In This Issue:

  • Statewide Fatherhood Program Survey
  • Year Four Community Access Grant Funding Announcement
  • Program Spotlight
  • Check out the Latest My Dad Taught Me Videos on the Colorado Dads Web site
  • 2009 Colorado Fatherhood Rally Event Photos
  • July Featured Father
  • Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives
  • Upcoming Events

Statewide Fatherhood Program Survey

In an effort to learn more about fatherhood services available throughout Colorado, the Colorado Fatherhood Council has issued a statewide survey. Our goals with this survey are to further develop our statewide referral database of fatherhood programs on the Colorado Dads Web site and to develop a knowledge base to inform funding, training and research decisions. 

If your fatherhood program is not funded by the Responsible Fatherhood Community Access Grant, please take a moment to fill out this survey. Your responses will remain confidential. Results based on the entire group of respondents will be shared and no individuals will be named. Please feel free to also forward the link to the survey to other Colorado fatherhood programs.

The first 100 respondents to the survey will receive four $15 off passes to Elitch Garden’s Amusement Park in Denver.

Sharing your insight and experience is critical to increasing fatherhood resources in Colorado!

 

Year Four Community Access Grant Funding Announcement

The Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative is excited to announce that 27 Colorado fatherhood programs have been selected to receive funding during our fourth funding cycle – October 1, 2009 – September 30, 2010. Applications were received from 50 programs across the State, representing more than $2.3 million in funding requests. We awarded more than $1.1 million in total grant dollars for up to $50,000 per program.

Funding priority was given to faith and community-based organizations that provide fatherhood parent skills training and healthy marriage / couples relationships training as core services. 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.

Stay tuned for complete information on all newly funded programs, including hours of operation, locations and major initiatives, in the Fatherhood Programs section of the Colorado Dads Web site.

 

Program Spotlight - Young Dads Program at Hilltop Community Resources - Grand Junction

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

The Hilltop Community Resources Young Dads Program is part of a larger program serving the Grand Junction community called Family First. Family First is an early childhood program that strives to assist fathers and mothers in creating an active learning environment where children grow through supportive parental relationships.

Young Dads staff offer several services to our fathers including home visitation with a parenting curriculum, Growing Great Kids, weekly psycho-educational groups, case management, a bi-weekly session of Training Camp for New Dads and wrap-around facilitation. Services are available to both English and Spanish speaking clients.

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

We want to inspire and educate men to become more involved in their children’s daily lives. Through in-home education and group peer support classes, we teach the vital role that strong, supportive and involved fathers have in their children’s lives. If every man who came to our program left inspired to be the best father they could be, then we will have reached our goal.

3. Describe at typical day at the Hilltop Community Resources Young Dads Program.

A day in the life at the Young Dads Program: During the day I, Jacob Carpenter, administrator of the program, would definitely be in touch with the fathers on my caseload via phone or email. These conversations could last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. We discuss issues that are affecting their ability to be self-sufficient and their ability to be “present” with their children in a positive manner. Later in the day, I might have a home visit where I would bring a topic from the Growing Great Kids curriculum as well as a project that can be created from things found in the home. These projects tie into the topic and reinforce activities that can be easily performed by fathers with their children.   

On Monday evenings, we hold our weekly fatherhood peer counseling group. I may bring a topic for discussion or invite a guest speaker - DHS child support staff, a local librarian, child care assistance intake staff, unemployment staff,  workforce center staff or a variety of other experts. These individuals can inform and educate dads on available resources. The fathers and children are offered a light snack during the sessions and child care is also available.  

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

It’s truly a pleasure to be working for positive change at such a grassroots level. Our dads tell us over and over again that it was awesome to find out they were not alone and that there were other dads they could connect with who shared their struggles and their successes.

Many have said that they were fighting depression and hopelessness when they found our program. Here they could feel valuable and worthwhile no matter what. So many fathers don’t know how to navigate the system to help themselves and just need someone to mentor them through the process.

