Be there For Your Kids

In This Issue:

  • Be There for Your Kids Campaign Celebrates Father's Day 2010
  • Reaching and Engaging Colorado Fathers - Updates on Recent Child Welfare Caseworker Trainings
  • Colorado Child Welfare Incentive Program Launches
  • Year Five Funding Announcement Timeline
  • Program Spotlight
  • What's New on www.coloradodads.com
  • May Featured Father
  • Helping Fathers Find More Time for Work and Family Commitments
  • Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives
  • Upcoming Events

Be There for Your Kids Campaign Celebrates Father's Day 2010

green man imageSunday, June 20th marks the 101st anniversary of Father’s Day. The Be There for Your Kids campaign will participate in several community events to celebrate dad this year. Join us!

Get Outdoors Day Colorado

Saturday, June 12th
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
City Park, Denver

We’re excited to participate in the 2010 Get Outdoors Day (Go Day!) Colorado event with the Administration for Children and Families – Region 8. This year, 68 locations across the country will host Go Day! activities to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun. Each Go Day! event will offer a mix of information centers and “active fun” areas – places where guests, and especially kids, can use a fishing pole, go geocaching, help pitch a tent and more. The sites will provide photo opportunities with characters like Smokey Bear, Woodsy Owl and other interesting creatures. Many sites also feature areas that focus on other aspects of healthy living, including sustainability and good nutrition.

On June 12th at Denver’s City Park, we’ll have a tent filled with games for families and children as well as tips for dads to use to get outdoors with their kids.

“The Evolution of Dad” Documentary Screening

Wednesday, June 16th
6:30 p.m.
Pathways Church, Denver

Released worldwide on Father’s Day 2010, “The Evolution of Dad” examines what it means to be a contemporary American father by exploring how fatherhood has evolved over time, what its impact has been on family and society and how paternal relationships will continue to evolve. This film follows the personal journey of filmmaker and dad, Dana Glazer. Several sociologists, fatherhood researchers and work/life advocates are also featured in the documentary. Following the free screening, we’ll join Dana in a question and answer ichat.

Fathers, Kids & Baseball

Baseball often holds a special meaning for fathers and their children. This Father’s Day, Colorado dads will be honored at two professional baseball games.

Colorado Rockies vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Friday, June 18th – 7:10 p.m.
Coors Field, Denver

Winners of the 2010 Be There for Your Kids Awards will be recognized on the field prior to this game, which will include several opportunities for fans to celebrate Colorado dads. Tickets for the game are on sale now at coloradorockies.mlb.com.

Colorado Springs Sky Sox vs. Las Vegas 51s
Sunday, June 20th – 1:10 p.m.
Security Service Field, Colorado Springs

This Father’s Day, Promoting Responsible Fatherhood (PRF) Initiative Community Access funded programs will distribute individual program and Be There for Your Kids campaign information to fans at the Colorado Springs Sky Sox game. The programs and campaign will also be promoted throughout the afternoon at the ballpark. Visit www.skysox.com to buy your tickets to the game today!

 

Reaching and Engaging Colorado Fathers - Updates on Recent Child Welfare Caseworker Trainings

Over the past four months, the PRF Initiative has partnered with the Colorado Division of Child Welfare to provide five Reaching and Engaging Colorado Fathers – Child Welfare Caseworker Trainings for local caseworkers. More than 200 caseworkers participated in these free trainings that were funded by a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and based on research compiled by the American Humane Association on working with non-resident fathers. The most recent trainings took place in Ft. Morgan on April 7th and in Durango on May 18th.

Participants in all five trainings heard from fathers who faced and eventually overcame challenges in navigating the child welfare system thanks to the assistance of local fatherhood programs. Each training was staffed by local fatherhood program and state level volunteers who discussed such topics as male help seeking behaviors, father engagement strategies, the value of father engagement and partnering with local child support enforcement agencies.

These trainings were a critical first step in the development of our partnership with the State Division of Child Welfare to better involve fathers in appropriate child welfare cases.

 

Colorado Child Welfare Incentive Program Launches

Colorado Child Welfare Incentive ProgramIn an effort to improve father engagement among child welfare caseworkers, supervisors and county agencies, the Colorado Division of Child Welfare and the PRF Initiative have joined together to develop the Child Welfare Incentive Program.

