Be there For Your Kids

In This Issue:

  • Be There for Your Kids Campaign Celebrates Father's Day 2010
  • 2010 Be There for Your Kids Awards Winners
  • Program Spotlight
  • Colorado Department of Human Services Staff Changes
  • Fatherhood in the News
  • June Featured Father – A Tribute to Colorado Dads
  • Child Welfare Incentive Program Website Updates
  • 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

Colorado Dads

Thanks to the many Colorado dads, kids and family members who helped make Father’s Day 2010 so incredibly successful for the Be There for Your Kids campaign. We participated in a variety of community events this year to help build awareness of Colorado fatherhood programs and the importance of responsible fatherhood.

Get Outdoors Day Colorado - Saturday, June 12th
City Park, Denver

Even an incredibly soggy day couldn’t keep us from encouraging dads and kids to spend time together outdoors this summer at the 2010 Get Outdoors Day Colorado celebration. The Be There for Your Kids campaign joined the Administration for Children and Families, Region 8, booth to help children make their own buttons and hand out information on local fatherhood resources.

Denver Television Call-Ins

Each Father’s Day, fatherhood practitioners, Families First Support Line volunteers and Child Support Enforcement employees assist the Be There campaign by volunteering at local television call-ins. The campaign hosted two call-ins this year, one at 7News (Denver's ABC affiliate) on June 15th and one at 9News (Denver's NBC affiliate) bright and early on June 16th. Volunteers answered calls from more than 140 concerned viewers during these call-ins. Questions ranged from custody and parenting time problems to how to pay off back child support payments and dealing with general parenting issues.

“The Evolution of Dad” Documentary Screening - Wednesday, June 16th
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 what paternal relationships will look like in the future. On June 16th, the Be There campaign hosted the premiere of this documentary in Denver, where the winners of the 2010 Be There for Your Kids Awards were announced and attendees participated in a question and answer ichat with Dana Glazer, the creator of the film.

Colorado Rockies Pre-Game Celebration – June 18th

The Be There for Your Kids Awards winners received a special treat this year. On Friday, June 18th, the Colorado Rockies invited them onto the field as part of a pre-game ceremony and a special recognition of the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood (PRF) Initiative. A Rockies victory over the Brewers made the night complete!

Colorado Springs Sky Sox Celebrate Father's Day – June 20th

Thanks to volunteers from the Center on Fathering and Two Cor Projects in Colorado Springs for braving the 90+ degree temperatures to hand out information on their services to Sky Sox fans on Father’s Day. With more than 7,000 fans attending the game that afternoon, this was a great way to build awareness of fatherhood programs in southeastern Colorado.

 

2010 Be There for Your Kids Awards Winners

In an effort to recognize and reward outstanding individuals and program service in healthy father involvement with children, families and communities throughout Colorado, the Colorado Fatherhood Council established the Be There for Your Kids Awards in 2008. Individuals and programs from across the state that demonstrate excellence, consistency, creativity and leadership in serving fathers or in being a father are eligible to receive an award.

Rockies photoThe winners of the 2010 Be There for Your Kids Awards were honored during several community events the week of Father’s Day 2010. They include:

Father of the Year: Kevin Crumley - A father of four from Colorado Springs, Kevin was nominated for this award by his wife, Denise. Three years ago, he entered the lives of her three children following the death of their father who was serving in the US Army Special Forces. Together, Kevin and the children have found a way to always honor their biological father while coming together as their own family.

Outstanding Father Reengagement Award: Kendall Davis - Nominated by his caseworker at Denver-based Central Visitation Program, Kendall has overcome a number of obstacles to build a relationship with his young daughter. He participated in a supervised visitation program, worked with his daughter’s mother to rebuild a sense of trust and spoke about his experience at a national supervised visitation conference earlier this year.

Fatherhood Program of the Year: Fatherhood Support Services – This Denver-based program provides fathers with individual meetings for support, advocacy and planning as well as parenting skills classes, discussion groups, mentorship, networking and family outings. The Fatherhood Support Services dads joined together to nominate the program for this award, stating that the staff members, led by Meg Paccione, exemplify being there for your kids.

Outstanding Fatherhood Practitioner of the Year: Ken Sanders, The Center on Fathering - Ken is the director of The Center on Fathering in Colorado Springs. He has been instrumental in the fatherhood movement in Colorado since the mid-90’s through his work with fathers in the child welfare system, assistance on the Colorado Fatherhood Council and his commitment to helping fathers build stronger relationships with their children.

Colorado Fatherhood Council Member of the Year: Terry Spindler - As a grants manager for the Colorado Division of Child Support Enforcement, Terry has worked tirelessly to bridge the gap between local fatherhood programs and county child support technicians.

