Be there For Your Kids

In This Issue:

  • Highlights of the Be There for Your Kids Campaign in 2010
  • Fatherhood and Child Support Partnerships
  • Program Spotlight
  • Touch By An Angel and the Men's Warehouse Give Away Free Suits to Dads
  • Promoting Responsible Fatherhood in Your Community
  • December Featured Father
  • Helping Fathers Share the True Meaning of the Holiday Season with their Children
  • Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives
  • Upcoming Events

 

Highlights of the Be There for Your Kids Campaign in 2010

2010 has been another tremendous year for our public awareness campaign. Did you know that:

  • We participated in numerous community events during June 2010 to raise awareness of responsible fatherhood and Father's Day? Our work started with a booth at National Get Outdoors Day at City Park in Denver on June 12th and ended at the Colorado Springs Sky Sox game in Colorado Springs on Father's Day. In between, the campaign hosted the premiere screening of "The Evolution of Dad" in Denver; participated in two fatherhood television call-ins that generated more than 140 calls from interested viewers; and partnered with the Colorado Rockies to recognize the winners of the 2010 Be There for Your Kids Awards prior to the June 16th game at Coors Field. Efforts to promote responsible fatherhood in our state resulted in 37 news stories running statewide in June.

  • More than 100 fatherhood and family service practitioners joined us for the 2010 Fatherhood Training Academy — Going from Good to Great? Those who attended the Training Academy from October 4 — 6 participated in sessions focused on healthy relationships and fatherhood; funding sustainability; working with fathers who have substance abuse problems; understanding Child Welfare and the new Child Welfare portal; working with the Child Support Enforcement Program; domestic violence training; building cultural competency; and public awareness and fatherhood. Training Academy attendees were also treated to keynote presentations from well-known fatherhood educators Mark Kiselica, Ph.D., and Rich Batten, both of whom discussed the value of making personal connections with fathers and the work being done throughout the state to encourage responsible fatherhood.

  • We developed several in-reach opportunities for Child Support and Child Welfare agencies to increase father engagement? In 2010, the campaign partnered with the Colorado Division of Child Welfare to host five father engagement trainings for caseworkers around the state. More than 200 caseworkers participated in these trainings where they heard from fathers who faced and eventually overcame challenges in navigating the child welfare system thanks to the assistance of fatherhood programs and were trained by Child Welfare and Responsible Fatherhood practitioners on father engagement strategies. Together with the Division of Child Welfare, we also launched a password protected web portal in May. This portal features a wealth of resources to improve father engagement among Child Welfare caseworkers including articles focused on involving fathers in Child Welfare cases, a father-friendly agency check up survey, referral links to local fatherhood programs and the option to subscribe to the monthly Be There for Your Kids e-newsletter.

    Our partnership with the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program has also grown to include the launch of a Child Support specific portal, an informational video explaining the components of Child Support for fathers and tip sheets for dads to use when working with their CSE technicians. The tip sheets can be downloaded from this page of the Colorado Dads website.

  • The campaign hosted a special fatherhood recognition event with Elvis Dumervil of the Denver Broncos? On October 17th, seven fathers and their children received free tickets to the Broncos vs. Jets game from Elvis. They arrived at Invesco Field via a party bus and were then taken on the field to meet some of the players and enjoy the game. Then on Friday, November 12th, Elvis joined the selected dads and kids for pizza and an autograph session.

  • The director of the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Dr. Earl Johnson, participated in a site visit at the Jefferson County Child Support Fatherhood program on November 17th? There, he learned of the numerous collaborations taking place between fatherhood programs, state agencies and non-profit organizations around the state.

  • We distributed thousands of dollars worth of free giveaways to Colorado fathers and their children? These items ranged from free tickets to Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and Colorado College hockey games to free trail rides in the San Juan Forest and free admission to the Denver Children's Museum. Each month, the Be There for Your Kids campaign strives to distribute several free or low-cost giveaways to Colorado dads so that they can spend more time with their children.

  • In 2010, the Colorado Dads website received more than 1.6 million hits, 500,000 page views and 115,000 unique visitors? With versions in both English and Spanish, the site is a comprehensive resource for fathers, families and practitioners around the world.

We look forward to continued success in 2011 as we raise awareness of the availability of fatherhood programs in Colorado and build stronger relationships between fathers and their children. Thanks for your support!

 

 

Fatherhood and Child Support Partnerships

As mentioned above, the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood (PRF) Initiative is actively working with the CSE Program to make fatherhood a strong component of the CSE culture. This began with trainings led by Terry Spindler, grants manager for CSE, for fatherhood practitioners and Child Support technicians earlier this year. Now, we are set to formally launch the Child Support Fatherhood Incentive portal and an updated version of the CSE and fatherhood informational video that was first distributed at the 2010 Fatherhood Training Academy. Stay tuned for more great inroads with CSE in the coming year!

 

 

Program Spotlight — Prowers County Fatherhood Program — Lamar

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

The Prowers County Fatherhood Program offers fatherhood training classes to all dads in Prowers County free of charge. The classes are designed to strengthen a father's relationship with his children as well as gain knowledge and support needed to address barriers and achieve effective parenting through positive communication.

We offer two 13-week training courses. The Caring Dads and Nurturing Fathers curricula help us to:

  • Assist dads in identifying and overcoming barriers.

  • Focus on the father as a problem solver, role model and nurturer.

  • Focus on the father as a provider, co-parent and community member.

  • Walk dads through various stages and challenges of being a good father to their children.

  • Provide support and guidance with our county Child Support and Child Welfare offices.