The Incentive Program includes the development of an online resource center for child welfare employees that features tips on improving father engagement in agency settings, father-friendly agency check up surveys, fatherhood program referral reports, links to fatherhood programs and resources and a forum to share agency news. By setting up an account on the site, users will be eligible to receive special offers through their use of posted articles and resources. The offers can be used by caseworkers directly or given to local foster families. Incentives will be distributed to identified caseworkers on a monthly basis. Together, the PRF Initiative and Division of Child Welfare seek to fully integrate fathers and paternal kin into the case management process through unique collaborations.

This website is open to Colorado child welfare caseworkers and supervisors only.

 

Year Five Funding Announcement Timeline

The application process for the October 1, 2010 – September 29, 2011 PRF grant funding cycle is now closed. Forty-one applications from fatherhood programs across the state were delivered to the Colorado Department of Human Services on May 3rd. A public announcement of the awards distributed for this funding cycle will be made on July 16, 2010.

More information on the PRF grant funding cycle as well as additional local, state and national funding opportunities can be found at the link below.

 

Program Spotlight - The Piñon Project - Cortez

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

  • A two-hour per week (26 week; open entry) evening group for fathers following the Responsible Fatherhood curriculum. Also included is free on-site child care, snacks and transportation assistance to and from the group meetings if needed.
  • Four weeks of communication skills training using the Core Communication curriculum.
  • Family development planning, case management and support.
  • Employment and job training assistance.
  • Recreational activities to promote parent/child bonding.
  • Peer support to discuss experiences and work out solutions to problems together.
  • While not directly funded by the Community Access grant, The Piñon Project also provides other services to dads including reduced fees for supervised visitation and safe exchanges to fathers who participate in the fatherhood program.

2. What do you ultimately want to achieve with your program?
The ultimate goal of The Piñon Project’s fatherhood program is to help fathers become better partners and parents to their children. We believe that by helping fathers improve their economic status, learn more effective communication skills and ways of managing their children’s behavior, men can develop the skills needed to be effective fathers and partners.

3. Describe a typical day at The Piñon Project.
The Piñon Project is a very busy place. The doors are open from 8:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and there are generally two or more groups scheduled in the evenings as well. An on-site child care center serving 70 children is also available to families. The Piñon Project provides a vast array of family programs ranging from family advocacy to early literacy.

The fatherhood program meets each Wednesday evening in our training annex. Transportation assistance, in the form of gas cards, is provided to any father who needs it. The sessions start informally with a light snack as most of the fathers are coming to the group from work.  Parents and children share food together before the kids are taken to the on-site child care center, which is staffed by our Licensed Tree House child care staff.

Two fatherhood coordinators lead each group session. Many of the fathers are struggling to cope with a variety of issues and have commented that this program was the first place they have ever felt supported. The Piñon Project believes that part of our job in delivering this program is to give fathers an opportunity to discuss experiences and work out solutions together. The coordinators are available throughout the week to fathers who need assistance with advocacy, employment, parenting, supervised visitation or other needs.

4. What is the best part about working with fathers?
The best part about working with fathers is seeing them succeed. Often when a father first joins the program, he may be unsure of what is happening and who to trust. As we work with dads, a level of trust starts to build when they experience and interact with a group of men who have faced similar issues and are supporting each other. Frequently, changes are made in the dads’ lives as well as in the way they interact with their children. Over the past three years, staff at The Piñon Project have witnessed fathers reunited with their children, fathers who were able to move into permanent housing, fathers who regained custody of their children and fathers who increased their involvement with their children.

Shak Powers image5. Share a program/father success story with us.
Shalako ‘Shak’ Powers, the 2008 recipient of the Be There for Your Kids Father of the Year award, continues to be a leader and mentor in The Piñon Project’s fatherhood program.

After Shak began taking dance lessons in January of 2010 at the Come Dance Tonight! Studio in Cortez he challenged the owner to host a father-daughter dance. As a result, The Piñon Project’s fatherhood program and the Come Dance Tonight! Studio collaborated to present the first annual father-daughter dance on May 23, 2010. Highlights of the afternoon included dance lessons by award-winning instructor, Denise Kroger, spotlight performances and father-daughter photos.

Kudos and thanks to Shak and the Come Dance Tonight! Studio for their dedication to promoting responsible fatherhood in our community.