Extraordinary Leader for Fatherhood in Colorado: Rich Batten - For the past four years, Rich has served as a fatherhood and family specialist for the Colorado Department of Human Services, where he led the creation and growth of the Be There for Your Kids public awareness campaign, established numerous collaborations between state, county agencies and fatherhood programs and connected countless dads to local fatherhood resources.

Congratulations to all of the 2010 Be There Awards winners!

 

Program Spotlight – Community Development Institute Head Start – Weld County

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

Community Development Institute (CDI) Head Start partners with Child Advocacy Resource Education (CARE) of Weld County to facilitate our 24/7 Dad classes. Local fathers are also able to participate in Dads and Kids Super Saturdays that focus on how fathers can make math fun for their children.

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

As a Head Start program our goal is to assist our fathers so that they are able to play a central role in their children’s education. We recognize that a father’s role is very important in the early stages of any child’s life. Some of the fathers participating in the CDI program are not aware that they have a lot to offer their children and we view this as a great opportunity to help them see that they are their children’s first teacher. 

3. Describe at typical day at CDI Head Start.

A typical day here is a very busy one. We have 11 Head Start Centers throughout Weld County, with a total of 23 classrooms. The day starts as parents arrive to drop off their children and each parent is greeted and welcomed. Our focus each day is to educate children and to empower families. Many of our parents volunteer in the classrooms throughout the day. Others are making good use of the services we offer such as the Family Partnerships program, which provides assistance for fathers seeking to earn their GED, learn English or participate in other adult education classes.

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

The best part is seeing an entire family benefit from the different programs we offer. It is great to watch a child and his father connect while they are participating in activities together and to work with fathers who are so willing to support the CDI Head Start program.

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

CDI Head Start welcomes and encourages all parents to volunteer, especially fathers. 

At one of our centers, we had a father who volunteered for the first time and was very appreciative of how the staff respected him. This led to him spending more time in his child's classroom. Since his first volunteering experience, this father has become a very important part of our program. He’s served as secretary of our Policy Council and we’re very thankful to him for giving unselfishly of his time.

 

Colorado Department of Human Services Staff Changes

There are several new faces working for the PRF Initiative at the Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division now.

Jennifer Morganto’s first day with the PRF Initiative took place in early May. Jennifer comes to us from Peer Assistance, a national healthy marriage program grantee. In her new role as fatherhood program specialist, Jennifer will serve as the main point of contact for community access funded programs and be involved in all site visits and program audits. Kelli Bennett, who formerly served in this role, is now working for the state TANF program.

After four years of tremendous work and success, Rich Batten, the administrator of the PRF Initiative, has left us. Rich has taken a position with the Denver office of Public Strategies, Inc., as the project manager for the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. Rich played a tremendous role in the development of the Be There for Your Kids campaign and served as an integral connector for fatherhood programs and other state, county and community-based agencies. Rich will truly be missed and we wish him the best of luck in his new role.

Now taking over for Rich as of June 28th is Dan Welch. Dan joins the PRF Initiative after working in Child Support Enforcement for more than 20 years. He was actively involved in the initial development of the PRF Initiative and the recipient of the 2008 Be There for Your Kids Colorado Fatherhood Council Member of the Year Award. Dan is extremely passionate and excited to continue to build the responsible fatherhood movement in our state.

Welcome Dan and Jennifer!

 

Fatherhood in the News

In light of our nationwide celebration of Father’s Day just a few weeks ago, the news media has increased its focus on responsible fatherhood and paternal relationships. Here’s a brief synopsis of news stories on the PRF Initiative you may have missed:

Colorado DadsParenting program helps 15-year-old with fatherhood

Teray Esquibel was just 15 years old when he learned he was having son and faced a life-altering decision.

When his child, Avery, arrived three months early on April 30 he became a dad.

He then had to choose whether he would stay and be a father.

"I was doubting what kind of father would I be," says Esquibel.

Stepping up into the role of dad

A quick Father's Day story I think is in order.

His name is Kevin Crumley, and it is not in the character of too many men to do what he has done.

The numbers bear this out: Father absence is at an all-time high in this country, a place where 25 million American kids live without a dad.

He was by every account a happy, content, successful and very single man five years ago, a man who had resigned himself, at age 39, to a life without marriage, without children.

Dads are different but important

When my daughter was born in 2005, I had the unique opportunity to become a stay-at-home dad. My daughter is now 5, and I've since returned to the work force.

When we recently looked back at photos of that era of our lives, my daughter asked, “Is Dad the one who took care of me when I was a baby?” To which my wife, perhaps not-so-jokingly replied, “Dad stayed home with you, but I'm the one who really took care of you.”

Ouch! I have to admit I wasn't prepared for that comment. I had always assumed I did a pretty good job during my crash course as a stay-at-home parent.

Colorado program helps dads become better men

For Keith Lewis, Father's Day has always reminded him of the dad he used to be and the one he hopes to be.

