In This Issue:

  • Strengthening Families – Building Momentum in Colorado Community Forum
  • October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Program Spotlight
  • Colorado Fatherhood Programs in their Communities
  • September Featured Father
  • Colorado Dads Watercooler Blog Updates
  • Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives
  • Upcoming Events

Strengthening Families – Building Momentum in Colorado Community Forum

Positioning Colorado families for
a better tomorrow

  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009
    Registration: 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
    Community Forum: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    Cheyenne Mountain Resort
    3225 Broadmoor Valley Road
    Colorado Springs, CO 80906

We invite you to join the Administration for Children and Families and the Be There for Your Kids campaign for a round-table discussion on Colorado fatherhood, healthy marriage, domestic violence and mentoring programs. This free forum will provide attendees with an opportunity to interact with other community-based programs regarding national priorities of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, best practices in serving Coloradans, partnership development and current challenges.

Additional event information, including reduced room rates at Cheyenne Mountain Resort, can be found at the link below.

 

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Just one year ago, the Be There for Your Kids campaign launched the Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence (CMADV) campaign. CMADV asks men in particular to sign a pledge of declaration that they will take a stand against domestic violence. By signing the pledge, individuals declare that:

  • They are committing themselves to never use or justify the use of emotional, sexual, physical or economic abuse against an intimate partner.
  • That by example and by leadership, they will teach that strength and manhood are not defined by violence or domination. That they will speak out even when it is more comfortable to be silent. And that they will join with other men, across differences, to speak with one voice to say "no more."
  • And finally that they will honor the leadership of the many women that have fought tirelessly on this issue and join them in solidarity, firmly committed to equality.

To date, more than 215 individuals have signed the CMADV pledge. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October, CMADV will be front and center at several important domestic violence events.

According to a 2006 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 11 high school students has reported being physically hurt by someone they were dating. This year, the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) will recognize the numerous Colorado victims of teen dating violence during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. CCADV will host their annual rally on the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol on Tuesday, October 6th from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. The theme of the rally is It Stops With Me. Youth from across the State are strongly encouraged to attend the rally or draft a poem for display. Numerous CMADV representatives will attend this event as we continue to raise awareness of the campaign.

On Friday, October 2nd, CMADV will also be recognized during the City of Denver’s Lend a Hand to End Domestic Violence event. Twenty-six city agencies have joined together to help end domestic violence in the workplace by displaying their handprints on a banner indicating their commitment to the issue and signing the CMADV pledge. Rich Batten, administrator of the CMADV campaign, will accept the completed pledge cards on October 2. Lend a Hand to End Domestic Violence will take place at the Wellington Webb Building from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

 

Program Spotlight – The Center on Fathering – Colorado Springs

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

The Center on Fathering opened in June 1995. The program offers a continuum of services designed to meet the needs of fathers in our community including education/training, support groups, outreach and resource/referral. The Responsible Fatherhood community access grant funding enables our program to offer two evidenced-based curricula for specific populations of fathers– the “InsideOut Dads” course for incarcerated fathers and the “Nurturing Fathers” class for dads with past or current domestic violence backgrounds. We also offer a wide range of services that are not covered by the community access grant funding.

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

Our goal is to help all children find love, support and a connection with their mothers and fathers.  We want to help our incarcerated fathers learn tools that will help them fulfill their fathering responsibilities after they leave jail or prison. We also know that dads who can develop nurturing skills are more likely to understand the impact of their violence on their children and are subsequently more likely to break their own cycle of violence.

3. Describe at typical day at the Center on Fathering. 

The Center is normally open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. However, most of our classes are held in the evening in order to accommodate the work schedules of dads. Fathers are referred from a wide variety of sources and programs in our community. Upon arrival, each father receives an individualized assessment in order to determine what class, service or resource is best suited to meet his needs. We have worked with nearly 10,000 fathers since we opened and each dad has been a unique person with a unique situation.

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

In my (Ken Sanders, program administrator) 14+ years of directing the Center on Fathering, I never cease to be amazed by the fact that I learn something from every father who comes through our doors. The Center on Fathering has grown stronger because of the stories of each and every dad who has accessed our services.

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

John recently came to our program, wanting to enroll in a fatherhood class. As is our general routine, we asked John how he had heard about the Center on Fathering. He said he was a new father of a 6-month-old son. John knew about the Center because his own father had participated in our program a few years earlier. He said that he had seen the positive changes that had resulted from his father’s participation and he wanted that kind of foundation for himself. So often we connect with fathers after they’ve experienced a trauma (e.g., divorce, custody issue, child abuse or domestic violence). It is also gratifying to know that we are impacting fathers early on in their fatherhood experience.

 

Colorado Fatherhood Programs in their Communities

The Family Resource Center Open House

Written by Karen Torres, administrator of the Family Resource Center fatherhood program

On August 20th, the Family Resource Center, a community access funded program, invited the community to tour our new office building located at 631 W. Main St. in Sterling. We are pleased to have tripled the space in which we can provide services to our clients. The building is a former photography studio that provides us with a much larger space for supervised visitation, a sink in our visitation room, a kitchen adjoining the room and the potential for outside play space. Now we also have two meeting rooms for our fatherhood classes and enough space to house the CASA program. The building has a welcoming presence and because it is located on the town’s main thoroughfare, is quite visible to the community.