 

What's New on www.coloradodads.com

With versions in both English and Spanish, the Colorado Dads website 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.

Healthy Relationships

Summer is fast approaching and that means children with extra time on their hands. Check out this section of the Colorado Dads website for resources on managing extracurricular activities, easy, low-cost activities for fathers to take part in with their kids and understanding childhood and adolescent friendships.

Colorado DataSpanish Version of www.coloradodads.com

The Spanish version of the Colorado dads site is designed specifically for dads! From links to local and national news stories to fatherhood programs, parenting education and free events, the site provides a wide variety of resources tailored to Spanish speaking fathers.

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 January – March 2010 have now been added to the Colorado Data and Research section of the Colorado Dads site.

 

May Featured Father - Dave Lilja

Chef Dave Lilja
Louisville resident Dave Lilja is the most recent father featured on the Colorado Dads website. A father of three, Dave enjoys brainstorming meals that his children will eat up and other dads can use for their own families as well as spending quality time on the slopes with his kids.

What is the best part of being a dad?

It's guiding, nurturing and watching my kids grow to be the best they can be. Celebrating their accomplishments, helping them with hard times and seeing the world for the first time through their eyes.

Describe your funniest moment as a dad.

I like to goof around and be silly with my kids. I hear a lot that I am just a silly daddy!

Probably one of my most memorable moments was on Easter, when I told them they needed to stay upstairs so I could check things out. When I got down there I found the Easter Bunny and chased him around the house until I finally got him to leave. That day I heard my kids tell the story over and over; how their daddy found the Easter Bunny and chased him out of the house.

 

Helping Fathers Find More Time for Work and Family Commitments

Father & Son imageToday careers, every day chores and other obligations pull parents in countless directions and monopolize time and energy. Parents, especially fathers, are challenged more than ever to manage their time wisely between their jobs and families. But from a White House forum on the economics of workplace flexibility to healthy lifestyle programs run by local Colorado companies, opportunities exist for Colorado fathers to have successful careers and connected home lives.

Connecting with your child doesn’t need to involve planning an extravagant trip to Disney World or a weekend getaway. Fathers can identify simple, and oftentimes free, activities to engage in with their child.

 

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 most important thing”, “Be there for them” and “Check out our links for moms”. Become a subscriber of the blog and you will receive automatic e-mail announcements when it is updated.

The Be There for Your Kids Facebook page is back! We encourage you to become a fan of this page and comment on fatherhood news articles and notes as we increase our number of followers. Be sure to also check out our YouTube channel for the latest campaign videos. 

 

Upcoming Events

Fathers & Families Coalition of America – National Town Hall Meeting
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Mi Casa Resource Center, Denver

The Fathers & Families Coalition of America will host a national town hall meeting in Denver to discuss issues impacting the organization’s goal of building strong fathers, families and communities. The Obama Administration’s proposed Fatherhood, Marriage and Families Innovation Fund will also be a featured topic at the town hall meeting.

3rd Annual Reach For Peace Picnic
Sunday, June 20, 2010
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Silverman Park, Denver

The Struggle of Love Foundation, Lowry Family Center and Urban Colors Arts & Mentoring present the 3rd annual Reach for Peace Picnic in recognition of Father's Day 2010. The event will include a 5 on 5 basketball tournament, lots of free food, music and giveaways for the whole family.

2010 Baseball Experience Contest
April 2010 – September 2010

Baseball is considered America’s pastime and the sport has always been a great way for fathers and kids to spend time together.

Throughout spring and summer 2010, the Be There for Your Kids campaign is partnering with FSN Rocky Mountain to raise awareness of the importance of father involvement. As this campaign grows, we are also pleased to offer fathers and their children a unique opportunity – a chance to ask a baseball question on-camera during an FSN broadcast of a Sunday Colorado Rockies home game!

 

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 meeting on the first Wednesday of every month in Pueblo or Cañon City for lunch, encouragement and 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 Piñon 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:
. . .

One free trail ride for a father and two children with the Rapp Corral in the San Juan National Forest

Free admission and skate rental at the Glacier Ice Arena in Grand Junction.

Free tickets to the Alamosa Round-Up Rodeo June 25 - 26th.

Two for One admission to the Greeley Fun Plex.

. . .


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 Contacts:

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