Lewis admits he was not a great father when his son, Reese, was born seven years ago.

However, he also admits a lot has changed and partially thanks to Colorado's Fatherhood Initiative.

 

June Featured Father – A Tribute to Colorado Dads

Colorado Dads

Since October 2007, the Be There for Your Kids campaign has featured numerous Colorado Dads on our website. From building homemade Halloween costumes to advocating for children with special needs, these fathers are doing their best to be there for their kids. In honor of Father’s Day 2010, we’d like to celebrate Colorado Dads and their amazing stories.
What is your proudest moment as a dad?

My son, Kenny, who has cerebral palsy, graduated from Rampart High School in 2000. His para-professionals worked with him for two years to be able to ‘walk’ across the stage to get his diploma instead of being pushed in his wheelchair. As he moved across the stage someone in his class cheered him on, yelling, “You’re the man, Kenny!!”. Starting with his classmates, the whole arena gave him a standing ovation! My dad was there too and when I looked over at him we were both crying! – Gary Firth, Colorado Dads featured father, October 2009

What does fatherhood mean to you?

As a father your role changes from day to day and year to year. I now look at what my grandson’s needs are as opposed to my older children because my role as a parent is very different now that my children are young adults. I think my children need me to answer the phone if they call. I probably won’t be able to solve a problem but hopefully I will be able to guide them and give a suggestion or two. Knowing that I’m going be at home or answer the phone I hope gives them some comfort and security.

The role of a parent is an honor whereas the role as a grandparent is a privilege. My son and his wife entrust me with the care of their baby boy every weekday and I can’t think of a better way to spend my day. – Arthur Stone, Colorado Dads featured father, February 2008

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

They're yours, so love them everyday. If they're having trouble in school, or they're acting bratty or you think they're too spoiled...they're yours. Everyday it's your job to make an improvement and direct them in a better way. If they're struggling, you're struggling. You have to understand that they're yours no matter what. It's not basketball, you can't trade them. They're yours, so love them no matter what life throws at you. – George Karl, Colorado Dads featured father, April 2008

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

It’s those moments when I observe my boys playing, sharing and helping one another. It’s when my middle child reminds me to pick up his brother from school or my oldest son says he wants to take his brothers to the movies with us. Or when one of the boys asks to be excused when he is done with dinner and puts his dishes in the sink. When you have more than one child you have inspiring moments every day! – Alvin Tafoya, Colorado Dads featured father, March 2009

 

Child Welfare Incentive Program Website Updates

Last month, the PRF Initiative and the Colorado Division of Child Welfare joined together to launch the Child Welfare Incentive Program website at www.coloradodads.com/caseworkers. This site is designed to improve father engagement among child welfare caseworkers as well as provide a forum for caseworkers to share agency news.

Colorado Case WorkersThirty-two caseworkers and supervisors have signed up to access this website. By setting up an account, users become eligible to receive special incentives through their use of posted articles and tip sheets, Father Friendly Agency Check Ups and other resources. The offers can be used by caseworkers directly or given to local foster families. Incentives will be distributed to identified caseworkers once they reach 350 points.

Colorado fatherhood programs: Be sure to promote the availability of this site among the caseworkers you work with as they seek to integrate more fathers into county child welfare cases.

 

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, promoted on the Colorado Dads homepage, is updated on a regular basis. Recent topics include “2010 Be There Award Winners”, “The most important thing” and “Be there for them”. Become a subscriber of the blog and you will receive automatic e-mail announcements when it is updated.

Another reminder that the Be There for Your Kids Facebook page is back! We encourage you to “Like” 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. Footage of the Rockies pre-game ceremony honoring the winners of the 2010 Be There for Your Kids Awards on June 18th is now featured on this channel.

 

Upcoming Events

14th Annual National Conference on Domestic Violence and 35th Annual National Conference on Men and Masculinity
July 31 – August 4, 2010
Anaheim Hilton Hotel, Anaheim, California

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) has partnered with the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS), for a collaborative conference entitled Changing Faces of the Movement. On Sunday, August 1, NOMAS will host the 22nd Annual Men's Studies Association (MSA) Meeting. NOMAS will be providing a conference welcoming evening program on Saturday, July 31, featuring keynote speaker, Michael Kimmel, followed by the national premier of “Men’s Monologues Against Violence” performed by Ben Atherton-Zeman.

Legal Night at Mi Casa
Third Thursday of Every Month
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Mi Casa Resource Center for Women, Denver

This is a great opportunity for you or the families you work with to receive free legal information each month. Volunteers will be able to answer questions regarding immigration, credit, housing, employment issues and family law.

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 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:
. . .

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

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 website, 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:

Dan Welch
Fatherhood Specialist
Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division
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 – website, 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