To celebrate our move we invited the community to stop by for free hot dogs, which we grilled in front of the building. We provided free popcorn and held a drawing to win prizes donated by local businesses. Some of the great prizes included a night's stay in the hot tub room of a local hotel, a pearl necklace, a live plant from a florist and a small statue of a father and child. Local radio stations also provided two hours of live coverage of the event. 

Later that evening, we hosted a reception for our community partners, donors, attorneys, social service agencies and other non-profits. The day was full of great conversations about possible collaborations and it provided a wonderful opportunity to raise community awareness about the Family Resource Center. 

Jefferson County Child Support Fatherhood Program Hosts What About the Dad? Training

Together with Fatherhood Support Services, the Jefferson County Child Support Fatherhood Program hosted a unique training on Tuesday, September 15th. The What About the Dad? training featured a screening of the critically acclaimed documentary, “Daddy Hunger”, remarks from Jefferson County magistrate Babette Norton and a round-table discussion among the programs, fathers and parents in attendance. Ideas generated during the discussion included the importance of social service agencies collaborating together to reach fathers, how to make the judicial and parole systems more father friendly and working with mothers to help them better understand how critical it is for children to have both parents involved in their lives. Most importantly, the numerous family service practitioners in attendance were introduced to available services that will help them better serve their clients.

 

September Featured Father - Chuck Robertson

Chuck Robertson, father of three, is the most recent dad featured on the Colorado Dads Web site. In December 2007, Chuck’s daughter, Abby, was killed by her ex-boyfriend. As the Be There for Your Kids campaign recognizes National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and encourages men to educate boys on the dangers of teen dating violence, we are honored to feature Chuck on the Colorado Dads site.

What is your proudest moment as a dad?

There are two. My oldest son Nathan was the “Michael Jordan” of big brothers for his sister from the day she was born. And, my youngest son Jacob showed incredible toughness by getting right back in the game after Abigail was murdered.

What kind of dad do you strive to be?

More understanding than critical. Softer than harder. More silly than serious. More trusting than controlling.

 

Colorado Dads Watercooler Blog Updates

The Watercooler Blog on the Colorado Dads Web site serves as a place for fathers and fatherhood practitioners to discuss various parenting and relationship issues. It is our hope that two recent posts will provoke additional feedback from visitors to the site.

More Than A Few Good Men – Jackson Katz Workshop Review
Tyler Osterhaus

I recently attended a workshop presented by Jackson Katz entitled “More Than a Few Good Men: Strategies for Inspiring Men and Boys to be Allies in Gender Violence Prevention”. Jackson Katz is one of the leading national figures in prompting men to take a stand against gender violence. He engages men through a variety of mediums as a documentarian (check out his ground breaking first film, Tough Guise, which explores issues of masculinity in the media), an author, a public speaker and collaborator in the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Program.

Perhaps Katz’s most important effort has been not just in encouraging men to step into the domestic violence prevention arena, but to actually take ownership of the root of the problem itself. Katz explains that we as men often view gender abuse as a “women’s issue”, but poses the question, “If the vast majority of DV offenders and rapists are men, then isn’t this really a men’s issue”?

Thoughts From A Special Needs Dadvocate
Scott Forlenza

Hey dads, have you ever had a fleeting thought or maybe even daydreamed about life without your child with special needs? I have. I know I’m not the only dad out there who has ever “thought the thought”, because I’ve talked to other parents, dads and moms, who admit that they have, and still do on occasion, wonder what their lives would be like if...

During a recent conversation at the pool, one dad sheepishly grinned and in a slow drawl said, “All the time!” as his 10-year-old son with special abilities decided he preferred his birthday suit to his bathing suit. Every lifeguard’s whistle in a 3-mile radius blew at the same time. It’s OK to laugh, I sure did.

 

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 “Dinner makes a difference!” and “Updated Web site for parents”. 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. Become a fan today!

 

Upcoming Events

Boot Camp for New Dads Master Training
October 2-3, 2009
Exempla St. Joseph Hospital
Denver, Colorado

Our shared passion for helping fathers, mothers and families is what promises to make the Boot Camp for New Dads Master Coaches Training in Denver an event not to miss. With the latest information, tips, techniques, and best practices for growing and publicizing your program, every licensed site will want to send a representative. And for new coaches and programs trained more than two years ago, this event is a must. Every participant in the Denver training is eligible to earn Master Coach status, the highest certification available to a Boot Camp Coach.

Boot Camp for New Dads is a unique father-to-father, community-based workshop that inspires and equips men of different economic levels, ages and cultures to become confidently engaged with their infants, support their mates and personally navigate their transformation into dads.

The Power of Parents Training
October 20, 2009
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Quigg Newton Senior Center
4430 Navajo St
Denver, CO 80211

Research continues to demonstrate the benefits of parent engagement in education and youth programs, but the realities of every day work with youth often lead us to the position of viewing parents as our adversaries rather than our allies. This workshop is designed for people who help to frame efforts to increase or strengthen parent engagement at the system, program, school, or classroom level — educators, program managers, family advocates, family liaisons, youth program providers, and leaders in parent organizations. The Power of Parents invites participants to consider how a positive youth development framework can assist you in building productive, positive relationships and partnerships with parents.

 

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.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 1 at 12:00 p.m. at the Center on Fathering in Colorado Springs.

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 roundtrip train passage on the Georgetown Loop Railroad.

Free admission to the Forney Museum of Transportation.

. . .


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