotional video!

 

Upcoming Events

Life’s a Jungle – Hang with Dad for a Day!

Saturday, June 6, 2009
Olathe Sweet Corn Park
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Calling all dads, grandpas, uncles, brothers and any other male role models and their children. Have fun while you learn, laugh and bond with your children. Don't miss out on some great parenting tips and tricks along the way!

This event also includes: dunk tanks, water balloons, hot dogs, karaoke, a climbing wall and much more.

Men’s Health Pit Stop

Saturday, June 13, 2009
Greeley Family Fun Plex
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

A Father’s Day celebration for the whole family. Featuring education on: financial health, physical health, wellness and safety, mental health and relational safety. Plus, live entertainment, food, car show, games, prizes and information booths.

2nd Annual Reach 4 Peace Picnic

Sunday, June 21, 2009
Fred M. Thomas Memorial Park
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Join the Struggle of Love Foundation, Lowry Family Center and Urban Colors Arts & Mentoring as we celebrate the 100th Annual Father's Day.

Come join the festivities:
5 on 5 basketball tournament
4 on 4 flag football tournament
Lots of food and entertainment

 

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 Colorado Springs, 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 tickets to
the Denver Outlaws lacrosse game on Saturday, June 13.

Free mini golf passes to
Putter’s Pride.

$1 bowling at
Bowlero Lanes in Lakewood.

. . .


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, Program Development and System Innovation 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