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

Peter and Sharon are a married couple who came to our program several months ago. When they signed up, they were homeless, unemployed and had just found out that they had a second child on the way. With a little bit of encouragement they found a small apartment on their own, but it did not have a working refrigerator. So we helped them find a used refrigerator and replaced the old one. We also found a couch and a chair for them.

As a pregnant woman, Sharon really needed insurance, especially with the difficulty she was having during the early stages of her pregnancy. The family also needed insurance for their older child who desperately needed to be tested for developmental delays. Our program gathered all of the birth certificates and identification necessary for a successful Medicaid application. Soon, Sharon and her son were approved. Peter still has no insurance and needs surgery before he can return to work. In conjunction with a local hospital fund, our staff was able to pay a significant portion of a medical bill for Peter. The remainder of that bill is only $25 and now Peter will be able to undergo surgery and return to work as soon as possible.

 

Check Out the Latest My Dad Taught Me Videos on the Colorado Dads Web site

From learning to have a positive mental attitude to learning to laugh (and swim!) the My Dad Taught Me footage from the 2009 Colorado Fatherhood Rally is certainly entertaining. Take look at the newest videos. Can you imagine your own My Dad Taught Me moment?

The goal of the My Dad Taught Me campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of paternal involvement and how fun it can be for dads and their kids to spend time together. Keep visiting the Colorado Dads Web site to find out where this campaign will be headed next!

 

2009 Colorado Fatherhood Rally Event Photos

On Saturday, June 20th, hundreds of Coloradans joined us at Denver’s City Park to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Father’s Day. Numerous photos from the Rally have been added to a slide show on the Colorado Dads Web site. Visit this page for a glimpse into the successful event – from the opening recognition program with the Denver Indian Family Resource Center dancers, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, winners of the 2009 Be There for Your Kids Awards and Colorado Governor Bill Ritter to an afternoon of music, games and laughter with dads, kids and families!

 

July Featured Father – Leonardo Martinez

Denver resident Leonardo Martinez is the most recent father featured on the Colorado Dads Web site. A father of one, Leonardo enjoys teaching his daughter to play soccer and becoming more involved in her life on a daily basis.

What is your proudest moment as a dad?

Every time I see my child I am proud. Proud of her, of me; proud of us! I am extremely proud of the issues and obstacles we have overcome these past few years.

What would you consider to be your most inspiring moment as a dad?

The moment I realized how committed I was to A'ilana. I made an oath to myself to do everything and anything to be the father she deserves.

 

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 "Daddy dolls & fatherhood services", "Take 'em outside!" and "Thank you for a great Fatherhood Rally!". 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 all of the My Dad Taught Me and 2009 Colorado Fatherhood Rally promotional videos!

 

Upcoming Events

Strategies for Inspiring Men and Boys to be Allies in Gender Prevention Violence Workshop
August 11, 2009
7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

St. Cajetan’s, Auraria Campus
Denver, Colorado

Hosted by the Center for Domestic Violence, School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver, this workshop is led by Dr. Jackson Katz. With a combination of lecture, discussion and written and oral exercises, Dr. Jackson Katz will share a series of strategies for inspiring men, young men and boys to work in collaboration with women to change the social norms that tolerate or condone sexist or abusive behaviors. The MVP model, a gender violence prevention education program Katz first developed in 1993 at Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society will be among the strategies discussed. The training will also feature a segment on the crucial role of media literacy in the prevention of gender violence and bullying.

Lowry Family Center’s Project Proud
An ongoing, eight-week course
Every Thursday
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

4800 Oakland Street, Unit 3
Denver, CO 80239

During this fatherhood course, dads will be able to:

  • Learn theory based methods to improve family unity
  • Share in group discussions with other dads
  • Learn tools to becoming a healthy, engaged father
  • Go on field-trips with other dads and their kids
 

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 mini golf passes to Putter’s Pride.

$1 bowling at Bowlero Lanes in Lakewood.

Free roundtrip train passage on the Georgetown Loop Railroad.

. . .


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