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

We hope to change the culture of fathering in our community through child centered parenting, which will have a lasting impact on entire families. We encourage dads to make positive behavioral changes for their children. We believe that through these efforts our community will have a better understanding of fatherhood and the importance of fathers in building a healthy family environment.

3. Describe at typical day at Prowers County Fatherhood Program.

A typical day at the office includes facilitating classes, individual meetings and assessments as well as helping to instill hope in fathers that they can be great dads for their children.

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

The best part is seeing a father transform from his initial intake to the end of our program when he's become a better parent for his children. Some of the barriers these men have to overcome can seem insurmountable. It's like seeing a miracle happen and I'm humbled to have a part in it.

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

We had a young father who was separated from his spouse and turned to substance abuse. This cost him many things, including his children. With the help of the local domestic violence provider and our Caring Dads program, this father was able to gain support to that helped him through his addiction.

Through his substance abuse treatment, this father has been sober for three months, was able to remove himself from unhealthy relationships and is currently repairing the relationship he has with his children. He is determined to overcome his barriers and learn and grow as a father. He wants to be the dad for his kids that he never had.

 

Touch By An Angel and the Men's Warehouse Give Away Free Suits to Dads

On Sunday, November 21st, community access funded program Touch By an Angel partnered with Emmanuel Christian Center and the Men's Warehouse to host a "Men's Suit Giveaway". Several hundred men from east Denver attended the event where they received suits, ties and shirts. Men and families from all walks of life, including halfway houses, were grateful to receive these clothing items. According to one man who attended the giveaway, "These suits are what I need to get a job!". Touch By An Angel looks forward to hosting another suit giveaway in 2011.

 

 

Promoting Responsible Fatherhood in Your Community

The Be There for Your Kids campaign encourages you to join our efforts in promoting responsible fatherhood throughout Colorado in 2011! There are many ways you can get involved:

  1. Subscribe to The Face of Fatherhood in Colorado monthly e-newsletter and visit the Colorado Dads website on a regular basis for the latest campaign updates.

  2. Familiarize yourself with the fatherhood programs located in your community. Volunteer to serve as a mentor to fathers participating in a fatherhood program. Or, distribute Be There for Your Kids promotional materials at different community organizations. To obtain any Be There for Your Kids materials, please e-mail Maggie Spain.

  3. Encourage organizations in your community to become more father-friendly. Contact a local school to set up a volunteer program for fathers. The WATCH DOGS (Dads of Great Students) is a great program for fathers to consider. If you live near a military base, research what kinds of programs are available for fathers who are deployed to help them remain connected with their kids. Talk with your employer about what family-life guidelines are in place for fathers, including paternity leave.

  4. Host a fatherhood community event in celebration of Father's Day 2011. Make sure you set-up fun activities for kids of all ages to enjoy spending time with their dads. Partner with a local fatherhood program or community organization to host the event.

  5. Lead by example. Spend time with your children, letting them know that nothing is more important than the relationship you are building. After all, a childhood only lasts 6,570 days!

Thank you for helping fathers make the commitment to be there for their kids!

 

 

December Featured Father — Lance Wilson

Aurora resident and father of nine (!) Lance Wilson is the most recent father featured on the Colorado Dads website. Lance enjoys playing games with his children as well as helping each child find his or her own talents.

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

Hearing my stepson say how he saved money to buy his mom a birthday gift with his own money, because he wanted to follow my example of planning ahead.

What would you hope that your kids would say about you if asked what kind of a dad they have?

I hope they would say that they have a fun dad who teaches them how to fix things on their own.

 

Helping Fathers Share the True Meaning of the Holiday Season with their Children

Commercialism is at an all time high and this holiday season producers and distributors of toys and sugary foods will be fighting for children's attention online, in print and on television. Indeed, estimates indicate that $15 billion will be spent on advertising towards children in 2010. But what kids really want this holiday season, even more than expensive advertised gifts, is to spend quality time with their dads. According to a New American Dream poll, 57 percent of kids would rather do something fun with their mom or dad than go shopping. This December, Colorado dads are encouraged to avoid the rush to the mall and instead spend time with their children teaching them the true meaning of the holiday season.

"The most important gift you can give your children this holiday season is the gift of your time," said Dan Welch, fatherhood and family specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services. "Children will remember the memories you create together much longer than any expensive gift will last."

There are many free or low-cost activities that fathers can participate in with their children this season to make time together exciting and meaningful. With a little bit of planning, fathers can build stronger relationships and help their children understand the true meaning of the holidays.

 

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 fatherhood and family specialist Dan Welch, is updated on a regular basis. Recent topics include "A Time of Wonderment", "A Safe Harbor" and "Earning Respect". Become a subscriber of the blog and you will receive automatic e-mail announcements when it is updated.

Check out the Be There for Your Kids Facebook page for all things related to fatherhood. 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.

 

Upcoming Events

12th Annual National Fatherhood and Families Conference
March 1-4, 2011
San Francisco, California

Fathers & Families Coalition of America is excited to present the 12th Annual National Fatherhood & Families Conference Program & Registration scheduled for March 1-4, 2011. Fathers & Families Coalition of America has selected more than 75 presenters to share research, best practices, lessons learned and inspiration to provide unique services to fathers and families. Moreover, with an approach focused on multi-cultural and unmet needs of practitioners we have selected and developed cutting edge workshops with four days of in-depth information to apply to your programs, organizations and families.

 

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:
. . .

Text DADS or PADRE to 72727 to win free tickets to the January 9th Denver Nuggets game!

Free admission to the Denver Children's Museum

A free gift basket from HappyBaby
Food.com

. . .


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